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#141804 - 10/26/04 02:52 PM End of the UK Dial Phone
Hutch Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 383
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
I thought the following might be of interest to our telcoms enthusiasts taken from a list that I subscribe to. It concerns the future fate of the UK dial phone following a question regarding the imminent introduction of new network standards.

 Quote:
Yes. So far as the public network is concerned (more precisely BT and
Kingston-Upon-Hull Communications --- I have not asked C&W or the cable
companies) the answer is in an article I wrote for the September issue of
'Practical Electronics'. It's simplest to quote the relevant paragraph...
= = = =
Death knell for dial phones
One minor casualty of the new network is the humble dial telephone that some
of us still use. Whilst the new MSAN access hub mentioned above have
interfaces for conventional POTS telephones (not to mention all sorts of
broadband and optical fibre connections as well), it will recognise only
tone dialling telephones. The old loop-disconnect or pulse signalling used
in phones fitted with dials and first-generation push-button keypads will
not be recognised and BT will have to contact all subscribers to make sure
they are aware of the change. The timetable states that migration to the new
network will begin in 2006, with most users transferred two years later.

Diehard dial fans need not worry, however, as adapters will be available,
and a simple and effective solution is already on sale in the USA. It's a
matchbox-sized converter that plugs in series between your telephone's line
cord and the phone socket. It is designed for the U.S. (Western Electric,
RJ-11) plugs and sockets but that's a minor problem. On incoming calls it
does not interfere in any way. On outgoing calls it recognises each digit
dialled and sends the appropriate touch-tone signal in the short pause
between each digit. Obviously you can use it only on lines that recognise
tones only; if you used it on a normal BT line you would get wrong numbers
because the exchange would recognise both the pulse and tone signals for
each digit dialled. You can see the product at
http://www.sandman.com/pdf/page91.pdf ; the order reference is CID6K.

BTW, I went into an antique shop the other day and had to show my 12 year old daughter how to use a dial phone! She'd never seen one and I'd never even thought about it before!


[This message has been edited by Hutch (edited 10-26-2004).]

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#141805 - 10/26/04 04:17 PM Re: End of the UK Dial Phone
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
I guess loop disconnect dialling will eventually be phased out, but there's really no point in not having it on an analogue interface to the phone network.

TouchTone/DTMF phones still use loop disconnect signalling to access call waiting and 3-way calling services. Pressing the "R" key on a typical European phone sends interrupts the loop for a short time, pretty much the same as pulse dialing 1. (In the USA it's a longer pause)

The exchange equipment, regardless of what system is in use will still need to be able to identify the loop state to know if the phone is off-hook or on-hook adding pulse dialing recongition's not exactly difficult!

Also, in the UK in particular due to the relatively late removal of Strowger step-by-step switching you can be fairly sure that there are still loads of pulse-dialling push-button phones in homes all over the country. Some of these arn't even tone switchable. (DTMF/TouchTone hasn't been the defacto standard in the UK and in some other EU countries for all that long! and it was a SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE on some systems in the USA until quite recently too!)

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#141806 - 10/26/04 10:33 PM Re: End of the UK Dial Phone
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
I used a dial phone here for years in the house that I'm in at the moment.
I only removed a couple of years back after becoming frustrated, because of the fact that most of our Government Departments here use the systems that require a touch-tone phone.
I was stuck in the NZ Fire Service system one day for an hour, just trying to get an Event Number for a Fire report I was doing.
I've now learn't to do this sort of thing through the Appliance Radio now, it's instant!.
Just a small question, with our telephone numbers getting longer all the time, will an exchange actually "time-out" on people that dial slowly, while trying to make a call through a digital exchange?.
Just curious.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#141807 - 10/27/04 03:14 AM Re: End of the UK Dial Phone
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
No, they won't the timeout only happens if you wait too long between digits or don't dial a full number.

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#141808 - 10/27/04 11:46 AM Re: End of the UK Dial Phone
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
There are indeed plenty of people still using pulse-dial phones, although actual rotary dial phones are becoming relatively rare, except for those who like the "old time" feel (and telephone nuts like yours truly, of course! ).

I suppose it would have to come eventually, but I find the use of dial-pulse to DTMF converters somewhat ironic. Consider that back 30 years ago many of the SxS switches in North America were being fitted with converters to do precisely the opposite to allow TouchTone phones to be used!

 Quote:
Pressing the "R" key on a typical European phone sends interrupts the loop for a short time, pretty much the same as pulse dialing 1. (In the USA it's a longer pause)

Just trying using the flash/recall facility in some software and you'll get a demonstration of this. On the U.K. system it will break the loop long enough to be interpreted as a complete hang-up.

 Quote:
will an exchange actually "time-out" on people that dial slowly, while trying to make a call through a digital exchange?.

The British System X times out after about 20 seconds if you fail to dial or dial an incomplete number. That doesn't mean you have only 20 seconds to dial the full number though, just that if you dial nothing for 20 seconds you go to the default message: "The number you have dialed has not been recognized." You could dial one digit every 15 seconds and it will go through all right.

 Quote:
BTW, I went into an antique shop the other day and had to show my 12 year old daughter how to use a dial phone! She'd never seen one and I'd never even thought about it before!

You're slipping Hutch! Any child of the likes of us should know how to dial a rotary phone by the age of 4!

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#141809 - 10/27/04 05:44 PM Re: End of the UK Dial Phone
SimonUK Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 50
Loc: Ayrshire, Scotland, UK.
There's an old auto shop in the next town to me that still uses the old wind up phones between the workshops, the offices and his house. He still has the original exchange.

"It works fine so why should I change it" is his motto.

A friend of mine in Lochwinnoch has one hooked up in his garage which works fine on incoming calls. He only uses it to ask his wife to put the kettle on.

Simon.

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#141810 - 10/28/04 03:50 PM Re: End of the UK Dial Phone
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Hi Simon, and welcome to the forum.



The old magneto telephones are still very usable for simple point-to-point field telephones of all types. A DC battery for the talking circuit and the magneto to generate AC ringing provide very reliable sources of power.

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#141811 - 10/29/04 02:13 AM Re: End of the UK Dial Phone
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Two years ago I participated in a big Red Cross disaster simulation and they still used the wind-up phones. I think the Austrian army does too in emergency situations.

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