[AMRadio] Landline vs cell

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Tue Jul 26 13:47:14 EDT 2016

On Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 7:32 PM, Rob Atkinson <ranchorobbo at gmail.com> wrote:

> I refuse to have a cell phone conversation that lasts longer than a
> minute or two.  To me it is a tool to transmit information like "I'll
> meet you at two at the supermarket."  not much more than that.  Any
> real phone call for me has to be on a land line.

Agreed. I recently had to convert my old flip phone because they are no
longer going to support 2G. The replacement lacks coverage in some areas,
so I bit the bullet and went with a new 'smart' phone (a promise I'd made
the wife a while back anyway). You should've seen the Verizon wireless
salesman when he saw my old phone. He couldn't understand the concept of
using a phone just as a phone. Told him I have a laptop for emailing, much
easier to read and more comfortable to use. Cell phone is seldom on, only
when I want to use it. Otherwise it becomes an electronic leash like a

My analog cell phone from last century had excellent audio. As soon as they
started the switch to digital in 2000, audio quality went down the tubes. I
have an old WWII surplus rotary phone for the station. Everyone comments on
its great sound whenever I use it.

> Steve, I've heard those cable telephones with the battery backups
> didn't make it long during the Sandy power outage.  Folks who still
> had POTS were the only ones with phone service.

The copper stays up only as long as the local/main office has diesel to
power their big Detroit Diesel gensets. So long as they can keep the fuel
trucks rolling and lines aren't down, they're fine.

Copper landlines have become very expensive to maintain due to the
migration to cellphones. Frontier took over all of Verizon's lines down in
NC. With DSL I think we were paying around $68/month. The new place here in
VA already had FiOS installed, probably just as well. At some point copper
will likely go away other than for specific, dedicated uses.

As to the battery backup, it really depends on battery size, age, etc. The
FiOS box has a gel cell in it almost the size of a motorcycle battery.
About $30 to replace, you can buy it and install it yourself. They claim
12+ hours for phone use, I'd expect no more than 4 unless it's brand new.

We had Time Warner Cable for a brief spell, lost phone for several days
after a big thunder storm took out a splitter. No battery backup for the
modem, so when you lose power, you lose phone. That combined with the worst
customer service on earth got us back to a landline and DSL, which wasn't
noticeably slower than the TWC 'turbo' service.

~ Todd,  KA1KAQ/4

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