News:

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

Main Menu

Northern Electric N20-UN Candlestick

Started by NorthernElectric, April 10, 2022, 06:14:42 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

NorthernElectric

Apart from my daily dialers, I've largely been on a hiatus from my telephone hobby for 5 or 6 years.  Not that I'd lost interest, I just had so many things on the go that there just wasn't enough time and some of my hobbies had to go on the back burner.  But I retired last year and have been spending way too much time at home lately.  So I started with cleaning the dust off some of my collection and then proceeded to wiring up an unfinished candlestick project and working on my abandoned asterisk system.  Before I knew it, I was browsing eBay and online classifieds for phones to buy, LOL.

This morning, I spotted one on a classified site that I had to have.  From the seller's online photos I wasn't entirely sure but the phone appeared to be a Northern Electric N20-UN.  I could at least clearly see it was equipped with a Northern Electric dial and that the transmitter cup was also Northern.  It was a 2 hour drive and when I got there, it turned out to be a storage facility with a bit of a flea market/2nd hand shop operating in the office building.

With the phone in hand I could see the base and receiver were also marked Northern Electric, so that erased any doubt that it might be a Frankenphone.  I couldn't read the perch markings until I got home, but with magnification and the right lighting I've confirmed that it is marked N20-UN.  Sadly, the dial is not functional but I'm hoping it's repairable. 

Cliff

oldguy

Nice find Cliff. Hope the dial is repairable, maybe send it to Steve?
Gary

tubaman

Very nice find - the dial especially so.

NorthernElectric

Thanks guys.

I had the dial out last night to figure out how it worked and why it wasn't.  It's missing the main spring and the gears are slightly out of alignment causing it to stick.  I'll have to completely disassemble the phone to make sure the spring hasn't got lodged inside somewhere I can't see.

I couldn't wait to see it looking better so today I replaced the chipped mouthpiece and missing base felt.  It never dawned on me that the wiring diagram fits under the edge of the felt inside the base until I tried to put it in afterwards.  D'oh!

Now I have some decisions to make.  I could probably get the dial working myself (if I can obtain a spring) and would get some satisfaction from doing that but on the other hand I could send it to someone who really knows what they're doing.  I think this phone came from a household with an overzealous cleaner because the base, perch, transmitter cup, and parts of the stem have a partially worn finish resulting in an aged bronze look that I kinda like.  So I haven't decided if I will refinish it.  And of course I need to decide what to do about cords.  The subset cord is not in bad shape but the receiver cord has quite a bit of outer sheathing gone but the inner wires look good.
Cliff

FABphones

Very nice.  :)

Could you add a photo of the front of the dial, and another of the reverse?
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'   ...and a Duck!
***********
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble
*************

NorthernElectric

Quote from: FABphones on April 11, 2022, 05:36:19 PMCould you add a photo of the front of the dial, and another of the reverse?

Here ya go.  I hope the rear shot is OK; I didn't take the dial back out of the phone.  I have a tendency to lose small screws and I was on my hands and knees with a flashlight twice last night looking for the little beggars, LOL.


Cliff

NorthernElectric

Here's the wiring diagram that I should have left inside the base before re-felting.   :o  Someone has added to it; maybe trying to make it work without a subset?

Cliff

LarryInMichigan

If you don't find the original spring hiding in the phone somewhere, you might be able to use the spring from an AE dial in its place.  There are plenty of junk AE dials lying around,

Larry

NorthernElectric

Quote from: LarryInMichigan on April 11, 2022, 07:23:31 PM
If you don't find the original spring hiding in the phone somewhere, you might be able to use the spring from an AE dial in its place.  There are plenty of junk AE dials lying around,

Larry

Thanks Larry, I was thinking along the same lines.  I compared the works on the NE dial to the mercedes dial on my AE type 18 and they look remarkably similar.
Cliff

LarryInMichigan

I was thinking about an expendable 1950s-70s AE dial.  The spring is a bit different, but it will probably work.

Larry

NorthernElectric

I will have a look at some of my newer AE phones and see what the springs look like. 
Cliff

TelePlay

Quote from: LarryInMichigan on April 11, 2022, 08:50:20 PM
I was thinking about an expendable 1950s-70s AE dial.  The spring is a bit different, but it will probably work.

Larry, are you sure?

On the subject Northern dial, its leaf contact springs are on the top, the AE springs are on the sides. The Northern reminds me of the AE Mercedes design. Similar but not the same.



The AE uses two offset dogs to open and close the AE leaf springs (shunting and pulse). The dogs would not clear the Northern parts when dialing, rotating.

I can not recall working on a Northern dial but remember having one that had the leaf switches on the top. Two totally different designs. The main spring shaft looks like an AE mainspring shaft (the top spring slot) but the rest is different.

Also, that Northern dial looks quite covered with dirt embedded oil or grease. I would suggest contacting Steve Hilsz to see if he has the spring and if so, send the dial to him for a proper cleaning and parts restoration.

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=4385.msg70724#msg70724

Just opinion based on a fuzzy recollection and the following images.

Yesterday eats you up, it eats everyone up . . .

NorthernElectric

#12
Quote from: TelePlay on April 11, 2022, 09:49:29 PM
On the subject Northern dial, its leaf contact springs are on the top, the AE springs are on the sides. The Northern reminds me of the AE Mercedes design. Similar but not the same.



The AE uses two offset dogs to open and close the AE leaf springs (shunting and pulse). The dogs would not clear the Northern parts when dialing, rotating.

I can not recall working on a Northern dial but remember having one that had the leaf switches on the top. Two totally different designs. The main spring shaft looks like an AE mainspring shaft (the top spring slot) but the rest is different.

I agree that my Northern dial is different from the AE dial you pictured.  But the AE mercedes dial that I have is nearly identical to the Northern in design, including the contacts.  In fact I think the AE dial I have is the one that the my Northern dial was based on.  So there is at least 1 AE dial that I could probably use a main spring from.

Cliff

TelePlay

Quote from: NorthernElectric on April 11, 2022, 10:48:36 PM
But the AE mercedes dial that I have is nearly identical to the Northern in design, including the contacts.

Guess that's where I remembered it from, a Mercedes dial I cleaned back in 2016. It's a bit easier to see out of the phone. Mine had soldered leads as well.



By the way, a Mercedes dial is harder to find and worth a bit more than other AE dials.
Yesterday eats you up, it eats everyone up . . .

TelePlay

Did you find a dial mainspring?

Without the spring in place, the gears on the other side of the dial (under the finger wheel) will lose their mesh and the finger wheel will not operate.

When putting the mainspring in, the most difficult part is holding the dial front gears meshed correctly while inserting, winding (about 1.25 to 1.5 turns) the mainspring to pre-load it and then pushing the horizontal bar at the end of the spring into the slotted end of the mainspring shaft.
Yesterday eats you up, it eats everyone up . . .