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Telephone accessories as Christmas gifts?

Alexander Graham Bell probably never thought his invention would lead to great stocking stuffer ideas 112 years later, but telephone accessories do make good gifts. The age of individual ownership, ushered in about 10 years ago, changed the way we can use the telephone. Now, everything is yours after the line enters your house. This means You can put in extension jacks and hook up any kind of telephone or device you want-from answering to facsimile machines. Here we show several smaller items that can make a telephone more versatile or convenient. We also show a new visual display module. Phone, department, and do-it-yourself electronic stores are the best places to look for accessories.

First come the cords

For about $5, you can buy a replacement for that hopelessly tangled cord; small swivels ($5 to $15) that mount at the handset can keep the new cord from becoming a Gordian knot. Another untangler ($15) keeps the cord retracted within a spherical housing until you lift the receiver; then the cord feeds out.

Replacements for the cord between the wall jack and the telephone can also untangle the wire jungle. All these cords ($4 to $14) are fitted with small clear plastic plugs that make the connection with the telephone. The plugs running from jack to telephone are wider than the ones from phone to handset.

Extensions, headsets, amplifiers

You're now allowed to run your own wiring and create extensions wherever you want them. Two variations are shown below: one is for outdoors ($9), and the other ($7) replaces the plate on a standard duplex wall outlet; wiring is extra. Guidebooks ($5) show you how to do the wiring; for a price, the phone company will still do the work.

For greater comfort, you can alter the handset: several shoulder rest styles ($5 to $10) leave both hands ftee. Headsets ($30 and up)-like those worn by operators and football coaches-can replace handheld phones completely.

Adjustable amplifiers ($25 to $35) let you alter the volume. They are either built into a replacement handset or plugged into the line between the telephone body and the handset. Portable amplifiers slip over the earpiece on any handset (these are battery operated; the others work off the phone or house current).

Beyond the mundane

One gadget ($10) cuts off your answering machine, no matter which extension you pick up. That way you don't have to run to the machine to turn it off before trying to talk over your own message.

The most revolutionary accessory (and at $400 a unit, tbe most expensive) will send a black-and-white still image of whatever you put in front of the lens, and receive a picture from any telephone with a compatible unit. You can send a new image as often as you want. Don't worry, you don't have to send your own picture.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Dec 1, 1988
Words:475
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