Author Topic: Early 706? Or is it?  (Read 2539 times)

Offline Jack Ryan

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Re: Early 706? Or is it?
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2016, 09:40:28 AM »
So assuming that's correct, the numbered dial is right for the very early 706 from 1959. Which leads to the question where did the 3d arrows come in?

3d arrows - what does that mean?

"No. 21CA should become available during 1960." - so presumably quite quickly.

Jack


Offline Jack Ryan

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Re: Early 706? Or is it?
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2016, 09:42:26 AM »
Set up as in putting into place the director number style in the exchange hardware in order for the numbers to be accepted, as in 0x1 123 4567, x being 1 thru 9, which were different to the original numbering as used with traditional letters & numbers dialling, infact, those director area numbers are probably the oldest existing numbering scheme still in place that has had the least additional digits added, said digit being 1 (I.E. 091 replaced with 0191), with the exception of 071 and 081 (which did go to 0171 and 0181 on "phONEday") which changed to 020-7 and 020-8... :)

OK, thanks. The change was much easier here - we just dialled the equivalent numbers.

Regards
Jack

Offline andy1702

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Re: Early 706? Or is it?
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2016, 02:44:02 PM »
The problem with a number only dial bezel is that I don't think they ever existed on GPO telephones. I've never seen an original 706F dated before 1967 when the 746 was first introduced. There are many 706F phones with the markings on a yellow sticker, but that is how they were outshopped after being refurbished. Peel off the sticker (and sometimes a plain black blanking sticker too) and it will reveal the phone was originally a 706L. At least that's what happened with the 50 or so examples I've checked here.

On private instruments, which we can't call 706 even though some of them were identical, the all-figure version definitely did exist and I have a few Ericsson examples to prove it. A couple of the Ericssons also have their version of dial 12 which has the '3d' arrows as shown in the close up shot below.

Also below is an early publicity shot of a 706. Look closely and you'll see the 3d arrows, alpha-numeric dial bezel and the grebe cord, proving it's very early on.

What would solve the mystery would be if someone could turn up GPO part numbers on an official list for all the disputed parts.

As far as I know all refurbished 706Fs were fitted with a 746 type dial 21 with the clear finger wheel. They also either received a totally blank dial bezel or retained the alphanumeric one. I have examples of both.

My thought is that the base of the ivory 746 may have been completed in the factory, including painted codes, ready for delivery to the GPO. But a private order came in and it was assembled into a private phone, possibly then supplied by AEI like my black one. That is just a guess though.

The problem with lifting information from websites is unless it's something like wikipedia they often don't give a reference for where they have got their data. Mistakes can easily be innocently propagated from site to site. So I'm trying to only work from official records and period photos / films.

My aim is to restore all my phones to as near to their original condition as possible. This is difficult with something so interchangable as the 700 series and has certainly not been helped by people now manufacturing non-authentic  replacement parts. It's a real minefield!
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 02:49:45 PM by andy1702 »
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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Early 706? Or is it?
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2016, 09:23:54 AM »
Definitely a much nicer looking dial backplate with the moulded chevrons, would be nice to have that feature on either of my 706 phones (well, the two with dials!), shame they didn't keep it as a feature for the later models...

Offline Jack Ryan

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Re: Early 706? Or is it?
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2016, 05:48:49 PM »
The problem with a number only dial bezel is that I don't think they ever existed on GPO telephones. I've never seen an original 706F dated before 1967 when the 746 was first introduced. There are many 706F phones with the markings on a yellow sticker, but that is how they were outshopped after being refurbished. Peel off the sticker (and sometimes a plain black blanking sticker too) and it will reveal the phone was originally a 706L. At least that's what happened with the 50 or so examples I've checked here.

That's a good question. Another is why they would stop supplying F types for non-director areas. I'll keep an eye out for some official documentation.

Quote
A couple of the Ericssons also have their version of dial 12 which has the '3d' arrows as shown in the close up shot below.

Also below is an early publicity shot of a 706. Look closely and you'll see the 3d arrows, alpha-numeric dial bezel and the grebe cord, proving it's very early on.

Thanks for that.

Quote
The problem with lifting information from websites is unless it's something like wikipedia they often don't give a reference for where they have got their data. Mistakes can easily be innocently propagated from site to site. So I'm trying to only work from official records and period photos / films.

I understand that problem and I have been unable to convince some to list references. Many of the statements I used from Bob's site were listed as BPO documents but one wasn't and I could not find an official reference.

Wikipedia articles need to be checked; even though references are usually listed, unless they are freely available it is very difficult to verify content. Even when the references are available, the connection between the reference and the statement is sometimes questionable. This is not just a criticism of Wikipedia; I use it often and the list of references is at least as useful.

Regards
Jack

Offline andy1702

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Re: Early 706? Or is it?
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2016, 12:18:52 PM »
Sooooo..... This phone arrived today. All I can say is the mystery deepens. First, all the plastic parts are diakon. The dial bezel / ring / whatever you like to call it is also the original clear type with the numbers and background colour printed on the back and held in place by a corcular steel clip on the back. There's a witness mark of dirt around it, which makes me think it's been there for some time.

The dial is a type 12 and I've found a date of 1958 on it. Unfirtunately the dial label is just a blank piece of paper that someone put in there. The capacitor inside the body of the phone is dated 1959. In the handset both mic and speaker are dated 1959. The mic is similar (if not identical) to those fitted to 300 series phones.

There IS a diagram marked as a type 706 pasted inside the body moulding and the brown glue looks original.

Ine think that is strange is there appears to be a second set of contacts inside the phone operated by the hook switch. You'll see in the photos below and in the next reply that all the wores from this switch have been shorted together on the same terminal.

Everything is very clean. So clean it makes me wonder if it was ever issued?

Have a look at the photos and see what you think. I'm even more confused than I was before!
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Offline andy1702

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Re: Early 706? Or is it?
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2016, 12:20:35 PM »
More photos
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Offline andy1702

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Re: Early 706? Or is it?
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2016, 12:22:23 PM »
More photos. The furum won't allow me to upload more than 1 at a time!  >:(

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Offline andy1702

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Re: Early 706? Or is it?
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2016, 12:23:38 PM »
Even more photos!
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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Early 706? Or is it?
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2016, 08:32:53 PM »
Given the extra set of contacts, that really does sound like it was probably issued for a PAX or PBX, the former being more likely as they didn't have external lines and thus wouldn't need letters on the dial...

Still, either way, it's a nice Diakon phone which'll look a lot shinier for longer than it's later ABS counterparts... :)

Offline andy1702

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Re: Early 706? Or is it?
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2016, 09:56:28 AM »
I had a chat with Ian Jolly yesterday, who over the years has worked in various public and private sector roles in the phone industry. He seem to think this phone was manufactured by Siemens, probably as part of a big order for the GPO. It would have had the lettered dial bezel etc and been a 706L. But before it left the factory they may have got a small private order for a couple of dozen phones to go on some company's PAX somewhere. Of course they're not going to re-tool just for a couple of dozen phones, so he thinks they just grabbed a handful of GPO phones off the line and modified them for use on a PAX. This would explain why everything (except maybe the curly cord) seems to be original but not to a spec ever used by the GPO. So although it's stamped 706L, it never left the factory as that, being turned into a private 706 'clone' for private use. As AEI and Siemens were one and the same, this would also explain why, apart from the marks stamped on the base, the phone is absolutely identical to my black private AEI version.

Ian's explanation seems to nicely tie up all the unanswered questions. It also teaches us a lesson. Just because it says 706 on the base, that doesn't necessarily mean that's what it is!

Incidentally, despite having all original parts, including the carbon granule microphone, it works perfectly. Speech is as clear as any modern phone, not that I use modern phones you understand.  :)
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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Early 706? Or is it?
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2016, 10:17:30 AM »
I had a thought that it could have been diverted off the GPO line to the private supply line, but, given the waters were muddied enough as it was, I left it out of my last post...  :)

Still, it's a perfectly reasonable explanation, and makes a lot of sense, after all, they were basically "theirs" to do with as the pleased as they hadn't been delivered to the GPO, and when it comes to businesses involved in public bodies, profits matter more than government contracts...  ;D