Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => Decorator, Reproduction & Novelty Phones => Modern "Reproduction" Phones => Topic started by: twocvbloke on January 05, 2012, 02:39:23 PM

Title: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 05, 2012, 02:39:23 PM
Well, I went and did it, I bought one of them cheap 500 clones with rotary DTMF dialling, why, I don't know, but, it'll be interesting to see what's under the hood as it were... :o

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/130621961423

Originally my thoughts were to see if the red case could be used to fit my genuine WE500, but after finding they have the notches for the line and handset cables in the wrong place, I thought I'd just leave it, but, the cheap price, it did something to me and I bid 18.64 (USS Reliant's registry, NCC-1864), and got it for 13.50, totalling 18.50.... :D

I know I'm not going to like it, but one of my uncles has been eyeing up my two WE500s, so I know it'll have a home, even if it's not a genuine original... :D

I dunno, anything to raise my ebay feedback eh?  ;D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: dsk on January 05, 2012, 04:24:50 PM
Nat so bad, how far away from the real thing does it look, is it heavy?
How does it look inside?

Do you have some pictures from the inside?

dsk
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 05, 2012, 05:17:50 PM
Nat so bad, how far away from the real thing does it look, is it heavy?
How does it look inside?

Do you have some pictures from the inside?

dsk

Pass on all questions, only just won it on ebay this evening, so have yet to see and feel it in person...  :D

I estimate it'll be here next Monday at the earliest if the seller posts it tomorrow, pictures shall be posted as soon as I get it... :)

I did look in some of the older posts here, and learned that they have an Engrish spelling error, in that the manufacturer printed "operator" under the 0 as "rotarepo", so, that should be amusing...  :D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: McHeath on January 06, 2012, 12:55:46 PM
Wow, alright major cool that someone has got one of these curious phones and can give a report on it.  I've seen these all over E-Bay as of late, darned expensive, so I've not popped for one, but you got it for a reasonable price it seems to me.  And they seem to be the last actual rotary phone being made, as in you spin a dial to enter the number.  I'm guessing that inside it's simply a circuit being tripped and there are no gears or anything, but it does seem to have a spinning dial.  When I got one of the Crosley 500 replicas a couple of years ago I tore into it right away and was surprised at all the lead weights inside, they give it heft.  Also surprised at the overall good build quality, and the rather faithful following of the lines of the original. 

Looking forward to seeing your report back. :)
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 06, 2012, 04:22:19 PM
I'm pretty curious to see the inside of those things, I know it'll be nothing like the real things, but, I'm just one of those sorts of people who has to get stuff just to see how it works, then I either get bored of it or end up with a collection...  :D

I'm expecting plenty of lead in that thing, there's no way they can replicate the weight of a WE500, or GPO 700 series, without using lead weights and heavy components, the plastic'll be thin, the components minuscule and not fitted very well, and everything will just have a cheap feel to it, pretty much as with everything manufactured in the PRC and exported to us westerners... ::)

I think I read somewhere that the dials on those phones use light-switching and count the pulses to convert into tones, kind of like how on older computer mice, you had two sets of wheels with slots in the edges, but that was a vague description at best, so I'll have to wait to confirm that... :)

At least I didn't pay over the odds for it though, those things sell for over 50 a piece in some places, I paid 21.53 for my red WE500 and 27.61 for my black WE500, so, that balances out properly, cheap copy was cheap, genuine article cost a bit more, but like they say, you have to pay the extra to get the best quality... ;)
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: HarrySmith on January 06, 2012, 07:27:02 PM
This is very cool! I am also very curious as to what goes on in one of these. There was a major discussion on the list not long ago and several people volunteered to chip in for one and have it dissected. Nothing has been said about it in a while, I am not sure if it was ever purchased or not.
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 06, 2012, 09:17:12 PM
I'll make sure the screwdivers are at the ready and the camera batteries charged, I can see the thread on this phone will be popular... :D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: deedubya3800 on January 09, 2012, 02:00:10 AM
I see these "ROTAREPO" phones on eBay all the time, and I have frequently toyed with the idea of buying one just for curiosity's sake, but the cost to ship one to the states has always been on the low end of prohibitive.
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 09, 2012, 04:22:05 AM
I know what you mean about importing things, I've bought stuff from the states directly and been charged import duties and handling fees, kind of sucks really, puts me off buying outside of the UK now (unless it's through a friend in Texas, cos he's good like that!!!)... :-\

I'm hoping that this phone will arrive soon (hopefully today, doubtful though), my screwdrivers are itching to open it up... :D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: GG on January 09, 2012, 08:31:14 AM


International shipping is becoming prohibitive.  I used to buy stuff occasionally from Australia.  No more of that, when a phone that weighs a kilo costs twice as much to ship than to buy in the first place.  (And to think, I had a GPO red payphone shipped to the US in 2001!)

This situation will get worse as the peak oil situation unfolds.  What that means: basically the world has used up about half the easily-available oil supplies, so over time the cost to get at what's left will increase substantially.  This will cause an increase in the cost of everything that depends on oil, and overseas shipping by air will become much more expensive.  Shipping by surface mail (on a ship) will also go up, though not as quickly or as badly, though it can take a couple of months for something to get from the US to the UK that way.

So the bottom line is, if you think shipping costs are bad now, just wait a few years and today will seem like the good old days.  That means, if there are items you want in your collection that have to come from overseas, buy them ASAP and be glad you did.
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 09, 2012, 09:22:49 AM
Yeah, international shipping has gone up in price a lot in recent years, though I only ever used USPS services from the US, as other services like UPS took the urine with their prices for small packages... :o

But for us brits, the issue is that Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs likes to slap 20% Value Added Tax on anything sold commercially for more than 18 (converted from the currency paid at the time it hit the border) that's imported, and then the Royal Mail adds an 8 "Handling fee" (even if they're not the ones "handling" the delivery), so, just having things pass the border is tough enough financially, but adding the cost of even a USPS Priority International package is quite expensive... :o

Of course, for you guys, buying from the UK and importing to the US is even more financially painful, as the US Dollar is 1.5x more than the GBP, so you spend more money, often more than the item is worth, and getting things through the US borders takes forever according to some I've spoken to in the past, as they delay things so much, presumably for "anti-terrorism" reasons, so you could have something posted from the UK, and it'd be on US soil in a week, but it'd be another month before you even got a hint that it was in the country or even your state, it's just daft... :-\
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 10, 2012, 12:11:15 AM
Well, got a message from the seller, it had only been packaged up last night to be posted today, even though they had Thursday through Saturday to pack & post.... ::)

So, it'll probably be Thursday I get the phone now, even more waiting before seeing the guts of this modern rotary phone... :-\
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: GG on January 10, 2012, 10:59:39 AM


We had long long delays years before 9/11.  I've had things take 2 - 3 months.  I don't know if it's sitting in customs or whatever, because I've never gotten hit with a tax on anything I've gotten from overseas.  Even that red GPO payphone, which was NOS.  And I haven't seen any longer delays since 9/11, so apparently the security folks have figured out how to move things through quickly.   

IMHO, small casual transactions of the sort that we engage in, should be non-taxable.  It's petty nickel-and-diming the small guys/gals, meanwhile certain notorious entities appear to be paying no taxes at all.  So, I wonder if the constituency for this adds up to enough voters to be worthy of a candidate's attention...?
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: LM Ericsson on January 10, 2012, 04:18:52 PM
Well, got a message from the seller, it had only been packaged up last night to be posted today, even though they had Thursday through Saturday to pack & post.... ::)

So, it'll probably be Thursday I get the phone now, even more waiting before seeing the guts of this modern rotary phone... :-\
Haha!!! I bought a GPO 722 back in November, and expecting to arrive in the mail around January 23! It's coming from Mumbai, India!
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 11, 2012, 01:27:32 AM
Haha!!! I bought a GPO 722 back in November, and expecting to arrive in the mail around January 23! It's coming from Mumbai, India!

So not only did they move british call centres there, they took our Trimphones with 'em too!!! :o

Fingers crossed it ain't an ITI clone though... :-\
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 14, 2012, 02:58:01 PM
Still not got it, but the seller sent a message saying it was returned with "Insufficient postage" on it (usually that would go to the recipient, and they paid the excess and claimed it back off the sender... ??? )......... ::)

So, yeah, still waiting, it's getting to be about the same delivery time as something within the US... :-\
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 19, 2012, 11:13:04 AM
At long last!!! It's arrived!!! :D

Just off to do a thread on the thing down in the technical section, cos it'll be rather technical & intriguing, I was certainly surprised with the dial... :D

But here's a pic of the thing (yeah, camera's been found, need to get pics of them Racal field phones too!!)... ;D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 19, 2012, 11:37:02 AM
Well, it arrived, and I'm impressed with the dial, but the rest, nah, it's just cheap stuff... :D

The quality of the phone is pretty poor, the carrying handle slot cover had been hot-glued in place, when they could have affixed it in the same manner as the proper WE500 phones, the only difference between this phone's cover and a WE500's is that it carries the hookswitch, which was loose cos the glue fell off, I fixed it by fitting it correctly, and it's now secure and the hookswitch works properly...

The base which houses what I suppose could be called the network is a baron metal plate, with a lonely bell (same as what's in many cheap quality "repro-retro" phones) and a handsfree speaker (listen only, rather than handsfree), activated by pressing the dial centre...

And speaking if the dial, this is the most interesting part of the phone, it's screwed onto the case rather than on a mount on the base, but, it does indeed use "light switching", where a disc mounted on the back passes over a set of 4 Infra-red LEDs on the rear-mounted PCB (shining on receiver diodes on a PCB in the dial) which are activated when you turn the dial and "press" the finger-stop (which also is the Redial button), the disc has a specific set of openings to count the numbers, which you can count by eye, to match the number or * & # on the dial face. The dial itself, of course, says "Rotarepo", I can see why they did it, they just took the "operator" from the opposite side and reversed the letters, rather than reversing the word, but who are we to correct the chinese when it comes to our English language eh!!! I couldn't dismantle the dial completely though as someone has superglued parts in place, so I couldn't dismantle everything as I'd have liked to...

The handset, it feels cheap, it's heavier than my WE500DM's handset, but that's due to the lead weights in the grip (there are two screws in place covering them up, but they have glued-in screw caps, so I couldn't fully open it up), which are essential to depress the hookswitch buttons. The general shape os correct, but, there are some sharp, angular parts on the backs of the mouthpiece and earpiece cupswhich do not appear on either of my WE500 G-handsets as they are smooth on those positions...

And lastly, the case, it's sympathetic to the original design, but uses 4 screws and lacks the cutouts for a Line or Handset cord on the side & rear, some models appear to have a rear-mounted line socket, but this model has it filled in (though has a slot to fit one), but again, this has a cheap feel to it, and the colour, I've designated it as "Goji Berry Red", it's rather orangy-red in person, and the camera flash certainly highlights that fact!!!

So, all in all, as a novelty, yeah, it works, and the dial is probably the last incarnation of a rotary-dial, but in reality, it's just cheap rubbish from PRC... :-\

So, here's a series of posts of pics, first one, is the phone itself, and the Rotarepo dial:
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 19, 2012, 11:38:33 AM
Here's the case and how things are mounted:
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 19, 2012, 11:39:53 AM
The baron base & "network", with a comparison to my WE500DM:
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 19, 2012, 11:41:31 AM
The handset & it's lead weights:
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 19, 2012, 11:44:41 AM
And lastly, the dial, the most interesting part, you can see that they lack any form of eyesight when setting the printer plates/stamps for the numbers & letters, as they're about as straight as a twisted hazel plant!!!:
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 19, 2012, 11:47:48 AM
Oh, and I forgot to mention, the hookswitch buttons, which are hollow plastic cylinders, vaguely based on the WE500-type ones, sit proud of the case when depressed fully, so the handset rocks when in place, I guess there's no English to Chinese translation for "Quality Control"... ???
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: Adam on January 19, 2012, 11:54:59 AM
Thanks for the great post!

But!  You forgot to tell us the most important point, the thing we've all been wondering since these first showed up on eBay!

When you dial the rotary dial, does the phone make pulses on the phone line, or does it make touch tones onto the line?

Also, I'm curious, how does the dial "feel" when you dial it?  And, how fast does it return when you release it, compared to a "real" dial?
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 19, 2012, 12:13:09 PM
The dial feels nothing like a real dial, it spins too fast, about 3 or 4 times faster than a proper rotary dial, and sounds like an old 80's VCR I used to have when it was moving parts about inside, and it feels fairly light to turn... :-\

How it dials is through those LEDs, when you turn the dial to the fingerstop, then push the fingerstop over, it switches them on, and depending on which LEDs are covered and exposed, it produces a DTMF tone from a chip, you hear the tone and release, and then go for another number, so, no pulsing, and it can't even be switched to do Pulse dialling... :(

And of course, with the dial in it's resting position, the fingerstop is the Redial button, just nudge it over to call the last dialled number...
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: HarrySmith on January 19, 2012, 01:08:59 PM
Wow, prettty cool! Thanks for the great post and the breakdown ;D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 19, 2012, 01:24:22 PM
Wow, prettty cool! Thanks for the great post and the breakdown ;D

You're welcome, I was just as curious to see inside the phone as many here were, now I know, and knowing's half the battle [Insert GI Joe theme here]...  :D

That bell though, it's pathetic, yeah it rings, but frankly, I could break wind louder than that thing!! I have another phone, a "Mybelle Cherie", which has the same bell, and that too is pathetic, so, I guess those bells are just awful, nowhere near like the bells fitted in proper phones... :-\

If I were to keep it, I'd probably modify it with a bell assembly from a bellset, just to give it some extra volume... :D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: Owain on January 19, 2012, 04:04:36 PM

Why do the Chinese work so hard at producing absolute rubbish? (Because we pay for it...)

If you want to see a contrast, open up the linesmans set lurking in the background and admire it's innards!
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 19, 2012, 05:05:49 PM

Why do the Chinese work so hard at producing absolute rubbish? (Because we pay for it...)

If you want to see a contrast, open up the linesmans set lurking in the background and admire it's innards!

Yeah, I sometimes wonder if they actually have nuclear arms with all this poor-quality construction they shovel onto freighters to the rest of the world, if they did, they'd have blown themselves up already... :D

I've seen inside that 286A, it's all PCBs and ICs, but lots of 'em, every inch of space is taken up inside that case, rather than reduced to the least they can get away with like the steepletone... :D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: AE_Collector on January 19, 2012, 06:27:35 PM
I want to know more about "Rotarepo". Is it A, B or C.

A) - They chose that spot on the number plate to reverse the direction of the letters.

B) - Chinese/English interpreters managed to get it backwards and no one caught the mistake

C) - It is their catchy name for the series of phones that are reproduction rotary phones.

Terry
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 19, 2012, 06:45:00 PM
I'd say it's B, after all, there wouldn't be a website dedicated to their errors if they actually employed anyone who knew how to spell in English... :D

http://engrishfunny.failblog.org/

 ;D

I just think that they took the "0 Operator" bit off a proper WE dial, and just flipped it horizontally and then reversed the letters, rather than correcting their positioning... ???
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: Adam on January 19, 2012, 06:53:03 PM
Because they added a * and # to the rotary dial, that shifted where everything on the dial ended up, and "OPERATOR" ended up on the left side of the dial instead of the right side.

But, they emulated the original dial where the word, being on the right side of the dial, starts at the lower part of the dial ring and moves up the dial as the word reads from left to right.

When the Chinese moved the word to the left side of the dial, they saw the word on the original started from the lower part of the dial ring to the upper part, and did it the same way, even though it now appears to English speaking people as the word is reading from right to left.

Makes sense to me. :-)
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 19, 2012, 07:05:49 PM
At least it gives us something to laugh about, Rotarepo, the repo co. with a fast turnaround...  ;D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: Babybearjs on January 20, 2012, 04:48:14 AM
WOW! great pictures, I saw this on ebay, thanks for Disecting the phone... the pictures sure help in understanding imports... this is one I'll stay away from.... that is if I ever see one in person.....
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 20, 2012, 08:08:38 AM
Thanks, I like dismantling things, most of what I own has been taken apart at some point, cos I'm just curious to see their innards... :D

Looking at the thing, there's allsorts I'd do to make it a bit better than it is, like adding real bells, changing the handset cable for something a little less tight (trying to stretch that out is pretty tough, it's got one heck of a recoil on it!!!), shaving plastic off the hookswitch hooks inside the phone so the handset doesn't rock (I may just do that anyway, it doesn't look good all wonky like it is), replace the line cord with something a bit longer and more substantial (it's really thin and barely held in the plugs at either end)... :-\

But at the end of the day, no matter how much it's "polished", it's still a number two at the end of the day, the more I look at it, the more I want to take it out back and put it out of it's misery... :D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: Owain on January 20, 2012, 11:41:01 AM
But at the end of the day, no matter how much it's "polished", it's still a number two at the end of the day, the more I look at it, the more I want to take it out back and put it out of it's misery... :D

As I forget who said, "You can't polish a turd, but you can cover it in glitter"

The alternative would be to try and reconstruct the dial wheel and opto-sensors inside a 'proper' telephone.

Maybe instead of blowing up Smarties you could blow up the telephone
http://www.bigclive.com/smarties.htm

Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 20, 2012, 11:56:56 AM
The thought of explosives has crossed my mind...  :D

I don't think I'd bother trying to shoehorn the dial into a proper phone, it would detract from the aesthetic value of the real one, and the fun part about a real phone is the fact that it's mechanical, not electronic, that makes me interested in it...  ;D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: dsk on January 20, 2012, 02:48:39 PM
 :) Thank you, I have nearly bought this just to because of my curiosity.
Now I don't have to  :D
The idea of a switch built into the dial isn't new, I have a "rotary" intercom telephone from the 50ies. When you dial the dial switches between 10 contacts, and when hitting the fingerstop the ring signal is sent (battery connected to the right wire). The dial returns like normal.
dsk
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 20, 2012, 03:37:27 PM
Yeah, I'd been thinking of buying one for some time (long before joining this forum) just to see what they're like, but they were either overpriced cos of people thinking they were something they're not (like, say, a GPO phone!!!), or cos I had other things to be paying for...  :D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: Owain on January 20, 2012, 04:47:06 PM
I've just been stocking up on Teles (8) 782.

Maybe one day I'll get around to transplanting the dial pad into a House Exchange System (Keymaster)
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 20, 2012, 09:25:16 PM
Now here's a thought, would the dial from one of those 756 and 782 phones fit in a 706's case? :D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: McHeath on January 21, 2012, 01:05:06 AM
Okay an excellent review of this, the last of the rotary phones.  :)

I'm fond of these modern "rotarepo" faux phones.  Love love love the goofy mis-spelling of operator, it just really catches the weird charm of these misfits.  This one combines all sorts of interesting things:

The hookswitch attached to the shell is good ol' WE 302 territory.  In this case it's more like 5302, which is, in some respects, the first of these attempts to create a fake model 500.  I have an early 90's Pacific Bell labeled 2500 which had reverted to the hookswitch attached to the shell.

The ringer has been around since the early 80's at least as I have a Trimline clone from that era that I bought new that has one inside.  My Crosley replica 500 also uses the exact same ringer.  It's a magnetically driven unit that drives a bar plunger back and forth and gives off a fair ring.  Some people might like the ring better, I think it's okay but it's not a real harmonic and pleasing sound.  The gong appears to be brass on this Rotarepo model, it is brass on my old Trimline.

It has a network.  How quaint.  It's like buying a new car and finding a carburetor, points, and an oil bath air cleaner under the hood attached the computer.  My aforementioned Pac Bell 2500 does not have a network, there are a couple of chips attached to the bottom of the dial, that's it.

It has a steel baseplate.  Wow, metal, and in this day and age.  My Crosley 500 has a plastic baseplate, as does my Pac Bell 2500.

The dial is rather cool, in my opinion.  There appears to be a gear in there, another wow, and it's combined with some fancy light works to translate the spinning dial into touch tones.  My Crosley has buttons inset into the holes of the dial, it's just a push button phone with a faux dial, much like the old timey replicas that were created starting the late 70's. 

There are some design blunders.  The white under the dial is odd, seems a mistake to me.  The proportions are a bit off, enough to mess up the effect.  And of course what went wrong on operator? 

And so the rotary dial telephone still continues.  Cortelco quit making the last "real" rotary phones in 2006, but it seems you can't stop the dial.  Clearly there is a market for these replicas, I've seen the Crosleys in our local Target stores, and now someone in China has cooked up yet another. 

Here is my review of my Crosley:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=1918.0 (http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=1918.0)





Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: Owain on January 21, 2012, 10:28:47 AM
Now here's a thought, would the dial from one of those 756 and 782 phones fit in a 706's case? :D

Almost certainly in the later ones. Some of the very early models possibly not.
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 21, 2012, 10:38:04 AM
Okay an excellent review of this, the last of the rotary phones.  :)

I'm fond of these modern "rotarepo" faux phones.  Love love love the goofy mis-spelling of operator, it just really catches the weird charm of these misfits.  This one combines all sorts of interesting things

Personally I prefer replicas that have been done properly, like how you get replica phasers based on Star Trek props (yeah, I have a Phaser... :P ), they're not the same as the original props, they're better quality and actually "work" (shame they don't work at stunning people, cos that'd be handy!!!) with lights & sounds, but, this Steepletone phone, it looks like the real deal, until you look at it closely and you find it's nowhere near the quality the originals were... :(

Anyways, comparing your Crosley to the Steepletone, I'd say they came from the same factory, cos the case moulding looks identical, as mine has the RJ11 jack socket space in place, but filled in, and the same hookswitch assembly (bar a different switch & mount), and you could probably even transplant the dial from the Steepletone into your Crosley too as they mount in the exact same way (whether you got it to work or not is a different matter!!)... :)

And yeah, the dial doesn't look right colourwise (aside from the Goji Berry Red colour!!), the letters & numbers should be white, not black, and behind the fingerwheel, yep, should be red, not white, but I guess that's what makes 'em unique...  :-\

I didn't weigh it though, but it's a lot lighter than my red WE500, and lighter still than my black WE500 too, the handset is heavy due to it's lead weights, but if they weren't there I doubt it'd be heavy enough to depress the hookswitch... :D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 21, 2012, 10:39:01 AM
Almost certainly in the later ones. Some of the very early models possibly not.

hehe, kind of makes me wonder if the GPO ever modified any 706 phones with a keypad just to use up leftover stock... :D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: bingster on January 21, 2012, 11:12:52 AM
Just out of curiosity, what is the diameter of the works behind the dial plate? Is it under three inches, by any chance?  Also, what is the thickness of that stack (indicated in dark red, below), excluding the smaller, outermost disc?
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: McHeath on January 21, 2012, 12:19:59 PM
Quote
Personally I prefer replicas that have been done properly, like how you get replica phasers based on Star Trek props (yeah, I have a Phaser..

I have a communicator, original series of course. 8)  I've seen and handled a communicator prop from the original Trek that a buddy had back in the mid 80's, it was surprisingly cheap and poorly made. 

So Bingster, thinking of trying to retrofit this dial into something. ;)

I'd not at all be surprised if this phone and my Crosley were made in the same factory in China.  The Crosley feels quite solid overall, with the exception of the rather poorly done electrical work.  If one of these Rotarepos ever came up for a few bucks on E-Bay or the like I'd pop for it to add to the shelf of "Weird and curious phones".

Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 21, 2012, 01:19:41 PM
Just out of curiosity, what is the diameter of the works behind the dial plate? Is it under three inches, by any chance?  Also, what is the thickness of that stack (indicated in dark red, below), excluding the smaller, outermost disc?

Well, in Millimetres (I'm useless at fractions of inches!!), the width of the dial mechanism is about 80mm (can't be exact as I can't get the dial out due to superglued-in parts), and the height of the indicated in red bit is 18mm, total dial height (on the back, not including the fingerwheel) when assembled is 30mm... :)
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 21, 2012, 01:21:47 PM
I have a communicator, original series of course. 8)  I've seen and handled a communicator prop from the original Trek that a buddy had back in the mid 80's, it was surprisingly cheap and poorly made. 

I want one of the bluetooth ones they made a while ago, where you can link it to a mobile phone, and answer calls just by flicking the communicator open... ;D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: Adam on January 21, 2012, 02:29:52 PM
I've seen and handled a communicator prop from the original Trek that a buddy had back in the mid 80's, it was surprisingly cheap and poorly made. 

Don't forget, the original prop's only goal in life was to look good on a little TV screen.  It didn't have to have any real heft or solidness, that's added by how the actor handles it.  And of course, the sound effects added later are what really sell it as being "real".
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: bingster on January 21, 2012, 05:12:18 PM
So Bingster, thinking of trying to retrofit this dial into something. ;)

I'm pretty transparent, huh?  ;D

It looks like it would be just a tad too large (it's just over 3  1/8") to fit a three inch dial opening.  :(

Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 21, 2012, 06:51:24 PM
It looks like it would be just a tad too large (it's just over 3  1/8") to fit a three inch dial opening.  :(



The dial surround framework would probably fit a real WE500 phone's case with a bit of glue, but you'd only have three colour options, Black, Ivory and Goji Berry Red...  :D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 21, 2012, 10:50:28 PM
Thought I'd do a colour comparison of the Red Tenite WE500 and the Goji Berry Red of the Steepletone, the camera doesn't see what the eye can under non-flash conditions, but you can still see the differences, especially with the Steepletone's handset on the WE500's cradle... :)
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: McHeath on January 22, 2012, 12:03:38 AM
The Rotarepo phone's color is messed up a bit for me with that white under the dial. 

The way that dial works makes me wonder if that's how the rotary dial might have evolved had it survived.
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on January 22, 2012, 10:31:54 AM
I think the dial colour is more to do with them trying to fob people off saying it's a GPO phone, as most GPO dials since the late 706 and all of the 746 phones were a silvery-grey colour, which is what this rotarepo phone's dial colour is, just another example of the chinese trying to make something into something it's not... :-\
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on February 04, 2012, 10:24:57 AM
Just playing with this phone again, and managed to get the handset fully opened up, and to my surprise, the weight in there is not lead, it's a lump of cast steel or iron, crudely cast of course, I wonder what percentage of the weight used to be a western car.... :D

And of course, taking the weight out results in a very lightweight handset that cannot even press it's own hookswitch down, very thin plastic for sure... :o

Here's a pic:
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: Owain on February 04, 2012, 11:41:33 AM
I wonder what percentage of the weight used to be a western car.... :D

more likely to be manhole covers...
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on February 04, 2012, 11:43:33 AM
hehe...  :D
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: Adam on February 04, 2012, 01:07:51 PM
more likely to be manhole covers...

Or, as they're called these days, "personhole".
Title: Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
Post by: twocvbloke on February 04, 2012, 01:55:17 PM
Or, as they're called these days, "personhole".

Nah, that could be misconstrued as being the back door to the human body.... :D

It'd more likely be "Ground-Mounted Equipment Access Hatch", just to be 100% PC... ;D