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Standalone Dictaphone Guardian: Help!!!

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KC1UA

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Hello,

Back in the late 1990's my police department purchased a Dictaphone Guardian call logging device. This device uses a hard drive to record audio and passes the audio to one of two DAT tape decks for archiving. One deck records, while the other is supposed to remain in ready mode for automatic switchover in the event of the record deck malfunctioning or running out of tape. At the time of purchase we also purchased software called Prolog, which was installed on a Windows 95B PC and offered control over the Guardian for playback of tapes, formatting, etc.

The following "natural occurrences" (in conjunction with Murphy's Law) transpired, leaving me in the predicament I'm in today.

1. Despite my recommendations to the contrary, our then Chief chose not to purchase a yearly service contract for the machine and build it into the yearly budget in order to cut spending. Gee, where have we heard this before? ;)

2. Subsequent requests to try to work newer state of the art equipment into the budget did not meet with success.

3. A few weeks ago, the computer that controls the Guardian finally expired. It was the only computer that communicated with the Guardian and the only one the department purchased software licensing for.

4. This device has been targeted for end of life in March of 2008 anyway, but I don't have the options to go elsewhere right now due to the aforementioned budget shortsightedness and corner cutting.

Naturally, the company that took over for Dictaphone, called NICE, wants $351.00 an hour for service because we don't have a contract, and wants an open ended purchase order for $1500.00 for OVER THE PHONE service to help walk me through the install of the software on a Windows 2K Pro machine to afford connectivity with the Guardian, which is apparently not a simple process and involves older IPX/SPX protocols and special configuration of multitudes of .ini files. Our current Chief was thrilled with that of course and won't do it. Oh, if they come out in person...they want an open ended PO for $3K and will charge for travel time as well. Not a surpise, but food for thought for anyone thinking of cutting corners and not renewing a service contract for critical devices such as this.

So, I'm trying to run the Guardian as a standalone device. I can do everything except for one crucial thing...which is get the standby tape into ready mode. The ready button absolutely does not work. The nice people at NICE helped me for a while but were apparently told to stop giving me "free" support. They had no idea why I couldn't get the tape into ready mode.

I figured I'd take a stab at this here, given all of the talent that is gathered at this site. My local sources haven't been able to lend a hand at all, they either use other devices or have no experience running the Guardian as a standalone as they always operate it via computer over their LAN.

Thanks in advance for any help. This is a poster child for the "Six P's". Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. :(
 

KC1UA

Scan New England Guru
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Location
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
wa8vzq said:
Is the tape on the standby deck in "write-protect" ?
Hi Dan,

Thanks for the response. Nope, that was one of the first things I checked, and I've tried it with several tapes.

mkewman said:
oh dude. i can feel your pain from here... i know nothing, but i wi****h you luck homeboy.
Well, I'm neither a "dude" or a "homeboy"...but thank YOUETH for the concern. ;)
 

wa8vzq

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How often do you clean the drive? My experience says that those DAT drives can get very tempremental if not cleaned often. Another possiblity is if you reuse tapes and the data on the tape(s) is too recent. Then again, you could have a bad drive or bad drive interface.

My only other recommendation would be to shut the whole mess down and then bring it back up. Could be one of those software situations where the screen says one thing but the internals are reading something else. Good luck.

Dan
 

dangitdoug

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
328
Try this

www.nice.com

This is NICE Systems. They bought the recording portion of Dictaphone in 2000. They are located in Rutherford, New Jersey

Doug K
 

dangitdoug

Member
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Feb 21, 2006
Messages
328
Oops, missed that. Sorry, answered that before I had my coffee. There was another company that also got part of Dictaphone. Go to Wiki.com and check the info for Dictaphone.

Doug K
 

joetnymedic

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Location
West Haven, CT
Sorry I couldn't get anymore info for ya dude. Just a thought, any other departments in the area use the same system? maybe you could hook up with them and solve the problem. $351.00 an hour - That being the case next time one of their reps, workers screwed up and I found out where they worked they'd be cooling their heels makin -$351.00 in a holding pen. Let em chew on that. You'd think being public safety they'd be willing to help n/c. But the all mighty dollar talks again. You ever notice when bad crap happens how important public safety becomes (or if they need your help) but give it time and it's right back to the same ole BS. Sorry blowing off some steam. I just find it hard to believe companies and their employees play this crap all of the time. And to think when you guys bought the system it was probably "state of art" and you probably paid boo-koo bucks for it. Tech support not included.
 
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