Talk:Party line (telephony)
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Are people really still stuck on this shit or is that copied from some outdated standards document? Plugwash 00:19, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
- Yes, it is still used in some parts of the world. 126.96.36.199 22:03, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
- It used to be an option - you could choose party line service and save a few dollars on your phone bill every month Pendragon39 (talk) 04:55, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, should there be any mention of the "You have dialed a party on your line..." recording under Characteristics of Party lines? Or was this too rare and US centric to mention? I made a recording of the message when party lines were about to be removed from my house, so I might be able to find it and offer it up under an acceptable copyright rationale. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 18:27, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
- I remember this (as two-party lines) being in all one-person student dormitory residence rooms at Queen's University until 1989. It was dropped around the same time as the buildings were wired for Internet access. A fair number of suburban houses from the 1940's and 1950's also had internal wiring in the building which consisted of three black wires twisted together; these were originally tip, ring and ground. Once these were converted to private lines, the third (ground) wire was ignored and not used.
- On a two-party line with separate ringers for each, one bell went from tip to ground; on the other party on the same line the bell went from ring to ground. This worked only on the old dial telephones with the mechanical bell — the standard for private line is bell connected between tip and ring, so a modern electronic handset is a two-wire device. On the old mechanical-dial 'phones one could remove the 'phone from the plastic case and move one wire on a terminal strip to connect one side of the bell to ground, selecting a three-wire mode for party line operation. The third (ground) wire went as far as a terminal block in the basement somewhere, then was wired to a water pipe or a ground rod as the actual outside line has two wires (tip and ring) only.
- Apparently some of the university kids realised (before the school got rid of these dinosaurs) that if one disconnected everything but whichever two wires went to the bell (ie: phone had tip and no ring, or vice-versa, depending which party) the telephone would ring when called but there was no way for the victim to actually answer the call.
- These were still in use in some existing rural installations in the 1990's but any call placed from such a line had no caller-ID (just "unknown name, unknown number, out of area") as the system relied on some utterly obsolete mechanical switchgear to work at all. Any switch new enough to send caller-ID is digital and therefore too new to support true party-line operation. Distinctive ring was a variant which is supported on new switchgear, but it is missing two key capabilities: the ability to handle separate 'phone bills for each party and the ability to call the other party on the same line by dialling a special number (typically 4101 or one's own number), waiting a second or two, then hanging up before the 'busy' tone came on the line. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 06:20, 3 April 2012 (UTC)