Author Topic: Interesting NE Strowger Device!  (Read 5840 times)

Offline DavePEI

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Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« on: October 22, 2015, 09:05:24 AM »
An interesting NE unit on the way to the Museum, made in 1955, and labelled S912AB.

It is located in a windowed wooden box, and was rescued in the 70s from a Sunbeam Canada facility in Toronto.

It contains a Uni-selector and a two motion Strowger switch. It had been suggested it may have been used as an intercom, but also that it may have been a Coded Ring device. Can anyone give me more information on it?

Alas, until it arrives, I won't be able to get clearer photos of it - these are the only photos I have of it, but I suspect, too that (coded calling) that is likely what it was meant for.

When it does arrive, I promise to get much clearer photos of all aspects or it. For now, all photos I have from Glen are on the Museum Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/PEITelelephoneMuseum/

Glen says: "The story of how I got it is interesting.it was mounted in the Sunbeam Canada warehouse on Kipling St. In Toronto back in the 70's. I was working for Bell at the time and was in the plant to fix a key phone when one of the managers asked if I knew how to stop the loud ringing bell which had been going off in the warehouse for two days!

I traced the wiring back to this switch and found the selector stuck between banks. I released the selector and the ringing stopped. It hadn't been used for years so not sure how it got activated. I asked the manager later if could have it and he said it was OK. I unplugged it and went back a week later and no one complained so I removed it and have had it ever since. Unfortunately, the -48vdc power supply was the size of a house AC unit so I left it there. Neat unit, make a great traveling display if you could get it working. Weighs about 40lbs."

Dave
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 09:09:19 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2015, 06:28:20 AM »
We have been able to confirm this is a code call unit, with the assistance from Keith Cheshire, and Keith Hlvacs:

I barely remember hearing code call in use in some of the old apartment store, etc. They would dial up the unit on the pbx, then dial the number of the person they wanted to hear from, and the bell would ring his coded ring throughout the facility. When he heard it, he would call the  answer code number and be connected to the caller.

Dialing the connector would set up path for the uniselector to begin stepping and creating the code sequence. The high current relay on the lower left hand side (with micro switch located just above) would drive the chimes (the bell it was setting off in the plant) 

I can't take credit for figuring this out myself. We have to thank Keith Hlvacs and Keith Cheshire, too. Keith H. found one a number of years ago, and is sending me the drawings..

It should be here some time in the first week of January.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 06:31:19 AM by DavePEI »
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Online HarrySmith

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2015, 08:54:12 PM »
I read the messages on the list. I was still not sure what a code call was but after reading this I now recall hearing it in a couple of large department stores in my youth. As a kid I wondered what they were for, I asked my Mom but she didn't know either. Thanks Dave! Brought back some childhood memories.
Harry Smith
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2015, 09:06:02 PM »
I remember back in the early 70s, I worked for Eatons for several years. While they had converted to 1A2, they still had the code call system operating. As you walked through the store, you might hear a chime gently ringing bong, bong, bong, or other code from chimes located through the store - it had been left in place to get in touch with upper management when needed. If I remember correctly, by the time I stopped working for them, the system had been removed, or at least was no longer in use.

This is in beautiful condition. I will have to find a nice sounding chime for it, and then will set it up in the museum, so that you can dial a number to ring the chime, then another to ring another code. It should be interesting. Keith Klvacs has one in poorer condition, and he is sending me the drawings for it. Once mine is here, we will swap the information needed for him to get his going as well.

Dave
« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 09:08:06 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2015, 12:01:09 AM »
I recall hearing the chime sequences in department stores as well. I knew what it was as I worked in PBX for quite a few years starting when I was 20 (1977). Though, I dont recall ever seeing one of these code call units in a phone room.

The odd thing is that I recall hearing what sounded like code call somewhere quite recently though it sounded like electronic tone inserted onto a PA system. I guess there may be modern versions in use still.

Do you know what voltage the chimes need to be Dave? If it was arranged for 90 volt ringing voltage the NE Bell Chime might be a good choice. Do you have any of them? I might know the answer if I had been to your museum by now......

Terry

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2015, 06:40:09 AM »
Hi Terry - without having it or its drawings here yet, I suspect you could set it up to use with practically any voltage of chime. It has a high current relay (with micro switch driven by the device) that would drive the chimes. So it is actually the high current relay which would drive the bell, and whatever voltage is fed through its contacts is what drove the chime system....

To be confirmed, of course when I have it here (or at least its drawings) 

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Offline Weco355aman

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2015, 11:27:40 PM »
A very interesting item. This would be a great item to make a YouTube video of.
Phil

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2015, 07:16:28 AM »
A very interesting item. This would be a great item to make a YouTube video of.
You are right. Look for one after it arrives in January!

Dave
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Offline xhausted110

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2015, 09:54:46 PM »
Here's a video I took of the (GEC?) code call unit that Keith Hlavacs brought to Lancaster this year: http://youtu.be/pL57RbqrYy8
- Evan

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2015, 11:29:56 AM »
I am looking for a suitable single tone chime to use with the Northern Electric Code Call unit when it arrives from Glen. Ideally, it should be a nice sounding chime, and ideally powered by 48 VDC. It has been suggested Wheelock made similar chimes, but many other manufacturers did, as well. Each pulse, should chime the gong. Any suggestions? A chime consisted of a tuned bar, and a solenoid which struck against it with each pulse. They were not loud - just a nice pleasant tone.

If not 48 Volt, I can likely accommodate that in the display, as the chime is driven by a contactor on the unit, which I can set up for other voltages. 48 volts would simplify my power supply requirements.

Below is an example from Keith's video. Below it, and Autocall type - it doesn't have to look like this, just perform the same function....
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 11:25:20 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2016, 09:26:05 PM »
It is here! The Northern Electric S-912AA Code Call unit from  Glen Cavers just dropped off by Robert Guth about half an hour ago. Robert picked it up while in Toronto last month. This unit was manufactured in the mid-50s.
 The unit appears to be in exceptional shape. The switches, and banks are clean, and little worn - even the wipers appear to be in  great shape. These are only preliminary photos. The photo of the left hand side of the two motion switch turned out blurred  I will take another of that side tomorrow. The photo of the other side of that switch turned out well - amazing since that is the side that is blocked by the case when it is folded back.
 I hope to get this operational in the spring, and meantime have to find a chime to use with it.
 Thank you, Glen and Robert!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 09:29:04 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2016, 05:47:00 AM »
A couple more photos, and finally a thumbnnail of the drawing. I have the drawing in full size and in PDF format, as well. This drawing derived from a scan from Keith Hlavacs:
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 05:52:23 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2016, 10:54:38 AM »
Very cool item to have for the museum Dave!

Terry

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2016, 11:29:43 AM »
Very cool item to have for the museum Dave!
Should be, indeed! Big chores now will be finding wall space for it - I will likely have to move some stuff around in the spring to make room, and finding an Autocall or Wheelock chime for it, the type with a solenoid that strikes a metal bar and will give that soft bing, bing, bing sound you used to hear in retail establishments with code call). The voltage of the chime doesn't matter, as it is separately powered from the unit itself. I will just have to provide a suitable power supply for it, too, in addition to the 48 volt supply for the switches. And if I can find a second chime, run one over to this house to signal Linda!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 10:29:25 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Interesting NE Strowger Device!
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2016, 11:53:13 AM »
Have you begun to work out your codes.....for Linda?

_______ = I need a sandwich delivered to the museum

_______ = A beer as well

_______ = I noticed that the Grass needs Cutting (after delivering lunch)

_______ = Seasonal code to change above to Driveway needs Snow Shovelled.