Mobility

Motorola Advisor Gold Pager (1997) Teardown

Motorola Advisor Gold Pager (1997) Teardown: Motorola B01 4476000 T9705

This metal component is likely one of the Motorola Advisor Gold's radio transmitters/receivers. It has the markings - B01 4476000 T9705.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

42 comments
common sense
common sense

I was working at a TI fab and had the pager clipped to back of the neckband. when I was down looking under the raised floor the pager took a gravity-induced "ride" to the sub-fab floor, about 25 feet, while I watched from above. A search down below turned up the battery, the pager with a "sprung" case, and a missing battery door. I snapped the case back together, replaced the battery and cycled it: worked perfectly! PacBell gave me a replacement door when I got back to CA and my tether worked for years. I bet that any of today's products would be scrap under similar circumstances.

pagercellneed
pagercellneed

Why haven't cell phone companies and pager companies worked together to integrate the pager into cell phones. This may revive the shrinking market for pagers...they are so much more reliable. I am also in the healthcare field and would definitely pay for something like this!!

Dr. Solar
Dr. Solar

This was my first pager, and I loved it (other than when it woke me up). Graduated to a two-way Motorola Pagewriter 2000X -- how about cracking one of those open? Pager service being more reliable than cell texts must be a regional thing -- I finally gave up the pager for cell phone texts after a lightning storm and three-day total paging outage. When paging service came back, it was much less reliable than cell texts. I'm fairly sure the paging provider, who also provided cell service, decided that pagers were on the way out and stopped spending money on keeping the pager network robust.

JimWillette
JimWillette

Not only did I wear one of these for entirely too long, I used to repair several of the earlier generations. Most of the parts were repairable/replaceable with a steady hand and good soldering techniques. Pagers never transmitted, so you can safely refer to the metal cans as receiver parts. The one marked 17.9000 Mhz is almost certainly a crystal oscilator, though. What you refer to as the antenna board is almost certainly the receiver board. The other is certainly the main board, it was responsible for decoding the analog signal that was transmitted to it and driving the display. Motorola alway made solid hardware, although a few had known weak points, like the hinged clip on the back. I worked on a few that survived for years in an atmosphere loaded with sulfuric acid (a cellophane plant). Thanks for the memories.

jagfangirl27
jagfangirl27

Our agency still issues pagers instead of cell phones to most employees. I've had many of them over 14 years of employment. I even dropped one in a (clean) toilet and it still worked afterwards ... these things are just about indestructible.

JoeyD714
JoeyD714

We NEED to get back to making electronics in America, Before China Totally pwns us.

been_there_survived_that
been_there_survived_that

After you wear one of the little buggers for so long you forget about them. Wore mine into the water, kind of funny to see the water sloshing around in the crystal window. Other than that, indestructible.

brad
brad

I noticed the "reward if found" sticker. Remember when the service provider would pay a reward if these things were found (dead or alive) and returned? Back in the day (1993??) I actually received a $50 reward for returning a lost pager to the service provider's store. The pager was apparently crushed by a car and the provider still accepted it. Just a few weeks ago I found a smartphone in our 'hood. Out of curiosity I called the service provider. I was surprised to discover that they (AT&T) had no way to accept a lost phone, or give me the owner's contact information so I could contact them. They suggested I look through the phone's address book and call one of the owner's "friends". LOL! AT&T wouldn't let me contact the owner, but I was free to call their "friends". ??? My how times have changed. After some digging in the phone's address book I found the owner's home number and called them directly to return it.

JTONLY
JTONLY

'Started out with a "Bellboy", (Canada) in '70, (everyone thought that I was a Doctor) progressed to an in-car mobile in '71 until '90, and then back to another pager. Since 2000, a cell, & now a BB Bold 9700 - just like everyone else. "If you can't communicate, why are you are in business." 10 more years with an other pager,

jeff.allen
jeff.allen

Given the ability of pages to get through even when SMS wont, what about a pager built into cell phones? Then cut/paste messages, numbers etc into the phone? By the way, I had a similar pager. It looked a lot like the last picture when I finally got far too many calls to attend and meet customer expectations. (The wall helped me disassemble it...)

WindDroid
WindDroid

Wanna look at something interesting and of real age? Look at something from the late 70's early 80's...

chaedar
chaedar

we thank you for the pager, it was very helpful...we hope there is such a technology that can use the pager become something useful for the current activities needs...

kerochan64
kerochan64

Many companies here still rely on this pager and its awesome to see it inside out ^^

kacaudle
kacaudle

Thanks for the memories. I really could have used this many years ago when I contemplated the question "Will this thing still work if I dropped it to the bottom of my beer glass?" Ken C.

Rpg16marine
Rpg16marine

I love it when you guys break down the hardware!

chieselnhammer
chieselnhammer

I was working in the paging centre - pagepoint services, JV motorola. i have sold few papers, re-crystalised the papers and well aware of this little wonderful device...

daniel.cespedes
daniel.cespedes

What network they use, and why are they more reliable than sms?

Tigger4066
Tigger4066

I carry one exactly like this for my job. I had no idea the thing was that old!

KCKnight
KCKnight

We use them still. American Messaging carries them.

Beta Breaker
Beta Breaker

We switched to these pagers around 1997 from plain old numeric pagers. They were going to save us so much time on trying to find payphones to call the office back, etc. Only thing, the office would usually page us with a simple "Call me" 90% of the time.

pgavisk
pgavisk

1996, I remember being out in the wilds of the Midwest when the blonde at the front desk sent me a page: "Here's a page to save...I think I love you". What a heart stopper. Of course, now I have a smart phone and we are married - to other people.

jr9
jr9

Ok, so I have a Crackberry 9800, but I still use the Gold Advisor. It has rock solid coverage where the phone doesn't always reach, and my voicemail and alarm system dialout to it and leave me messages as need be... I haven't found a method to replace the alarm panel notification yet... all the IP/email based methods don't have the high availability of the old POTS dialup network.

gbroward
gbroward

Which I could find a market for these.... have access to some that I could refurb.

rmalako
rmalako

We still use them in health care. Pager services are cheap, cell phone services are not. On several occasions I have been tempted to crack it open using much less gentle means than you did, but I ended up just answering the damn page.

dalmei
dalmei

I ran a distribution and a repair center for PageNet then. We fixed and re-cristalized thousands of those pagers a month. Fun memories!

joesuhre
joesuhre

My wife is an oncology nurse at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and they still use this pager! She carries it with her on a daily basis.

debetsm
debetsm

We still use these at our company for critical and emergency management. They are so much more reliable than SMS messages to phones.

als0315
als0315

Our organization still relies on the little demon!

rjs
rjs

As a supplier to Moto back in the wild 80's & 90's its interesting to see one of these (other than the one in my desk) again. At the time these were mfg'd in the Motorola Boyton Beach Florida plant which has since been knocked down and I believe a strip mall or condos built on the sight. Thanks for the memories Bill!

rjs
rjs

As a supplier to Moto back in the wild 80's & 90's its interesting to see one of these (other than the one in my desk) again. At the time these were mfg'd in the Motorola Boyton Beach Florida plant which has since been knocked down and I believe a strip mall or condos built on the sight. Thanks for the memories Bill!

mmason
mmason

Thought it was so cool back then! now I long for that simpler time...

MIS George
MIS George

The original electronic leash. Oh how I hate thee!

kevin.king
kevin.king

I'm not sure of the network, but I still carry a pager for the Coroners Office. I sometimes find myself in cell phone dead spots, but the message always gets thru to the pager. Then just find a spot where you have signal and call the number left on the pager.

pagercellneed
pagercellneed

Why haven't cell phone companies and pager companies worked together to integrate the pager into cell phones. This may revive the shrinking market for pagers...they are so much more reliable. I am also in the healthcare field and would definitely pay for something like this!!

TechDoc
TechDoc

It's the smart & geeky thing to do in order to stay ahead of the game, or in this case, it's a trip down Technology Classic Lane.

172pilot
172pilot

Definitely "rock solid" as you say.. I remember writing code to automate sending text pages via 2400 baud modem to these things.. They were definitely the best ever. We SHOULD still use them.. I'd trade my crappy Blackberry for that any day..