model train set on track

Can you hear me now???

e*Train Issue: Aug 2005   |   Posted in: ,

By Bob Mintz

I hate wires. I hate wires so much, that I would like to have them outlawed.

If you were to take just two wires about 6 feet long each, throw them up in the air about a mere three feet, I bet you that they would be forever intertwined for eternity, plus or minus several centuries, or when TMCC-2 will finally be announced, whichever comes first.

As I am in my car a lot, I sometimes get several phone calls while driving. There are cell phone laws here in the State of New York that one must use a hands free device, and usually a headset or speakerphone will suffice.

I recently bought a new cell phone that entirely eliminates the cables associated with a microphone/speaker system. I wear an over-the-ear piece that wirelessly connects with my cell phone that has a 30-foot range. When I receive a call, I just tap the device and I can answer the call. Conversely, when I want to make a call, I also tap the device, and an automated voice lists a number of options, such as check my voicemail, or automatically dial someone in my address book by voice activation, using Bluetooth technology.

According to the Verizon website: “Bluetooth is a wireless networking technology designed primarily to replace cables for communication between personal computing and communication devices. It is intended to be used for both voice and data communications.

The Bluetooth name refers to King Harald “Bluetooth” Blaatand, a famous Danish king of the 10th century, who unified Denmark and Norway. In the beginning of the Bluetooth wireless technology era, Bluetooth was aimed at unifying the telecom and computing industries.”

Sometime between the 1946 debut of Lionel Electronic Control, 1994s Lionel’s TrainMaster Command Control (TMCC) and 2002s MTH’s Digital Command System (DCS), there was the 1950s “Audio Engineer” manufactured by Electro-Nuclear Devices, Inc., billed as “a precision electronic instrument for controlling electric trains by the SPOKEN COMMAND.”

As a blur continues between the personal computer and entertainment devices, and phones and the Internet, can a voice activated remote system be way too far off into the near future?

Get out your decoder rings in the form of a PDA, replace your Etch a Sketch with Adobe® Photoshop, and even though most of us today in the digital age use cable or satellite, “Stay Tuned!”

Just to make our collector lives interesting, the “Audio-Engineer’s” box come in two flavors, a tan such as the one shown, and a yellow and black variation.

Gotta luv it!