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Can Phone Mute

Because they are hard to turn off
  [vote for,

The 2 can phone is easy and cheap. Here at BUNGCO we have discovered that in fact multiple cans can share the same line as long as all are kept taut. But the problem: they are always on. How to disguise the sound of your video game, or block personal conversations other might be having over the can phones?

Introducing the Can Phone Mute. This soft device is inserted into the can and muffles all sound coming or going. It can be easily removed to allow normal use. The Can Phone Mute also doubles as snappy headwear when not needed for the Can Phone - which also keeps it handy when you need to mute your Can Phone in a hurry!

bungston, Sep 19 2012

Can Phone Mute http://www.photo-di...st/1524/2049fez.jpg
[rcarty, Sep 20 2012]


       I could be wrong, but I think if you put each can on a a branch T, then hung up the can with a tight clip on the string, it would mute that can from the rest of the line.
MechE, Sep 19 2012

       Well after that bird flu virus paper was published, the apocalypse is never more than 72 virgins away so this may come in handy one day.
leinypoo13, Sep 20 2012

       These could be adjustable earmuffs if you don't mind walking on a leash.
4and20, Sep 20 2012

       How long can the string be before the sound is attenuated too much.   

       Given the shape of tin cans, one can envision a pneumatic tube system in a building. Want to talk to somebody ? put a sticky-note on the first tin can and phoom it through to the building operator who reads the sticky-note and sends it on through to the other party.
FlyingToaster, Sep 20 2012

       // string diode // That sounds like it would let the string move one way, not the other which would block an oscillating signal from being transmitted in either direction. You could create a mechanical amplifier to transfer the signal from one string to another with no way for signal to travel the other direction, but then you'd need a power source for the amplifier, perhaps compressed air.   

       An easier way to make it one-way is to modify the transceiver. For example, a funnel over the top of the can should still allow most of the sound energy to get out of the can, but the sound energy going into the can will be significantly reduced because of the small hole. If you use the funnel as an ear trumpet, you can probably reduce the size of the can and still hear okay which will further reduce the amount of sound you will transmit.
scad mientist, Sep 20 2012

       /reduce the size of the can/   

       Now I am wondering. It seems to me that the base of the can produces the sound like a diaphragm: it is moved by the string. Stiffer is better because vibrations would propagate most easily. Maybe a crystal glass would best of all: the 2 wine glass string phone.   

       But size: the larger the diaphragm the more energy to make it vibrate. So would a phone using tomato paste cans be louder than one using coffee cans? Or does the larger size make more noise?   

       These are testable! They would make good science fair projects. More interesting than the mute function I initially proposed but that is the HB.
bungston, Sep 20 2012

       Ultimately it was electric current that killed the can phone. Although without existing can phone infrastructure the idea for telegraph cables might not have been conceived. It's unfortunate that people gave up on the can phone because it could work just as easily for analog signals if each side was connected to a sort of seismograph or more appropriate but similar technology.
rcarty, Sep 20 2012

       In the London Stock Exchange, there was a system of "wire telephony" consisting of piano wires stretched tightly between glorified (and fixed) tin cans. The system even went around corners, with the wires running over gutta percha "buffers" at the corner. There were also T-junctions and multi-way junctions pretty much as you describe.   

       The system worked quite remarkably well over almost unlimited distances (though not around an unlimited number of corners).   

       Each wire could also be 'cut off'. The wires had pairs of loops in them, a few inches apart, and the connection could be 'cut' by hooking a stretched piece of india rubber between the two loops, so that the tension in the wire was relieved.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 20 2012

       "mute your can phone" will become a euphemism for "be quiet".
rcarty, Sep 22 2012

       That can phone thing for the stock exchange was probably contemporaneous with the zip line city basket transport. I wonder what other Victorian tech marvels LOndon had. That is a book I would buy.
bungston, Jun 17 2014

       Thinking about can phones. I think one could attach the string to an electric guitar pickup and produce a can speaker phone. A series of receiving speakers, themselves pointed into cans (possible custom parabolic cans) could allow a can phone system to be strung along multiple roof tops for many miles. You would need to enunciate, though.
bungston, Jul 26 2016


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