In telecommunications, the term acoustic coupler has the following meanings:
The link is achieved through acoustic (sound) signals rather than through direct electrical connection.
Prior to the deregulation of telephony in many countries of the world, it was illegal to make an electrical connection to the telephone network. Also, in many households, telephones were hard-wired to wall terminals before connectors like RJ11 and BS 6312 became standardised. With the increased use of computing, acoustic couplers were used to connect modems to the telephone network. Speeds were typically 300 bits per second, achieved by modulating a carrier at 300 baud. The first such device was the ACOUSTIC DATA COUPLER 300 MODEM from 1968.
Usually, a standard telephone handset was placed into a cradle that had been engineered to fit closely (by the use of rubber seals) around the microphone and earpiece of the handset. A modem would modulate a loudspeaker in the cup attached to the handset's microphone, and sound from the loudspeaker in the telephone handset's earpiece would be picked up by a microphone in the cup attached to the earpiece. In this way signals could be passed in both directions.
Acoustic couplers were sensitive to external noise and depended on the widespread standardisation of the dimensions of telephone handsets. Direct electrical connections to telephone networks, once they were made legal, rapidly became the preferred method of attaching modems, and the use of acoustic couplers dwindled. Acoustic couplers are still used by people travelling in areas of the world where electrical connection to the telephone network is illegal or impractical. Many models of TDD's (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) still have a built-in acoustic coupler, which allow more universal use with pay phones.
What's the oldest piece of equipment still running in your environment? * Anybody remember the acoustic coupler?(Brief article)
May 17, 2007; Byline: Steve Taylor, Jim Metzler It's time for a trip down memory lane for some and a history lesson for others. Long ago, in a...
Konexx Koupler links modems to phones without phone jacks. (Hardware Review) (Unlimited Systems Corp.'s acoustic coupler) (Evaluation)
Apr 01, 1994; Model 204 Konexx Koupler Unlimited Systems Corp. 8586 Miramar Pl. San Diego, CA 92121 1-800-275-6354 Sugg. List Price: $149 A...
Patent No. 7,616,771 Issued on Nov. 10, Assigned to Virginia Commonwealth University for Acoustic Coupler (Virginia Inventors)
Nov 11, 2009; ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 13 -- Douglas Richards of Virginia Beach, Va., and Martin Lenhardt of Hayes, Va., have developed an...