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AT&T, Lucent & Avaya Classic Systems... Merlin, Legend, Spirit, Partner & Magix
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Merlin Classics, (206, 410, 820, 1030, 1520, 3070, Merlin II, 820 Plus Legend, Magix)
The AT&T (also Lucent, now Avaya) Merlin telephone system was originally introduced in October 1983, by American Bell International. After the breakup of AT&T in 1984, it was rebranded the AT&T Informations Systems Merlin. It was designed at the beginning of the 1980s prior to the Bell System Divestiture as a modern electronic replacement for the dated electromechanical 1A2 Key System. The Merlin system was originally sold in 2-line, 6-station (206), 4-line, 10-station (410), and 8-line, 20-ststion (820) configurations. Later, there were further 10-line, 30-station and 15-line, 20-station configurations. In October 1984 a second story expansion KSU was deployed allowing the system to accommodate up to 70 telephones available (1030, 1520 and 3070 respectively).
The original Merlin was replaced with the Merlin Plus system in the late 1980s, using circuit cards to be expandable to 8 lines and 20 stations, much like the original 820 model. The original Merlin Plus was dubbed the 820d. It was identical in features to the earlier Merlin 820 with the Feature Package 2 cartridge installed. Following the 820d was the 820d2. The 820d2 included the previous features as the 820d but featured an Automatic System Access (ASA) processor coupled with a voice synthesis capabilities and a Busy Buster. The ASA processor provided users with call forwarding, direct extension dial, direct extension dial, and system answer capabilities. The busy buster allowed users to have the 820d2 automatically retry a busy number every minute for up to 10 minutes and notify the user when the call was connected. Both the ASA and Busy Buster required a their own voice terminal port to function. In the early 90s the Merlin II and Merlin Legend debuted with even more features and expandability, and new MLX telephones, but the system was also backwards compatible with the original Merlin telephones.
In 1999, Lucent Technologies introduced the Merlin Magix as the replacement for the Merlin Legend. The Magix's carrier was metal and, as such, modules were not encased inside plastic shells as they were with the Legend. The Merlin Magix supported new 4400 series digital telephones as well as older MLX telephones, but it did not support the old ATL series telephones.
Due to declining sales and the introduction of the IP Office product line, Avaya retired the Magix on April 1, 2006.