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You must be very young!

In the old days (before Touch-Tone and long before cell phones/mobile phones), phones communicated the dialed number to the Central Office by briefly interrupting the circuit.

To dial a "1", the phone interrupted the circuit one time. To dial a "2", twice. To dial a "0", the phone interrupted the circuit 10 times. This was usually done by turning a spring-loaded mechanical dial which then turned back to the home position at a governor-controlled rate. As it turned back, it interrupted the phone circuit the necessary number of times to dial your intended digit of the phone number. (And while the dial was turned away from the home/resting position, so called "off normal", it also muted the earpiece so you didn't loudly hear the "click-click-click" of the circuit interruptions.)

Now we finally get to the answer to your question:

Most dials interrupted the phone circuit at a rate of ten pulses per second, so "10 pps dialing".

A very few dialing systems operated twice as fast at twenty pulses per second; I think this was more-widely used on trunk line signaling.

I don't know whether or not your average Central Office could accept 20 pps dialing interchangeably with 10 pps dialing from a subscriber's phone.

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βˆ™ 2010-03-25 19:50:05
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