bama55bama55 Member Posts: 6,389 ✭✭
edited August 2002 in General Discussion
Does anyone use an Emerson Switchboard to receive phone calls
while you are online? Just wondering if it works, or any problems
with it? If it works I can cancel my extra phone line and save
some $$$$.

Don't send flowers when I die. Send money now, I can buy more ammo.


  • interstatepawnllcinterstatepawnllc Member Posts: 9,390
    edited November -1
    Yeah they work but not that well. If a call comes in your phone will ring but as soon as you answer it you will be knocked offline. Save your money and go DSL, you won't be sorry.
  • pikeal1pikeal1 Member Posts: 2,707
    edited November -1
    bama, figure you pay about $20 a month for that extra phone line, and about the same for the ISP you use...DSL will run you about $40 a month with some companies. its a hell of a lot faster and you get to enjoy classic's and blackroses funny pics without the frustration of watching them load line by line.

  • offerorofferor Member Posts: 9,168
    edited November -1
    I got an Emerson Switchboard. Emerson is actually a pretty good name for "value" electronics.

    The answer to your question is yes, and no. The thing is, they do allow a call to get through on the phone attached to the Switchboard. You then have a maximum of about 20 seconds to take a quick message, otherwise your internet connection will be interrupted. You may or may not like this concept. They don't make a big deal about the shortness of the time you get to hold onto your internet connection, I suppose, because that's the biggest disadvantage. But I have completed a number of quick calls without losing my internet connection, so it does work.

    If you need calls to get through, and have a big problem with people getting a busy signal when they call you, then the Switchboard is a cheap answer for getting calls through. But if you expect your internet connection to hold up for several minutes while you talk, it won't happen. The manual that comes with Switchboard tells you how to set a couple of simple modem settings to get the maximum 20 seconds or so of holding time (in case it's just a wrong number or a quick "I'll call you back.") But it's certainly not the same as dividing your single line into two phone lines. And you have to have call waiting service, I think, for it to work at all.

    Switchboard does let a call get past your internet connection every time, so you'll stop missing calls. It runs on an AC adapter, which should be included, not optional, and you should not have to pay more than $40 for the whole item.

    Only question in my mind is how long it will last before it burns out or something. There are a ton of these selling on eBay right now so pick a competitive price and get one that way. I used the infomercial 800 number method, and I had 2 problems - 1, the salesman was a direct marketer, not the manufacturer itself, and he tried to get me to pay an extra $10 for the AC adapter -- which I found out is included with every item sold -- sounds like a phone scam to me. Also, I tried to cancel the order when I found them on eBay, but it didn't "take." But since I got the AC adapter free anyway, it didn't matter. Also, they said give 6-8 weeks for delivery, but my Switchboard arrived in a week. Weird. I think you can do better on eBay.

    Of course, the other way to get calls while you're online is to have the phone company's phone number forwarding service. I have discovered that this service works even when your home line is busy, meaning that when I'm going to be on my computer, I can forward my home phone to my cell phone, and the calls will get through to me that way even though my home line is busy on the net. Still, I find the Switchboard a handy alternative and not terribly expensive for what you get. And I'm not afraid of Emerson, so I was willing to take a chance on the product. They take batteries, but that would be a nightmare, by the way. They also take a standard Radio-Shack style AC adapter.

    - Life NRA Member
    "If cowardly & dishonorable men shoot unarmed men with army guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary...and not by general deprivation of constitutional privilege." - Arkansas Supreme Court, 1878
  • 4wheeler4wheeler Member Posts: 3,441
    edited November -1
    I have the switchboard and like it because I do not miss calls anymore. My caller ID does not work with this system or is it suppose to?

    "It was like that when I got here".
  • bama55bama55 Member Posts: 6,389 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Last time I checked with AOL, DSL was not available in my area.
    Plus, they say there is a $110 activation fee for BellSouth
    customers, then around $55 per month. I think DirectTV DSL is
    about $60 per month, plus a big installation or some kind of fee.
    It is supposed to work with the Caller ID-Call Waiting feature,
    which we have. I just want it so I don't miss any important
    or emergency calls. I may go ahead and get one and try it out
    before I cancel my extra phone line, at $30 per month.
    Thanks all!!!!!!!!

    Don't send flowers when I die. Send money now, I can buy more ammo.
  • pikeal1pikeal1 Member Posts: 2,707
    edited November -1
    There are a few companies that offer satelite internet service...not sure if this will get rid of that extra phone line like a DSL line will...but its available almost everywhere. Costs about the same as DSL too. you might want to look into it so you can get rid of that extra phone line. Remember about the call forwarding feature too...you might not have to buy this thing after all.

    If you do decide...dont get it on TV...you can go to most large retail stores and find it. Alot of these stores have the "as seen on TV stuff" for less than it goes for in the infomercials.
  • kimberkidkimberkid Member Posts: 8,837 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    From what I understand about the switchboard, you have to have "Call Waiting" for it to work (this is what they told me when I called the 800#). If it does not transmit a "keep alive" signal to your connection, to me its worthless.

    With "Caller ID" and "Call Waiting" the phone company can supply you with software that will make a window pop up when you have an incomming call and tell you who it is, so you can decide if you want to answer it or not ... if you have "Call Notes" the caller can leave a message that you can retreive later and you don't have to limit yourself to 20 seconds or whatever.

    I'm one of those lucky people that bought a computer and took a Microsoft rebate for $400 and signed an agreement to use them as my ISP for 3 years at $21.95 per month ... I have 1 year to go ... DSL is avaiable in our area, but to get out of the contract with MS, I have to pay 70% of the remaining months which is about $200 ... then buy or rent a DSL modem for another $200 plus the $40 per month DSL fee ...

    Just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get [email protected]
    If you really desire something, you'll find a way ?
    ? otherwise, you'll find an excuse.
  • NighthawkNighthawk Member Posts: 13,100
    edited November -1
    I have to say,thank you for the info I was thinking of buying one!

  • offerorofferor Member Posts: 9,168
    edited November -1
    That is true. You have to have call waiting for it to work. But it uses the second line to get the call in to you. You can't use the call waiting feature when taking a Switchboard call. Nor will Switchboard "ping" your site to keep your Internet connection alive. In fact, I'd give anything for a utility that would keep my MSN ISP from disconnecting when it feels like it. I've optimized the settings as much as I know how, but I still get that countdown every so often.

    - Life NRA Member
    "If cowardly & dishonorable men shoot unarmed men with army guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary...and not by general deprivation of constitutional privilege." - Arkansas Supreme Court, 1878

    Edited by - offeror on 08/01/2002 12:47:13
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