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From the "Strange and Wondrous Magical Beasts" file - this is an ex-demo 1993 "GlobalSwitch Connector" by Global Village Communications, a travel adapter matched to their Macintosh-compatible modem products to get connectivity via hotel and business phone handsets.

HOW COOL IS THAT? and Yes, I actually used this one a couple of times back in the day.

So what is it?
It is the high-tech wired version of an "acoustic coupler"... a telephone "hybrid" (a combiner/splitter for tx/rx signals) which allows your 24/48/9600 baud modem to connect in a hotel room where you did not have physical access to an analogue line socket, especially if the phone system was digital which a modem could not connect to.

Travelling computer users had few options in those days - your only alternative to an analogue line socket, was an acoustic coupler from the dawn of teletype technology (headphone cuffs into which the receiver handset was placed) but it would only deliver very low data rates indeed, too slow to be useable in the heady days of 9600 and even 14k4 baud communications.

So, they reasoned, what's to stop you tapping directly into the stronger signal in the mic and speaker handset wiring?

To use it, you unplugged the hotel room's phone handset from its base, and reconnected it via this unit - then after checking the handset still worked, you plugged your modem's line cable modem into the remaining port.

Speeds of 4800 baud could be reliably achieved by "matching" the handset impedance using a 4-position switch, even 9600 on a good day. I never did manage to get a 14k4 connection although it was theoretically possible.

It comes with an original NZ AC plugpack, and it could also be operated on 9v alkaline battery instead.

Incredibly, this device still has a modern use, albeit not the application the designers intended - it can be used to record telephone conversations via the handset cable of a modern digital keyphone. Of course, you need to make your legal disclosures first!
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Shipping options

  • courier to cities and large towns $7.00
  • courier to small towns and rural $10.00
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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    Cash, NZ bank deposit

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