"The phone is a remarkably complex, simple device,
and very rarely ever needs repairs, once you fix them." - Dan/Panther

Main Menu

FrankenPhones AKA the Kludge of the Month Award

Started by Come in Nighthawk, June 05, 2010, 06:04:15 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Quote from: McHeath on June 06, 2010, 10:37:54 AM
You bring up good points Nighthawk about how the phones were continually refurbed and repaired in service and how that makes an all matching date phone rather rare.  

I can understand going forward with dates as phones are repaired with new stock. Did repair people ever use older parts to repair a phone in the field? I acquired an ivory (turned a bit yellow) 61 500 C/D with a 61 network, 61 ringer and a 62 receiver - all original I assume. It has a stamped repair date on the bottom of R168_ (can't make out the 5th marking, it may be a stamp smudge) so I assume it was repaired in 68 because it has a 68 7C dial. My question is how did the handset get a 56 transmitter? Did they keep them that long for field repair? Put a 12 year old transmitter in a phone being repaired?


I recently acquired a 5302GW that contains a ringer dated 10-44, older than either the 5302 conversion (4-60) or the original 302 is was built on (9-51). Also, my 302GW, dated 1-54 has a handset with all its parts dated in 52. But do note that both of these were non-Bell sets.


How much is to much?
My wife says the dial on the StarLite is hard to use without wearing glasses.
My solution is at picture, but is it to much.  at least I may keep the wife, and the phone fore some more time ;D



Quote from: d_s_k on June 05, 2011, 07:47:54 AM
My wife says the dial on the StarLite is hard to use without wearing glasses.dsk

Unlike your wife, I can see the numbers just fine. It's the instructions on the writen in a circle on the finger wheel that are giving me trouble!  ???

How did you do that D_S_K? Is it a complete replacement dial or just the number plate?



Since my pneumonia this winter, I have had far too much time in front of the PC.
I made the number ring on some stiff paper. Drawing in dwg format with DraftSight. (free) Laminating it and cutting with Fiskars circle-cutter. Gluing the ring with some glue I know I may remove.

The center label was made in Word (97?) and  modified (negative) with irfan view.

The worst job is to center the circle. cutter :D




I don't think "Frankenphone" is pejorative-it's descriptive.  It's easier than saying "A phone that has been extensively modified from its original state by the extensive use of parts from different manufacturers or different eras"

To paraphrase Dr. Kevorkian "Frankenphone wasn't the monster; society was the monster.'
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409


Along the line of this thread, eBay, has a new listing described by the seller as "believe it to be from the 1930's and this particular phone, in this condition is exceptionally rare" . . .

Yes, not only rare but probably the only one in existence.


I have worked on these. The handset and dial are and possibly the cradle are older vintage but the brass base and bottom cover are new.
Parts are KTAS


This set (as part of a lot of 2) is currently on eBay.  It appears to be an AE 80 with a Western Electric dial.

I am wondering, how was this done?  I didn't think the dial mountings on AE and WE dials were even remotely compatible.  Were there conversion kits/dial adapters?  Or is dial just "stuck" in there somehow in true frankenphone fashion?

I'm tempted to buy this just to see how it was done.  But, I have too much junk already.
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820

Greg G.

The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
- Mike Row


I have just bought an AE40 so this is not for me, but since I got hooked on American telephones I have learned so much, still I have to ask
Is this an AE40 body, with WE dial, and WE cords, and Kellogg (1000) handset?



That is a bit strange.  The handset is a Leich.  The phone is not worth $60.



Quote from: d_s_k on October 10, 2012, 03:03:08 PM
Is this an AE40 body, with WE dial, and WE cords, and Kellogg (1000) handset?

Apparently it is. Quite often you see incorrect handsets on phones and occasionally incorrect dials too. Add them all together and this is what you get! I wonder what brand the ringer is?



I could use that chrome carry handle, plungers, the dial card holder and possibly the dial. But for $60 plus shipping? A bit high.

Terry, think that phone originally had a chrome banded handset and chrome AE dial changed out during a repair over time or did someone just assemble this as seen?


There do seem to be a lot of otherwise black AE 40's out there but with chrome carry handle and/or plungers. Maybe I should amend what I said previously to include the possibility of otherwise black 40's coming from AE with the carry bar and plungers in chrome. Maybe the paint would wear off of the carry bar so or maybe there were no cost savings in painting that piece rather than finishing it in chrome.