29 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for April 08, 2011
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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 08:50:35 -0500 From: John Mayson <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: New Austin area code confirmed to be hoax Message-ID: <BANLkTikbmhmWDTBLTQ2qPjy-5-vr-BQrXA@mail.gmail.com> On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 11:34 AM, Adam H. Kerman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > John Mayson <email@example.com> wrote: > >>New Austin area code confirmed to be hoax >>http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2011/04/01/new-austin-area-code-plan-confirmed-hoax.html?ana=handmark > > Is there something Austin-specific about 834 that people should have > recognized it as humor? I was hoping someone here would know. :-) I can't think of anything. 839 spells "TEX" but this is 834. No idea. -- John Mayson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Austin, Texas, USA
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 10:20:37 -0600 From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: New Austin area code confirmed to be hoax Message-ID: <email@example.com> > On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 11:34 AM, Adam H. Kerman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >> John Mayson <email@example.com> wrote: >> >>>New Austin area code confirmed to be hoax >>>http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2011/04/01/new-austin-area-code-plan-confirmed-hoax.html?ana=handmark >> >> Is there something Austin-specific about 834 that people should have >> recognized it as humor? > > I was hoping someone here would know. :-) I can't think of anything. > 839 spells "TEX" but this is 834. No idea. > > -- > John Mayson <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Austin, Texas, USA 8 3 4 TUV DEF GHI TDG TDH TDI TEG TEH TEI TFG TFH TFI UDG UDH UDI UEG UEH UEI UFG UFH UFI VDG VDH VDI VEG VEH VEI VFG VFH VFI These are the only possible combinations unless you insert numbers as well. Regards, Fred
Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2011 21:05:52 -0400 From: tlvp <tPlOvUpBErLeLsEs@hotmail.com> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: New Austin area code confirmed to be hoax Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Thu, 07 Apr 2011 09:50:35 -0400, John Mayson <email@example.com> wrote: > ... >839 spells "TEX" but this is 834. No idea. Something VEGgy about Austin? Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 10:02:39 -0400 From: "Jim Bennett" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Does FiOS support rotary phones? Message-ID: <000501cbf52c$7ab353d0$01fea8c0@dell8100> Bill [our moderator] said: >Jim, thank you for the info. I would like to know a little bit more, >not only about the ta-341 that you mention, but about "field" phones >in general. For those of us whom are facing their second childhood and >are considering higher-priced toys, please tell me which phones I can >hook up to my POTS line and use. >I mentioned my brother having a ta-312 phone, to which he added a >touch-tone adapter (it's a ta-955/pt, btw). It works fine on his home >phone line, and is too heavy & old-looking for his kids to take, so he >likes it. I might get one myself, since the cordless phone I usually >use is never at the base station when I need it, and I'm tired of >going on safari chasing the mating call of the elusive horned owlet. ;-) >Bill Horne >Moderator Bill, Military surplus field phones were once so plentiful that surplus dealers would purchase them by the skid load. Now days, as the local "Army-Navy" store has all but disappeared, the best place to find them is ebay [of course], and on-line surplus dealers. Condition ranges from NOS [New Old Stock] to "usable for parts only," and the prices are all over the map. The TA-312/PT that your brother has was probably the most plentiful on the surplus market, being part of the second-to-last generation of non- digital field phones [the final generation of analog equipment never made it onto the surplus market in any great numbers, for reasons I never completely understood]. It was also the most "bulletproof" of all field phones, and surprisingly heavy for such a small unit. While it was primarily designed to be used with a magneto switchboard [or with another 312, point-to-point only], it will work well on a POTS line. The TA-955/PT keypad is a nice addition, but even without it the phone can still be used to answer calls. The TA-838 was the successor to the TA-312, and was part of the final generation of non-digital wireline comms equipment used by the various branches of the service. This entire generation of equipment never made it into the surplus market in the same way as previous equipment, making the 838 somewhat elusive. It is a nice phone, and certainly far more versatile that the 312. It will work on a standard 2-wire POTS line, on a magneto switchboard, point-to-point with another 838 or 312 [or others], on an automatic "tactical" switch using AC or DC signaling, on 4-wire lines [including Autovon], connected to a radio link with the necessary adapters, and probably several more modes of operation that I have never even heard of. All of this versatility comes with a price, however: if you look inside a TA-838, you will find a circuit board with a micro-controller on it, making it far more complex and expensive to repair than a 312. The 838 is still a very desirable phone, if you are lucky enough to find one at a good price. The TA-341, mentioned in my previous post, was part of the earlier generation of analog phones and was once quite plentiful on the surplus market. It is not strictly a "field" phone, but it was designed to be used with an automatic tactical switch. Tactical switches, as the name implies, were used primarily "in-theater" only, being intended for temporary phone systems [some of which could get quite large and be set up and used for years]. The 341 is another multi-mode phone, and can use AC or DC signaling, making connection to a POTS line possible. It is also capable of 4-wire operation, but being intended primarily for use with a tactical switch, it does not have an Autovon keypad. While it is far more rugged than a typical desk phone, it is only intended to be installed in a sheltered area, out of the weather. There are other field phones, of course, but most of them are rare and not likely to turn up on the surplus market in any great number. There are also much older generations of Military phones, these are usually much sought after by collectors and the prices sometimes very high. You will also notice a fair amount of digital wireline comms equipment on the surplus market. This is all first-generation digital equipment, things for which obsolescence came too quickly indeed. They can be readily discerned from their analog predecessors by the naming - the name plate will say things like: "Digital Non-Secure Voice Terminal." Needless to say, these are intended for use with a digital tactical switch and are completely useless without one, except that some of them are capable of direct connection to another DVT for a point-to-point system. The TA-1042 DNSVT apparently became obsolete so quickly that entire truckloads of them, new-in-the-box, turned up on the secondary market about ten years ago. They can still be found, and a pair of them will operate point-to-point, requiring only a power supply. Note that the first-generation Military digital phones are not IP phones. Lastly, here are a couple of links: "The Phone Lady" has a page with some pictures and descriptions of the phones mentioned above. It continues across several pages, so be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for the continuation links: http://myinsulators.com/commokid/telephones/contemporary.htm Brooke Clarke has some excellent information on his web site, but the pages have not been updated in a while and most of the links no longer work, including a broken link to Telecom Digest. He does have info on connecting the phones mentioned above: http://www.prc68.com/I/phones.shtml#Mil Jim ************************************************** Speaking from a secure undisclosed location. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Jim, I appreciate the info. I'll check out the phones you mentioned, and maybe even get one for a conversation piece. Please answer these questions for me and the other readers: 1. Why were Autovan phones designed for four wire connections? 2. Were the "Digital Non-Secure Voice Terminals" actually ISDN sets? 3. Are any of the switchboards or other systems that these phones connected to available on the surplus market? I'm not looking to take over Radar O'Reilly's job, but I wonder if these "DNSVT" units connected to the equivalent of a small-business PBX. 4. Are repairs or parts available for any of the more recent models? TIA. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 09:38:10 -0700 (PDT) From: Lisa or Jeff <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Does FiOS support rotary phones? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Apr 7, 10:02 am, "Jim Bennett" <ajbtele...@frontier.com> wrote: > Bill, Military surplus field phones were once so plentiful that surplus > dealers would purchase them by the skid load. Now days, as the local > "Army-Navy" store has all but disappeared, the best place to find them > is ebay [of course], and on-line surplus dealers. Condition ranges from > NOS [New Old Stock] to "usable for parts only," and the prices are all > over the map. Another source might be via the two phone collectors' groups, ATCA and TCI. There's also Ron Knappen's telephone supply in Wisconsin. www.phonecoinc.com www.telephonecollectors.org atcaonline.com As mentioned, the military wasn't the only user of hand-crank (local battery) phones; railroads used them as did others. I believe they were made commercially into the 1970s and there was a post here about a company in India making them today.
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 17:09:47 +0000 (UTC) From: David Lesher <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Does FiOS support rotary phones? Message-ID: <email@example.com> Telecom Digest Moderator writes: >1. Why were Autovan phones designed for four wire connections? autovOn.... AUTOmatic VOice Network They were 4-wire to allegedly offer far better transmission & conferencing than possible with lots of hybrids at far ends of the earth. This in an era well before exotic DSP-based cancellers/conference systems were dreamed of. They also were thinking of connection to half duplex radio links, etc. All good in theory, but friends who used same said the levels were so low, you could barely hear. It got messy when a phone was both 2 & 4 wire, depending on what line you used. [SecDef/Oval Office Call Directors, etc.] -- A host is a host from coast to coast.................firstname.lastname@example.org & no one will talk to a host that's close........[v].(301) 56-LINUX Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433 is busy, hung or dead....................................20915-1433
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 23:20:10 -0400 From: "Bob Goudreau" <BobGoudreau@nc.rr.com> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Afghanistan does NOT have more cellular competition than the US Message-ID: <16AC51F5A79C4F729049963F2751A79C@meng.lab.emc.com> danny burstein wrote: > Two companies in the US, four in Afghanistan.... Beg your pardon? AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon. That's four national wireless carriers (I assume you're not counting small regional players in either country). Yes, AT&T is trying to buy T-Mobile, but that would leave three, not two. And many anti-trust experts have strong doubts that the FTC is going to allow that merger in any case. John Mayson added: > Malaysia has about 1/11th the US population but has four major > cellular providers: Maxis, Celcom, DiGi, and U Mobile. And my town has about 1/2000th of the US population, but it also has four major cellular providers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. So what? Comparing the number of wireless networks to national population is a red herring. What matters is the number of carriers competing with each other for any given individual's business. China and India each have about 1000 times the population of Estonia or Timor Leste, but no one expects either big country to have thousands and thousands of nationwide wireless networks. There's only so much radio spectrum, and only so much land on which antenna towers can be erected! The number of physical wireless network operators in any given area is thus naturally limited to a smallish number (less than ~10, often less than 5). Laws and regulations can allow more consumer choice than that by forcing carriers to let MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) piggyback on top of another carrier's network, but the number of actual antenna & backhaul providers is almost always going to be small enough to count on two hands, and often on one hand. Bob Goudreau Cary, NC
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2011 00:54:29 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Cut Your Telecom Bills Message-ID: <20110408045428.GE14926@telecom.csail.mit.edu> There is a good article called "Cut your telecom bills" in the May, 2011 issue of Consumer Reports magazine. There are several parts of it that caught my eye right away: a section titled "Some fiber really isn't", covering some of the physical-layer issues we've been discussing here, and a section on the "Ooma" VoIP service, plus a section on "The benefits of bundling and bargaining". I'm curious what the Digest's readers think about the article. Bill -- Bill Horne (Filter QRM for direct replies)
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