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Help with In-Line Recorder ("Telephone Recording Control" unit, made by Archer)



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Author Topic: Help with In-Line Recorder ("Telephone Recording Control" unit, made by Archer)  (Read 7157 times)

Offline jgiannis

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I need help recording my telephone calls, preferably without opening my wallet.

My Objective:

To record my telephone conversations to my PC laptop in high quality, with minimum noise.

My Equipment:

1) Digital Cordless Telephone (Contains a headphone jack).


2) Regular Telephone (Does not contain headphone jack).

3) Archer brand "Telephone Recording Control" unit, "cat.no. 43-236A." Has a telephone jack plug, a plug that fits into the PC's Mic jack, and a plug that fits into the cordless phone's headphone jack.


4) Laptop with Mic jack and audio recording program. NOTE: I already know how to record to my PC from outside sources.

5) A dual telephone jack (a DSL filter unit that has 2 phone jacks on one end, while the other end plugs into the wall's 4 holes). Left - Phone outlet on wall. Right - Dual phone jack unit.


Failed Attempts:

1) As stated above, the Archer unit has 3 plugs. I plugged the Archer and the telephone into the dual phone jacks. I then connected the Archer to my PC. The Archer was set to "Record," as opposed to "Playback," and in "Mode A," as opposed to "Mode B" (I don't know what the 2 modes do). As I began recording, I picked up the telephone and made a test phone call. I spoke into the phone, and so did the person on the other end. My recording picked us both up, but our voices were tremendously low, and we were being drained out by deafening amounts of hiss and buzz noises.

2) I connected the Archer to the PC and to the cordless telephone. The immediate problem with this scenario was that as soon as I plugged the Archer into the cordless phone, the phone goes silent. I cannot hold a conversation if I cannot hear the other person. I then tried picking up one of the other phones in the house, but that caused a great deal of noise to go off.

With this equipment, can I execute my objective? If so, can you guys give me a detailed description on exactly how to connect my Archer unit, and if I will need to make some sacrifices, such as speaking/listening through the "speaker" function?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2006, 12:32:30 PM by jgiannis »

Offline silentneep

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Whatever subject that guy above me put.
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2006, 01:54:13 PM »
You might try taking the one with all the static and playing with it in an audio-editting app.  Try some noise gates, de-hissers, denoisers, hell--try everything.

Hey Arbie, when I replyed to this it deleted the subject line.  Not sure if I screwed it up or if it's a glitch, but you may want to check it out.
May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.

Offline jgiannis

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Thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately de-hissers don't really work that great. This has way too much hiss, and since the volume of the speakers is so low, a hiss reduction would do a lot of damage on them. It isn't possible to reduce hiss without reducing qualities that I want to keep.

I know that there is a way to make this work. My brother did it a few years back. However, none of us remember how he did it. He may have done it with a cell phone, but we're not sure. It was too long ago, and I can't seem to figure it out.

Like I said, my objective is to obtain an excellent quality recording, where I wouldn't need to remaster.


According to this particular page on this site (http://www.phonelosers.org/article/recording_telephone_calls/), In-Line Recorders should be able to record in very high quality.

To the webmaster, or whoever wrote all that info about having been phone-recording since the 80s and knows all the devices, can you please shed some light on my situation? I've tried studying what you've written about the In-Line Recorders, along with various other googled site's info, but there just isn't enough to get me on my feet. Please help out. Thanks.

Offline rbcp

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Quote

1) As stated above, the Archer unit has 3 plugs. I plugged the Archer and the telephone into the dual phone jacks. I then connected the Archer to my PC. The Archer was set to "Record," as opposed to "Playback," and in "Mode A," as opposed to "Mode B" (I don't know what the 2 modes do). As I began recording, I picked up the telephone and made a test phone call. I spoke into the phone, and so did the person on the other end. My recording picked us both up, but our voices were tremendously low, and we were being drained out by deafening amounts of hiss and buzz noises.

That in-line recorder you have is really old.  That's the same model I used in the mid 80's.  I have no idea if the electronics inside of it are the same as the newer models.  But that may be a part of your problem.  Maybe the older ones just didn't work that great.  I know you don't want to spend money, but it might be worth it to you.  I use both of the newer models (one on my land line and one on my Vonage line) and get adequate recordings from them.  My Vonage line is the best, but my land line has a little humming on it and the levels are kind of low.  I blame the phone company for that.

About the low noise level, you might want to open up your Volume Control in windows and adjust the recording level.  Don't adjust the playback level - adjust the recording level!  Under the play control settings, click on Options, then Properties, then select Recording.  Adjust the recording level on the microphone to the top.

Also, make sure your Archer thingie is plugged into the microphone jack on your computer.  Not the line in jack!

Quote
2) I connected the Archer to the PC and to the cordless telephone. The immediate problem with this scenario was that as soon as I plugged the Archer into the cordless phone, the phone goes silent. I cannot hold a conversation if I cannot hear the other person. I then tried picking up one of the other phones in the house, but that caused a great deal of noise to go off.

The smaller jack on your Archer device (called the "remote jack" I think) is used to turn your tape recorder on or off.  Since you're not using a tape recorder, you should not be plugging the smaller jack into anything.  I think the remote jack is hooked to a relay inside which turns into the on or off position, depending on whether or not the phone is picked up.  When it's "on" you're just bridging the contacts on your headphone jack.  Your A-B switch has something to do with the remote jack, I think.  It probably selected between normally on or normally off.  The newer in-line recorders have the remote jack but not an A-B switch.  I just chop the remote jacks off since I'll never need them for anything.

I have some more advice but I gotta run.  I'll continue this later tonight!

Offline jgiannis

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Thank you for the reply. I really appreciate it, and I look forward to your future reply.

I found this Archer unit in my garage and I knew it had to be from the 70s or 80s when I saw it‘s design. I found it amongst my father’s belongings, and that also told me it had to be old, because he is definitely not the kind of guy who has need for such devices. I have no idea why he would have ever bought this item in the first place.

Anyway, I’m glad you told me to ignore the “remote jack,” because it was confusing the crap out of me, along with those A and B modes. I also took your advice on increasing the mic’s recoding levels to maximum, although I don’t think that will do much, because the level of the hiss is just unbearable and unacceptable, even if I can get the level of the voices to increase without increasing the hiss. Also, I record using GoldWave, as I always have. I am familiar with recording tape and vinyl records to my PC, because they contain audio that is not available on CD. My point is that I have never had to adjust the mic level when extracting the tapes and vinyl, and my recordings sound great. The only hiss that would enter the extracted recordings would be coming from the tapes or vinyl themselves.

That dual phone line unit that is in that picture there has two slots, obviously. One slot is designated for the phone, while the other is designated for a DSL cable. Apparently I got this way back when I was on dial-up. Is this unit going to be a problem? Would it matter if I plugged the Archer into the DSL port?

Thanks again.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2006, 06:13:46 PM by jgiannis »

Offline rbcp

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That dual phone line unit that is in that picture there has two slots, obviously. One slot is designated for the phone, while the other is designated for a DSL cable. Apparently I got this way back when I was on dial-up. Is this unit going to be a problem? Would it matter if I plugged the Archer into the DSL port?

So do you have DSL now?  If you don't, you shouldn't be using the DSL filter.  I don't know what the effect would be of using a DSL filter on a line that doesn't have DSL.  Maybe you should try it on the DSL port.  But if you don't have DSL, definitely get something other than a DSL filter.  That can't be good to run it through there if you don't need it.

My other suggestion was going to be to inspect all your phone wiring and make sure nothing is crossed with electrical lines.  Like if you have a jumble of phone wire mixed in with a jumble of extension cords, that could cause plenty of hum.  Even if it's on an extension phone.  Or maybe in a basement where a phone wire is running alongside an electrical line.

A year or two ago I learned to tack my phone lines up into the walls and/or on the bottom side of my desk to ensure that they don't get too close to any of the other computer cables.  The monitor cable especially causes lots of buzzing.  Inspect every inch of the phone wiring in your house to ensure that none of it is causing the problems.

You also might try using a different phone to make the recordings on.  I've come across phones that don't make good recordings no matter what you do.  Or try using a different recording device.  Or even a different computer.  Maybe your laptop just sucks at making recordings.  Try plugging into a different computer or even a tape recorder or digital recorder.

Another suggestion - Radio Shack sells filters that go onto phone lines which are supposed to filter out noise.  I've tried that before but it never worked for me.  Maybe that'll work for you, though.  I don't remember the price, but it's probably under $10.

When I lived in Illinois, the noise on my lines was horrible.  Lots of static, hum and clicking.  Especially when it rained.  And the phone company refused to fix it for the 7 years that I lived there.  I'm in Oregon now and the humming is still there, but much more faint this time.  Nothing compares to the great sound quality I get out of my Vonage line, though.  If you really need good quality recordings and you have a reliable high-speed net connection, Vonage is the way to go.

Hope all that helps.  Keep asking questions if you have them.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2006, 09:28:44 PM by rbcp »

Offline computerwiz_222

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In Aodbe Audacity you can take a noise profile. A noise profile is when you highlight a place where there is no talking or noise and then you can remove the noise. Post a link to one of your files and I will see if I can try removing the noise without affecting the quality. I have done this before to recordings of other things and it works great.

 

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