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Seeking a PSTN (NOT VOIP) telephony solution for the PC (vanity)
Used to be freeware ^ | 10/18/2010 | Blueflag

Posted on 10/18/2010 9:06:14 AM PDT by Blueflag

Techies - I seek a software solution that will do this: Enable my Windows PC to be a telephone/ speakerphone plugged in to the PSTN via an UTP/RJ-11 jack out the modem, NOT a VOIP ( a la Skype ) phone emulator connected to the Internet via RJ-45/TCP/IP.

I recognize this involves a modem. This stuff used to be bundled freeware with PCs and has fallen out of fashion.

What's out there now?


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: callerid; family; phone; pstn; software; speakerphone; telephony
Here's the idea to solve a family challenge:

Situation--

(1) my mom is *REALLY* hard of hearing, and cannot hear/converse via conventional consumer phones.

(2) my mom cannot READ the small caller ID displays built-in with phones or sold separately as display units.

IDEA:

I want to set up a PC with a 21 - 24" monitor and amplified speakers with mic, connected to the PSTN, so that:

(a) when the phone rings, the caller ID is displayed in BIG LETTERS and NUMBERS on the monitor

(b) the ring tone and the spoken caller ID are heard loudly through the speakers

(b.1) quality headphones with a mic ( i.e., gamer's headset) *MAY* be the way to go to actually talk AFTER she sees/hears who is calling.

(c) the PC acts as the answering machine (optional but nice)

(d) the PC can also be connected to the internet, but not required as part of the telephony solution. The telephony solution *MUST* by a PSTN one, NOT a VOIP one.

I am happy to buy a new internal or external modem. I have the PC and the monitor and speakers and headset.

Ideas?

Many thanks to the FReeper tech community.

1 posted on 10/18/2010 9:06:17 AM PDT by Blueflag
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To: Blueflag

Last time I bought a modem it came bundled with software enabling it to act either as a FAX machine or as a telephone in the manner you describe. The two functions were not mutually exclusive.


2 posted on 10/18/2010 9:09:53 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Same here. But the last time I willfully bought a modem was in, um ... 2002 maybe???


3 posted on 10/18/2010 9:11:11 AM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitur)
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To: Blueflag

I last bought a modem in about 2006.

Ancient history, of course, by computer standards ...

Still worth investigating, IMO.


4 posted on 10/18/2010 9:12:38 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Blueflag

Before you do this, talk to your mom’s local phone company and see if they have any programs to assist the hearing impaired.


5 posted on 10/18/2010 9:14:27 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: Blueflag

Plus your modem has to be Caller ID compatible.


6 posted on 10/18/2010 9:16:49 AM PDT by TheCipher
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To: ArrogantBustard

Cheyenne Bitware....its still out there...


7 posted on 10/18/2010 9:19:16 AM PDT by mo
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To: Blueflag

> (a) when the phone rings, the caller ID is displayed in BIG LETTERS and NUMBERS on the monitor

I bought a caller ID device about 4 years ago at Walmart. It has a 7 inch LCD screen and displays the Caller ID, phone number and time of Day. The screen letters are about 1-1/2” tall and can easily be seen from across a room. I think I paid about $49 for it. I only switched to VOIP about 2 years ago, so it used to be on a POTS (PSTN) system.
I love it, because it is very easy to read.


8 posted on 10/18/2010 9:19:46 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (The Recession is officially over. We are now into Obama's Depression.)
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To: Blueflag

get her a cell phone that has a big display and can do
voice announce. Also would be good with headset that amplifies. Why portable? What if she falls and can’t get up


9 posted on 10/18/2010 9:21:08 AM PDT by updatedscreenname
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To: Blueflag

RE: Caller ID. My cable TV service (Time Warner) sells a cheap phone service (which is really good). Because I subscribe to their HD/Digital cable service PLUS their phone service, my caller ID pops up on the TV screen. Easy to read, IMHO.

I do not know about phones for the hearing impaired — if they are compatible with the Time Warner phone service. I don’t know why they wouldn’t be. If you have TW in your area, it would be worth a call to see if something could be worked out.


10 posted on 10/18/2010 9:23:59 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Southeast Wisconsin, Zone 4 to 5)
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To: Blueflag
Looks like this one will do it:

TRENDnet 56K USB Data/Fax/TAM Modem TFM-560U

Voice Function, Video Phone Ready

11 posted on 10/18/2010 9:30:30 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The only stable state is one in which all men are equal before the law." -- Aristotle)
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To: Blueflag

Aren’t you making this a little too complicated? There are senior phones with good decibel increases and large caller ID. Perhaps one will work for her?

http://www.productsforthedeaf.com/category/27715307


12 posted on 10/18/2010 9:34:19 AM PDT by Drango (NO-vember is payback for April 15th)
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To: mo

Cheyenne Bitware ... Name sounds familiar. That’s probably what I was using.


13 posted on 10/18/2010 9:40:15 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Blueflag
Answering Machine Software
14 posted on 10/18/2010 9:43:04 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The only stable state is one in which all men are equal before the law." -- Aristotle)
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To: Drango

Perhaps, and as you suggest Plantronics makes some really nice base station/ handset 50 dB amp’d, large display units. The hand sets are ~$100, and the base station is about $150. Not too bad, and probably worth the money, certainly if they make Mom happy. I may indeed buy them for her. Also, this is perhaps a temporary situation, as my dad is coming home tomorrow after hip replacement rehab. He sees and hears just fine, but won’t be fully mobile again til probably December. So if I could slip in a ‘cheap’ solution for a bit, so much the better. AT&T is our PSTN provider, and they have a really nice selection of devices. Finding that was a pleasant surprise.

The PC solution is IN ADDITION TO conventional ideas.

Since my mom is also not terribly mobile (bad knee) the idea is that she can see and hear across the room, and make a decision to get up or not, without having to keep track of a handset(s).

This is about options and innovations.

It’s all good.


15 posted on 10/18/2010 9:44:59 AM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitur)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Looks good so far. Downloaded on to the extra machine. Testing now. Will advise.


16 posted on 10/18/2010 9:51:18 AM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitur)
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To: Blueflag
Looks like you can get it for free.

http://www.trialpay.com/checkout/?c=2955dea&tid=RHy3EzT

17 posted on 10/18/2010 10:01:49 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The only stable state is one in which all men are equal before the law." -- Aristotle)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Thanks. These modems support the software, but it’s the software I seek.


18 posted on 10/18/2010 10:02:11 AM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitur)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

This software DOES fit the bill with one exception that may be overcome-able ... the developers assumed that everyone would like the smallest, most unobtrusive windows and pop-ups on their desktop. That’s appropriate for a call center or work-at-home call rep, but not exactly what my mom needs.

It *IS* cool software though.

Thanks!


19 posted on 10/18/2010 10:05:26 AM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitur)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Checking it out. THNKS.


20 posted on 10/18/2010 10:06:06 AM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitur)
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To: Blueflag

I don’t know anything about the PC solution — BUT, you might look into buying a talking caller ID box or phone with one, you can set it loud, so you can hear it in the whole house anywhere, don’t have to be close to a monitor. Not very expensive.

Also, you can get cordless phones that can be turned into speakerphones at the push of a button, some of them are louder than others, you can test them in a store, or buy a quality speakerphone.

Just another option, so your Mother doesn’t have to rush to the computer screen to see who is calling.


21 posted on 10/18/2010 10:16:09 AM PDT by SmartInsight (Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. ~ G. J. Nathan)
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To: Blueflag

One more thing, get an answering machine, that way she can screen to calls and find out who is calling, then decide to pick it up, if it’s someone she wants to talk to.


22 posted on 10/18/2010 10:19:14 AM PDT by SmartInsight (Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. ~ G. J. Nathan)
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To: Blueflag

The computer solution may be too complicated for your MOhter — there are some very simple solutions out there that you may want to check out.

Just a quick search showed you can get phones wiht significant amplification:

http://www.phonesonsale.com/cls-csc1000.html

CLS-CSC1000 Amplified Phone W/ Talking Caller-Id & Answering Machine

ClearSounds amplified freedom phone
55+ dB amplification (500x louder)
Clear Digital Full Digital Power
Tone/pitch control
Amplified digital answering machine
Talking Caller ID
Talking Keypad
Full duplex speakerphone
Extra loud ringer (Hi, Med, Lo)
Adjustable ring tones
Flashing ring signaler
Big button dialing with backlit keypad

$180


Or a cordless phone (or set) that has talking caller ID, speakerphone, and answering mcchine. so she can keep a phone close wherever she is.

Panasonic KX-TG6444T DECT 6.0 Expandable 4-Handset Cordless Phone System with Dual Keypad, Talking Caller ID, Answering Machine and Talking Alarm Clock —around $150


Clarity D613C DECT 6.0 Loud Cordless Big Button Phone w/Answering Machine/Extra Handset

Amplifies incoming sounds up to 30 decibels
- Large high contrast and easy to press buttons
- Large Caller ID display with large numbers
- Loud and clear handset speakerphone with intercom between handsets
- Lightweight and ergonomic handset
- 30 name and number phonebook with nine (9) memory buttons
- Five (5) Last Number Redial memory
- DECT 6.0 technology for crisp, clear, interference-free communication
- Call Waiting Caller ID

http://www.smithgear.com/clarity-d613c.html

And a whole variety for the hearing impaired

http://www.smithgear.com/cordless-for-hearing-impaired.html

These are just some examples.


23 posted on 10/18/2010 10:42:02 AM PDT by SmartInsight (Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. ~ G. J. Nathan)
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To: SmartInsight

Thanks, but remember she is profoundly hearing impaired and mildly visually impaired.

Doesn’t do any good if she can hear the caller ID but can’t hear the conversation.

I had a career in the telephony industry; I understand those options.

I am looking for an unconventional option here.


24 posted on 10/18/2010 10:44:48 AM PDT by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitur)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

PLUS their phone service, my caller ID pops up on the TV screen. Easy to read, IMHO.

Dish Network will do the same.
Not sure how, but at my sons’ home when the pH. rings the number calling is displayed on the TV. Don’t think he had to purchase any extra equip for the et up?


25 posted on 10/18/2010 3:06:14 PM PDT by buck61
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To: buck61

No, the equipment is in the converter box (HD or Digital) that I rent from Time Warner. When I connect directly to the cable (without a box) I don’t get the caller ID service.


26 posted on 10/18/2010 5:43:02 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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