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#597096 01/19/16 03:56 AM
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ChrisRR Offline OP
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Recently I had the opportunity to show some pictures to a friend of my new backboard I installed at my house. I don't make any claim of being an "installer", I'm just a hobbyist. It's a fairly complicated setup, with both my partner acs and my ITT 501 ksu mounted on it, with the necessary station blocks, KSU blocks, CO blocks and the requisite cross connections to make it all work. I tore everything out on a Wednesday and it was Friday evening before everything was working properly. Anyways, after explaining how much work was involved and what my struggles were, he blithely responds "This doesn't mean jack to me". Granted, I probably need to find new friends... but the sentiment is pretty similar among my other friends and my family. It gets pretty discouraging that nobody seems to care. I understand that this is "my" hobby, but a simple, "wow, nice job" would go a long way. My family can't see past the I-phones at the end of their arms, and the same is true of most people I encounter. I totally get that I am a throwback. I listen to old music, like working on old cars, and would rather talk on old phones. My question to the community is this: Does anyone else deal with this sort of thing? I am a member of TCI, and I attended the show in Lancaster last year. It was nice to be around others with the same interests. But... Once a year is a little thin for me. I'm not looking for sympathy, I'm curious about other collectors and how their friends and families react to their hobby.

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I sympathize with you Chris. Unfortunately the "that doesn't mean jack to me" sentiment isn't limited to your friends. Look around, ignorance is the hall mark of the current generation. That's why we have to put up with the crap that they call technology and that's why they have those Iphones crazy glued to their hands.

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Same here my friends touch a phone only if it rings. That is why having meets with the other members here is so much fun. We have a chance to tell our stories and listen to others tell theirs.


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I often heard similar comments from my parents when I was in high school. Instead of going out at night with my friends, I would stay home and rip apart 1A1 KTUs and rewire them using my own circuit design. They usually didn't end up working, but it was interesting to me to see how they worked. They just couldn't understand how something like this could possibly be interesting. Once I pointed out that my grandfather still messed with model trains, they backed off.

Today, they aren't quite as critical of my interest in real phone systems. This is largely due to the fact that they've all succumbed to the allure of cell phones, their high cost and poor quality.


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ChrisRR Offline OP
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Merritt, most of my family won't even touch the phones when they do ring! My mother will usually answer the phone if she knows who's calling and has occasionally used them to call me in another part of the house. The reactions from the rest of the people who know about my phone hobby range from "I don't get it" to "You're f'd up!"

This obsession started when I was around 14. My mother's office building had two sections, and the tenant in the other section had moved out. My mother's company was going to expand into the now empty space. They had me doing work around there for a few months by that time, changing light bulbs, fixing little things here and there, and working on their phone system. I don't even remember what kind it was, but what I do remember is when the tenant moved out and they asked my to extend their phone system into the new space, I discovered the tenant had left their KSU in the utility closet. I promptly removed it, ran the lines for the other system and programmed the new phones. It was a pretty basic analog system my mother's company had.

Anyway, I got this KSU home and looked it over. It was a Panasonic Easa-phone, 2 lines and 8 stations. Really basic, but to a 14 year old, it might as well been made of solid gold. I got in touch with the business that had left it behind and they were more than happy to give me the phones that went with it. I quickly installed it in our house, with stations in all the important places, kitchen, bedrooms, living room, and of course my tree-house. Back then I was the coolest kid on the street with a phone in my tree house. -No cell phones in those days- It was a thing from there on out. I had a Merlin 410, some old executone that needed 25 pair, but wasn't 1A2, an old econo-key, another panasonic, and finally the Partner. All my life I wanted a 1A2 system, not even knowing what it was called. As a kid, I used to call them "amphenol phones" because that's what was on all the plugs that were left everywhere. I knew what they were, and basically what they looked like, but could never get my hands on any.

Many years passed, and I was searching Craigslist for old phone stuff and I picked up a single 2564 set from a guy that was N.O.S. and that's all she wrote. This was the newer style with the dumb LED line lights, but I didn't care, now I was on a mission for a KSU. Shortly after getting the Partner, I found this forum. I started reading the threads, my appetite insatiable. Without this forum, I would have had a hell of a time hooking up the 1A2 stuff. Not to mention I'd probably still not know what they were called. I still reread the posts in the 1A2 section all the time.

Last edited by ChrisRR; 01/19/16 04:15 PM.
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I don't tinker with phones as much anymore - my current hobby is locks - but I still have all the phone systems up and running in the basement. We have a nice old 302 set in the family room, I still get a kick out of the children of family friends asking how to dial it.


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It's not just hobbyist. I had to turn off privacy on our phones because my wife wouldn't and won't use the hold. Also if I'm in the basement she will yell down the stairs instead of calling on the extension. She doesn't know how to use the page and won't transfer a call. I could go on but you get the picture.


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ChrisRR Offline OP
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Bill, your post gave me a good chuckle. I gave my dad a beautiful, almost NOS 302 for his desk, connected to the Partner. I mean, this thing has the original cloth cords in immaculate condition, and not a blemish on it, and he still yells at the top of his lungs or stomps on the floor to get my attention. (My apartment is the lower level of our split-level house.)

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Jeff, I have 3 302 sets around the house, as well as a bunch of 500 sets, and I'm making sure my 2 year old niece knows how to dial them. I gave my mother a pink 500 for her sewing room, and there's a yellow one in the dining room. Come to think of it, I only have 3 actual partner phones on the partner. The rest are old sets like the 302's and 500's. I even have a Kellogg picture frame oak wall phone in the kitchen on an extension. (It was actually field convertible to common battery, and I disconnected the magneto.) My dad kinda likes that one, but he wishes he could crank it and still get the operator.

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I haven't answered or used my home phone in how long?....

Wait, then why do I still have it ?.....

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