Author Topic: help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 1 of 3  (Read 919 times)

Offline xtal_01

  • *
  • Posts: 76
Hell everyone!

I finally got in the switchboard I bought a few months back!

Now I need help.

First, I am not sure what I have.  I believed (and still assume) it is a magneto type board … which is what I wanted to work with my old magneto phones.

A quick look at some wiring diagrams (looking at my 1929 copy of “Principles of Electricity applied to Telephone and Telegraph Work” (it’s in rough shape with the cover falling off but all the pages are there  … if anyone has a first or second edition, I am looking for one).

I am not sure if this is a true magneto exchange or if it is a common battery exchange.

Maybe this should be my first question …. are the two systems compatible?  If I have an old local battery magneto wall phone, can I call to a common batter switchboard? 

Now I need some information from you guys.  I know it is a Northern Electric board though it came from a small town in Indiana.  The transmitter housing is marked Western Electric and the receiver is marked Stromberg Carlson.

There are two types of drops.  Numbers 1 to 15 are in a line just above the plugs.  Above it is 20 racks of 5.  These have different drop mechanisms.

Two of the lower drops (1-15) are missing.

On the upper drops, one is missing and two are plugged (I assume they don’t work.

There are 4 jacks on a plate marked DIAL.

 There are also 4 jacks on a plate marked TRK with 4 lights below these jacks … I am missing two of the red lenses of two of the lights.

There are two switches with wooden knobs that pull up and down on the flat part of the board.

There are two odd switches with a T handle on the right side of the board.

There is a black cord with a jack aside from the other red and green cords.

There are 4 jacks in the front under the lip.

There is a switch which was obviously added later hanging down in the front.

I don’t see any bell or buzzer in the unit! I see what might have been a buzzer in the back but it is not connected.

There is a 15-amp screw in fuse … but no power supply.

Several capacitors mounted in the back.

Two “cans” mounted on wood bases (one marked CORDS and the other marked TEL) … transformers?

There is a magneto in the unit with a long shaft and crank on the front.

And wires … lots and lots of wires.

Soooooooo … where do I start ?????

I am thinking I need to start tracing wires ….

I know I will need a couple of the lower drops and one of the upper.  I will also need the red lenses and probably some jacks (one or two are bent). 

Does someone in the group specialize in these old boards and has parts?

Thanks ….. Mike

PS ... it will take 3 postings to get all the pictures up

Offline xtal_01

  • *
  • Posts: 76
help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 2 of 3
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2020, 11:32:49 PM »
Second group of pictures

Offline RB

  • **
  • Posts: 1407
  • Love old phones
Re: help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 1 of 3
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2020, 09:27:50 AM »
Good morning.
You DO have a magneto board there.
It is not compatible in it's generic form with modern phones.
It appears to be MOSTLY intact. That's good!
Find the place on the rear of the board where the wires come in, and post a couple pics of that, and we can look at what you need to do first.
If you can find a connection to an extension, connecting a crank phone, and turning the crank should cause the drop door to fall.

Offline xtal_01

  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 1 of 3
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2020, 01:45:04 PM »
more pictures ...
« Last Edit: April 29, 2020, 01:47:43 PM by TelePlay »

Offline xtal_01

  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 1 of 3
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2020, 01:46:07 PM »
and more

Offline xtal_01

  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 1 of 3
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2020, 01:47:06 PM »
last two ....
« Last Edit: April 29, 2020, 01:49:46 PM by TelePlay »

Offline Duffy

  • **
  • Posts: 2398
  • Duffy
Re: help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 1 of 3
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2020, 01:55:00 PM »
Nice piece of Canadian history you have there.

Offline xtal_01

  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 1 of 3
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2020, 02:08:41 PM »
Funny ... I didn't know what make it was when I bought it ... though probably WE since it was in Indiana. 

I am actually from Canada (born and raised just outside Niagara Falls in Welland).

I am told this unit was built in Montreal ... I live in Vermont only about an hour away ... it is almost home.

Offline Duffy

  • **
  • Posts: 2398
  • Duffy
Re: help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 1 of 3
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2020, 02:16:36 PM »
Funny ... I didn't know what make it was when I bought it ... though probably WE since it was in Indiana. 

I am actually from Canada (born and raised just outside Niagara Falls in Welland).

I am told this unit was built in Montreal ... I live in Vermont only about an hour away ... it is almost home.

Yup, almost home is right. I'm just 3 hours west of Montreal in Belleville, Ontario.

I have a friend who has one that looks to be the same.


Offline Jim Stettler

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4799
Re: help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 1 of 3
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2020, 05:41:57 PM »
looking at my 1929 copy of “Principles of Electricity applied to Telephone and Telegraph Work” (it’s in rough shape with the cover falling off but all the pages are there  … if anyone has a first or second edition, I am looking for one).



Check the TCI library, https://www.telephonecollectors.info/
I usually use the google search option.
The library has several editions. With luck you can find the info you need.
The library may have other useful info regarding your board.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I originally thought that newer versions would have more info, however, newer editions have newer and different info.
I have a 1929 edition and a later edition (1935?). They are packed in my telephone library boxes and those are hard to get to.
Jim
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline xtal_01

  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 1 of 3
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2020, 09:36:18 PM »
Looking carefully at this, I see two inserts in the wood right where I see a dial on some boards.

There is also a hole there and a bunch of wires cut laying loose right there.

So, why would there be a dial on a magneto board?

The drops still only work off a magneto ... right?

There is a black separate cord right in the same area ... and there are 4 jacks marked dial.

what would you do ... call the operator with a magneto phone ... then have her dial a number  ... they connect between the two ... though magneto phones were not compatible with a modern dial system.

OK ... now I am confused.

Plus, I guess I need to make a choose ... and maybe you guys can help.  Since it has the wiring for a dial and the holes, do I put a dial back onto it?  Can I even find a dial an mount that would fit this unit?  Of can I take it backwards and take out all these modifications?

Thanks!

Offline RB

  • **
  • Posts: 1407
  • Love old phones
Re: help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 1 of 3
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2020, 01:10:53 AM »
It looks like your board was fitted with 4 trunk lines.
It may have been an in between model??? not sure there. That odd black plug may have been part of it???
And, yes, you would call the op, and she would plug into a trunk, "outside line" and dial your number.
You can find dials. may not need the exact dial, but one with the same config would work.
It looks like the wires were cut to accommodate a dial? if you don't want one, you would need to mend those wires, or may not get op set to work correctly???
Find a schematic, that is a busy board, you will most likely need it to get it working again.

Offline wmactor

  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: help with magneto switchboard ... need info and parts ... 1 of 3
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2020, 10:47:36 AM »
Hi Mike,

I believe that you have a Northern Electric 1240 magneto switchboard - you can download a 1948 NE manual for it at the PEI Telephone Museum facebook page - see the post below:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=16713.0

I have one of these boards as well - yours is more complete, and I'm looking for parts too (which seem to be very difficult to find!).

Other than this manual, and a few circuit drawings on the PEI Museum webpage, info on these switchboards is very rare.  Also, these boards seem to have been custom built to each customer's specifications - some have switches, jacks, cords (mine has a third row of cords...) and circuit modules that others are missing.  Tracing the wiring will be necessary to try and discover their function.

The row of 15 drops and seperate jacks directly above the cord shelf is for Trunk lines to other central offices.  The drops above those, in modules of 5 with integral jacks, are for Magneto telephone stations.  Not sure what the TRK and DIAL modules are for! 

Also not sure what the two T-handle switches (model 406's, probably) do - my board has one (missing) switch to turn the 'Night Ring' function on or off (probably what your buzzer is for), and another switch to select either the hand-cranked ring generator on the switchboard (this is the magneto crank that you noted under the keyshelf) or the Hydro-powered ring generator provided within the Central Office (the hand crank generator would be useful if the power to the CO failed). The ring generator is used to send ringing voltage down the line to a magneto telephone when the operator needs to set up a call.

I didn't see a picture of the keys on your keyshelf - on my board there is a row of 15 black keys and 15 red keys.  The black keys are used to connect the operator to a cord (there is one key for each pair of cords 0 one cord is used to connect to an incoming call, and the other is used to connect that call to another set.  The red keys are used to send ringing voltage to the called party.

The 4 jacks under the keyshelf lip are where the operator's headset is connected.  One pair of jacks are for the operator, and the second pair is so that someone can plug in a second headset and monitor the operator's headset - useful when training a new operator, as she could listen in while the experienced operator handled traffic.  My board has a pull-up switch marked "MON" which enables the second set of jacks...yours probably does too?

Lamps and jacks turn up on eBay occasionally - most cords that you find there are 3-conductor ones for later common battery switchboards, yours are two conductor.

Hope that helps a bit!

Regards,

Wayne