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Cortelco 256x (880850-044) 1A2 phone...

Started by twocvbloke, January 30, 2013, 11:07:03 PM

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About time I got round to setting this thread up... :D

Been fiddling with this phone for the best part of 12 hours, the worst part is forgetting to eat and only realising it at like 3am... :o

Anyway, as mentioned in the auction thread, I've got the LED lights working (at least, in terms of powering them up), the lines have been mapped out, and those two buttons disconnected before they ended up with their wires yanked off them potentially damaging them...

So, here's some pics I took along the way... :D


The last pic here is my wiring to send power to the LEDs, with the 10v+ wire snaking between the IDC terminals where I found the LED positives, and the blue & white wires are going to the Line 1 button, you can just about see that I marked the terminals where the lines and lamps are located.... :)

Unfortunately, those are the only terminal pairs that the Nortel connection box offers, pairs 17-20 and 42-45 are not wired in to this board so means acquiring a proper amphenol cable to break out the connections with... :)


How could I have forgotten this? The handset, it's hardwired at both ends of the cable, but the shell is a modular handset, rather than a hardwired, and the cup the transmitter sits in could have an RJ10 socket clipped into place, but I'm not going to do that, cos it's a quirky original feature, along with them buttons... :D


They standardized on the hole for modular cords and used it for hardwired cords as well. Fewer parts to stock.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.


You'd have thought they'd have made a grommet to slot in to fit the modular opening's shape, rather than being the round peg in a square (sort of) hole, then again I suppose that'd be another reducing-the-stock thing...  :D

But it does make me wonder why they didn't make it modular in the first place, at least for the handset... :D


When ITT started making modular sets, they offered both for a while.  Both styles were available to their customers in brochures and catalogues.  But, they stopped manufacturing the handset shell with the round hole.  ITT sets with hardwired handset cords jammed into modular handset shells are very common, I have at least one in my collection.
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820


Check out the dummy "mouse hole" adapter for the hardwired handset cord on the modular housing:

(Painted brown 500--not a true WE brown set from 1954-1957 nor a later WE brown 500 made for Wisconsin Tel)
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.


so that's what the newer sets look like inside... no spade connections? wow.... since most of your 25 pair cable is solid copper instead of stranded, it works out. and they added LEDs instead of ESB10's... talk about maintenance free....  will they work on a 1A1 system as well as a 1A2?? and, is there any practices to obtain for the newer sets? all the archives are for 1987 and older.... this set must be from the 1990's or newer...


Didn't notice there was a new post here!! ;D

Yeah, that's one of the newer phones, though it does use spade terminals, just the typical ITT-Cortelco style push-fit variety rather than screw-fit, and I'd presume the phone would work fine on a 1A2 system, 1A1 not too sure (but given that I have not got either system to try it on, I can't say for sure really)... ???

The LEDs are an intriguing update though, does make it seem more modern for say the 1980s, and they're wired for 10v (AC or DC, on AC they just have an AC flicker as any LED would), so again should be fine on a 1A2 at least... :)

I never did get round to breaking out wires and connecting them up accordingly making this phone useable, I thought it best just to put it back in its box for safekeeping instead, it's a nice solid phone though compared to later cortelco designs... :)


well, I guess if I ever come across one of these, I'll have to try it out... It looks like it only uses solid copper wire on the 110 connections... the cord must be a monster to handle...


Quote from: Babybearjs on July 09, 2014, 03:29:25 AMthe cord must be a monster to handle...

Oh it is, it's rather stiff (oo-err missus!!), it kept springing back on me when I was testing the LEDs and phone functions last year, which was a bit of a pain, especially when it caught me in the face a couple of times, but it's all part of the fun... :)

I do recall finding some NOS phones on ebay US last year, but, I'm guessing they'll all have been sold by now, I think they were either black or chocolate brown, and the boxes sealed in a silver foil plastic thing, and going quite cheap too.... :-\

I should point out though that the Krone terminals (similar to 110, but designed differently) are from my Nortel PBX's connection box as it had an amphenol cable that the Cortelco could directly connect to, so my wiring up for the lights was done with wire I'd snipped from a dead Cat5 cable wired to my 10vDC wallwart and other wires to my linesman phone (to make he ringer ring and test the dial & speech), couldn't do much more than that as there weren't enough terminals in the box to connect it all up... :)