Author Topic: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal  (Read 381 times)

Offline andy1702

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Re: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2019, 02:24:13 PM »
OK, I've had a look through some of my trimphones. I haven't found the one without the tritium tube yet, but I have found some strange examples.

First up... a 'Snowdon range' phone. The theory is this shouldn't have a tube as they were re-issued instruments that came out after the tritium scare. Unfortunately that theory looks to be wrong.
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Offline andy1702

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Re: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2019, 02:28:37 PM »
Next up... the trimphone with the silvered plastic mount for the tube. Also note the metal parts that were later swapped for plastic in the dial.
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Offline andy1702

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Re: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2019, 02:33:44 PM »
And finally for now... this oddity. Does anyone know why this is so different? The tube is a completely different fitting, which is attached to the finger plate with three small screws, rather than being attached to the dial when the finger plate is removed, which is the norm. What does the sticker on the base mean?
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Offline FABphones

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Re: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2019, 06:41:53 PM »
Thanks for adding those photos.
Of the 14+ Trimphones I have, none of them have the oddities of your examples on photo 2 and 3. Mine are very ordinary in comparison.

Re the red Snowdon, the Tritium tube may have been changed out. Not that likely but it is a possibility. Those of mine I am swapping out are older models that would have had them originally but where they have been removed. Other former owner/s may swap out regardless.

I have a red Snowdon due to arrive. I will open it up and take photos for comparison. I'll also check which factory made it, as that could also make a difference.

Your blue phone looks like a melange of Trimphones. It is marked AAA which confirms the phone colour as grey/white, not blue. It looks like you may have some unusual/early parts on that one. I have never seen that silvering.

Re your third phone,
Unusual. As you probably know, the black sticker with white writing can be removed, underneath is possibly an older mark or label referring to the original phone. I have only ever seen the BMF Modified wording next to 'Mark 2'. Unsure what BMF stands for.
I'm wondering if both this and the Trimphone above may have parts from an early model (having been refurbished). The bases are not prototype bases.
Again, I will do a comparison with an early model I have (but have never opened up).

Info below for thread just to explain some of the coding...

Example codes:

1/722L TCH/69

722 is the model number

L = a lettered dial

TCH = STC in Larne, Northern Ireland

69 = 1969

Other Manufacturers:

TCE (STC in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland)

GEN (GEC in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham)

SPK (Plessey in Speke, Liverpool)

BATCH SAMPLED FWR 82 = FW refers to BT's factory in Cwmcarn, Wales.
'R' stands for 'refurbished'
82 = 1982

*Snowdon Range Trimphones (refurbished telephones), have the code TELE 8776 or TELE 8722.
They were refurbished using stock parts. Some of the coding/dates may predate the issue date of the Snowdon range.


« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 06:54:24 PM by FABphones »
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Offline andy1702

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Re: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2019, 09:36:22 AM »

Your blue phone looks like a melange of Trimphones. It is marked AAA which confirms the phone colour as grey/white, not blue. It looks like you may have some unusual/early parts on that one. I have never seen that silvering.

Re your third phone,
Unusual. As you probably know, the black sticker with white writing can be removed, underneath is possibly an older mark or label referring to the original phone. I have only ever seen the BMF Modified wording next to 'Mark 2'. Unsure what BMF stands for.
I'm wondering if both this and the Trimphone above may have parts from an early model (having been refurbished). The bases are not prototype bases.


the blue one definitely was refurbished as there's one of those square black stickers on it. I may have peeled a blank black bit of tape off the two rows of printed lettering to reveal them, I can't remember. If the tape on the back is blank I usually take it off. If not, then I try to carefully peel the sticker off and re-apply it somewhere else to reveal the full history. So the blue one probably started out as a grey variant with a lettered dial, but got refurbished in 1979 with a new blue case and number only dial plate.

The interesting thing about the blue phone is that it in no way looks blue. It's more a green-ish colour. It looks more blue in the photos than it actually is. At first i put it down to sunlight yellowing the ABS, but it's equally green looking inside which doesn't usually happen. Also note the hook switch rocker assembly is the same colour as the case, not the usual black.

I've also dug up a reference to STC using two different dials on trimphones, the standard one and another of their own proprietary design. I wonder if the phone with the odd dial has something to do with that? There has been one of thiose dial plates with the tube built into it on E-bay over the last few days.
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Offline FABphones

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Re: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2019, 04:01:26 PM »
I opened up today for the first time, these three Trimphones.

Well well look what I found...

Photos 1, 2:
Opened up a 1982 (grey colourway) Snowdon, the Tritium tube is still inside. It would appear the complete with Tritium tube Trimphones were still issued at this time.

Photos 3, 4, 5, 6:
Opened up a 1973 issue and found a silvered Tritium tube holder (complete with tube), the faceplate being held onto it via three screws.
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Offline FABphones

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Re: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2019, 04:11:12 PM »
Finally, opened up a 1969 issue Trimphone, These early Trimphones had the number/letter format faceplate. This one appears to be a date matching 69/1. The 1 believed to be the batch number (1 of 2).

Again found a silvered tube holder, complete with tube, but this early version has no screws to hold it to the faceplate (which clicked off).

Slightly different style of centre to the faceplate too. And the tube is held in with what looks, and feels, more like a rubber adhesive. The centre isn't the same as later Trimphones either, the usual Opal won't fit this phone. If you look closely at the photo you can see an inner rim.
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Online twocvbloke

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Re: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2019, 09:23:30 AM »
Definitely some unusual features on different manufacturers' versions of the Trimphone, it would have been interesting to have seen a comparison between the white and mirrored versions with regard to illumination with a fully working tritium tube... :)

Anyone got a time machine to go back to when they were still new phones?  ;D

Offline FABphones

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Re: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2019, 10:54:20 AM »
Anyone got a time machine to go back to when they were still new phones?  ;D

I wish! Or the ‘Red Dwarf’ (a UK produced TV series), photo machine where the viewer can leap into the picture and bring stuff out of it. I’d pause for a chat, so many unknown stories on the old phone sign photos on this site.

Meanwhile... I found the rotary cousin of my one and only (recently acquired) red 10 button Trimphone. Not many red Trimphones come up for sale so very pleased to find this so quickly. Dated 1981. Complete with Tritium tube.
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Online twocvbloke

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Re: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2019, 11:20:36 AM »
I wish! Or the ‘Red Dwarf’ (a UK produced TV series), photo machine where the viewer can leap into the picture and bring stuff out of it. I’d pause for a chat, so many unknown stories on the old phone sign photos on this site.

Series 3, Episode 5, "Timeslides", Red Dwarf fan here... ;D

As for that red Trimphone, they do look good in that colour, the other colours just don't seem to suit it in my opinion, but that's just my tastes, that and red phones are pretty hard to buy as people price them so extortionately thinking they're governmental or secret spy stuff...  ???

Offline andy1702

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Re: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2019, 01:27:01 PM »
While we're talking unusual trimphones, would this be the time to mention the oddball ones that Noel and friends used every Saturday morning as part of the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop? They changed from season to season. For a while they seemed to be white (or possibly grey) with different colourd handsets. At another time he had a bright orange one on his desk! Unfortunately not many tapes of Swap Shop have survived, so it's not easy to find much footage of them now.
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Online twocvbloke

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Re: Trimphone 722 Tritium Tube Removal
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2019, 04:48:10 PM »
Swap Shop is definitely before my time (I'm only 33!!), it was Going Live! and later Live and Kicking for my saturday morning viewing...  ;D

Though I do recall the BT Viscounts used on Going Live! occasionally for the phone-ins...  ;D