ansr404a.gif (5852 bytes)The Kingfisher II twin tape Answering and Recording Machine No. 404A is mains powered from a plug top transformer, processor controlled, and gives many advanced features within a compact case design. Kingfisher II supersedes the existing Answering and Recording Machine 203A (Kingfisher).

The facilities of Kingfisher II are as follows:-
  • Outgoing Message Check - Press OGM Start/Stop button.
  • Outgoing Message - Up to 30 seconds with tape supplied. Press and hold down REC button and then press the OGM Start/Stop button until a beep is heard. Press Start/stop button once to end OGM.
  • Paytone Detection - Up to 15 seconds delay of OGM if paytone is present.
  • Incoming Message Tape. Uses standard C3O, C60 or C90 tapes giving 15, 30 or 45 minutes total recording time.
  • Incoming Message - Up to end of ICM tape or 1 minute depending on setting of Rec Time switch (1 Min or Vox).
  • Incoming Message Tape Full detection. 6 beeps given after OGM.
  • Skip OGM. Frequent callers can key * (star) from an MF4 telephone and leave a message without having to listen to the OGM.
  • Volume Control. From zero to maximum volume.
  • Call Monitoring. Volume Control must be turned up.
  • Two Way recording. Press Playback / Pause and Memo/2 Way together. The display shows 2r and a security warning beep is given every 15 seconds.
  • Memo Message - No limit, up to end of tape. Press the Memo button to start recording and again to stop.
  • Built in microphone. Used for OGM and Memo recording.
  • Message Play. Press Playback / Pause button.
  • Message Pause. Press Playback / Pause while listening to messages. Press again to continue.
  • Automatic Message Save.
  • Fast Message tape Forward and Rewind.
  • Fast Message Erase. Backwards & Forwards. Press REC and REW or REC and FF>>.
  • Clear Detect - Short line break releases machine from line.
  • VOX (Voice Operated Switch) release from line. High or Low sensitivity switchable by customer.
  • Ring adjuster, Long, 4 or 2. Long = Manual Ring.
  • Remote set to Answer. Call machine and let it ring 20 times.
  • Branchphone reset. Will release machine from the line should a parallel telephone handset be lifted.
  • Integral phone socket. Does away with need for LJU 10/7A.
  • Combined power On, message counter and machine information LED indicator.

Remote Interrogation with two digit security code.

Made by Panasonic - Japan.

Distributed by BT on both rental and sale terms.

Approval Number S/1000/3/K/501623

Approved as supplied for connection to Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN) and 2-wire PBX extensions.

A User Operating Guide TPU 1241 and a Quick Reference Guide TPU 1252 are supplied with each machine.

Kingfisher II Product Manual PDM/TPD/A010.

A Phone Socket and a 240 volts, 13 amp, 50 Hertz mains supply socket are required within easy reach of the line cord (270 Ohm) and mains flex (2400mm).

Kingfisher II is suitable for use on Phone Socket installations on DELs and most types of PBX extensions. Not suitable for use on "C" wire PMBXS.

Ringer Equivalence Number (REN) is 1.

Only machines rented from BT or sold machines with a BT maintenance agreement should be checked, repaired or exchanged on site if faulty. The machine contains no on-site serviceable parts, therefore maintenance is limited to functional testing, checking the line cords and facility switches are correctly positioned, the customer has cleaned the tape heads and checking the condition of both the tapes. If the machine squeaks in operation, it may be necessary to adjust the position of a small capacitor on the circuit board.

If the machine fails completely the output voltage of the Transformer 19B should be checked. The Transformer 19B output is marked 13.5 volts DC, but will measure about 20 volts when tested with the output open circuit.

Faulty transformers and machines should be replaced by a maintenance spare and the recovered item returned to the District stores in the replacement items packing. A completed fault report form should be included describing the fault symptoms.

The user guide recommends that the customer should change both tape cassettes at six monthly intervals, and clean the tape heads, pressure roller and the sensing switch every three months with a cotton bud dampened with a proprietary tape head cleaning fluid.

New units carry a 21 month warranty from the date of manufacture as shown on the year and month marking on the base of the machine. The year and month marking forms part of the machine serial number as follows:-

Serial No.9IBHA001024:-
Indicates:- 9 is the year. 9 = 1989, 0 = 1990, 1 = 1991 etc
            I is the month I = Sep, L = Dec, A = Jan etc
            B is days in month.  A = 1 to 10, B = 11 to 20 and C = 21 to 31
            HA001024 is the machine serial number.

Description                                   			BT Item Code
Answering/Recording Machine 404A                                  870410
(Complete with Transformer 19B (13.5v DC), 30 second OGM
and C-60 Incoming Message tape)
BT Remote Interrogator No.2 (MF4)     				  870427
(Supplied with rented machineand must be booked out separately.
Contains 4 overlays detailing button function and 4 User 
Guides making it suitable for use with Kingfisher II, Wren
and all Rapports)
Transformer 19B (13.5 volt DC)                                    870411

Normal test conditions while waiting to answer. After answering the machine loops the line.

Since the introduction of Kingfisher II several customers have complained about an apparent malfunction of their machines. It is possible to identify the problems easily and clear them on-site when making a maintenance visit. The two problems and solutions follow:-

Problem 1
The machine answers a call and without playing the OGM gives the beep inviting the caller to leave a message. The reason the OGM has not played is the OGM tape is not driving / winding forward. The possible causes are:-

  • A batch of OGM tapes supplied appear to be sticky, this is possibly aggravated by hot humid conditions. The tape because it is sticky cannot / does not wind freely on its spool, therefore it sticks and does not play the OGM. or
  • The capstan, pressure roller, sensing switch and heads are dirty which prevents the tape from driving/winding correctly. Possibly lubricant from the machine or a build up of tape oxide is causing the problem.

With either of the above problems, when the caller clears, the machine tries to reset to the answer mode, but if the OGM tape is not driving/winding forward, after 2 minutes 40 seconds, the machine correctly diagnoses a tape drive fault and will not answer any more calls.

Solution 1
Change the tapes as specified in the User Guide and clean the capstan, pressure roller, sensing switch and heads.

Note:- The same problem would be apparent on the original Kingfisher machine should one of the suspect OGM tapes be inserted.

Problem 2
A squeaking noise is apparent when the machine is playing. If recording the OGM the noise will also be recorded onto the OGM tape along with the message. The noise is caused by the rubber drive belt rubbing on capacitor C61.

Solution 2
Disconnect machine from the line and mains supply. Take normal ESD precautions and using a Screwdriver Instrument No.10 remove the base of the machine. Leave the PCB attached to the top section of the machine. Place the machine upside down so that the solenoid (copper coil) faces you and the line cord is to the right, view the drive belt directly below the microprocessor. You will see two capacitors immediately to the left of the drive belt, the first is C61. Carefully slide a Screwdriver Instrument No.4 into the machine to the left side of a plastic pillar, lever very gently using the pillar as a fulcrum to move both capacitors clear of the drive belt. Reassemble the machine taking care not to foul the action of the volume control and test.

An explanation of the machine facilities follows:-

This is not a design feature and not included in the User Guide. If a customer specifically requests this facility, you may inform them that by removing the Incoming Message Tape callers will not be able to leave messages and will hear 6 beeps after the OGM. The OGM should be suitably worded advising callers that the OGM is an announcement only and that a message cannot be left.

Unlike many Answering and Recording machines, Kingfisher II detects ringing from LJU terminal 3 and 5 using the LJU capacitor. This method of connection overcomes the excessive capacitance problem often associated with other machines. When used in conjunction with a "Level 8" dialer the machine will not answer because the output of the "Level 8" dialer is 2-wire presented. Kingfisher II requires connection via a Master Line Jack Unit i.e. the ringing is detected from LJU 3 via the MLJU capacitor.

Kingfisher II will seize the line after the number of ringing cadences set on the ring selector switch. The ringing circuit has been designed to recognise both PSTN and all internal ringing cadences generated by BT PABXS. It will not recognise a ringing cadence of 0.4/0.8 or 0.828/0.828 given by some proprietary PBX's.

By select ting the LONG position, Kingfisher II will respond to PMBX ringing, i.e. continuous ringing of > 2 seconds.

VOICE/TONE DETECTION (Voice Operated Switch - VOX)
Kingfisher II is able to differentiate between voice and tone signals. It is required to hold the line to voice signals, but release the line when a network tone or silence is present after 5 seconds.

Differentiation is carried out by the VOX detecting the frequencies of the incoming signals. Network tones being of low frequency, whilst speech contains both low and mid-band frequencies. Therefore, if the machine sees low frequency signals, the signal is detected as a network tone and it releases the line. If mid-band frequencies are present, the signal is detected as speech and the machine stays connected and records the incoming speech.

The VOX sensitivity has a High and Low sensitivity switch provided. The normal switch position is High. In this position it is possible that line noise may be detected as speech. If this happens the machine will record line noise up to its maximum message length. A Low setting is therefore provided for use in cases where line noise causes persistent problems.

When the machine answers the line, it checks whether paytone is present. if paytone is detected, the OGN is delayed for up to 15 seconds. It in also possible that mains hum or noise on the line can be mistaken for paytone, this to can delay the sending of the OGM. Setting the VOX switch to Low may overcome this problem.

Short line break releases machine from line. Modern exchanges such an System X and Y, generate a 100 ms line break on the called parties line when the calling party clears down, this is a called a disconnect clear signal. (On Strowger exchanges it was often called the "K" break). Shorter line breaks are generated by most other exchange types. Kingfisher II will detect a disconnect clear signal of about 2 and 5mS depending on line length. This will cause the immediate release of the machine from the line without the need to wait for network tones.

This facility causes the machine to release the line when a telephone connected to the same line is taken off-hook. For a period up to 4 seconds after answering this facility is inhibited to prevent false release of the machine from the line due to line "ringing" (current surge to & fro) when answering.

The reset time can be calculated as follows;-

Maximum OGM tape recording time + 18 seconds, minus OGM length and is typically 20 - 40 seconds for a 30 second tape.

Only 30 second OGM tapes are recommended as longer tapes would extend the reset period to an unacceptable time.

Kingfisher II provides the facility for remote interrogation using a security code set on the base of the machine. The code setting comprises two digits, the first is factory preset, and the second is user selectable. The user is advised not to choose "7" as the second digit, because if an error occurs during remote interrogation, the OGM could be lost. (7 is the remote command to change the OGM).

Remote interrogation is achieved by using a BT Remote Interrogator or MF4 telephone to enter the two security digits during the OGM, and then further instructions as per user guide.

In the BT 1992 catalogue

User Guide
Kingfisher II


Button/switch Action   Result
RING Set to 2/4 or LONG   The RING switch setting determines how many times the phone will ring before Kingfisher II answers, either 2 or 4 double rings. If you use Kingfisher II on a PMBX which uses manual ringing. set to LONG. The unit will then answer when a ringing signal longer than 2 seconds is received.
VOX SENS Set to H or L  

Kingfisher II will stop recording if your caller speaks too softly - the level at which this happens is set by VOX SENS.

Keep the VOX SENS switch set to H (high) unless you experience problems.

REC TIME Set to 1 MIN   Kingfisher II records for one minute, beeps and hangs up.
Set to VOX   Kingfisher II will continue to record until the caller hangs up which could last until the end of the tape is reached.
Volume control Slide rearwards to increase loudness   Controls speaker volume when checking your OGM, playing back messages or call monitoring. OGM volume for the caller is unaffected.

Recording your outgoing message (OGM)

With the tape provided you can record an outgoing message of any length up to 30 seconds. You get best results when background noise is low.

When recording your message speak into the microphone, without long pauses, from a distance of about 200mm (8in.).

It is worthwhile giving a little thought to the sort of announcement you want your callers to hear, and perhaps writing a few alternatives, and listening to them yourself. In particular, you may want to avoid the phrase "there's no one here at the moment" for security reasons.

Suggested message:-
Hello, this is (your name, business and/or telephone number). I'm sorry I am not here at the moment, but if you would like me to call you back, please leave a message, including your name and telephone number, after the long tone. Thank you for calling.

If you expect to receive many telephone calls, the tape may become full. It is best to advise your callers that when the tape is full, six short beeps will be heard, recording will be terminated and the unit will hang up. You may wish to add the following to your OGM.

If you hear six beeps your message will not be recorded. Please call again tomorrow.

After this the machine will hang up.

If you decide to limit the REC TIME to one minute, you should tell your callers:-
You have only one minute message time.

Recording the OGM
Carry out the following sequence to record your OGM:-

  1. Press and hold down the REC button and then click the OGM START/STOP button.

  2. You will hear a beep and the call counter shows.. 0 - 1 - 2 .. . . 30.

  3. When you hear the beep start your message.

  4. When you have finished click the 0GM START/STOP button again.

  5. You will then hear a series of short beeps whilst the tape is wound back to the start.

  6. You have to wait a few seconds after finish of OGM recording for the machine to reset the ANSWER light to ON.

Note - If you pause for longer than two seconds during recording you will be warned by beeps, the counter will show E and you must start again.

Checking your OGM
You may play your OGM at any time by pressing OGM START/STOP. Kingfisher II will then play your OGM and automatically reset itself to ANSWER mode.

Use the slider control to regulate the volume of the speaker output when checking your OGM. OGM volume for the caller is unaffected.

Answering calls with Kingfisher II

Setting up for answering calls
You should now decide whether you want your calls answered after two or four double rings (or after one long ring should your Kingfisher II be connected to a manual switchboard) set the RING switch as required.

Then decide whether you want to limit messages to one minute: set the REC TIME switch as required.

After any operation Kingfisher II resets itself to ANSWER mode.

nswering calls
Kingfisher II answers a call after the pre-set number of rings.
 There will be a silent pause for 3 seconds after the unit has answered (or until paytone ceases should the caller be using a payphone).  Kingfisher II then plays your OGM to your caller followed by one long beep.

Kingfisher II commences recording and your caller should now start to speak.

When the call ends Kingfisher II automatically re-sets to ANSWER mode and the display counter indicates the number of incoming messages recorded.

Answering calls
Ending calls During a call, recording will stop if:-

  • The caller hangs up.

  • The set REC TIME limit is reached.

  • There is a silent pause of more than four seconds.

  • The end of the tape is reached.

  • Any telephone handset on the same line is lifted.

  • The caller doesn't speak loud enough or the connection is poor.

  • A disconnection signal is received from the local exchange.

The machine then resets itself to ANSWER mode and the display counter shows that a message has been recorded.

Interrupting calls

You may wish to leave Kingfisher II in ANSWER mode even when you are around. After Kingfisher II has answered you may interrupt and take over a call either from the associated telephone or from any extension telephone connected to the same line.

Note - For a short period both before and after starting to answer a call, Kingfisher II is unable to recognise that you have lifted the handset of the associated telephone or an extension telephone. If you leave your Kingfisher II set to answer calls when you are at home, you must lift your handset either before the second (or fourth) ring is received or wait until your message has started to play. Failure to do this may result in Kingfisher II answering the call and playing your message.

Monitoring calls

The monitoring sequence is as follows:-

  1. Your telephone rings and Kingfisher II answers the call.

  2. You will hear your caller speaking.

  3. To interrupt the call, lift the telephone handset. Kingfisher II will immediately stop recording. note If Kingfisher II does not stop recording replace and lift your handset briefly, if Kingfisher II continues recording and you are by your machine, press the POWER key once briefly. (Remember if you do this you must reset Kingfisher II back to ANSWER mode after your call.

  4. You may now speak to your caller.

  5. When you replace the handset, Kingfisher II remains in ANSWER mode, ready for the next call.

Interrupting calls from an extension telephone

To interrupt a call from an extension:-

  1. When your telephone rings you must lift the handset either before the second (or fourth) ring is received or wait until Kingfisher II has answered the call.

  2. Kingfisher II will immediately stop recording.
    Note - If Kingfisher II does not stop recording replace and lift your handset briefly.

  3. You may now speak to your caller.

  4. When you replace the handset Kingfisher II remains in ANSWER mode, ready for the next call.


Message playback
The display will show how many new messages have been recorded. The playback sequence is as follows:-

  1. Press PLAYBACK/PAUSE button.

  2. Kingfisher II rewinds the tape and plays back your messages.

  3. Kingfisher II resets itself to ANSWER mode and the ANSWER light is lit. The display shows and all messages are saved.
    Note - After playback, messages are automatically saved and new ones will be recorded after the last.

  4. If you don't want to save your messages, press REW and the tape will rewind to the start and new messages will be recorded over the old ones.

Rewind during playback

If you want to rewind during playback you should press REW and the tape will rewind to the start.  To stop rewind, press PLAYBACK/PAUSE and the tape will be played from that point onwards.

Rewind during playback
If you want to fast forward during playback you should press FF and the tape will fast forward.

To stop fast forwarding, press PLAYBACK/PAUSE and the tape will play from that point onwards.

Pause during playback
If you wish to pause during playback, in order to take notes, you should press PLAYBACK/PAUSE once for pause, and again to continue.

Replaying all messages
Seven seconds after playing back your messages, Kingfisher II resets to ANSWER mode, the red ANSWER light is lit and the display shows 0.

You can now replay messages if you press the PLAYBACK/PAUSE button.

Note - If you press the PLAYBACK/PAUSE button before the ANSWER light is lit, the tape will be played back from the end of the last message you heard.

Saving your messages
Kingfisher II automatically saves your messages after playback.

If you don't want to save your messages, proceed as follows:-

  1. Wait until Kingfisher II finishes playing your messages.

  2. Press REW and the tape will rewind to the start.

New messages will then be recorded over the messages you have just heard.  If, after cancelling the save function, you decide that you do want to save some or all of the messages, proceed as follows:-

  1. Press PLAYBACK/PAUSE to hear your messages again.

  2. Press PLAYBACK/PAUSE again at the end of the message you want to save.

  3. The tape stops with Kingfisher II in pause mode and the IN USE light flashes.

  4. Press PLAYBACK/PAUSE and REW simultaneously.

  5. The IN USE light goes out and the display will show 0.

Everything from the start of the tape to where you press PLAYBACK/PAUSE will be saved.

Erasing messages
You can erase messages either forwards or backwards from any point on the tape.

To erase all messages backwards:-

  1. Press and hold the REC button.

  2. Press the REW button until you hear a beep.

To erase all messages forwards:-

  1. Press and hold the REC button.

  2. Press the FF button until you hear a beep.

Recording a memo message
You can record a memo to remind yourself of something important, or leave a message for someone in the office.

Memos are recorded, counted on the display and played back in the same way as incoming messages (ICMs).

Record a memo message as follows:-

  1. Press MEMO/2 WAY until you hear a beep.

  2. Wait for the display to show r then commence speaking into the microphone.
    Note - Kingfisher II will continue to record until you press MEMO/2 WAY again.

  3. When you stop speaking, press MEMO/2 WAY again.

The length of memo messages is limited only by the length of tape.

To check your memo, press PLAYBACK/PAUSE .

Two-way recording
You can record a conversation when using a telephone connected to the same line as Kingfisher II.

To start recording during a telephone conversation:-

  1. Press PLAYBACK/PAUSE and MEMO/2 WAY together until you hear a beep.

  2. The display will show 2r and recording starts.

  3. To stop recording, press MEMO/2 WAY.
    Note - There will be a beep every 15 seconds to let your caller know that the conversation is being recorded. This is a legal requirement.

Setting ANSWER mode remotely
If you are away from home or the office you can change Kingfisher II from TURNED OFF mode to ANSWER mode by simply phoning your number and letting it ring.

To set ANSWER mode:-

  1. Dial your own telephone number.

  2. Let the number ring until Kingfisher II answers. (This will be after 20 double rings)

  3. Hang up. (Kingfisher II will now reset to ANSWER mode)

Remote interrogation

While you are away from base you can ring into Kingfisher II from anywhere in the world, and instruct Kingfisher II to carry out various functions.

You can use the keypad of the telephone you are using, but only if it is a TouchTone* keypad.

Alternatively you can use the British Telecom Remote Interrogator which is available as an optional extra direct from British Telecom or from stockists of British Telecom equipment. Hold the interrogator speaker against the telephone mouthpiece.

To interrogate remotely you must remember your two-digit security code which is on the bottom of your Kingfisher II.

Setting your security code
The first digit is factory-set, but you set the second
to any number between 0 and 9 (except 7) by using the small screwdriver (fixed to the base) to turn the dial.

Keypad functions
After you have entered your code you can use the following keypad functions:-

Key & Function
- Rewind
- Fast forward
- Cancel save and reset tape
- Play only new messages
- Remote OGM record
- Continue playback
- Stop OGM recording
- Remote TURN OFF mode
* - Stop OGM playback, incoming message recorded immediately

After message playback you will be able to leave a memo if you wait for the signal (see below).

SECURITY CODE - Activates playback

Remote playback
To activate Kingfisher II's remote playback:-

  1. Dial your own number. Have pencil and paper ready.
    Note - When using a separate Remote Interrogator unit, confirm that it is switched on and ready for use.  Hold it against the mouthpiece to enter the codes, using its keypad.

  2. Enter your security code during OGM play (or at anytime during incoming message recording).

  3. OGM stops and you will hear a long beep and a series of short beeps which tell you the number of messages received. If there are more than eight messages you will only hear eight beeps from your Kingfisher II.

  4. Messages will play from start of tape with a beep between each message and three beeps after the last message.

  5. Messages are automatically saved after playback unless you press button 3 on the keypad to cancel save.
    Note - Kingfisher II will stop playback every 2 minutes 40 seconds and you will hear two beeps. To continue playback press button 8 within 10 seconds of hearing the beeps. If you don't press button 8 in time, Kingfisher II will hang up. All messages will be saved so you can simply call back.

New message Normally playback begins at the start of the tape playback and includes any saved messages followed by new messages.

If you don't want to listen to saved messages:-

  1. Press button 4 on the keypad.

  2. You'll hear one beep followed by the new messages.
    Note - You can press button 4 during playback of saved messages, or straight after your security code is accepted and you have heard a long beep.

Tape rewind If you wish to move back through your messages:-

  1. Press button 1 during message playback.

  2. Tape rewinds for 15 seconds of playback time.

  3. Press button 1 again to rewind more.

Fast forward
If you wish to move forwards through your
  1. Press button 2 during playback.

  2. Tape runs fast forward for 15 seconds of playback time.

  3. Press button 2 again to go further forward.

Cancel Auto-save
If you don't want messages saved a
utomatically after playback:-

  1. You will hear three beeps after the last message.

  2. Press button 3 during playback or after the three beeps.
    Note - If you have previously pressed button 4 (skip saved messages and play only new messages) then you will need to press button 3 again.

Saving messages
Messages are automatically saved after playback.

If you have pressed button 3 to cancel auto-save by mistake, you can still save your messages by:-

  1. After you press button 3 the tape rewinds and you hear one beep.

  2. After the beep press button 2 and hang up.

  3. Tape is rewound to the end of your recorded messages.

Record a memo
After message playback you can leave a memo, to message do this proceed as follows:-

  1. After last message playback you will hear three beeps (six beeps means tape is full).

  2. Wait for 10 seconds and you will hear two more beeps.

  3. You can then start to speak but don't pause for more than four seconds.

  4. Hang up when you have finished speaking.

Note - If you pause for more than four seconds you will hear six beeps and recording will stop. If this happens, repeat from step 2.


To set Kingfisher II to TURN OFF:-

  1. Call your number.

  2. Enter your security code during OGM.

  3. Press button 0.

  4. Further calls will not be answered (unless you let the phone ring 20 times - see Setting ANSWER mode remotely).

Skip OGM and leave message
Your frequent callers may not want to hear the  OGM every time. If they have a Tone telephone they can stop the OGM and record their message as follows:-

  1. OGM starts when your number is called.

  2. Press * on the keypad.

  3. OGM stops, caller hears a long beep and then message can be recorded.

Change OGM
To change the outgoing message:-

  1. Call your number.

  2. Enter your security code during OGM.

  3. Press button 7 after short beeps indicate number of messages received.

  4. After long beep speak clearly and loudly the new OGM.

  5. When the OGM recording is complete press 9.  New OGM will be played back for checking.

Note - If you pause for over 2 seconds while recording, a beep will sound six times. If this happens, repeat from step 3.


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Last revised: January 24, 2023