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TSI Olympia Info Globe, retail $49.95 (www.sharperimage.com...)
Manufactured by Wave Industries (URL not known)
Last updated 10-16-10

The Olympia Info Globe was found at the downtown Seattle Sharper Image store, after I read about it in one of the catalogues I regularly receive from them. What attracted me to it over other messaging devices are those blue LEDs making up its display, rather than the usual red, amber, or yellow-green LEDs you usually see in devices like this.

What the Info Globe is is a round device that serves as a Caller ID device, a clock (automatically sets itself for Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time as appropriate), a calendar, a holiday reminder, and a scrolling message board that can accept six user-programmed messages of up to 30 characters each.

I have Caller ID enabled on my telephone line, but I use a dial-up internet connection that's connected during my entire waking period (typically, around 8:00am to 10:30pm), and the telephone does not ring at night, so I won't be able to test this portion of the Info Globe for you.

To use the Info Globe, first, install the three included AAA cells (see below). Plug the plug on the end of the AC adapter's cord into the receptacle for it on the back of the Info Globe, then plug the included telephone cord into one of the two jacks provided on the bottom of the Info Globe for it. Plug the other end of this jack into the telephone receptacle in the wall, and plug your telephone into the second receptacle on the bottom of the Info Globe. Plug the square part of the AC adapter into any two- or three-prong 110-130VAC receptacle (for the US, anyway), and there, you've taken care of the Info Globe's power and communications needs.

Programming the Info Globe (entering messages, setting the time/date, etc.) is a rather extensive process; you should refer to the included user manual for this part.

To add or replace the batteries in your Info Globe, turn it upside-down, and unplug the telephone line first. If the telephone rings while you've got your hands in there, you MIGHT get zapped. You probably won't, but it's a remote possibility.

Unscrew the phillips screw holding the front of the battery door down with a #0 phillips screwdriver, and set it aside. Lift the battery door off, and throw it away...O WAIT, YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set that aside too. ;-) Relieve the battery chamber of its three used AAA cells if necessary, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit.

Insert three new AAA cells into the chamber, following the polarity markings embossed in the bottom of each battery receptacle. Place the battery door back on, and screw it back into place. Aren't you glad you didn't throw that door out now? ;-)

If you unplugged the telephone line first (if it was plugged in before), plug it back in now.

The batteries serve as a backup device, preserving the time, date, and your custom messages/settings when the power goes out.

The Info Globe is not waterproof or drop-resistant; it was meant to be put somewhere and not abused, so I won't subject it to abuse on purpose. So this section is going to be kinda empty. :/

The Info Globe uses a motor to spin an arm that has blue LEDs at the ends (two ends total), and a microcomputer inside that rapidly blinks these LEDs so that you see various messages display inside the blue tinted transparent plastic globe. The messages appear to float inside the globe because the arm spins quickly. These messages include the time and date, preprogrammed messages that display on various holidays (like Valentine's Day, Christmas, New Year, etc.), preprogrammed messages that display in the morning, afternoon, and evening ("Good Morning", "Good Afternoon", and "Good Evening"), messages that you can enter yourself (up to 30 characters each, up to six messages total), and Caller ID information.

Because of the relatively complex nature of the Info Globe, please refer to the instructional material included with this device for instruction on how to program it or change its settings.

There is no onboard censor in the Info Globe, so you can input curse words (garbage mouth, toilet tongue, sewer mouth, sewer chute, etc.) into it and it will display exactly what you input. As a test, I input "{vulgar term for intercourse} {vulgar term for feces} {vulgar term for urine}!" into the device, and it displayed the vulgarities exactly as I had input them.

Here, it reads "KICK A TOLIET BOWL OFF THE WAL", showing it has a maximum 30 character limit.
I could not add the "L." at the end, so it reads "WAL" instead of "WALL.".

And here, it reads: "BREAK A URINATOR!".
This is well within the 30-character limit, so the entire message is displayed.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the LEDs in the Olympia Info Globe.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

WMP movie (.avi extension) showing the product displaying a Halloween message
("Boo! Have A SPoooooooky Halloween!").
This clip is approximately 4.5 megabytes (4,610,076 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than eighteen minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.
I cannot provide it in other formats, so please do not ask.

That sound you might hear is a TV set blaring away in the background.
This product is not sound-sensitive; the sound may be ignored or muted if desired.

This is the Olympia Info Globe in normal operation.
The misspellings you might catch are intentional (on purpose).

This clip is approximately 43.8956745642 megabytes (44,002,052 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than two hundred ninteen (!!!) minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.

This is the Olympia Info Globe in normal operation - take two.
The misspellings you might catch are intentional (on purpose).

This clip is approximately 50.6893245698 megabytes (50,871,060 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than two hundred fifty three (!!!) minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.

I cannot provide any of these videos in other formats, so please do not ask.

Test unit was purchased at the downtown Seattle Sharper Image store on 05-19-04. Cost was $49.95 plus tax.
I know that TSI has some gun control horse puckey going on and that they should be boycotted by flashlight users, but this was just too cool to pass up.
I saw it in their catalogue while sitting on the commode yesterday morning, and had to buy one.

Unit comes with a 9 volt DC 300mA adapter, it fits US two- and three-prong 110-130 volt AC receptacles.

UPDATE: 05-31-04
I saw this yesterday, and it is being displayed today too: "Have a happy Memorial Day weekend".
Chances are, it was being displayed Saturday too.

Let me go check the calendar for June, set it for Father's Day, and see what happens...BRB...ok, it reads "Happy Father's Day" when the date was set to 06-20-04.

UPDATE: 06-20-04
I set the date to 07-04-04 just to see what message it would display. It displays "U.S. Independence Day Celebration" on this date.

UPDATE: 11-25-04
The unit displayed "Happy Thanksgiving" today, exactly like I expected it would.
I fully expect it to display "Merry Christmas" on 12-25; but my next step is to see if it recognises Hanukkah in mid-December. If it does, I'll post another update on this web page.

Ok, when I set it for 12-07, it reads "Happy Holidays".
I set it for 12-25, and it displayed "Happy Holidays" again. So I guess the Info Globe is nondenominational.

I had it unplugged on Halloween (10-31 in the US), so I don't know if it would display "Happy Halloween" or not. Let's change the date on it and see what happens...BRB...ok, it reads "Boo! Have A SPoooooooky Halloween!" (yes, the "P" in "SPoooooooky" is capitalised when the Info Globe displays the message).

I also noticed that it displays "Battery Low" when the backup batteries have just about pooped out. It's been unplugged for at least a month; while I had to reset the time/date, my custom messages were still intact.

UPDATE: 11-27-04
I happened to notice it displaying "Happy Holidays" a short while ago today, so I'm guessing it displays this from Thanksgiving until after Christmas.

UPDATE: 11-28-04
The Info Globe was displaying "Happy Holidays" again today, so I've pretty much confirmed now that it will display this from Thanksgiving until after Christmas.

UPDATE: 08-23-05
After being in disuse since late-November of 2004, the backup batteries had pooped out - mostly. I had to reset the date & time, but the messages I had input into it last year were still intact.

UPDATE: 09-02-05
The product was displaying "Have a happy Labor Day weekend" this morning. I'm throwing out a wild guess here that it will display this message today, tommorow, Sunday, and Monday.

UPDATE: 09-03-07
The product was displaying "Have a happy Labor Day weekend" last night. I'm throwing out a wild guess here that it will display this message all day today (Labour Day) as well.

UPDATE: 10-31-07
I noticed that the clock set itself back by one hour this last Sunday morning; this shows that daylight saving time is hard-coded in ROM; the actual date we return to standard time was moved up this year to 11-04-07, instead of the last Sunday of October as it had been. So the product will display the time incorrectly for one week, then everything will be right as rain.

UPDATE: 11-04-07
The Olympia Info Globe is now displaying the time correctly; Daylight Saving Time ended at 2:00am PST today.

UPDATE: 11-22-07
The Olympia Info Globe displays the message "Turkey Days Are Here!" just as I expected that it would - seeing that today is Thanksgiving in the US.

UPDATE: 03-30-08
I've received several recent reports that the Olympia Info Globe has been failing soon after purchase (~3 to ~5 months); however, my sample has functioned properly since I purchased it in mid-May 2004.

UPDATE: 03-16-10
If the backup batteries poop out all the way (such as during an extended period of disuse, storage, etc.) you'll lose the time & date settings, but ***NOT*** your custom messages.

UPDATE: 10-16-10
We had a power failure a couple of mornings ago, and I awoke to find the unit displaying gibberish (out-of-sequence letters, numerals, punctuation marks, etc. like an arcade video game that requires service).

However, when I power cycled the unit by turning it off and then back on approximately 30 seconds later, no sign of malfunction was detected.

Blue LED display is very unique
User-entered messages are NOT lost if the backup batteries crap out
No onboard censor

Not water-resistant or drop-resistant
No onboard censor

    MANUFACTURER: Wave Industries
    PRODUCT TYPE: Caller ID unit, calendar, clock device
    LAMP TYPE: Blue chip-type LED
    No. OF LAMPS: At least 10
    SWITCH TYPE: Five pushbutton momentary switches on unit's front
    BEZEL: LEDs protected by blue-tinted transparent plastic dome
    BATTERY: 3x AAA cells (as backup power only)
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure (without cutting a wire)
    ACCESSORIES: AC adapter, 3x AAA cells, telephone cord
    WARRANTY: 1 year


    Star Rating

Olympia InfoGlobe * www.sharperimage.com...

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