Author Topic: Operator named Alexa?  (Read 399 times)

Offline DCorl

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Operator named Alexa?
« on: July 09, 2019, 01:56:45 PM »
Hi all, the thought of using an old dial-less candle stick phone and connecting it to the modern world fascinates me. With some research I learned Alexa is available for Windows 10. There is a device called echo connect that enables Alexa to make calls using a standard phone jack (could be VOIP or POTS). There is also a SDK (software development kit) for Alexa on the Raspberry PI. so a standalone device could be made at low cost. Seems all the major pieces are in place. Just needs someone to put it all together.

???   

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2019, 02:39:44 PM »
Someone here, I can't recall whom, has worked with the Raspberrry Pi before. Maybe he will read this and have some contributions. I am not really a computer guy so it is all way beyond me.
Harry Smith
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Offline countryman

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2019, 03:15:30 PM »
there is a gadget named "Vocally" that allows speech dialing with a regular phone. Unfortunately it is not cheap and it probably cannot be activated by cranking the magneto...
Building such an interface would be possible while the economical value seems limited.
But how cool would it be to crank the magneto, say city name plus number, then get connected....
Or even get a callback when an intercontinental line is established...

Offline Whitcrane76

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2019, 05:26:09 PM »
I cut my landline off last year due to cost, but before I did I had these 2 connected and they worked fine.

Offline FABphones

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2019, 05:33:59 PM »
I cut my landline off last year due to cost, but before I did I had these 2 connected and they worked fine.

Via Echo Connect, Raspberry, or one of the other similar systems?
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Offline Whitcrane76

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 05:56:22 PM »
Via Echo Connect, Raspberry, or one of the other similar systems?

No, I just had them connected to a regular pots line the way MaBell and Western Electric intended.

Offline Jack Ryan

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2019, 08:29:29 PM »
There was an on-line voice to text service in Germany that some of us used to implement a manual operator. We used recordings of a real operator from back in the day (a different operator depending on location) to ask for the number and then provide progress ("connecting you now" etc) while the conversion and connection was made.

Worked great until the service went off line.

A service like that where sound is passed to a black box and text comes back - whether it is on line or local - is the best approach in my view as all the rest can be set up as it once was.

When it was working, it was great! You called the operator, she asked for the number and then put you through (or told you the line was busy).

Jack

Offline Jim Stettler

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2019, 09:00:44 PM »
I had a phone from the 1990's that could voice dial.My original thought was to patch the handset and switch thru a  manual phone. I never did.

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Offline paul-f

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2019, 09:14:39 PM »
I had a phone from the 1990's that could voice dial.My original thought was to patch the handset and switch thru a  manual phone. I never did.

Jim,

That reminds me that I had a "Dialess" phone that featured voice dialing for many years. Sold it a few years ago.
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Offline Jim Stettler

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2019, 09:35:14 PM »
Jim,

That reminds me that I had a "Dialess" phone that featured voice dialing for many years. Sold it a few years ago.
The one I had was more like the one on the right.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline countryman

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2019, 02:59:38 AM »
There was an on-line voice to text service in Germany that some of us used to implement a manual operator. We used recordings of a real operator from back in the day (a different operator depending on location) to ask for the number and then provide progress ("connecting you now" etc) while the conversion and connection was made.

Worked great until the service went off line.

A service like that where sound is passed to a black box and text comes back - whether it is on line or local - is the best approach in my view as all the rest can be set up as it once was.

When it was working, it was great! You called the operator, she asked for the number and then put you through (or told you the line was busy).

Jack

There are still online voico-to-text services available. But how did you process the text to make a call?

Offline Jack Ryan

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2019, 03:35:03 AM »
There are still online voico-to-text services available.

But they are not free.

Quote
But how did you process the text to make a call?

The text was the number to call. It was all processed in an asterisk extension written in C. The channel was diverted to the server in Germany while the number was being spoken and the number as text was returned.

Jack

Offline countryman

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2019, 06:56:57 AM »
Google finds a couple free "online voice to text" services. Was the tool you used basically different?
I tried some such services and they worked fairly well, but only with a Chrome browser.
Asterisk, a world of it's own, I did not dig into it yet :-)
But I see it can do the trick!

Offline DCorl

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2019, 05:07:17 PM »
I cut my landline off last year due to cost, but before I did I had these 2 connected and they worked fine.
The candle stick phone could pickup calls but not dial out unless you had something setup with your former telco. ? Or a subset? What do you have now for phone service? Smart cell phone? Seems like a lot of people go that route. Never was an option for me until the last year or so as I could only get 1 bar inside the house and that made for a choppy droppy call. I can understand trying to cut costs but there are some really good low cost VOIP options provided you have HS internet. Perhaps you only have the smartphone, seems like a lot of people are going that route. Not for me. I really like a large computer display and streaming on the HD TV.

Offline tallrick

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Re: Operator named Alexa?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2019, 05:24:14 PM »
I have seen this done with a bluetooth adapter and a cell phone. I have a no dial WE 500 phone connected to my Asterish system and I dial it with the hookswitch just to remind me of when I did it as a kid.