An unusual telephone service call

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: For all the people who asked to see the
story about the barking dog once again, here it is. Now I hope not to
bother with it again for at least a couple more years. It is not my
favorite joke anyway. PAT]

This story was related by Pat Routledge of Winnepeg, ONT about an unusual
telephone service call he handled while living in England.

It is common practice in England to signal a telephone subscriber by
signaling with 90 volts across one side of the two wire circuit and ground
(earth in England). When the subscriber answers the phone, it switches to
the two wire circuit for the conversation.

This method allows two parties on the same line to be signalled without
disturbing each other.

This particular subscriber, an elderly lady with several pets called to say
that her telephone failed to ring when her friends called and that on the
few occations when it did manage to ring her dog always barked first. Torn
between curiosity to see this psychic dog and a realization that standard
service techniques might not suffice in this case, Pat proceeded to the
scene. Climbing a nearby telephone pole and hooking in his test set, he
dialed the subscriber's house. The phone didn't ring. He tried again.
The dog barked loudly, followed by a ringing telephone.

Climbing down from the pole, Pat found:

a. Dog was tied to the telephone system's ground post via an iron
chain and collar.

b. Dog was receiving 90 volts of signalling current.

c. After several jolts, the dog was urinating on ground and barking.

d. Wet ground now conducted and phone rang.

Which goes to prove that some grounding problems can be passed on.

This anecdote excerpted from Syn-Aud-Con Newsletter, Vol4, No 3, April 1977.

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