Author Topic: Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup  (Read 982 times)

Offline Seacar

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Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup
« on: October 31, 2016, 06:27:13 PM »
Hello all, my first post here.  I am new to vintage rotary phone repair (as will be indicated below) but have an AE34 and a WE202 in service at home already.

Recently purchased a brown Kellogg Redbar phone previously used in an office and am wanting to get it back into service.

Well in my eagerness to clean it up and get it working again, I opened the transmitter cup and dump out the contents.  I managed to save the majority of the carbon granules, but I need some help in putting it back together again as I am unsure of whether the carbon goes into the central brass piece or sits around it along the outside. 

Does anyone have any info or links to someone else that has dissected a Kellogg transmitter?

Thanks for any advice and help in advance for what  I recognize is a silly newbie mistake.

Regards,

Sean
Calgary, Canada
Sean
Calgary, Canada

unbeldi

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Re: Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2016, 07:45:45 PM »
I have not gone through the trouble you want help with, but I am curious about your "brown" red bar.   Does it have a dial?
Can you show pictures?   I believe the brown ones were only used on the Select-O-Phone system, a business telephone system.
Many of these use dials that cannot be used on a regular telephone line, as they are normally open, and close for each pulse of a digit, not the other way around, which is the standard.
But perhaps you're lucky...

You're going to have to figure out how to get the chamber closed properly again, but I don't have to tell you that.
I thought the cap is pressed on, but can't remember the details now.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 07:47:58 PM by unbeldi »

Offline rdelius

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Re: Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2016, 07:55:20 PM »
The carbon goes in the round gold cup in the center.I do not think it will work after reassembly because the fabric that holds the carbon in place might not seal back.Bad sounding when they work

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2016, 08:47:35 PM »
I believe that all of the brown bakelite Kelloggs were Select-O-Phones, and those will not work on a standard phone line without replacing the dial, ringer, induction coil, and wiring block.  I bought some of those parts several years ago from Steve Hilsz.  Finding a smashed black Kellogg 100 series is generally not terribly difficult, so one might make a good donor for the needed parts.

If the phone has a push button on it, it is a Select-O-Phone.  Kellog sold alot of those office intercom systems.


Larry

Offline Seacar

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Re: Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2016, 10:05:31 PM »
Yes, this is indeed a Select-o-Phone.  It came with one ringer bell instead of the two, and had a little red button on the top right of the phone.  I replaced the condenser, line and receiver cords, and put the carbon back in the transmitter cup.

Based on your info, it looks like I need the entire guts of another 1000, so thats probably the best course of action.  Thanks for the info.  I would love to put up some pics, I have to find a place to host them.

As to the transmitter and the nomadic carbon granules, I will have to wait to see if it works once I get some new guts!

Thanks again, gotta go find a phone!
Sean
Calgary, Canada

unbeldi

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Re: Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2016, 10:40:42 PM »

The small Select-O-Phone ringer with only one bell is a low voltage DC ringeróno good on a phone line either.

Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2016, 06:13:23 AM »
My experience has been that the type of Kellogg transmitters in these handsets never sound very good and often produce a large amount of static.  I have several Kellogg phones that I do not use because people complain about the sound quality.

Larry

Offline KaiserFrazer67

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Re: Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2017, 10:36:40 PM »
Hi all,

Glad I found this thread; I've been having similar transmitter problems with a Redbar I just bought from Oldphoneworks.  I've noticed a rather obnoxious crackling noise and had already sent it back to Matt once before, to get the Rotatone working properly (it wasn't properly synchronized to the dial; I tried to dial my cellphone, for example, and got someone else), as well as crackling the first time around.  He fixed the Rotatone and installed another transmitter.  I'd talked to a buddy of mine this afternoon and he complained of crackling and poor sound quality.  I switched to my beige AE 80 mid-conversation, and he acknowledged it was a huge improvement.  Later, in frustration, I took the Redbar's transmitter out, noticed that it could be disassembled, and thought "What the heck--it's junk and I'll have to get a different transmitter anyway; might as well see what there is to see."  Well, I was surprised to see not only the granules, but the fact that they were all over the place inside.  Needless to say, I don't care for the design much, and it is certainly inferior to both the AE 41/81/810 as well as WE's F1 and T1 designs.  I did a search here for similar troubles and thankfully found this thread, because being a newbie myself, I did the same thing Seacar did without realizing how the thing was constructed.  Thanks to rdelius posting where the granules are supposed to go, I undertook the task of trying to get them back in the center of the gold cup.

(You'd think they would have used something a LOT more substantial than fabric to seal in the granules...  :P )

With the help of my little Oxo 2-ounce measuring cup (I needed something small, and with a spout), I managed to do it with minimal loss of granules.  It does take a fair amount of patience and a lot of tapping:  first, to get stray granules out from under the transmitter's center cup; and second, to get the granules poured carefully from the measuring cup back into the center of the transmitter cup.  I managed to seal it back up carefully, and tightly screw the retaining ring back in the transmitter using a needlenose pliers held tightly in the slots of the retaining ring.  I put it back together, and lo and behold...  it works.  For the most part.  At least there is no crackling.  I left my cellphone a voicemail to find out how I sounded, but the sound quality is so lousy on my little Samsung Tracfone to begin with, it didn't sound much different than my AE 80.  So I called my buddy back this evening to get his opinion.  He said it didn't really sound that much different than the first time, except that the crackling was gone, but he was hearing a weird, buzzy echo of my voice on his end, and noted I wasn't as easy to understand as I was when I talked to him on the AE 80. 

My experience has been that the type of Kellogg transmitters in these handsets never sound very good and often produce a large amount of static.  I have several Kellogg phones that I do not use because people complain about the sound quality.
Larry

I'm finding that out, much to my disdain...  :-[ 

At least I got the Redbar operating again, if not optimally; but I may try what LarryInMichigan had mentioned in another thread--retrofitting a WE T1 transmitter to work in the Redbar's handset:
http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=2135.msg28962#msg28962

Question, then, for you, Larry:  What kind of solder did you use to attach the wires to the flat surfaces of the T1, and how did you do it?  I have always had very bad luck getting solder to adhere decently to any surface other than stranded wire into which the solder can flow; but then, I really don't know much about soldering techniques other than soldering small stranded wires around connectors and such.  Also please let me know how you hooked it up in the handset to work; please also post photos if you can.  I'd like to do the same thing to my Redbar in order to get the transmitter quality to where I can use the phone with regularity.  It's a beautiful phone, and I paid extra for the Rotatone installation with the intention of using it as my everyday phone.  I'd like to think that I didn't make too bad of an investment... :D

Thanks much!
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 10:46:04 PM by KaiserFrazer67 »
-Tom from Oakfield, Wisconsin --  My CO CLLI & switch: OKFDWIXADS0--GTD-5 EAX

"Problems are merely opportunities in workclothes." -Henry J. Kaiser

unbeldi

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Re: Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2017, 10:53:53 PM »
The quality of the Kellogg transmitters is rarely ever great.

Western Electric used T1 transmitters for customer supplied housings in the 1970s, and they used hard copper wire rings to clamp around the contacts of the transmitter.  It is probably easier to solder a wire onto a copper wire than onto the silver-coated transmitter surfaces.

There is a BSP that shows these rings.....
Ok, it is here:  BSP 501-410-400 Issue 1  1969-12   F-56659 and F-56660 Components for Customer-owned Housings

The screenshot below shows the T1 connections.  I think you can see the clamped connectors, at least schematically.


unbeldi

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Re: Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2017, 10:56:54 PM »
It is actually a little clearer in another BSP:  503-100-120 Issue 3 1974-01  581A Telephone Bases

I actually have one Kellogg handset that has a T1 installed with this method, but I don't recall whether the clamps were home-made or by WECo.

PS: I am not sure I understand how you could find granules "all over".  Somehow the diaphragm seems to have got punctured ?   Amazing that you got it to work reasonably well at all.

« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 11:08:19 PM by unbeldi »

Offline KaiserFrazer67

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Re: Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 05:52:41 AM »
PS: I am not sure I understand how you could find granules "all over".  Somehow the diaphragm seems to have got punctured ?   Amazing that you got it to work reasonably well at all.
I think what had happened is that somehow the piece of fabric which is supposed to keep the granules in place didn't do its job.  It does appear frayed on one edge.  When I took the transmitter apart, the granules were not in the center gold cup (not that I knew where they were actually supposed to be at that point, until I read this thread), but scattered around inside the aluminum "pan" which surrounds the granule cup. Bear with me when I describe this, because I don't know all the technical terms for these parts, but when I unscrewed the retaining ring, I removed a circular plate with a hole in the middle, which exposed another metal plate with raised ribs stamped in it radiating out from the center, with a small gold cup in the middle.  Glued on the back of this was a thin fabric disc which looks a lot like nylon.  Under this plate was another pan-like housing, with a larger gold-colored cup in the center.  As I mentioned, I didn't know until I found this thread that the larger gold-colored center cup was where the granules were supposed to be; for some reason, it wasn't that obvious.  There is a gap between the aluminum "pan" and the larger center cup, because as I tapped the pan, many of the granules went underneath the cup.  I reassembled it at that point (thinking that the granules were just supposed to be in the larger pan area, because that's where I found them), reinstalled it in the phone, and tried it; of course I got nothing but loud static and crackling.  I tried to leave myself a voicemail on my cell, but only the static came through--no voice, so I knew I didn't have it back together correctly.  Reading rdelius' little blurb above told me what I needed to know, so I took it back out and took it apart again, poured and tapped the granules into the small measuring cup I mentioned (thankfully most, if not all, of them came back out from underneath the center cup!), and poured/tapped them carefully back into the center cup, carefully reassembled the transmitter, tightened the retaining ring with the needlenose tips, reinstalled it in the handset, and it works--and amazingly without static, albeit with tinny, buzzy sound quality (as it had sounded to begin with).  Quite a feat considering that I obviously lost a small amount of the granules in the process (which tells me that the original measured amount must not have needed to be ultra-precise).  However:  1) I don't know how long that's going to last before they're out of place again, and 2) everything I've read about these Kellogg Redbar transmitters tells me they were never up to par with their WE or AE counterparts in the first place, so getting a correct replacement would be a waste of time, IMO.  The conversation I had with my friend verified that well enough for me.  So, I ran across the post by LarryInMichigan about how he installed a WE T1 in a Redbar handset, and that seems like a good compromise for me.  I get a transmitter with great sound quality on the inside, it still looks the same on the outside, and no one is the wiser--I'm the only one who will ever use it, so who cares if it's not original?  I have three 554's as well as a 302, a dial Leich 901 whose handset innards are basically the same as a WE F1, and I'd had another Leich 901B handset from a neighbor's magneto phone on my 302 for many years ('cause I liked the way it looked) with an F1 in that, and none of those WE transmitters have ever failed me.  I sorry to say I can't say the same for some of the AE transmitters in the phones my family and I have had since 1968, some of which I'm dealing with currently.  The Redbar is a very novel-looking phone, out of the ordinary, and I like it well enough that I'd decided it's going to be my "workhorse" here at home--that's why I had the Rotatone installed, so I can deal with menu options as I encounter them, as well as the '*', '#', redial, and number storage features.  So I have no problem with substituting some other kind of transmitter for the sake of reliability and quality.
The quality of the Kellogg transmitters is rarely ever great.
I became ruefully aware of that, especially when I called my friend back after I got the thing back together the right way.  He said the crackling was gone, but my voice still sounded awful.  From what I've been reading about them on this forum, that seems to be the rule rather than the exception.  What a crappy design, especially considering how well-engineered the rest of the phone is.  Can't imagine why they couldn't have just sealed the granule compartment permanently, and by extension the entire transmitter, like their competitors.  I'm sure those lousy transmitters may well have cost them quite a bit of business.
Western Electric used T1 transmitters for customer supplied housings in the 1970s, and they used hard copper wire rings to clamp around the contacts of the transmitter.  It is probably easier to solder a wire onto a copper wire than onto the silver-coated transmitter surfaces.

There is a BSP that shows these rings.....
Ok, it is here:  BSP 501-410-400 Issue 1  1969-12   F-56659 and F-56660 Components for Customer-owned Housings

The screenshot below shows the T1 connections.  I think you can see the clamped connectors, at least schematically.
Thanks for sharing that, Unbeldi!  That is a great idea!  On the first drawing, it looks as if they have a plate with a wire attached to the center contact somehow.  Maybe it's crimped on?  There's not a lot of clearance between the two contact rings on the T1 transmitter.  I took the Kellogg's transmitter cap off to size up an F1 diameter-wise (without pulling the Kellogg one out again) to see if that could be inserted into the cavity instead, and it certainly can; maybe that would work better?  It looks like there's more room to wrap a stiff heavier-gauge solid wire (about 14-16 AWG) around the inside contact of the F1.  Thoughts, anyone?

Thanks again!
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 03:46:43 AM by KaiserFrazer67 »
-Tom from Oakfield, Wisconsin --  My CO CLLI & switch: OKFDWIXADS0--GTD-5 EAX

"Problems are merely opportunities in workclothes." -Henry J. Kaiser

unbeldi

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Re: Opened Kellogg Redbar transmitter cup
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 08:43:49 AM »
Well, when you say "crappy design", you have to remember that these were not designed to last for over a half century. I am sure they worked just fine during their design life, which was probably shorter than that of Western Electric equipment, which I believe was 20 years.  But WECo's requirements were vastly different than those of the independent manufacturers.   Kellogg was actually a leader in transmitter design, having designed one of the first position-independent transmitters, at least that's what the marketing literature we find compels us to believe.

Replacing a Kellogg transmitter shouldn't be too hard, there are plenty of these handsets floating around on eBay and in collector's parts bins.
But when you actually want to use the phone for daily duty, it will impress no one, and replacing them with something different is well advised, IMHO.