Gizmos by Category

Sinclair Stuff

Cameras & Optical

Clocks Watches Calcs

Computers & Games

Geiger Counters & Atomic Stuff

Miscellaneous & Oddities

Phones & Comms

Radio & Audio

Tape Recorders & Players

Test & Scientific Instruments

TV & Video

 

Psst...looking for cheap 

nuclear stuff?

Gizmos A - Z

Accoson Sphygmomanometer

Acoustic Coupler

Advance PP5 Stabilised PSU

Aibo ERS-111 Robotic Pet

Aiwa LX-110 Linear Turntable

Aiwa TP-32A Tape Recorder

Alcatel Minitel 1 Videotex

Aldis Folding Slide Viewer

Alpha-Tek Pocket Radio

Airlite 71 Aviation Headset

AKG K290 Surround 'Phones

Amerex Alpha One Spycorder

Amstrad NC100 Notepad

AN/PRC-6 Walkie Talkie

Astatic D-104 Desk Microphone

Apple Macintosh SE FDHD

Avia Electronic Watch

Aitron Wrist Radio

Aiwa TP-60R Tape Recorder

Amstrad CPC 464 Computer

AlphaTantel Prestel

Atari 2600 Video Game

Atari 600XL Home Computer

Audiotronic LSH 80 'Phones

AVO Multiminor

AVO Model 8 Multimeter

Bambino Challenger Radio

Bandai Solar LCD Game

Baygen Freeplay Lantern

Bellwood, Bond Spycorder

Benkson 79 Mini Tape Recorder

Betacom BF1 Pianotel Phone

Binatone Digivox Alarm

Binatone Long Ranger 6 CB

Binatone Mk6 Video Game

Bio Activity Translator

Biri-1 Radiation Monitor

Bowmar LED Digital Watch

Boots CRTV-50 TV,Tape, Radio

Brydex Ever Ready Lighter

BSB Squarial

BT Genie Phone

Cambridge Z88 Computer

Candlestick Telephone

Canon Ion RC-260 Camera

Cartex TX-160 Multiband Radio

Casio VL-Tone Keyboard

CD V-700 Geiger Counter

CD V-715 Survey Meter

CDV-717 Survey Meter

CD V-742 Pen Dosimeter

Channel Master 6546

Chinon 722-P Super 8 Cine

Citizen Soundwich Radio Watch

Citizen ST555 Pocket TV

Clairtone Mini Hi Fi Radio

CocaCola Keychain Camera

Coke Bottle AM Radio

Commodore 64 Home PC

Commodore PET 2001-N

Computer Novelty AM/FM Radio

Compact Marine SX-25

Concord F20 Sound Camera

Coomber 2241-7 CD Cassette

Craig 212 Tape Recorder

Craig TR-408 tape recorder

Dansette Richmond Radio

Daiya TV-X Junior  Viewer

Dancing Coke Can

Dawe Transistor Stroboflash

Diamond Rio Media Player

Dictograph Desk Phone

Direct Line Phones x2

Dokorder PR-4K Mini Tape

Eagle Ti.206 Intercom

Eagle T1-206 Intercom

Eagle International Loudhailer

Electrolysis Cell

Electron 52D Spycorder

Electronicraft Project Kit

Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart Radio

EMS Stammering Oscillator

Ericsson Ericofon Cobra Phone

Etalon Luxor Light Meter

Euromarine Radiofix Mk 5

Exactus Mini Add Calculator

Fairylight Morse Set

FEP Microphone & Earphone

Ferguson FC08 Camcorder

Ferguson FHSC 1 Door Cam

Fi-Cord 101 Tape Recorder

Fi-Cord 202 Tape Recorder

Fidelity HF42 Record Player

Fisher-Price 826 Cassette

Fleetwood Globe AM Radio

Franklin LF-390 Guitar Radio

Gaertner Pioneer Geiger Counter

GE 3-5805 AM CB Radio

GEC Transistomatic

GEC Voltmeter

General Radiological NE 029-02

Giant Light Bulbs

Giant Watch-Shaped  Radio

Gowlland Auriscope

GPO Headset No. 1

GPO Keysender No 5

GPO RAF Microphone No. 3

GPO Telephone Series 300

GPO Telephone Type 746

GPO 12B/1 Test Meter

GPO Trimphone

GPO Ring Microphone No 2

Gramdeck Tape Recorder

Grandstand Video Console

Grundig EN3 Dictation

Grundig Memorette

H&G Crystal Radio

Hacker Radio Hunter RP38A

Hacker Radio Mini Herald

Hanimex Disc Camera

Harvard Batalion Radio

Henica H-138 Radio Lighter

Hero HP-101 Intercom

Hitachi MP-EG-1A Camcorder

Hitachi WH-638 Radio

Hitachi VM-C1 Camcorder

HMV 2210 Tape Recorder

Homey HR-408 Recorder

Horstmann Pluslite Task Lamp

Ianero Polaris Spotlight

Ingersoll XK505 TV, Radio

International HP-1000 Radio

Internet Radio S-11

James Bond TV Watch

Jasa AM Wristwatch Radio

Juliette LT-44 Tape Recorder

Jupiter FC60 Radio

JVC GR-C1 Camcorder

JVC GX-N7E Video Camera

JVC HR-C3 VHS-C VCR

JVC HR-3300 VHS VCR

King Folding Binoculars

Kodak Brownie Starflash

Kodak 56X Instamatic

Kodak 100 Instamatic

Kodak EK2 'The Handle'

Kodak EK160 Instant Camera

Kodak Pony 135

Kvarts DRSB-01 Dosimeter

Kvarts DRSB-88 Dosimeter

Kvarts DRSB-90 Geiger Count

Kyoto S600 8-Track Player

Magnetic Core Memory 4kb

Maplin YU-13 Video Stabilizer

Marlboro Giant  AM Radio

Mattel Intellivision

Maxcom Cordless Phone

McArthur Microscope OU

Memo Call Tape Recorder

Micronta 22-195A Multimeter

Micronta 3001 Metal Detector

Microphax Case II Fiche

Midland 12-204 Tape Rccorder

Mini Com Walkie Talkies

Minolta 10P 16mm Camera

Minolta-16 II Sub Min Camera

Minolta XG-SE 35mm SLR

Minolta Weathermatic-A

Minox B Spy Camera

Mohawk Chief Tape Recorder

Motorola 5000X Bag Phone

Motorola 8500X ‘Brick’

Motorola Micro TAC Classic

MPMan MP-F20 MP3 Player

Music Man Talking Radio

Mystery Microphone

Nagra SN Tape Recorder

National Hyper BII Flashgun

National RQ-115 Recorder

NatWest 24 Hour Cashcard

 

Widget Of The Week

BT Rhapsody SR 1012A/8012 Leather Phone, 1982

Some really weird things happened in the 70s and 80s, so the fact that BT started marketing telephones clad in tan leather shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Even so you still can’t help wondering what was going through the minds of whoever came up with such a bizarre concept in the first place...

 

To be fair it wasn’t BT who dreamt it up, that honour goes to a Belgian company called Atea, though what was to become the BT Rhapsody SR 1012A (or TSR 0812) that you see here was based on a phone called the Unifoon, designed by Dutch Telecom and launched Holland in the late 70s, initially with a rotary dial. Incidentally, the SR and TSR prefix on a lot of interesting and oddball GPO and BT phones issued from the early sixties to the late nineties, stands for Special Range/Telephone Special Range and the differences in the model number denote whether or not it was fitted with the now standard BT plug. Just thought you’d like to know…

 

Anyway, back to the leathery Rhapsody phone and even without its cowhide cover it is still an interesting design, with several unusual features. Starting with the case it's a flexible design that can be used on a tabletop or wall mounted. Look closely and you might spot a rectangular opening in the recess where the microphone rests. This serves two purposes. Firstly it can be used as a handle, so you can walk around with the phone while making or taking a call, and second, it makes it easier to keep clean by avoiding the problem of dust and fag ash accumulations, which can clog up the microphone grille. Ironically this apparently sensible idea backfired and led indirectly to a fairly common fault on this model. If the area around the front of the phone were regularly cleaned with an aerosol polish the spray would be directed up through the hole into the microphone capsule, eventually causing it to fail…

 

As you can see from the photos it has push-button dialling and BT marketing couldn’t resist jazzing it up by calling it a ‘Pressure Point Keypad’. The keys are very low profile and this was supposed to make it easy to keep clean and suitable for use in messy environments, like a kitchen or workshop. It was another apparently good idea with a sting in the tail. The membrane type keypad used wasn’t very resilient and reportedly didn’t fare well when repeatedly exposed to strong detergents, or used heavily.

 

By the way, the keypad uses the old ‘pulse’ dialling system; in other words it simulates the action of a mechanical rotary dial. At the time UK exchanges were being converted to digital operation and DTMF or ‘tone’ dialling hadn’t been fully implemented. Consequently on this phone there are no Hash or Star keys but there are two extra buttons marked ‘S’, for secrecy (mutes the microphone) and ‘R’ or last number redial.

 

In spite of those shortcomings it was still quite advanced for an early 80s phone, but instead of a fancy electronic ringer or warbler there’s a pair of good old-fashioned mechanical bells. It’s not completely antiquated, though and a switch on the back is for nighttime use. This stops the striker from hitting the bells, so instead it produces a low level buzz.   

 

Finally we come to that leather covering. On the plus side it’s a really neat job and the quality of the material and stitching are both excellent, but that still leaves open the question of who would want such a thing? Leather wasn’t especially trendy in the early eighties and the other colours in BT’s Rhapsody range (blue, grey & ivory) were much more in keeping with the styles of the time. Leather is a tough material but it has its drawbacks. It needs looking after, regular cleaning and can deteriorate if left in bright sunlight or kept in a dry atmosphere. It wasn’t a cheap option either. In the early eighties the vast majority of BT customers were still renting their phones; you couldn’t officially buy a Rhapsody phone so the only way to get one would be pay BT £25 for installation and shell out an extra £2.50 over and above the normal quarterly rental fee.

 

I struck lucky with this one, found at a large open-air antiques fair in Surrey. It was in amongst a lot of expensive Art Deco ceramics. I call this the fish out of water scenario and it can often help with the price. And so it was; the stallholder had no real interest in the phone and was happy to accept an offer of £5.00 for it.

 

It looked as though it had been in storage for quite a while – the novelty had probably worn off quite quickly -- and underneath a few light layers of dirt it appeared to have been little used and in really good condition. It worked too and apart from the limitations of the vintage keypad, it performs as well as any modern phone.  

 

What Happened To It?

The early 1980s were a very busy time for BT. It is unclear when the Rhapsody model was withdrawn but it probably didn’t hang about much beyond 1985 as by then BT had been fully privatised and the changeover to a digital network was nearing completion. All of this resulted in a growing demand for more compact, sophisticated and novel phones. The choice and design of standard residential phones had also improved in leaps and bounds, and a growing number of BT consumers were opting to buy their own phones, rather than renting from BT. No doubt the Rhapsody’s innards could have been updated but the styling was starting to look dated, it’s time had passed and not even the fancy leather covering could save it.

 

I doubt that more than a few thousand leather Rhapsody phones were issued and the majority of those would have been returned to BT for disposal as and when they were replaced. Technically they were still BTs property, so any that escaped into the wild and have survived until now are few and far between. They do come up ebay every so often and prices are generally in the range £30 to £50, which isn’t a lot for such a rare and idiosyncratic design. If you can do without the leather trim then standard Rhapsody phones generally go for well under £20, but the lowish prices probably reflect the fact that the numeric keypad limits its functionality in today’s digital universe.     


GIZMO GUIDE

First seen                 1982

Original Price           £25.00 installation plus additional £2.50 quarterly line rental)

Value Today            £30 (0816)

Features                  Push-button digital keypad, bell ringer with mute, ‘S’ secrecy (microphone mute) button, redial last number, table top or wall mounting, integral carry handle

Power req.                    n/a (line powered)

Dimensions:                  237 x 162 x 85mm

Weight:                         1.5kg

Made (assembled) in:    Belgium

Hen's Teeth (10 rarest):  6


Google

Web

dustygizmos

Dusty Navigation

About Dustygizmos

Crystal Radios

Transistor Radios

Mini Tape Recorders

Spycorders

Sinclair TVs

Manuals

Tape Recorder Gallery

A - C    D- M     N - Z

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Gizmos A - Z

Nife NC10 Miner's Lamp

Nimslo 3D Camera

NOA FM Wireless Intercom

Nokia 9210 Communicator

Novelty AM Radio Piano

Olympia DG 15 S Recorder

Onkyo PH-747 Headphones

Optikon Binocular Magnifier

Oric Atmos Home PC

Panda & Bear Radios

Panasonic AG-6124 CCTV VCR

Panasonic EB-2601 Cellphone

Panasonic Toot-A-Loop Radio

Panasonic RS-600US

Parrot RSR-423 Recorder

Penguin Phone PG-600

Pentax Asahi Spotmatic SLR

Philatector Watermark Detector

PH Ltd Spinthariscope

Philips CD 150 CD Player

Philips Electronic Kit

Philips EL3302 Cassette

Philips EL3586 Reel to Reel

Philips PM85 Recorder

Philips P3G8T/00 Radio

Philips VLP-700 LaserDisc

Pifco 888.998 Lantern Torch

Pion TC-601 Tape Recorder

PL802/T Semconductor Valve

Plessey PDRM-82 Dosimeter

Polaroid Automatic 104

Polaroid Land Camera 330

Polaroid Supercolor 635CL

Polaroid Swinger II

Polavision Instant Movie

POM Park-O-Meter

Prinz 110 Auto Camera

Prinz Dual 8 Cine Editor

Prinz TCR20 B&W TV

Psion Series 3a PDA

Psion Organiser II XP

Pye 114BQ Portable Radio

Pye TMC 1705 Test Phone

Rabbit Telepoint Phone

Quali-Craft Slimline Intercom

RAC Emergency Telephone

Racal Acoustics AFV Headset

Radofin Triton Calculator

Raytheon Raystar 198 GPS

Realistic TRC 209 CB

ReVox A77 Tape Recorder

Roberts R200 MW/LW Radio

Rolling Ball Clock

Rolls Royce Car Radio

Ronco Record Vacuum

Royal/Royco 410 Recorder

Sanyo G2001 Music Centre

Sanyo M35 Micro Pack

Satellite AM/FM Radio

Satvrn TDM-1200 Sat Box

Science Fair 65 Project Kit

Seafarer 5 Echo Sounder

Seafix Radio Direction Finder

Seiko EF302 Voicememo

Seiko James Bond TV Watch

Sekiden SAP50 Gun

Shackman Passport Camera

Sharp CT-660 Talking Clock

Shira WT106 Walkie Talkies

Shira WT-605 Walkie Talkies

Shogun Music Muff

Simpson 389 Ohmmeter

Sinclair Calculator

Sinclair Black Watch

Sinclair FM Radio Watch

Sinclair FTV1 Pocket TV

Sinclair Micro-6 Radio

Sinclair Micro FM Radio

Sinclair Micromatic Radio

Sinclair Micromatic Kit (Unbuilt)

Sinclair MTV1A Micovision TV

Sinclair MTV1B Microvision TV

Sinclair PDM-35 Multimeter

Sinclair System 2000 Amp

Sinclair Super IC-12

Sinclair X1 Burtton Radio

Sinclair Z-1 Micro AM Radio

Sinclair Z-30 Amplifier

Sinclair ZX81

Speak & Spell

Sony Betamovie BMC-200

Sony CFS-S30 'Soundy'

Sony DD-8 Data Discman

Sony CM-H333 Phone

Sony CM-R111 Phone

Sony FD-9DB Pocket TV

Sony M-100MC Mic'n Micro

Sony MDR3 Headphones

Sony MVC-FD71 Digicam

Sony TC-50 Recorder

Sony TC-55 Recorder

Sony Walkman TPS-L2

Sony Rec Walkman WM-R2

Speedex Hit Spy Camera

Standard Slide Rule

Starlite Pocket Mate Tape

Staticmaster Static Brush

Steepletone MBR7 Radio

Stellaphone ST-456 Recorder

Stuzzi 304B Memocorder

Stylophone

Talkboy Tape Recorder

Taylor Barograph

Tasco SE 600 Microscope

Technicolor Portable VCR

Telephone 280 1960

Telex MRB 600 Headset

Thunderbirds AM Can Radio

Tinico Tape Recorder

Tokai TR-45 Tape Recorder

Tomy Electronic Soccer

Toshiba HX-10 MSX Computer

Triumph CTV-8000 5-inch TV

TTC C1001 Multimeter

Uher 400 RM Report Monitor

Vanity Fair Electron Blaster

Vextrex Video Game

VideoPlus+ VP-181 Remote

Vidor Battery Radio

View-Master Stereo Viewer

Vivalith 301 Heart Pacemaker

VTC-200 Video Tape Cleaner

Waco Criuser AM Radio

Waco TV Slide Lighter

Wallac Oy RD-5 Geiger Counter

Weller X-8250A Soldering Gun

W E Co Folding Phone

White Display Ammeter

Wittner Taktell Metronome

Wondergram

Yamaha Portasound PC-10

Yashica AF Motor 35mm

Yupiteru MVT-8000 Scanner

All information on this  web  site  is provided as is without warranty of any kind. Neither dustygizmos.com nor its employees nor contributors are responsible for any loss, injury, or damage, direct or consequential, resulting from your choosing to use any of the information contained  herein.

Copyright (c) 2006 - 2016 dustygizmos.com

 

 

counter statistics