William Hayward

William Hayward

Software Developer

© 2020

Bittersweet Triumph

1985 Dial Phone Microphone speech to text

Today, I got the microphone of the 1985 dial phone to connect directly to my laptop. This was a bit triumph, but one aspect of it made me a bit sad.

See, the handset of the phone has four wires leading out of it - two pink and two yellow. The yellow ones run the speaker, the pink ones run the microphone. Unfortunately though, due to telecommunications reasons outside my understanding, the pink wires also connect to the yellow wires.

For a while, this was baffling. I could access the speaker through what should access the microphone, and I couldn’t access the microphone.

Ultimately, this was the solution:

And that’s what has made me sad. This is the first modification I’ve made to the phone that has impacted its ability to be used as it was intended.

Does that matter? No, not really - but up to this point I’ve had the discipline of using as much of the original wiring and components as I could. There’s no explicit reason for this, but it has genuinely led to a superior product. When we were first discussing our plans as a group, we jumped straight to gutting the speaker and microphone in favour of a new one. Because we didn’t do that, we’ve managed to maintain the authentic “kinda crappy” audio quality of the original device.

If you’ve got the time, I’d encourage watching Every Frame A Painting’s video on Chuck Jones, an early Looney Tunes animator. He goes into the idea of disciplines, and even though it’s in an animated context I find it a very useful principle to apply to code and tech projects.

Every Frame A Painting - Chuck Jones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHpXle4NqWI

WillHay out