Earth-start signalling and pets
This story was related by Pat Routledge of Winnepeg, Ontario about a
repair call he handled while living in England.
It's common practice in England to ring a telephone by signaling
extra voltage 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 signaled without disturbing
Anyway, an elderly lady with several pets called to say that her
telephone failed to ring when her friends called; and that on the few
occasions when it did ring her dog always barked first. Pat
proceeded to the scene, curious to see this psychic dog.
He climbed a nearby telephone pole, hooked in his test set, and
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:
Which shows you that some problems can be fixed by just
pissing on them.
- A dog was tied to the telephone system's ground post via an iron
chain and collar.
- The dog was receiving 90 volts of signaling current.
- After several such jolts, the dog would start barking and
urinating on the ground.
- The wet ground now completed the circuit and the phone would
The Politically Incorrect Collection