I visited the local Goodwill to buy a short-sleeved shirt, something summery and tropical looking. I found the perfect shirt, and it cost just $5. Easy. So with some time to kill I decided to look around the store.
Among the various computers and televisions, I saw two cordless telephone handsets with their plug-in chargers that were exactly the same as the kind we use at home. Yes, we still have a landline. I plugged them in, turned them on, and they seemed to work fine. Of course, I couldn’t make a call because they were still “paired” to a base unit that was nowhere to be found. I didn’t need a new base unit anyway. But a couple new handsets would be useful. For one thing, we’ve never had a phone in the basement; more than once I’ve been doing laundry or working on my computer in the basement (the only one for which the kids don’t know the logon password) and heard the phone ring upstairs but wasn’t able or willing to go upstairs to answer it. Well, that’s why we have an answering machine.
In deciding to buy the two handsets, I was making the bet that I’d be able to “register” them to the base unit in my house. That’s the problem with a used cordless phone: cordless phones need to be registered to the proper base unit, meaning that they communicate with that base unit and forsake all others. (If we didn’t use this system of cordless phones being registered to their base, then they would simply connect to whatever base is nearest or has the strongest signal, which might mean your neighbors’ phones connecting to your base or vice-versa.) In order to use a cordless phone that has been registered to another base, the existing registration has to be erased and the phone needs to be put into “ready to register” mode. That doesn’t happen automatically. It requires some button pushing! Would I be able to accomplish this phone-tech feat?
O Wonderful Internet! In about 5 minutes online I found instructions on how to “deregister” the handsets from their original base unit and register them to mine. They both work perfectly and will probably provide many years of service. Pretty good deal, for about $9 for both.