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  1. #21
    Senior Member Mercury's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a telephone exchange?

    When I was a kid I went on a field trip through the Wellington exchange (Dad was an Engineer and it was an Engineers' family day outing. Yes, they had the annual picnic as well ).

    I can remember standing in a very large and noisy room. There were thousands of metal boxes maybe 300 high x 100mm or so wide and deep on racks everwhere. Each of these boxes controlled one telephone line.

    They had metal sliders on the outside that clicked their way up and down a scale whenever someone dialled a number. Dialling a 1 took it down one click, a 9 - 9 clicks.

    I know we were taken right through the exchange but standing in this room surrounded by these clicking boxes is the major memory of it.

    I guess technology has changed a bit since then but everytime I think of exchanges I'm transported back to that moment.

    Once we moved to Auckland we had a trip to Warkworth as well (but I don't think we went on any Auckland picnics). All I can remember from that was standing on a platform looking at the satellite dishes.

    A few years back we took our own kids to the info centre at Warkworth.

  2. #22
    ~ >*()))><( andrew93's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a telephone exchange?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercury View Post
    They had metal sliders on the outside that clicked their way up and down a scale whenever someone dialled a number. Dialling a 1 took it down one click, a 9 - 9 clicks.
    You used to be able to hear the clicks on the old dial phones - but I'm not sure about the 1:1 ratio (what about zero?) - I thought it was 10 - n clicks.

    Andrew

  3. #23
    Member darroll's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a telephone exchange?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercury View Post
    Not quite. The ISP will set the maximum speed you can download at - all things being equal.

    The available maximum speed is set by the telecommunications hardware - cables, switches etc

    The physical telephone system creates the inequality. eg me being rural and 5km from the exchange means I can never get the maximum speed that is available elsewhere.

    Yes,
    If you are rural the Telcos have to use carriers, etc. to extend to your area.
    This will/can slow down your browsing speeds.
    In the US the politicians okayed a deal where anyone can go into any Central Office and hang any thing they want on any circuit. If you want to connect to a bag of potato chips, knock on a CO door, let yourself in and terminate to your bag of potato chips. Is this silly or what? This is what politicians do….
    Thanks, dc

  4. #24
    Senior Member Mercury's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a telephone exchange?

    I thought it was 10 - n clicks.
    It may have been - it was quite a while ago that I saw it. If the dial phones had 9 as the first number then 9 might have equalled 1 click.

  5. #25
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a telephone exchange?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercury View Post
    I can remember standing in a very large and noisy room. There were thousands of metal boxes maybe 300 high x 100mm or so wide and deep on racks everwhere. Each of these boxes controlled one telephone line.

    They had metal sliders on the outside that clicked their way up and down a scale whenever someone dialled a number. Dialling a 1 took it down one click, a 9 - 9 clicks.
    Step-by-step exchange. And do you know why sometimes you'd lose the call for no reason? Because the techs would walk past the racks with their hand out and knock them all back down, which would disconnect you. They thought it was really funny.

  6. #26
    Smiling Down On Youse SurferJoe46's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a telephone exchange?

    No wonder I have such a slow speed with building pages from F1..

    Leaving NZ it will either go through a submarine cable to Australia or via satellite at somewhere like the Warkworth site depending on conjestion on the network. From there it will bounce along using a mix of cables and satellites.
    ...I have to dial thru Australia to get to youse guys...isn't that 'round the wrong way?

    <thought that didgeridoo music online was just in my head!>


    Warum werden wir so früh alt und klug so spät?

  7. #27
    Member darroll's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a telephone exchange?

    Quote Originally Posted by pctek View Post
    Step-by-step exchange. And do you know why sometimes you'd lose the call for no reason? Because the techs would walk past the racks with their hand out and knock them all back down, which would disconnect you. They thought it was really funny.
    Not many employees did that, if they were caught, they got terminated.
    The switches were AE=Automatic Electric and XY=Stromburg Carlson.
    Everything is digital today and make no noise.
    In Nam we used to seize an operator inward trunk. This would get the operators fighting about who called who. They would yell at each other for hours. This was funny as what they would say to each other. d

  8. #28
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    Default Re: What is a telephone exchange?

    Quote Originally Posted by darroll View Post
    Everything is digital today and make no noise.
    The old gear went quiet at night, the new stuff consumes pretty much the same power all hours and the noise of the cooling fans never stops

  9. #29
    Member darroll's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is a telephone exchange?

    Originally Posted by pctek
    Step-by-step exchange. And do you know why sometimes you'd lose the call for no reason? Because the techs would walk past the racks with their hand out and knock them all back down, which would disconnect you. They thought it was really funny.

    If you would accidentally bump a switch and force it to move one step, it would tie
    the person to someone else’s conversation.
    Then the fighting would start. They would invent new words to call each other.
    Then they would all have to hang up at the same time or they would remain tied together.
    This would make the fur fly more by not being able to reestablish another call. Funny..
    Then we would get our head bit off by the trouble report. We learned to be careful running cable near the switches as to not bump them.
    d

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