Rabbit Sighted In The Wild

Here at Hackaday we’re suckers for old abandoned technologies, the more obscure the better. The history of the telephone has plenty to capture our attention, and it’s from that arena that something recently floated past our timeline. [IanVisits] reports a sighting of a Rabbit in a London Underground station. The bunny in question definitely isn’t hopping though, it’s been dead for more than three decades. It’s a base station for a failed digital mobile phone system.

We’ve had a look in the past at CT2, the system this Rabbit base station once formed part of. It was an attempt to make an inexpensive phone system by having the handsets work with fixed base stations rather than move from cell to cell. It was one of the first public digital mobile phone systems, but the convenience of a phone that could both receive calls and make them anywhere without having to find a base station meant that GSM phones took their market.

The one in Seven Sisters tube station is a bit grubby looking, but it’s not the only survivor out there in the field. We have to admit to being curious as to whether it’s still powered on even though its backhaul will be disconnected, as in our experience it’s not uncommon for old infrastructure to be left plugged into the wall for decades, unheeded. Does anyone fancy sniffing for it with a Flipper Zero?

21 thoughts on “Rabbit Sighted In The Wild

  1. “Does anyone fancy sniffing for it with a Flipper Zero?” ….. The Met police have reported seeing suspicious groups of people huddled under the Rabbit sign in the Seven Sisters underground station.

    1. I did.

      it was £6 per month plus call costs, although you could use the cordless phone as a home phone on a base plugged into the land line. The system also came with a radio pager. Quite clunky now I think about it. I do still have the handsets (x3) and bases (x2) and the original box.

      It was replaced with Orange, however, Orange didn’t go live prior to the demise of Rabbit, so Hutchison provided me with a Cellnet (O2) alternative at the same price & included the handset. Subs for Cellnet at the time started at around £25 per month.

      1. After the public network was abandoned Hutchison sold off the handsets and PSTN base stations cheaply as a home cordless phone system. I know I bought one. CT2 was not reliable in my experience. I was pleased when DECT came along.

  2. The audio quality of the handsets for home use was very good, compared to other cordless phones of that era. I had a few of these but eventually they gave up the ghost. I also recall seeing something very similar to the Hutchison telecom rabbit headset being used on a flight to swipe credit cards…

    1. Better than the alternative.

      Walls around it are full of holes, where people had used the sign for target practice.

      I knew I had found my house, street sign 50 feet from driveway had bullet holes. Those kids are grown now.
      New batch is OK. Someone has ox/acetylene tanks, balloons and fuses. Summer night explosions usually stop by 10, usually.

    2. This being in the London underground, it’s not going to have been used for plinking.

      And about the only road sign sign in the UK covered in bullet holes was the hungerford one, which got shot up in the massacre.

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