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Phone screamer

Domestic Trivia Department
  [vote for,

I know there are several solutions available to the problem of helpful people not replacing the phone after they've tramped round the house bleating "It's for ... !"

My electronic gadget shop sold me a walkabout phone as the answer, but it lasted only until someone yelled, "That funny bumping in the washing machine was the phone!"

Then there are the too-costly hard-wired solutions which require you to buy a special phone for each extension; it screams if its handpiece is left off the hook.

Our telecoms provider used to offer a screamer service too, if you thought a phone was off-hook; now a computer says "The line is in perfect order." [Yah-boo.].

I've probably omitted the "perfect" solution, which I'll get told about smartly, but here's my half-baked one meanwhile - a cheap dummy-cradle by each phone.

Slam the handpiece into it and do the walk-round bleating bit; meanwhile a chip in the cradle has begun timing and soon will start screaming, "Put this !@#$%^& phone back!"

rayfo, Sep 25 2000


       Are the lambs still screaming?
thumbwax, Sep 25 2000

       there's been times at parties when it's late, everyone is drunk, and i need a ride home. but when i pick up the kitchen phone to call a cab, i find out that someone who lives in the house is locked in her room, passed out drunk, with her phone off the hook, disabling all the phones in the house. a phone with a "hang me up" alarm would be ideal in this situation.
mr shrum, Mar 27 2001

       BT telephone lines have this. Phones left off the hook or returned to their positions improperly make a sound like a reversing lorry. So in the UK it is baked.
Aristotle, Mar 27 2001

       US phones make loud annoying noises when left off the hook for a while, but will eventually stop and go dead until the phone is hung up.
StarChaser, Mar 28 2001

       Ah, the fidelity of MiniDisc and a good pair of headphones. I looked up the specifications for the offhook sound and generated it manually in CoolEdit. I then recorded it with my MiniDisc deck, and played it back at full volume (10.1) My mother was going ape trying to find the phone that was off the hook, saying "I keep hearing a phone off the hook!" She didn't trace the sound because she knew my room had no phone. (I had no friends whatsoever at the time [long story])To this day, she never found out that it was a false alarm.   

       I now have a portable MiniDisc RECORDER and I wish I still had the chance to drive people nuts and I wish the volume could go past 5 (the amp is approximately 2.5 picowatts).
Amishman35, Dec 18 2001

       British phones are so bossy, I swear I am going to kill that awful woman who says, you have dialled an incorrect number, or London numbers have now changed, or the person you have called knows you are waiting or you have dialled an incorrect number please hang up. aaaarrrrrrrggggghhhhhh!
po, Dec 18 2001

       UB- She sounds as if she has three pound of plums in her mouth - I take huge delight in telling her where to put her handset.
po, Dec 18 2001


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