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Volume 28 : Issue 50 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  I sense a $100 surcharge  
  Re: Cable Modems 
  No longer about TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition?   
  Correction  Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition?    
  WU Telex terminal options  
  TeleTrap from TelTech Systems 
  Re: TeleTrap from TelTech Systems 

====== 27 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the
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See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details
and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest.

Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 09:14:20 -0500
From: Carl Navarro <>
Subject: I sense a $100 surcharge  
Message-ID: <>

I think they plan on a little extra revenue here.  Wonder who's behind
this?  Local 8 IBEW contractors will probably be "exempt".


Article published February 18, 2009
Toledo plan to require permit for home low-voltage work upsets many

Toledo property owners who want to run low-voltage wiring through
their homes will have to pay $40 for a city permit and then have a
city inspector approve the work after the do-it-yourself job is
complete, under a proposed law being reviewed today by city council.

"Low voltage has changed very dramatically over the last 20 years,"
said Todd Michaelsen, the Ohio-Michigan chapter manager for the
National Electrical Contractors Association who is chairman of the
cityís electrical board of control.

"Low voltage used to be your doorbell and your garage door opener, but
today it has become a very large part of the wiring of property," Mr.
Michaelsen said. "There are an awful lot of these systems put in and
they are put in very poorly."

Several council members said they have fielded a high number of
complaints from constituents about the proposed law, which was
presented to them last week by the Finkbeiner administration.

The cityís electrical board of control drafted the proposed change to
the city code, which Toledo City Councilís Community and Neighborhood
Development committee will review today during a 1 p.m. hearing.

Chris Zervos, commissioner for the cityís Division of Building
Inspections, said the intent of the change is to ensure safety.

"The fact of the matter is that in the course of construction, all the
various disciplines are involved and inspected, and because this is an
unregulated discipline, it goes in after all the inspections are made
and is not inspected," Mr. Zervos said. "Too often, especially since
we have a lot of mom-and-pop operations out there Ö they donít know
how to properly install things through firewalls. Ö They can do a lot
of damage and in the process compromise the fire safety of a

Low-voltage electrical installations refer to those electrical systems
carrying less than 50 volts of current ó commonly used in
telecommunications and data systems, fire security, and energy
management. The proposed ordinance would regulate the installation and

While homeowners could perform the work themselves after obtaining the
$40 permit, a contractor hired to do a job would have to be licensed,
Mr. Zervos, a former builder, said.

Low-voltage work performed by either a homeowner or a contractor would
have to be inspected afterward.

The scope of work would include grounding systems, cable materials and
cable installations, cable trays and ladder racks inside
communications service entrance rooms, spaces and closets, unsecured
and unprotected cable penetrations in firewalls. It would cover the
installation of commercial burglar alarms, residential fire alarms,
public address systems, security systems, nurseís call systems,
lighting control systems, and comfort heating and cooling controls.

Specifically excluded in the proposed law are cablevision systems,
commercial fire alarm systems, residential doorbells, residential
low-voltage landscape lighting, residential garage door openers,
residential thermostats, and wiring on the utility side of the
demarcation point.

"People would still be able to do a homeowner permit," Mr. Michaelsen
said. "It would be the same as regular electrical, when you have an
inspector. You have the right to do your own work but you donít have
the right to burn down your neighbor."

Mark Sobczak, council president, said he wanted to learn at todayís
committee hearing before forming an opinion.

"I am getting a lot of negative feedback from constituents," he said.

Councilman George Sarantou said he asked Mr. Zervos last week if there
had been any fires in Toledo because of faulty wiring.

"The answer was no, that there had been none," Mr. Sarantou said. "I
am concerned that [proposed law] could become very unfriendly to
businesses. Sounds like to me, this would become another layer of
bureaucracy to hoist on the backs of small business."

Councilman Wilma Brown said she didnít know where the proposed
ordinance originated. She had received phone calls from people opposed
to it. One was from an electrician who said he would lose work and
couldnít afford to take out a permit every time he did a job.

Councilman Mike Collins said he was sure the ordinance originated with
the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. "That is the only
place it could come from."

Councilman Mike Craig said he didnít know where the proposed ordinance
came from, but he was opposed to it.

"Weíd be the first municipality in Ohio to have this," Mr. Craig said.
"I donít see the need for this. This would include all phone
installers. Itís hard enough to negotiate the permit process in Toledo
as it is. Iíve done a lot of handy work. My dad was a carpenter. I
donít see the need for this."

State Fire Marshall Mike Bell, a former Toledo fire chief who is
expected to run for Toledo mayor this year, did not return phone calls
about the proposed legislation.

Staff writer Carl Ryan contributed to this report.

Contact Ignazio Messina at:imessina@theblade.comor 419-724-6171.


Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 09:02:09 -0600
From: Neal McLain <>
Subject: Re: Cable Modems 
Message-ID: <>

I wrote:

 > In most cases, the slow-response problem is caused by
 > congestion upstream of the cable TV headend. Maybe
 > there's not enough capacity in the connection between the
 > headend and the internet (usually a T1 or a T3), or maybe
 > it's farther upstream.

Before Robert B. jumps on me, I guess I better elaborate on
that statement.

Slow response can indeed be attributed to congestion within
the cable network itself.  Furthermore, it can be caused by
ingress/egress; e.g., "signal leakage."  If there's a break
in the physical shield (wind-induced crack; hungry
squirrel; drunk driver; errant backhoe; vandalism;
whatever), ambient RF from the outside world can enter the
cable and interfere with cable signals.  Such interference
can severely degrade digital signals.

Pinpointing the source of a slow-response problem lies in
an analysis of the physical locations of the complaints. If
all complaints come from one node, then that node, or one
of the cables or fibers connected to it, is clearly the
problem.  If a node is simply overloaded (too many
subscribers hooked up), the node can be split into two or
more smaller nodes (equipment sales guys call this

But if complaints originate across the entire cable
network, then the problem can usually be attributed to the
headend equipment, or whatever's upstream.  Unless it's an
extremely small cable system, with only one node, this is a
useful tool for isolating slow-response problems.

Computer problems can cause response problems too.  A
computer owner who switches from a dialup connection to a
cable modem (or DSL) expects faster response.  But a
sluggish computer connected to dialup is still a sluggish
computer when connected to a high-speed connection.

Neal McLain


Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 12:26:16 -0600
From: Jim Haynes <>
Subject: No longer about TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition?   
Message-ID: <slrngpokmk.40v.haynes@localhost.localdomain>

On 2009-02-18, <> wrote:
> I can't help but wonder if AT&T would've given WU as hard a time as
> they gave [MCI]. 

I'm sure they would have, and WU was already very dependent on AT&T
for local loops for Telex and Desk-Fax.

> Also, I strongly suspect Bell's local terminal connections for WU were
> not voice grade, but lower grade narrow bandwidth lines suitable only
> for low speed teletype (per Stone's book).  That makes it less of a
> threat.  

I doubt that.  Bell ran wires all over town to provide telephone service,
and would use the same wires for W.U. loops.  Now they might have
artificially reduced the bandwidth; but then for Desk-Fax you just
about need full voice bandwidth.   (Used to be you could rent private
lines for burglar alarm service very cheaply.  Some hobbyists around
Chicago discovered that and used burglar alarm lines to set up a
private voice and TTY communication system.  When Bell found out what
was going on they shunted 2uF capacitors across all the burglar alarm
lines, making them useless for voice transmission but still good enough
for burglar alarms.)


jhhaynes at earthlink dot net


Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 10:28:54 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Correction  Re: TTY 33 and 35 case and cover composition?    
Message-ID: <>

On Feb 11, 12:51†am, Michael Grigoni <>
> > #### Teletype (tty)

I reread the WUTR article and found that:

WU would be using ASCII for its new AUTODIN system for the US Dept of
Defense and Advanced Record System for the General Records

Teletype Corporation expected half machines to be ASCII in a few

ASCII was developed as a compromise code between messaging and data
processing needs.

WU right then anticpated considerably more computer use.

I recommend readers interested in this subject check out the history.
Those who are technically minded can judge where WU stood at that
period of time compared to industry in general and the Bell System.
Some of the questions we've been asking in the recent discussion are

The articles begin at:
(this is followed by an article on the private line voice system)

For WU data processing see:

WU put in a private leased-line dial (actually push button) voice
telephone system for the Phila-Balt-Wash stock exchange.  The article
describes technical details.  See:

[click next to go to the next page.  While there check out other
articles in that issue.]


Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 12:05:59 -0800 (PST)
Subject: WU Telex terminal options  
Message-ID: <>

The linked article from the July 1966 Western Union Tech Review
describes options for adding user-provided equipment to Telex
machines.  This is relation to the recent thread on WU.


Computer access via Telex machine is described in:
future thoughts:

Telex to TWX access, including conference calls, and on-line
information service access:

Note that computer access requires typing in very precise strings of
characters, with various positions representing different things.
This is cumbersome and error prone, but was typical of on-line
computer systems in 1966.

There are additional articles on Telex in this particular issue,
simply use the [next] or [previous] to sequentially go through the
issue.  Interesting stuff about central office switchgear and the
international Telex network, though rather technical.  US users could
dial Europe directly.

Once again, those who have a technical knowledge may wish to comment
on WU's prowness as of the time the article was published.

[public replies, please]


Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 14:43:26 -0800 (PST)
From: Thad Floryan <>
Subject: TeleTrap from TelTech Systems 
Message-ID: <>

A friend emailed me the following article URL:



> TelTech Systems ... is excited to introduce "TrapCall," the first
> cell phone service that unblocks blocked calls, and so much more.
> [...]  When a blocked or restricted call shows up on a users cell
> phone, the user just presses the button on the phone that would
> normally send the call to voicemail. The call then loops through
> TrapCall's systems where it's unmasked, then sent back to the user's
> phone, with the caller's number displayed as the Caller ID!

Is that even possible or feasible?


Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 19:40:46 -0500 (EST)
From: Dan Lanciani <>
Subject: Re: TeleTrap from TelTech Systems 
Message-ID: <> (Thad Floryan) wrote:

|A friend emailed me the following article URL:
|> TelTech Systems ... is excited to introduce "TrapCall," the first
|> cell phone service that unblocks blocked calls, and so much more.
|> [...]  When a blocked or restricted call shows up on a users cell
|> phone, the user just presses the button on the phone that would
|> normally send the call to voicemail. The call then loops through
|> TrapCall's systems where it's unmasked, then sent back to the user's
|> phone, with the caller's number displayed as the Caller ID!
|Is that even possible or feasible?

They probably simply substitute the ANI for the CallerID.  There used
to be some carriers that would do this for you but I think they had
regulatory issues.  I suppose it's possible that when the CallerID is
present but the presentation blocking feature is set they just unset
it.  That would really be asking for trouble I think...

				Dan Lanciani


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