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dial-up Dictograph

Started by gpo706, October 05, 2010, 07:04:58 PM

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Here's a sneak pic, can anyone ID the dial used on these sets, its definately not GPO.

Fuld (GMBH) made the handsets from maybe the 50's till 1967 so I'm guessing maybe the dial is of German extraction too?

"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"


Modern art!
( dead link 06-23-21 )

The print costs more than the machine
"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"


The dial looks somewhat like the one on my Dutch Heemaf phone.  It also has a hexagonal head screw in the center of the finger wheel.



Larry, found this on the grey phones thread, dial looks identical, notice how the one is at the "1 o'clock" position, and the hex screw.

teka-bb says its a German "Telefonbau und Normalzeit" dial.

Would fit with the German made Fuld handset.
"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"


The handset doesn't look like a Fuld one to me. The dial might be of German origin, most German dials have a hex nut.

A picture of the actual dial mechanism might tell more.

Remco, JKL Museum of Telephony Curator

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Spares came today, so spent most of my day off tinkering.

Firstly had to open up my 12 key set to figure out how to rewire it, so that done, I had to fit the buzzer.

Then the GPO grommet on the line wouldn't fit through the screw in hole through the back, as all Dictographs have differing sized apertures on the back of the sets depending on how thick the bunched cables are for all the outstations, this was too small.

So cut the retaining grommet off and tied the cable in a knot and its a fine cord restraint.

The handset cord retainer at the TX end was non-existant and 4 wires were hanging out the bum of it, so opened it up, and figured out I might be able to use the now sliced GPO grommet to poke a tail through and make it secure.

Anyway I had to re-strip the grommet back about 5mm to get it snug in the handset handle cord outlet and completely rewire the handset and after much pushing, shoving and brute force the handset went back together again with a nice new rubber tail on the end, this took longer than the rewire and adding the buzzer.

Great value though, buy one GPO line cord and wire up a set AND repair the handset line!

Now the dial, its not connected at the moment , but is sticking, you dial "1' and its doesn't return, you dial "0" and it it sometimes returns and makes a four loud clunks when doing so, guess the governer needs cleaned.

So it buzzes and you can talk on it, but have haven't done anything to clean it up yet.

Actually the whole handset reminds me of a slightly enlarged 500 one, similar spring contacts, held down by the pressure of the caps.

"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"


In all the labour of getting up and running I forgot this -

There is a small silver lettered on black plastic plaque on the rear stating, underneath a the seal of a Royal warrent:


The warrent, letters and surround are picked out in silver.

Nice touch even the seller failed to mention, in case you may think it may be of Royal lineage, the stations are -


So sounds like a school to me, but what on earth is "AUTO 168" in a school?
"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"


In the US schools had (have?) classes called "shop" where students (usually male students) learned manual arts like wood working, electricity, etc.  One popular shop class in every high school was "Auto Shop" where the students learned how to fix cars.

So, it's possible that button was for the auto shop, which was room 168 in the school building.
Adam Forrest
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C*Net 1-383-4820


Masstel, thats a fine theory,although I'm unsure of its history, I'm assuming its a UK set, bit heavy for anyone to transport across the pond, worth a look into though.

I stupidly tried to get the dial apart last night to get a decent look at it, I managed to put it all together again, but when I took the finger-stop plate off a small retaining nut dropped out the back and I can't see any logiclal way of reconnecting it so far as the innards of the dial prevent anything like an easy access to re-unite screw and nut, so I screwed them back together and bunged it in the case and left, so at least it won't get lost anywhere soon.

Another astonishing developement is since I reassembled it all and left it sitting since last night the dial now pulls back perfectly, no 4 clunks on return, maybe I de-snagged the mechanism when I de-assembled it?

Also I cannot get the dial removed from the case the main unit under the number plate moves slightly but the number plate stays fixed, seems to be glued to the case and theres no way I'm trying to force it off and it shatters into a thousand bits...
"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"