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WE 555 Switchboard

Started by trainman, March 02, 2016, 07:36:47 PM

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Would anyone happen to know the dimension of these and similar switchboards? Also how much does the unit weigh?

Victor Laszlo

555:  30" wide, by 46" high, and ~ 30" from front of keyshelf to back of cabinet.  Weighs about 300 pounds fully equipped. The nice thing about moving one is the fact that the cord units are removable.

Can't say about "similar" boards. ISTR that the 550, 551, 552 and 556 are similar in size and weight.



More like 400 lbs. if fully loaded, and top-heavy. I had the misfortune of having mine falling over onto my legs years ago when I was installing casters on it years ago - I was alone, and it was a struggle getting out from under it, and you should have seen the bruises up and down my legs! No damage to the board, though!
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Thanks. this house has a narrow doors. the front door is barely 32in wide. More like 31.5 actual clearance.


Info on these units?


Quote from: trainman on March 03, 2016, 09:38:21 AM
Thanks. this house has a narrow doors. the front door is barely 32in wide. More like 31.5 actual clearance.

But the desk part is easily removed on the 555's making it much thinner front to back so I would think that it would then go through most doorways sideways without a problem.

First pic looks to be a 555 with the sloped keys and cords between the desk and the back part of the cord board. The newer 555 series was an improvement clearing off the desk portion so the operator had desk space to work on other office type projects between routing calls.

Second pic would be from the older 551/552 (?) series with keys and cords on the flat desk portion rather on an angle like the 555. Looks like maybe the operators positions used in front of an automatic PBX (is that a 552?) which basically makes it for show only as it isn't capable of working in its own.


Jim Stettler

The basic 555 switchboard cabinet was wired as 1 of 3 different types of switchboards. ( they used different #'s depending on the board type)

Hotel Switchboard
Answering Service Switchboard
Central office board

I have had examples of all 3.
The heaviest was the Answering Service board, The lightest was a hotel switchboard. The only one I still have is a central office board.

Jim S.

With the desk removed you can get them thru a narrow doorway. It is best to add wheels (if it doesn't have them) while you still have it disassembled.   I highly recommend having wheels on any switchboard, It makes it a lot easier when you move them around.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.


it looks like the 555 is missing a lot of pieces. and the 551 type, unless it comes apart, probably wont fit through my front door. :(


Don't forget the Leich L55 clone of the 555


Quote from: trainman on March 04, 2016, 10:58:57 AM
  and the 551 type, unless it comes apart, probably wont fit through my front door. :(

Oh come on, now.  What kind of excuse is that?  LOL.

That never stood in the way of desire:

L.M. Fuehrer, G. Whiteman, The PBX Side of Telephone Service, Bell Telephone Magazine 29(1), p35 (Spring 1950).


Lol. The widest window in my house is only 27in wide.


Sad part is, the 555 pictures was part of an operating home system. He had phones in every room. Then there was an estate sale. Who knows what was picked over. Then the new owner is in the process of cleaning, going to do a gut rehab. So, while some stuff is there, I have no idea if enough is there. Guy said he already demolished the equipment room in the basement. And hes not sure of he saved all of it.


The attached file will show you how to operate it.



Are these 2 boards worth 400 as is? Guy wont budge on 400. I really only want the 555, but its is missing more modules and no blanks at least to fill empty slots. And back and bottom covers are missing.


Cord boards are funny items as far as pricing goes because most people dont want to deal with shipping them. And if you cant pick it up locally you probably dont want to deal with the price of shipping even if the seller will crate and ship one. But, being able to pick these up locally presumably wipes out all shipping cost and allows you to see first hand what you are buying.

That Said, I don't think they are worth $400 for the pair. If the 555 was complete and you didnt mind getting both of them in one deal I would likely say to grin and bear it and pay the $400. But with the missing panels and cord circuits that is going to be more expense to get it together unless someone has parts. Dave PEI may have had two 555's that he built one from in which case he may have cord circuits available. I will PM him to make certain that he sees this.

I had a nice complete 555 that I didn't want to sell but a guy just had to have it. When he got to $800 I said "Sold"! I knew where another one was and made a deal for it and now it inhabits my family room where my original 555 used to be parked.