I think it was only meant to stop employees using his phone for private
calls during working hours.
I had one on my phone, but that was to keep the kids from calling long
distance by misteak when playing
I wonder how you would lock out Touch-Tone dialing? I could do
it by modifying the phone -- adding a key operated switch in one of the
wires connecting the dial to the rest -- but that could still be gotten
past using a hand-held touchtone generator which could be held over the
microphone. (And they used to be sold for activating things remotely
when you were stuck with a rotary dial phone, but the remote control
depended on the touch-tone signals instead.
Hmm ... three notch filters in the phone line to cut out the
tones associated with each column of buttons should do it. (You know
that you get two tones per button -- one associated with the column, and
one with the row. On older phones, at least, you can get just the tone
for one column by pressing two keys in the column at once, and the same
for each row. This was for the old AT&T Touch-Tone dials, with
mechanical encoding -- bars which sensed the key at the intersection and
closed contacts for both by selecting taps on an inductor. Pressing two
in the same column connected two taps on the inductor for the other
direction, and thus shorted the signal and silenced it.
With today's phones having less and less mechanical, and more
and more electronic, I suspect that the keypads simply make a single
contact which is decoded to generate the proper tones.
Sorry -- probably more than most of you wanted to know. :-)
Well -- the one shown in the puzzle extends outside the dial,
and the stop has a scooped part which the finger goes into to generate
sufficient rotation to enable that tenth pulse. With the really old
phones, (the 300 series -- very square bases and heavy handsets) you
could actually dial by pressing the hookswitch at something close enough
to the 10 pulses-per-second which the dial produces. The later 500
series phones looked prettier, but their hookswitch motion was not as
crisp, making it more difficult to do.
To develop the timing, it helps to be near the exchange
switches, and hear them stepping. I know this because I had built a
small dial telephone exchange at my parent's home using surplus
Automatic Electric "Strowger" switches -- which Ma Bell called "10x10s".
They were still using them up to about 20 years ago where I
worked (an Army base). I could tell by the faint sounds as I dialed.
Then it was all replaced by a full electronic system -- not near as much
Also if you were on a touch-tone enabled exchange which had
step-by-step switches (which were used in various exchanges long,
long, long after they were obselete and the 5ESS was king; The Phone
Company takes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" to extremes), you
could hear the pulse generators dialing for you after you finished.
The problem with socialism is there's always
someone with less ability and more need.
There is a reason that Ma Bell took that attitude. Bell is and was a
regulated utility, which means that it is allowed a monopoly, but the
price is that its prices are regulated by the Govt, mainly the FCC, for
whom I worked in the 1970s.
Basically, Bell was allowed to charge enough to make 8.75% on rate base
per year, maintenance costs came out of their hide, and the FCC-set
amortization period was 40 years. Now the Bell guys are not stupid, and
do respond to incentives. And the above, translated, tells them:
"Build it strong, build it for the ages, never mind the cost because you
will collect 8.75% per year on it, forever." And so they did.
Of course, the Army base where I used to work had step-by-step
switches for the whole base -- and nothing but dial phones installed.
(Hmm ... I wonder how the command level people on AutoVON were supplied
with the extra touchtone codes like "Flash Override" to kick peons off
when they needed a line. :-)
But they pulled that step-by-step exchange perhaps twenty years
ago now -- but *long* after I would expect step-by-step to still be in
Of course, a step-by-step exchange is pretty immune to the
effects of EMP, so they may have kept it for an operational security
factor. :-) But -- everything going off post would go through ESS of
some form or other -- and they would be vulnerable. (Hmm ... I also
wonder how hard Ma Bell worked to harden the electronics to make sure
that they could keep working. A phone exchange seems like a major focus
of EMP damage.
Think about what you just wrote, George. That couldn't work.
ANYwayy... When I was an early teenager, I knew (just as any
electronics-savvy kid of the day did) how to "hook dial". A lock on the
dial meant nothing. I could dial any number just by tapping the receiver
hook at 10 times per second.
You can still do it today, because the pulse dialing support is still in
the systems, by law.
"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:
I did that once back in the days when the telco guy came out to plug your
phone into the wall. I had just moved, and when I went to call out, I got
dialtone, but no touchtone. So I "flashed the switchhook" ten times, and
the operator came on. She said, "Oh, sounds like polarity." They sent
another guy, who swapped the red and green wires. I could have done it
myself, but I think at the time they owned everything and it was illegal
to mess with it.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.