Answering Machine Messages

Warning: Be patient! After Pat’s greeting, there’ll be a long enough silence that you’ll think something’s wrong–but it’s not. Also, there are a lot of LONG busy signals after the caller hangs up.

These messages (mainly hang-ups) were left between March 22 and May 25, 1986.

Wanted: Someone who can explain the technology of Radio Shack answering machines ca. 1985. Mainly, I’d like to know why there are long busy signals after some hang-ups and after others, nothing.

Answering Machine Message

4 responses to “Answering Machine Messages

  1. I had one of these back in the day. The difference is the moment when the caller hangs up. If the caller hangs up before the beep, you get the fast beeps, which last about 30 seconds on Pat’s machine. If the caller hangs up after the beep–which you can plainly hear in a couple of cases–then the machine stops recording at once, because it “heard” the hang up, meaning “message over.”
    At 2:45 the hangup has the sound of a long distance call–in fact, it has what sounds like an international connection hang up.
    I also think (just a guess) that there is something morbid in these calls, i.e. hearing the voice of the deceased. I believe such behavior is not unheard of.

  2. After looking at some old manuals on the web. It looks like with some Radioshack models there will be a series of beebs on the tape after a hangup if the caller didn’t stay on the line for 8 seconds and didn’t say anything before hanging up.

  3. Most likely those are beep codes. It would help to know the model of the answering machine. I spent the late 70s through the 80s. Learning how those types of things work. If I remember correctly some were recorded on the tape. For example if you entered the remote control code wrong when try to access the messages from another location.

    • Patrick, thanks so much for the terrific information you posted re the answering machine. Have you seen Jamie’s comment? I’ve always sensed there was something wrong about all those hang-ups…

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