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hotspur
Aspiring Contributor
4,829 Views
Message 1 of 9

Need a device to give an audible alert that the phone is off the hook

Is there an available device for providing an audible alert when the phone is off the hook?

 

The only such device I've found so far works only in the USA, as it requires the special off-the-hook signal used in the USA.  It is called the Fonesitter, and is made by Command Communications, whose Technical Support department has assured me it will not work in the UK because it is incompatible with the off-the-hook signal used in the UK.  It's available for about $10.  It warns of off-the-hook and dead-line conditions in the USA.

I have read that in the UK, the off-the-hook signal used by BT is certain warbling sound.  In the USA it is a harsh on-off-on-off... sound.

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8 REPLIES 8
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
4,825 Views
Message 2 of 9

Re: Need a device to give an audible alert that the phone is off the hook

The UK version sounds a bit like a siren and gets progressively louder, its quite difficult to ignore.

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hotspur
Aspiring Contributor
4,820 Views
Message 3 of 9

Re: Need a device to give an audible alert that the phone is off the hook

The British Telecom off-the-hook signal is not noticeably audible from the telephone handset for people located more than a foot or two from the telephone.

 

Alone, that signal isn't adequate.

 

Is there an available device that can be plugged into the telephone wiring?

 

 

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Dorset_Vinney
Aspiring Expert
4,814 Views
Message 4 of 9

Re: Need a device to give an audible alert that the phone is off the hook

I've always found that siren very loud indeed. Maybe its a frequency thing. I have never been able to ignore it. The problem for me has been remembering what it was and where it was coming from - it is not easy to "locate".

Dorset Vinney - I speak up when I'm worried
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hotspur
Aspiring Contributor
4,812 Views
Message 5 of 9

Re: Need a device to give an audible alert that the phone is off the hook

Is there an available device to plug into the phone system of the house, to provide a very audible and/or visible alert that a phone is off the hook?

 

I'd like to stay focused on that question, rather than get sidetracked into discussing other people's hearing abilities.

 

[Some people may be able to hear the BT off-the-hook 'siren' signal far from the phone.

In my mother's case, she has left a phone off the hook many times, and has been unable to hear the sound.

It is a serious problem when she cannot be contacted because a phone is off the hook.]

 

Thank you.

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Noggo
Aspiring Contributor
4,708 Views
Message 6 of 9

Re: Need a device to give an audible alert that the phone is off the hook

I don't know of any product just for the off the hook signal but I would think an incoming amplifier would do the job, as it would increase the volume of all incoming sounds. Similar to this one `GEEMARC CLA30 TELEPHONE AMPLIFIER' Geemarc weblink. You can get them from Maplins for £ 19.99 Maplin link, but you can pick them up off ebay for a lot less like this one ebay link.

 

 

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hotspur
Aspiring Contributor
4,653 Views
Message 7 of 9

Re: Need a device to give an audible alert that the phone is off the hook

That's interesting. We need something extra, though, in the case of Mum's telephone system setup, which includes a BT cordless phone with two handsets in addition to a corded phone. Regarding the BT cordless handsets, they do not provide a READILY audible and highly practical alert that they are off-the-hook, especially considering that the user may well not be - familiar with the display of the cordless handset, - cognitively well suited for dealing with the complex display and array of buttons around the surface of the handset, - wearing reading glasses necessary for scrutinising the text and icons on the display of the cordless handset during and after ending the call, - completely focussed on the cordless phone, as a result of concurrent urgencies/distractions/etc during and after ending the call, - positioned close to the ear-piece of the off-the-hook cordless handset, - etc. For telephone systems that include only corded telephones, the Geemarc CLA320 Telephone Amplifier looks like a partial solution. Unfortunately, the sound-volume level setting of the CLA320 would have to be left at a high setting, which would not be the case after 'private' calls for which the handset earpiece was used. As I understand it, there would need to be a CLA320 unit in-circuit inbetween the base and the handset of each corded phone.
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engineertk
Aspiring Contributor
3,493 Views
Message 8 of 9

Re: Need a device to give an audible alert that the phone is off the hook

Did you ever find a solution to this 'no howler' problem?  I've just learned from BT that when BT upgrades its exchanges, it is removing the howler from phone lines, including my elderly mother's local exchange. I need some sort of alert device for when she leaves/knocks her phone off the hook by mistake. Does anyone know of such a thing? Or even a handset that this built in?

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hotspur
Aspiring Contributor
3,486 Views
Message 9 of 9

Re: Need a device to give an audible alert that the phone is off the hook

Regrettably I have not been successful in finding the desired device/function. This seems to indicates practically complete insensitivity to the needs of functionally challenged people on the part of phone designers, phone suppliers, telephone service suppliers, etc. I'm also surprised that supposed advocacy organisations for functionally challenged people have not arranged for access to a wide range of devices including one like I've been searching for and at affordable prices. Our local authority has a fat glossy brochure of phone devices that cost the Earth; and then not even one that provides the function we're seeking. As long as the 1% are catered for hand and foot the status will probably remain quo .... Perhaps some entrepreneur will step in years from now when a relative develops the need and a big profit can be envisaged; but that doesn't do for the present.
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