Author Topic: AE Starlite questions  (Read 629 times)

Offline markosjal

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AE Starlite questions
« on: May 26, 2017, 05:37:04 PM »
I have actually been keeping my eyes out for Starlites lately. out of all of the models I have had before I never had a starlite.

I have some questions and first let me qualify my questions with what I see here.....
http://www.ebay.com/itm/201909336447

This apparently is an older starlite because it has no bell. I would assume the wheel on the front is for illumination but I am not sure. Can someone confirm this? I really want a metal base on the starlite. I remember as a kid going to GTE territory and there was a distinct difference in the metal base vs plastic base phones and the plastic bases always seemed staticy.  Maybe this was just my experience and not really true, but I also like plungers on both sides.

I assume this pink housing can not accommodate a touchtone pad , is that true?

Now the dial for this should illuminate, much like the princess?? How do I identify the illuminating dial? Is this one? How can I identify the illuminated dials?

I see that some starlites have the square bezels the same color as the phone plastic while others to not.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/STARLITE-Automatic-Electric-Rotary-Phone-Dial-For-Parts-WORKS-Parts/302312304735

I am not necessarily interested in this starlite but it seems in good shape and have also found a handset here
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Automatic-Electric-Telephone-Pink-Handset-Shell-for-Type-80-90-Starlite-/231680294578?

So any input would be appreciated including sources for AE Pink cords

Thanks

Mark
Phat Phantom's phreaking phone phettish

Offline jsowers

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Re: AE Starlite questions
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2017, 06:44:24 PM »
The pink Starlite in the first link is an early model (1962 date on the bottom) and I much prefer those because they have an AC cord and everything is there to light the dial. Yes, the thumbwheel in front is the dimmer. The dial-less pink one looks like its pink AC cord was cut off (look at third pic at the bottom of the phone using the zoom and you can see the stub of the cord). So it's missing more than just the dial. Yes, these early Starlites didn't have ringers, much like the early 701 Princesses. The metal base Starlites seem to be much sturdier and better made, with two switchhook plungers.

The dial you found isn't the type that lights, or it doesn't have any leads for the lighted part. They're usually separate from the dial contacts and exit from the luminescent ring. These phones used electroluminescent light rings to light the dial and they're often broken on these early models. I have three early Starlites and two of them still light dimly. It's a bluish light. The dial often yellows with exposure to UV.

You might as well keep on looking for a complete one. They aren't as plentiful as they used to be, but I still see them from time to time. The color-matching AC cord should be the giveaway which model it is. Those have two cords exiting the back.

The electroluminescent part of the dial may be repairable, but I've never tried it. Others on the Forum more versed in AE technology will have to answer that. A search on Starlite dial should yield some results.
Jonathan

Offline jsowers

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Re: AE Starlite questions
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2017, 06:56:00 PM »
One other thing--there are touch-call Starlites, but their keypads never were lit and there is no retrofit for the lighted rotary Starlite for a touchpad. So no, the pink Starlite you found can't be made into a touch call Starlite. The light source in those phones was a ring, so it wouldn't be suited for a touchpad anyway. Those 182 models were always rotary and pre-date touch-tone phones.

As for the cords, I'd try to find a phone with good cords. They were very sturdy cords and you can find them still with original cords that just need cleaning. Finding exact replacements might be very difficult. AE cords often have a built-in metal hook for the strain relief on the handset end.
Jonathan

Alex G. Bell

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Re: AE Starlite questions
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2017, 08:43:24 PM »
Just so there is no misunderstanding since it is a major safety issue, the electro-luminescent dial lights operated from 120VAC but not directly.  A resistor plug resembling a wall wart, inserted (IIRC) 47K ohms  in each side of the power line connection to limit current to a safe level in case of human contact or accidental cross with the phone line or exposed metal parts.  It's feasible to make such a plug.  Originals are difficult to find.

Offline jsowers

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Re: AE Starlite questions
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2017, 11:26:44 PM »
Just so there is no misunderstanding since it is a major safety issue, the electro-luminescent dial lights operated from 120VAC but not directly.  A resistor plug resembling a wall wart, inserted (IIRC) 47K ohms  in each side of the power line connection to limit current to a safe level in case of human contact or accidental cross with the phone line or exposed metal parts.  It's feasible to make such a plug.  Originals are difficult to find.

In the first models of the Starlite, from the early 60s, the 120VAC came right into the phone via a standard electrical power cord and then was stepped down inside the phone, so they are definitely a safety issue. The second generation Starlites used the small wall wart plug with the resistor. I wouldn't put an early Starlite in a bathroom or near a water source. That's probably why the third generation Starlites, including the wall model and touch call models, didn't light. They were more like Stardarks.

Attached below are some pictures to illustrate. Note the AC cord on this early pink Starlite. The second pic is the electroluminescent dial lit. I apologize for the fuzzy pics, but it's all I had handy. I found a third pic of an NOS Starlite with one of those current-limiting plugs. Note that it doesn't have the thumbwheel in the front to dim the light.

Edit: Now that I look closer, that's a 4-prong plug and a modular adapter, but the wall plug does look similar.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 11:29:48 PM by jsowers »
Jonathan

Offline dsk

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Re: AE Starlite questions
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2017, 03:37:14 AM »
I have actually been keeping my eyes out for Starlites lately. out of all of the models I have had before I never had a starlite.

I have some questions and first let me qualify my questions with what I see here.....
http://www.ebay.com/itm/201909336447

This apparently is an older starlite because it has no bell. I would assume the wheel on the front is for illumination but I am not sure. Can someone confirm this? I really want a metal base on the starlite. I remember as a kid going to GTE territory and there was a distinct difference in the metal base vs plastic base phones and the plastic bases always seemed staticy.  Maybe this was just my experience and not really true, but I also like plungers on both sides.

I assume this pink housing can not accommodate a touchtone pad , is that true?

Now the dial for this should illuminate, much like the princess?? How do I identify the illuminating dial? Is this one? How can I identify the illuminated dials?

I see that some starlites have the square bezels the same color as the phone plastic while others to not.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/STARLITE-Automatic-Electric-Rotary-Phone-Dial-For-Parts-WORKS-Parts/302312304735

I am not necessarily interested in this starlite but it seems in good shape and have also found a handset here
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Automatic-Electric-Telephone-Pink-Handset-Shell-for-Type-80-90-Starlite-/231680294578?

So any input would be appreciated including sources for AE Pink cords

Thanks

Mark

I do only have newer starlite phones, still without ringers, but plastic bottom, and 3 pos switch for dimming.
The lighted dials has a more shiny square plate. The dial shall have 2 extra wires.  If you end up with a phone with no separate mains cable, it works nice with using 2 wires in a regular phone cord.  The adapter to mains is pretty easy to make, and fit it into an old adapter housing, or even a larger mains plug.  The current used is so small that it if you ground one of the live wires, an GFCI will not detect it. 

dsk
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 03:40:11 AM by dsk »
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Offline GTE Rick

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Re: AE Starlite questions
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2017, 04:14:05 PM »
Hello Mark,

As an avid Starlite collector I share your fascination with them.  Here are links to AE technical journals about the Introduction of the Starlite & the Starlite with the Internal Ringer, from the TCI Document Library.


Introduction: http://www.telephonecollectors.info/index.php/document-repository/doc_details/691-tb-913-i1-ae-type-182-starlite

Internal Ringerhttp://www.telephonecollectors.info/index.php/document-repository/doc_details/3515-starlite-telephone-with-internal-ringer-aetj

There is a great article by the late Bruce Crawford in the March 1994 Signing Wires about the Starlite development. 

One of the most interesting thing about the current limiting plug (wall wart) is that one can be used to power several Starlites and brightness doesn't decrease.

Rick

The Starlite - It's pretty, It's Practical, It's Panelescent!

Offline kb3pxr

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Re: AE Starlite questions
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2017, 03:58:27 PM »
In the first models of the Starlite, from the early 60s, the 120VAC came right into the phone via a standard electrical power cord and then was stepped down inside the phone, so they are definitely a safety issue. The second generation Starlites used the small wall wart plug with the resistor. I wouldn't put an early Starlite in a bathroom or near a water source. That's probably why the third generation Starlites, including the wall model and touch call models, didn't light. They were more like Stardarks.

Attached below are some pictures to illustrate. Note the AC cord on this early pink Starlite. The second pic is the electroluminescent dial lit. I apologize for the fuzzy pics, but it's all I had handy. I found a third pic of an NOS Starlite with one of those current-limiting plugs. Note that it doesn't have the thumbwheel in the front to dim the light.

Edit: Now that I look closer, that's a 4-prong plug and a modular adapter, but the wall plug does look similar.

There is actually no voltage step down at all. The electroluminescent panel needs about 100 to 200 volts (it isn't picky) AC. The frequency determines the brightness and the lifespan of the electroluminescent material (Higher Frequency is brighter, but doesn't last as long). The 47k Ohm resistors in series are simply to protect the telephone wires in case of a short. Electroluminescent panels require very little current and even less power since the load is capacitive. In fact an EL Panel can be referred to as a Light Emitting Capacitor.

Offline dsk

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Re: AE Starlite questions
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2017, 01:03:26 AM »
This tread is interesting!
Voltage do not kill you, and the current limiting plug ensures the current to be so low that it will not kill you if you take the 2 wires and connects it to pads from a defibrillator and connects it the same way, you will not be killed. It is not good for your health, so do not try, but it not kill you!
On the other hand the limiting of light is by a resistor in series so that proves that the current limiting will in some way be of importance for the disk.  I do no have to many of them so I may not test this out.

dsk
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Alex G. Bell

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Re: AE Starlite questions
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2017, 01:36:56 AM »
This tread is interesting!
Voltage do not kill you, and the current limiting plug ensures the current to be so low that it will not kill you if you take the 2 wires and connects it to pads from a defibrillator and connects it the same way, you will not be killed. It is not good for your health, so do not try, but it not kill you!
On the other hand the limiting of light is by a resistor in series so that proves that the current limiting will in some way be of importance for the disk.  I do no have to many of them so I may not test this out.

dsk
I think you would find that if you connected yourself in series between the 2x47K resistor and the electro-luminescent dial light circuit that it would light in series with your body and you would not feel anything

When I was a teenager experimenting with NE-2 neon lamp relaxation oscillators and simple lighting circuits with 100K in series and a 135VDC battery I found that to be the case.  With AC applied to the lamp through the resistor body capacitance was enough of a return path to light the neon lamp while sitting in a chair on a dry wood floor with no large metal objects nearby and the earth 8 feet below in the basement.  This is probably no different. 

If anyone does decide to try it I suggest using a 120:120V isolation transformer or putting themselves in the ground side.  I would not suggest applying to one's heart through defibrillator electrodes.