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NE1B16CQB - 5XB Test Console

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I have wanted a console for some time and found this one at the Lancaster Show last weekend. Here's what it looks like after a quick cleaning to remove the layer of protective dirt.  I haven't tackled the large three-finger mounting cord yet. Fortunately, it's got plugs on both ends, so was easy to remove for cleaning and display.
 From a quick trip to the BSPs, the NE1B16 seems to be a test console for No. 5 XB, Phase III. The mat has no legends on it.
I'd like to learn more about it. Here are some SD references.  Not surprisingly, they aren't in the Library.
  SD-67001-01 - Universal Telephone Consoles, 1 and 2-types
  SD-26273-01, SD-27589-01 and SD65849-01 - No. 5 XB Centrex
Similar 1-type consoles use the left two columns for loop buttons and indicator lamps (green for source and white for destination). 

The column to the left of the dial includes:
* Position Busy (turnkey)
* Busy Verification
* Remote Answer
* Release Destination
* Release The two knobs over the dial are for Buzzer On and Buzzer Volume.
The three indicator lights below them are for Calls Waiting, Ready and Fuse/Alarm.
The three buttons below the dial are Start-in, Start-out and End.

The column to the right of the dial includes:
* NITE key (turnkey)
* Signal Destination
* Signal Source
* Release Source
* Exclude Destination
* Exclude SourceThe rightmost column seems to be used for optional features, such as:
* Loudspeaker paging
* ConferenceThe unit measures about 15" wide -- a bit wider than the 30-button Call Director (~12.5 inches).  The handset rest is rigid -- there's no hookswitch, as those functions are controlled with the buttons.

Dave F:

From the dearth of replies up to this point, I conclude that most folks don't find your new acquisition particularly remarkable.  I just want to let you know that I, for one, certainly do appreciate it.  This is a very rare item in terrific condition.  Of course, my interest in these types of things causes an obvious bias, but what the heck!  Congratulations on a great addition to your collection!


I must have missed this post, I actually am quite intrigued about this phone, with all the extra keys. Esp.,  the ones under the keypad. I cannot remember if we discussed what they might do?


Thanks Dave.
I suspect Consolitis has a much longer incubation period compared to Phonitis.  I was in the "want" phase for several years before taking the plunge.
There are a few other collectors out there who are infected.  I received emails from several who went back to ask the seller some questions about the console, only to find that it had already disappeared.   ;D 
There are a bunch of BSPs in C38 and division 504 showing lots of possible collecting opportunities.  For the early 1-type consoles, see:
We need to motivate folks to scan more of them for the Library.  One Lancaster attendee contributed a box of literature to the Library which includes some marketing material on consoles.  Hopefully we'll find a volunteer to scan it.
I don't believe we discussed the console.  Since each one implements features of the PBX it's attached to, and gives the operator access to things a regular subscriber wouldn't even think about, the use of the buttons is not intuitive.  Further, large installations often had more than one operator, each with a console.  Some functions, like setting up conference calls, were typically only set up on one console per PBX.
The three buttons you asked about under the dial were used to signal the start and end of a dialed number.  The left two were start buttons (indicating two different classes of call - often internal or external) and the right button indicated the end of the dialed number.
I'm starting to get concerned that the next step is probably adding a Centrex system to my collection, so the lights will flash properly.

I wonder if the dial is touchtone or uses those DC pulses that senders use.


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