Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => Collector's Corner => Topic started by: DavePEI on March 28, 2011, 08:18:45 PM

Title: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: DavePEI on March 28, 2011, 08:18:45 PM
Hi All:

This is a NE 1500 with a ten digit dial. These are getting increasingly rare these days, and were only manufactured from 1964 until 1968, at which point, the 12 digit dials began appearing in a newly designed case.

Now, I confess - this is a Frankenphone of sorts, though genuine in style and parts. All parts match in year, and were in the genuine 1500's. The body is a 500 c/d dated 1965, the dial surround and 1965 dial replace the original dial. I intend to overstamp the date on the base to reflect the fact it is now a 1500 (just add a 1 with my Neuses stamp set.)

Wiring the dial:

Green: + Line in.  Connect to net F.
Black: + Line out.  Connect to net RR.
Org/Blk: - Line in.  Connect to net C.
Red/Grn: output common.  Connect to net R.
Blue: output.  Connect to net B.

The phone works like a charm.

The scratches and paint specks showing in the photo were  buffed out before 11 pm, and it looks truly great! There should be a law against painting in the same room as a classic telephone. From the look of these, they were paint specks from the use of a paint roller nearby.

I got the original dial surround/mount from OPW and using Krylon, repainted it from its original white, and the TT dial from Vern. Smudge on dial surround is only a little bit of Novus polish I missed wiping off.

So, although a frankenphone of sorts, this phone it made from genuine parts, and was really manufactured. Western Electric made these phones, too, but used a case like the later NE 12 digit ones from the start. In the US, only the first prototypes were produced using these dial plates - but in Canada production of these lasted some 4 years before the 12 digit phones and new cases were introduced...

I just finished this conversion today. A number card window has been ordered for this phone. This one will be on display in the museum until I can find a genuine 1500 at an affordable price, then will be converted back to a 500 c/d

The following video by Johnny Cash reminds me of this phone and how it came to life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWHniL8MyMM&feature=related

Dave
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: cihensley@aol.com on March 28, 2011, 09:19:26 PM
Dave:

Interesting. I did not know Northern used a dial surround instead of an new case (like WECo did) for the 1500.

Chuck
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: DavePEI on March 28, 2011, 09:30:20 PM
Quote from: cihensley@aol.com on March 28, 2011, 09:19:26 PM
Interesting. I did not know Northern used a dial surround instead of an new case (like WECo did) for the 1500.

Hi Chuck:
My understanding it was only for the first four years or so. Around the time 12 digit dials were introduced, they adopted the WE style TT case, though I have seen some 12 digit phones produced with the round surround. Canadians, daring to be different :) Back 40 years ago, I had a 10 digit NE wall phone with the  round dial surround, but long before I thought about having a museum, and because they were so common back then, stupidly gave it away to a next door neighbor. If only I had had the foresight to know they would become so rare and valuable!
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: Dave F on March 28, 2011, 09:59:32 PM
Here's my red NE 1500 set.  With the exception of a replaced line cord, this one is all original, exactly as it came from NE in 1967.
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: DavePEI on March 28, 2011, 10:09:53 PM
Nice!
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: Dave F on March 28, 2011, 10:18:42 PM
Quote from: DavePEI on March 28, 2011, 10:09:53 PM
Nice!

Thank you.  As you noted, these NE 10-button sets with round faceplates are not easy to come by.  It took me years to find this one.  Several months ago, a blue one sold on eBay for big bucks (around $300, if I remember correctly).
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: cihensley@aol.com on March 28, 2011, 11:54:24 PM
I think the dial surround is more attractive than the flat faced things that WECo used for TT.

Chuck
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: DavePEI on March 29, 2011, 05:35:34 AM
Quote from: cihensley@aol.com on March 28, 2011, 11:54:24 PM
I think the dial surround is more attractive than the flat faced things that WECo used for TT.

Personally, I am of mixed feelings about that, I think, because I lived though both of them. To me the newer style case is probably more attractive, but these are interesting since they are more unusual.

Back in the 70's, I think the reason I gave my wall phone away was that at the time, I was more interested in the "new" 2554's with the flat face. It was only later I began to regret it, when they became so scarce.

I was so glad that I was able to gather not only the correct parts, but with matching dates. After buffing was finished, it turned out just wonderfully, and works like a charm.

I love the look of Dave F's red one though!

Why NE delayed changing to the new case in production, I don't know. However, it left a legacy of this being a very unusual phone.

Dave
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: GG on March 29, 2011, 01:43:51 PM


Cortelco still makes a "3554" wall set that us basically a 554 with a dial surround and a touchtone dial. 

If Dreyfuss ever made one mistake in his career (actually this would have been Genaro), or WE in adapting it for manufacturing, it was to mount the 2500 faceplate from the front with the spring clip.  That's a weak spot and subject to breakage, and needless to say the "modern"version with the little tab up top is even more breakable.  What they should have done was to have the faceplate sit "loose" on top of the touchtone dial, and then be held captive under a ridge in the main housing, much like the rotary dial numberplate, but rectangular. 

WE should have used the same mounting bracket on the baseplate for touchtone dials as for rotary dials, and made touchtone dials that worked on 425-E networks, and then all of it would have been interchangeable.
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: DavePEI on March 29, 2011, 02:23:02 PM
Quote from: GG on March 29, 2011, 01:43:51 PM
WE should have used the same mounting bracket on the baseplate for touchtone dials as for rotary dials, and made touchtone dials that worked on 425-E networks, and then all of it would have been interchangeable.

Couldn't agree with you more re: the clips on the "modern" style cases. Same problem with modern NEs.

Re 425 networks: I can't vouch for the 425-E networks as I don't have one handy to check out, but a touch-tone dial will work on a 425-B. The only caveat is that the C terminal isn't brought out to a screw, on some 525B networks, so the Org/Blk: - Line in, must be soldered to net C's solder pad. C is the only terminal which isn't brought out to a screw terminal, and has a solder terminal instead.

Dave
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: jsowers on March 29, 2011, 03:59:19 PM
This is one very miniscule detail, but then we are all about those details, so I thought I would share it. The 0 (zero) button on the red genuine NE phone doesn't have "Oper" or "Operator" on it and just has the numeral. Because of Canada being French speaking, I think. Their 12-button touchpads also have just the zero on them.

As far as looks go, I prefer the WE ribbed translucent faceplate from the WE 1500 and 2500. In certain colors like turquoise and aqua blue, it really looks nice to have that contrasting color. Dave, I agree that the NE 1500 does get points for looking unusual and has to be rarer because of fewer being made.
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: Willytx on March 29, 2011, 11:51:20 PM
That is a great job!

Funny, it has only been in the last few years that I knew a production version of this was made. Long before that the 3554 had me wondering if it could be done to a 500. Back then we had the phone police who would come and get you for messing with the phone. Or so our parents said.

Now I need to build one of my own. A 12 button model maybe, then I could call my bank. Where to find a 12 button dial surround without doing surgery on a 3554?

Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: DavePEI on March 30, 2011, 04:10:37 AM
Quote from: Willytx on March 29, 2011, 11:51:20 PM
Now I need to build one of my own. A 12 button model maybe, then I could call my bank. Where to find a 12 button dial surround without doing surgery on a 3554?

If you can't find one from someone on the list, I would try OPW if I were you. Don can supply just about anything at a good price.

http://www.oldphoneworks.com/western-electric-3554-dial-faceplate-white.html

http://www.oldphoneworks.com/western-electric-3554-dial-faceplate-aqua.html

3554 faceplate is the same as a 3500/1500 12 button.

If you require other colors, Don may have them, or these can be painted with Krylon or similar.

Full disclosure: Don and I went to the same high school and lived about two blocks away from us when we were young. Both Brockvillians, from the home of GTE/AE in Canada.

Dave
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: GG on March 30, 2011, 07:44:45 AM


Note, not all dial surrounds for touchtone conversion are alike.  The spacing of the set of cutouts relative to the position on the disc varies very slightly from one brand to the next, but enough that in some instances it may not be possible to get the housing on the phone correctly.

Re. soldering & 425-B networks:  I'd suggest the following.  Get a terminal strip from Radio Snack, and mount it somewhere on the base using Scotchflex double-sided tape, where it will not interfere with the positioning of other components.  Run a wire from that terminal strip to terminal C and solder that down.  Now you can screw down the spade lug from the touchtone dial to the screw on the terminal strip, thereby avoiding having to solder it to C on the network.  Any similar mods you have to make can be done similarly.  This preserves the wire from the touchtone dial in its original state, and the whole setup can be put back to original condition more readily.

Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: DavePEI on March 30, 2011, 10:06:39 AM
No need to install a terminal strip, and no need to destroy the network C connection. Just build up a little solder on the network C terminal (Just add a bit to the solder already there for holding the white wire), tin the Org/Blk spade lug and tack it down. To revert, just heat up the C lead terminal, and then shake the solder off the spade lug, and voila it is intact.

No extra terminal strips or Scotchflex to remove when reverting, just touch it with a soldering iron. The tinned spade fits well on the C terminal of the network.

Sometimes the easiest way is the best.
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: Willytx on March 31, 2011, 12:19:34 AM
Thanks for the links, I knew the round plates were there somewhere but couldn't find them when I went looking.

Once all the parts are lined up, I will put them together on a dark and stormy night. Does the Touch Tone pad mount right to the 500 fittings or is some creativeness needed?
And a possibly stupid question, will a 500 shell mount to a 2500 base?
(What was that shriek of terror I heard?)


Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: DavePEI on March 31, 2011, 12:35:22 AM
Quote from: Willytx on March 31, 2011, 12:19:34 AM
Thanks for the links, I knew the round plates were there somewhere but couldn't find them when I went looking.

Once all the parts are lined up, I will put them together on a dark and stormy night. Does the Touch Tone pad mount right to the 500 fittings or is some creativeness needed?
And a possibly stupid question, will a 500 shell mount to a 2500 base?
(What was that shriek of terror I heard?)

The TT dial mounts right into the round plate using two little retainers that screw in (and will come with) the plate.

As GG mentioned, the plate may not line u[p perfectly with the phone cover. Mine did, but there is a chance it won't and you may have to slightly bend the metal dial mounts to make it line up perfectly. You may have to mount it further down in the slots than with the normal dial, but no modifications other than that.

As for the 500 shell on a 2500 base, I have never tried it, and wouldn't recommend it. You don't want to make it more of a frankenphone than you need to. Better to pick up a cheap 500 set to make it from.

Dave
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: Willytx on March 31, 2011, 01:56:26 AM
Quote from: DavePEI on March 31, 2011, 12:35:22 AM

As for the 500 shell on a 2500 base, I have never tried it, and wouldn't recommend it. You don't want to make it more of a frankenphone than you need to. Better to pick up a cheap 500 set to make it from.
Dave

It probably violates the Terms and Conditions of this forum as well. ;D
Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: GG on March 31, 2011, 05:57:49 AM


Dave, what's this about mounting the TT dial onto the back of the round plate using retainer screws?  Have any pictures? 

Note, WE TT dials do NOT mount properly on the brackets on 500 baseplates.  The brackets are spaced too far apart on the 500 base, and the detents at the top of the brackets are too high up for TT dials.  What you end up with is a kind of kludge where the TT dial is slid all the way down to the bottom of the brackets, and then the screws tightened enough on each side to hold it more or less in place, with the round plate being used to prevent it wobbling around too much.

Compare a 2500 and 500 baseplate side-by side and see what I'm talking about.

IMHO, WE made a bigtime booboo by not making all of that stuff fully interchangeable.  It would have been trivial to design the TT dial to fit into a rotary dial mounting bracket, and use the 425-B networks with nothing more than a few wiring changes.  Sigh...

For which reason I suggest just using a 2500 base and putting a 500 housing + round dial plate on it.  Now if someone wants to ban me for saying so, fare thee well my friends!  : - )



Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: DavePEI on March 31, 2011, 07:22:31 AM
Quote from: GG on March 31, 2011, 05:57:49 AM
>Dave, what's this about mounting the TT dial onto the back of the round plate using >retainer screws?  Have any pictures?  

>Not currently, the dial is on the phone now and over in the museum... However, on >the back of the plate are two screw tightened metal retainers which screw down on >the case of TT dial to retain the dial. The dial and plate become one unit which then >mounts in the phone.

>Note, WE TT dials do NOT mount properly on the brackets on 500 baseplates.  The >brackets are spaced too far apart on the 500 base, and the detents at the top of >the brackets are too high up for TT dials.  What you end up with is a kind of kludge >where the TT dial is slid all the way down to the bottom of the brackets, and then >the screws tightened enough on each side to hold it more or less in place, with the >round plate being used to prevent it wobbling around too much.

>For which reason I suggest just using a 2500 base and putting a 500 housing + >round dial plate on it.  Now if someone wants to ban me for saying so, fare thee >well my friends!  : - )


Granted - you do have to mount the TT dial lower than you would a rotary dial. However, it is only a slight handicap.

As I mentioned the dial mounts to the faceplate. Two screw mounted clips on the back of the faceplate clip over the clear plastic portion of the TT dial to fasten it to the faceplate, then the whole assembly mounts to the phone base. The phone is now in the museum, and I really don't have time to take it apart again to take a photo. I am trying to get the museum ready for spring visitors.

I'd rather have it mounted on a NE 500 base with correct dates (personal preference, plus I have more 500's than 2500's). I'd rather have to fiddle a bit with the dial and put it on a proper 1964 to 1968 500 base than put it on a 1969 or later 2500 base. And the conversion is only temporary until I find a affordable true NE 1500 for the museum (so of course, I saved the dial - there us nothing not easily reversible).

Yes, I wish, too that I could have found an NE 10 digit TT dial for it - it would have been interesting to see if there were any differences. However, the WE dial works. It would have been nice if they had uniform parts, but as you say more than the case was redesigned when they came out with the 2500.

The main reason for doing this is so people could see the 10 digit dial in operation as most have forgotten what they even looked like (if they are even old enough to remember). A lot of the younger museum visitors figure all phones had TT dials, and that they have always been wireless. Magneto, dial, wires, what are those?  :)

One young visitor described a dial phone as, "The phones which chase your fingers:!

Dave




Title: Re: 10 button 1965 Northern Electric 1500
Post by: Willytx on April 09, 2011, 03:04:54 PM
Those crafty East Germans were using up old parts too!

Model 580-15000
Volkseigener Betrieb (VEB) Fernmeldewerk Nordhausen
http://tinyurl.com/3nbd3b2

Rotary model 551-10306
http://tinyurl.com/3m2pep7

Photos from the Historische Telefon website:
http://www.wasser.de/telefon-alt/