Mr_dcj2001 wrote:Thinking of pulling the trigger but the Refurb thing is making me hesitate.
Anybody have experience with refurbished models of these phones?
I've used refurbed Unidens for decades. Literally decades. First set was a two-line, first-generation DSS (900mhz) phone that I paid close to $200 for from DAK (refurb, remember).
At the time, the best phone I ever had. It's the same phone seen in in-hand in a famous publicity shot of Phil Zimmermann -- I figured when I saw that, that I'd made a wise decision -- if it's secure enough for the father of PGP, it's secure enough for me. (Later on, I stumbled across a trick for using the handset to coerce itself into a base without going through the official synchro, which left me a bit uncomfortable, but in the real world, such tactics are most likely do-able on ALL phones, and, NOT done by other than a very small cadre of bad guys and gov't spooks (presuming there's a difference har har).
But, I digress. It was definitely good enough for MY usage, i.e., NO worries about the schmuck down the block listening to my credit card number on his scanner. Heck, the thing won't even show up on a frequency counter held right next to it -- you need a spectrum analyzer to even know it's on the air.
It had excellent range, but not very good battery life (first generation, remember). I didn't care, I just kept it in the base. I did like that MOST Unidens let you keep a spare battery in the base -- it kept it charged, so a fast-swap was easy -- and, if the power cut out (around Michigan, that means "WHEN the power cuts out") the phone will NOT cut out. (Most cordless phones are useless during a power outage.)
The NEXT generation I got -- also a Uniden refurb, but I forget the vendor -- made the FIRST gen phone look like a crude instrument. Instead of a few hours of battery life, it'd go for a couple of days -- and, instead of maybe 200' range, this sucker went *forever*!
I can, with the base in my house, ground level, deep inside the house, use the handset down by my pond -- about a quarter mile down the road, with a big barn in between (one of those HUGE hundred year old barns, with a METAL roof someone put onto it a long time ago) -- and, a LOT of trees and brush.
I got another of that generation for the inlaws -- and, had them run a test. In short, with the base in their house, at the bottom of a hill, my brother inlaw was able to talk to me as he drove down the road, uphill, then back downhill, into their barn, UNDERGROUND level, thick concrete and metal all around him -- phone worked perfectly, range about a half mile, with TONS of Planet Earth in between (the hill, recall).
He then got back in his car, and kept driving down the road. The "connection" was lost after he crossed the intersection, about another quarter mile from the first test.
That is just absolutely astounding range for a cordless phone. In *good* conditions (i.e., FLAT land, phone UPSTAIRS), I'd be shocked if it got less than two miles range.
I've NEVER gotten that kind of range with ANY other phones, and I've tried a LOT of different types, including a variety of 5.8GHz phones. IMO, the 900MHz band is a "sweet spot" for range -- it's BETTER than "true" line-of-sight, has incredible ability to punch through/around all sorts of obstacles.
But, there are apparently issues with OTHER services, which forced the industry to move away from that band. So, I'll hold on to my "old" Uniden DSS "generation 2" gear as long as I can.
Meanwhile, I did buy one of tonight's deals, because we don't have anything with this particualar feature set (two-handset-plus-base conference any-way-you-want, and handset-to-handset comms WITHOUT the base) -- and, it has DSS (one of my baselines -- I don't like being snooped).
Thinking about contacting the Woot service address to ask them to add one more to my order... (so that we can use four handsets, and keep one base "for spare")