Saturday, February 14, 2009

V-Tech M16896 (Mi-6896) 5.8GHz cordless phone goes belly-up

A long, long time ago (longer than the warranty period anyway), we bought a V-Tech cordless phone from Costco -- it also has a digital answering machine in the base station.

The other day, the lovely Carol called me at the office. The phone was acting up, she said. All the handsets just say "CONNECTING..."

What could it be, she wondered.

First, I suggested that she look for a loose cable end. Follow it, make sure both ends are secure, etc.

When I got home that evening, I took a look -- cable looked secure and intact. I disconnected it from wherever it was plugged into, and connected it directly into the phone jack in the wall. Still "CONNECTING..."

Well, I wondered if the software had gotten into some silly state. I turned the base unit upside down (I removed the handset first) and disconnected the power cord from it. After a few seconds, I reconnected the power cord. I replaced the handset, and it said "HANDSET 1" -- yippee!

The next day or so, I noticed that one of the handsets says "CONNECTING..."; I tried moving it to another charger, but nothing changed. The others all said "HANDSET #" where the "#" was a number....

So we started with four "bad" handsets and now we were done to just one.

Would the same trick work? I opened up the "bad" handset and disconnected the battery, waited a few seconds, and re-connected it. Did it work? "HANDSET 4" -- yippee!

The reason I tagged this with "Computers" is that these things have microprocessors (well, you could call them microcontrollers) in them. But like mi¢ro$oft computers, they may occasionally need a reboot -- but these can go months (e.g., since the last power failure or the last time we unplugged all the phones) without rebooting. btw I'm typing this on a SuSE Linux 9.3 box which says...
$ uptime
11:01am up 178 days 2:53, 32 users, load average: 1.22, 1.05, 0.86

1 comment:

Alaskan Adventurer said...

I have the same problem...right now. I unplugged-replugged the answering machine (base) and one of the handsets, but not all. I'm going to try doing all of them to reset. Thanks for sharing your experience.

(I am also a follower of the Lord Jesus and have three grown children exactly like your description of yours. What a joy!)