Setting up a NEW 1982 Answering Machine (with Bluetooth!)

Setting up a NEW 1982 Answering Machine (with Bluetooth!)

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[jazz music calls out] [computer buzzes, beeps] - Greetings and welcome to another LGR thing I'm  putting together here as I continue to move into   my new place and uncover stuff from storage and  think, "Oh man, yeah, I meant to do something with   that and never did." I don't know, I got some time  in between taking stuff back and forth between   storage in here. Yeah, this is the Record-a-Call  675 Telephone Answering Machine by T.A.D. Avanti.   Or at least that's the company that seem to  be responsible for importing them and selling   them here in The US. I guess these were made in  Japan. And as for when this one was actually made,   I believe it's 1982, just looking it up  online. Yeah, this Record-a-Call Remote VOX,   or Remote T.M. VOX, Dual Remote. Daggone it,  there's a lot of words on here. Look at all 

these words. It does a lot of things. Really,  the entire reason that I wanted this was,   I mean, you know, it's new old stock. That's  pretty cool. Found this on eBay sometime ago.   These are actually not too terribly hard to  find new old stock. Look at this background,  

you see this lovely late 70s, early 80s aesthetic  with the room with the woodgrain paneling and the   terrible decor. But I mean, it's kind of oddly  appealing and the woodgrain on the machine itself.   Yeah I'm putting together a late 70s, early-to-mid  80s retro room in my retro house, or at least part   of it because I wanna film stuff in there. And  it's not done yet, but this is something that   I really want for the room. An answering  machine! And what spurred this on recently  

was the fact that I think that I can finally make  use of it. I mean, that's one reason I hadn't   actually done anything with this, just left it  in the box for a while, it's cuz I'm like, "Well   you know, it looks cool, new old stock, but what  do I even do with it?" Well, I got one of these   not too long ago. This is an XLink Gateway.  And what this allows me to do is plug in any   old telephone, landline phone, whether it's tone  or pulse dialing, whatever, and it connects it   via Bluetooth to your phone or computer or  whatever other device has Bluetooth that can   send and receive calls online through a VoIP  service or just whatever you have that connects   to Bluetooth. Yeah, anyway, it basically  lets you do this.

[telephone rings] -[Clint off camera] What? What?! [hangs up handset] -Yeah, how awesome is that? So I can  actually, hopefully, plug a telephone into this   or you know, the XLink Gateway into this and  then this to the telephone and then just make   the whole thing, I think, work. Now, I don't  know about you, but I did not even encounter an   answering machine in the home until the early 90s.  So this one being from 1982, you gotta wonder just   what all it can do, how it actually functions, and  any kind of features it might have. I don't know,   I've wondered that, anyway. And I also wondered  about the price. What in the world did this thing   cost in the early 80s? Well, on looking it  up, the earliest ads I can find mention $300   in 1982 which, if you do some inflation  calculations, is around $900 US dollars currently.  

I mean, whatever inflation means anymore. I  don't know, calculations like that are kinda   pointless. This was not cheap, is what I'm trying  to say. Although just about every ad that I found   from early 1983, had it on sale, half off, so  $150. Either way, that's still like 450 bucks.   It's not a cheap thing. There were cheaper  answering machines, but this was not   necessarily one of them. So I find that kind of  fascinating. Wasn't a cheap little thingy. And  

also another thing that makes this one stand  out. If you were a They Might Be Giants Fan.   Yeah, the band famously used one of these to  do their Dial-A-Song service, at least at one   point. They apparently went through tons and tons  of answering machines, but you can find records of   them at one point or another using Record-a-Call  675s. And there's a photo of one of the band  

members doing that right here. So basically what  it would be is a phone number they would advertise   to their fans and in newspapers and whatnot and  you could call that number and hear a new song of   theirs every day! [there might be chuckles] And apparently  they got between 50 or 70 calls per day and just people leaving messages and, you know, it was just  a thing and it was popular, got them some instant   viral marketing in the late 80s and throughout  the 90s. And it was popular enough that they   had their answering machines constantly break  down, hence them using the 675 at one point and   then many, many other models. Anyway, yeah, this  is more interesting than I thought it was when I  

first picked it up. I had no idea about any of  that stuff or how expensive it was back in the   day. It doesn't matter, whatever, let's go ahead  and just get this thing unboxed. [jazz music]   Yeah, like I said, I found this sealed on  eBay a while ago and just never actually   opened it except to see if stuff was in there and  indeed it is. Look at that. I don't know, again,   when this was actually manufactured but either  way, it's been in this box for a very long time.   And being tape-based, I'd be curious to know if  the mechanism even still works. Oh my goodness!   Ooh, this is gonna be neat.  [laughs happily] Wow! But yeah,  

this uses full-sized cassette tapes. I  believe endless loop ones, maybe. I don't   even know actually if they are endless loop or  not. They probably aren't, actually. Anyway,   we have two dual purpose cassettes Record-a-Call  branded. Recording time is 30 minutes each side.  

Let's just get one of them outta there... Yeah,  that's wonderful. Look at that. Never had an   answering machine with full cassettes like this.  Ones we had growing up were the little micro or   mini cassettes or whatever they were. Like the  little snapper there to keep it from going around.   So yeah, this definitely is not endless loop or  anything like that. That's fine, that makes sense.   So you can just put any tapes in there,  I suppose. As for what it smells like,   [sniffs] that doesn't smell like much of anything,  which I guess is good. No nasty degradation smells  

going on. Okay, yeah, this is interesting, too.  So this is the Record-a-Call remote control.   One call control from any phone in the world.  Interesting! Call your phone, press button for   two seconds. During announcement, messages  will play back. To backspace, press button.   Yeah, anyway, you can retrieve your  messages, change your outgoing and   listen to new messages and play back and  backspace and basically just remotely   control your answering machine over the  phone. Erase things and flag messages and   all kinds of stuff. So you got a little  button here on the side. [remote beeps]   All right. So you can just like send a  tone signals over handset and just hold  

your phone up and [remote beeps] send an  SOS, like "erase my crap!" Okay, so we have   another little, what is this? It's a  little microphone. Look at that. Huh,   well, isn't that cute? I like that. So again,  the ones that I used in the 90s had a little   mic built in or sometimes you just like talking to  the handset, but this, you plug it in. That's very   enjoyable already in my mind. Just have a regular  RJ11 phone cable there. That's all that is, nice 

to have, I suppose. Oh, AC adapter. That gold  on green is a choice. Almost John Deere esque.  Betcha that has a smell. Oh  yeah. Oh, that smells electronic   for sure, a little resin. 12 volt, 830  milliamp. And we got some paperwork,   a little manual, so important. It's tested  and will not blow up the world. That's good.   How to use your new phone monitor. Phone  monitors record a call exclusive feature,   eliminating the annoying problem of having to run  to your machine to turn it off when you want to   talk to the caller. Oh wow, so you just pick up  the phone and it will turn it off politely. Man,  

I'm realizing that all the cheapo answering  machines that I used in the 90s were actually   pretty like advanced. They always just had this  built in. And straight outta Compton, here we   have a T.A.D. Avanti Incorporated registration  card. All right. And the manual. Oh, it's designed   for ease of operation. That's good. Man, loving  these illustrations. Good line art illustrations.   Oh yeah. So they are leaderless dual purpose  cassettes. So that's one thing that'll set  

them apart. Okay, so like when it's fully rewound  there I guess I've never really thought about this   but it makes complete sense. There's no leader  here. Like there's normally like a transparent   section of tape before you get to the recordable  section with the ferric material and all that,   but not on here. It's just all recordable. It just  starts recording straight away as soon as the tape   is moving across the record heads in there. And  of course, oh that, ahh! Well anyway. Oh dude. Oh,  

this is gonna look so awesome in the retro  room. It's got a somewhat Atari vibe. You know,   that was one reason I picked it out back when  I did it. I think it looks great. It is simply   the retro style that I always go for anytime I  see one of these kind of things in a thrift store.   Oh! Wow! That is an old silica gel packet.  Wonder if it's still doing what it's supposed to.   Wow! The fact that it is new old stock, I mean,   anytime that I do see these thrifting  they're in such terrible condition, but this,   oh, it's all untouched. Like these just haven't  been done at all. Like in terms of being moved,   I guess since it left the factory.  Ooh, that volume feels pretty good.  

How does this work? Oh, that's a switch to,  ooh! Whoa, that feels like it's physically   moving. Yeah, that whole inside  mechanism I can feel it moving   as it's connected to this. There are no like  full logic controls or anything. This is just   connected to parts. All right, little microphone  plugs in right here. [laughs in little microphones] I really love this. I guess you can't close it with  that, but you know, I mean you're only gonna   plug in the microphone when you're recording  a new message I suppose, for your outgoing   announcement, say, in terms of the other things  that you can do with this lovely assortment of   buttons and switches. And yeah, the message  thing right here. So you have a none VOX/90  

and VOX. So VOX is voice activation from what  I gather. I don't know why they call it VOX,   but means that it knows when somebody is talking  and it'll let the thing continue recording until   somebody hangs up or stops talking. So I guess if  you're just silent on the phone for a while it'll   just cut you off. VOX/90 sets that to 90-second  record time instead of just letting it go.   And then NONE, that's pretty, self-explanatory.  It'll only play the outgoing announcement message  

and then that's it. So you can just be like,  ah, yeah, you can't even leave a message,   "whatever, screw you, I'm not here, not picking  up the phone." So, and then you got ring adjust   and this just lets you choose how many rings it  takes before it answers. So you can choose between   either four or four slash one. So it'll be four  rings if there's no messages on the phone and then   one ring after that. So if you've got a bunch of  messages, then it'll pick up after one ring. And   these others, we kind of saw those. Control and  fast forward, erase dictation. I mean, dictation  

is just recording straight through the microphone  onto the tape as if it was a dictation machine.   And kind of similar with some of  these down here. That's how you   adjust or activate some of these options here.  So yeah that's all. Oops! That's two-way record.  

From what I gather, that just records the entire  conversation. And it actually says up here, notify   the other party that they are being recorded, then  press the control button and then there you go.   And yeah, you'll notice that there is no way to  put time in there. It actually says in the manual,  

if you're recording an outgoing message, ask  people to say the time that they're calling,   because otherwise this has no concept of time.  So it's just up to the person calling to say   when they were calling. So yeah, I don't imagine  there's too much around back here. Nah, just a   couple areas to plug in your telephones there,  AC adapter and then, oh yeah. This is just marked   intriguingly with the screws. Look at that, each  individual screw is labeled case, case, case,  

case case, chassis, chassis, chassis, case,  case. Well, that is handy. Yeah, Model 675,   serial number 3557. I can't exactly parse if  that is a date of manufacturer or what. So! Let's get some tapes in this  thing. [jazz increases] All right... Uhp! Okay, so we got these individual ejects here for  each side. Looking at them, they look satisfying.   Oh, not quite as satisfying as I was hoping.  

I was hoping that they would pop out a little bit  more than that, but yeah, much more satisfying   to insert them than it is to eject. Well, I think  we are ready to test this out. So let me get some   phones hooked up to it. I mean at least one,  and the excellent Gateway. And we   will try out our 1980s Record-a-Call 675  Telephone Answering System. [jazz tunes fade]  

Okay son of a [remote beeps!] We got some awesome things  to check out, all plugged in, ready to go here. Hopefully. Assuming everything works inside  of this. Cassette mechanisms, you never know.   And for our telephone, we're going with  this lovely thing right here. This is the   Deco-Tel personal telephone from  1979, as it's branded anyway.   You saw this under a few different things like  AT&T for instance had this under their Design Line   of fashionable telephones available in 1979.  Look at this a little bit of an ad here.

- [Narrator] The Chestphone. The telephone is  housed inside a tastefully constructed chest   that coordinates perfectly  with many dens and offices.   When the Chestphone isn't in use, it transforms  itself into a warm compliment for your home. The   Chestphone is also available in carved  simulated walnut with a beige handset. - Yeah, the Chestphone. It is indeed a chest.  Thank you to Mr. Macintosh for gifting this to me,   at Vintage Computer Festival Midwest in  2021. All right, well let's go ahead and  

try out our recorder call here see if we get  power and stuff. [machine whirring] [beeps]   Well, we do have power. It was on the rewind. So  I'll put it over to answer mode. Okay, let's see.   What do we wanna do here? How to record our  outgoing announcement. I guess we should do that   first. So power is on, plug the microphone  in. Oh, I can't wait to use this little guy.   Slide main control lever to record position,  wait for LED to flash. I guess this.  

Okay. All right, so we've got this little  flashing call LED there and it just says,   press control to start recording.  So greetings, this is an LGR   outgoing announcement. What do you even say? You  know, it had a kind of example message in there.   I should have read that. Oh yeah. Hello, this is  me. Thanks for calling. I can't come to the phone   right now, but please leave your name, time you're  calling, and your phone number. I'll return to  

your call as soon as I can. You can start speaking  as soon as you hear the beep [machine beeps]   That was loud. All right, and it says, it'll  start playing back automatically. Ooh! "Greetings,   this is an LGR outgoing announcement. What  do you even say? You know, it had a kind of   example message in there. I should have read  that. Oh yeah. Hello, this is me. Thanks for   calling. I can't come to the phone right now  but please leave your name, time you're calling,   and your phone number. I'll return your call as  soon as I can. You can start speaking as soon  

as you hear a beep." [machine beeps] Oh, that is  the intense feeling of memories coming flooding   back. And that sounds horrible in the best kind  of way. [machine whirring] It is interesting to   feel that whole mechanism like moving around in  there. I mean, it's pretty straightforward. I do   wanna try that remote at some point. But let's  go ahead and get a call. Going through here   because it is connected. So let's just do that.  I'ma the call myself from my other number here.  

Yeah, I'm gonna redo my greeting though,  before that cuz that was terrible.   Greetings, welcome to an LGR answering machine  thing. If you'd like to leave a message,   I don't know what's wrong with you, but go  right ahead. This woodgrain thing is listening   and recording and you're in the 70s room. At least  you will be once it's done whatever, beep 'n stuff.  

Oh yeah, that was definitely better. Yeah, I  gotta be calling myself from a laptop over here   just online to the phone that is hooked up  to the gateway. Calling now. [phone rings]   So it should be four rings and then  the answering machine will pick up.   Greetings, welcome to an LGR answering machine  thing. If you'd like to leave a message, I don't   know what's wrong with you, but go right ahead.  This woodgrain thing is listening and recording,  

and you're in the 70s room. At least you  will be once it's done whatever beep   'n stuff. [machine beeps] Hey, what's going on?  Oh no. Ah, feedback. Ahh! [machine beeps]   Well that was disturbing. [laughs loudly]  I should have had one or the other thing   muted. Well, I guess we can listen to our call  now. I can see the LED is blinking. So might be   a little disturbing. Yeah, we can rewind and play  back. [machine whirring] Seems to be a nice strong   mechanism. So that's good. "Hey, what's going  on? Ah, feedback. Ahh!" [awful noise] [beeps]  

That was an answering machine message from hell  but that's pretty much what I expected. Well,   this absolutely works beautifully. I mean, you  know, it's pretty much gonna be a glorified prop   in the background in the eventual 70s, 80s room.  But you know, the fact that it is fully functional   and with modern hardware, ah, it's just a fun mix  of yeah, tapes and Bluetooth and VoIPs and all the   kind of things that, I don't know, a mixture of  stuff that really amuses me. All right, see if we   can play back a message through the remote here by  calling it. So call your phone, press a button for  

two seconds. During the announcement messages will  play back. Seem simple enough. Calling myself now.   We'll see if we can hear a message that I just  recorded on there earlier. [phone rings] [remote beeps] Hey, it totally worked.   Oh, it started to work. It kinda started to do... eh It started doing this rapid beeping  

thing. I saw that it also had something about  rapid beeping. Yeah, during the announcement,   press button again. During rapid beeps, wait for  short term start. I wasn't trying to do that. I didn't press it again so it screwed up. This is  actually like the fifth time that I've tried this.   I think something is going on with, I don't know,  just like the digital weirdness and things that   happen with compression as you are calling over a  VoIP service and modern phones and stuff. Because   even when I turn some of the noise reduction and  different options off that would change this,   that's about as much as it will do right there.  Oh well. So if we were to rewind us here,  

I can hear at least what I had on here when were  trying to call in and play back. ["Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" by They Might Be Giants plays] I figured a little They Might Be Giants would be  appropriate there. Well, anyway, that's about it,   I suppose. This definitely works. Ideally though,  you'd be using it with like a real landline phone  

that wouldn't have any weird digital artifacting  and compression and noise reduction and all   that other kind of stuff that happens.  Otherwise, I mean, it totally makes sense. It   hears that specific tone and knows what to do.  [remote beeps] I can't imagine that's very secure   at all. Like if somebody else had one of these and  it the same tone, then could they just get into   your answering machine by calling your number.  I mean, it seems to be that way. I don't know,  

maybe there's a slight differences and this  remote is paired with this recorder call. Anyway. -[Clint on tape] And that's about it for this  LGR thing! Just a bit of filler while I continue   moving into my new place, setting things up and  all that, which of course also involves putting   together a retro room with woodgrain paneling,  ugly lamps and furniture which I think will   look and feel more complete with this delightful  40-year-old answering machine. And the mixture   of Bluetooth calls over the internet going  through cassette tapes and old telephones   just makes me happy. And I hope that you enjoy  seeing this bit of silliness come together.   And stick around for more LGR things in the works,  especially as I continue going through storage and   rediscovering old stuff I have in there. And as  always, thanks for watching! [Machine clicks off]

2022-05-30 07:56

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