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What Did the Old Telephone Network Sound Like?

Started by Volker, November 12, 2022, 04:13:40 PM

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What Did the Old Telephone Network Sound Like? Overview of the Recordings by Evan Doorbell

"In the 1970s phone phreaks Ben Decibell and Evan Doorbell made many recordings of the sounds of the old analog telephone network. This program is an overview of what those recordings are about."

Simply fascinating. I have listened to it at least 10 times and it is always wonderful to hear the different sounds of the old electromechanical switching technology. The patter, the noise, the crosstalk, the hum, the distortions. This is simply living technology. You can feel the distance thanks to the background noise and crosstalk.

I have added such sounds to my own Asterisk server. If you call someone via my Asterisk server, you first hear noise and hum and then an old ring tone. If you have dialed the wrong number, you hear an old telephone announcement. Classic telephone technology deserves these old sounds.

Dialing with the dial, the introductory rattle of the relays, the noisy ring tone. It makes every phone call a unique experience, at least for me.



I highly recommend Evan Doorbell's recordings.  I discovered them many years ago, before they were on YouTube.  They cover a wide variety of switching and signaling systems.  There are even some recordings of panel switches in New York City.

I spent so many hours listening to them, especially the North Carolina tapes, which brought back memories.  Carolina Telephone had its own peculiarities, and its network sounded quite different than Bell's.



Besides his huge library of recordings, "Evan" narrated the audiobook version of Exploding The Phone by Phil Lapsley (2013)

It's available on Audible, and I listened to it shortly after its release using their free trial.

I think he has the perfect voice for that type of work.