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Nightime Answering Machine

Great for people who often find themselves needing help with late night homework assignments, among other things.
 
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Once again, I find myself sitting up at midnight doing my homework. It's only now that I realize that I'm missing an assignment. I want to call someone, but not if they aren't awake. So here's my solution.

Each person in the household has their own phone and they can set the ringers or whatever they want. Along with the base is an answering machine. As each family member goes to bed, they can push a button on the machine that sends a signal that they're asleep to the phones. If someone calls and everyone is asleep, they are immediately redirected to an answering message. If someone is awake, the call is sent to their phone and the ringer volume is turned down a set amount. This way only awake people recieve calls and as long as they aren't very close to the sleeping people's rooms, no one else wakes up. The only thing to get used to is turning on your message each night, but after a while, it could become ingrained. Thanks for any comments.

theonecalledzil, Jan 13 2004

Self promotion http://www.halfbake.../idea/Extra_20digit
PBX is all fine, until you try to teach your grandmother to set it up or it freaked out after a lightning storm. Just two sockets is easier. "Grandma this is for night and this is for day. My buddies will only call on the day socket. Telemarketers are routed to the ringer in the basement." [kbecker, Oct 04 2004]

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       One base for all phones? or a base for each phone? If for each phone, which answering machine picks up the message? You could just turn the ringer off on each phone manually without having to press the button on the base.
v0rtexx, Jan 13 2004
  

       .....one ring to rule them all....
normzone, Jan 13 2004
  

       this I like very much. There should be an option for the person calling which says "I'm sorry, but everyone seems to be asleep, press ONE if you want to wake them up by ringing, or hold to leave a message" that way, if it's urgent, you still get through.
neilp, Jan 13 2004
  

       Croissant from me, and particularly for neilp's addition.
richard b, Jan 13 2004
  

       Could we also have a variant of this for when you have gone to bed but not to sleep <grn>. Normally in these circumstances one turns off the ringer to avoid a call from the parents (which is always off-putting I find!) but then later when you are up and about and the phone rings and its them and they ask "where were you earlier?" you have to think quickly to avoid saying "giving your favourite daughter the ride of her life" or something equally inappropriate. The phones could have a button for "sleep" as you suggest and another for "mmmmmmm".
dobtabulous, Jan 13 2004
  

       If people you want to call had cell phones, they could set them to quiet mode when they didn't want calls, and you'd automatically get their voice mail.   

       Some phones have profiles that can be set by time of day, so they can switch to quiet mode automatically (like, at bedtime).   

       So baked - tell the people you want to call to get cells.
waugsqueke, Jan 13 2004
  

       //tell the people you want to call to get cells// I would have to buy a whole cell tower to use a cell phone at home. Lowest offer is around $200,000.
kbecker, Jan 13 2004
  
      
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