Author Topic: E1 HANDSET SERVICE TIPS  (Read 37742 times)

Offline bingster

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E1 HANDSET SERVICE TIPS
« on: September 09, 2008, 04:42:57 PM »
About a month ago I bought a 202 with an E1 handset on eBay.  It was my second 202, the first being fitted with an F1 handset.  This new one is my first contact with an E1.  Anyhoo, the handset cord was in relatively good condition, with only one spot of outer covering going bare.  I whipped it with brown thread and thought that would be the end of the fraying.  Unfortunately, since I'm using this one as a "daily driver," the rest of the cotton outer covering is shredding--I guess 75 year old dry cotton just isn't up to the task of daily service. 

I'd like to replace the mounting cord and handset cord with new ones from House of Telephones, but I've been holding off because I can't get the E1 to come apart (surprise).  Both bakelite caps come off, but I can't get the rest of the stuff loose to put a new cord on.  Does anybody have any tips on getting these things apart without a set of E1 wrenches?  I've doused all the cracks with WD40 to try to loosen things, but that didn't work at all.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 03:27:59 AM by BDM »
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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2008, 05:16:16 PM »
Bingster, I have recently worked on an E1 handset that had the same problem.  They often do.  They are often damaged by people trying to use those wrenches that fit in the little holes.  A strap wrench works best.  There was a fellow from the TCI selling them 8 or 10 months ago.  His name is Ray Kotke adn he does have a web site (http://www.telephonecreations.com/).  Now with the sales pitch out of the way for a strap wrench, one of which I do not own, I have had great success using a hair dryer to warm the cap.  This method works great for plastic caps that get stuck on the Bakelite G1 handsets.  It also will work on Bakelite on Bakelite.  The handset that I just cleaned and replaced the cord on is a seamless E1.  I almost gave up but finally got it to free.  You only need to remove the mouth piece end to replace the cord.  I just lay the tip of the hairdryer about 4 inches from the stuck piece.  I let it blow for a good five to ten minutes then give it a try.  I used one of those rubber "cloths" that are for opening lids on new jars of pickles or whatever.  If you try it several times and it still won't budge I have also come up with the next step.  I take a large zip lock freezer bag.  I put the handset inside the bag and then stick the nose of the hair dryer into the bag.  The bag will inflate like a hood and trap in the heat to make the part even warmer.  That and WD 40 in the crack (like you've already done) did the trick for me and the cap came off.  Keep an eye on the bag while doing that...I've melted a bag before but it won't hurt the handset.  If you can't get it off that way you may have to resort to the strap wrench.  They're about $20 from Ray.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 06:17:35 PM by Mark Stevens »

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2008, 05:44:56 PM »
Bingster, I've been wondering if you tried the hair dryer technique.  The suspense is killing me!

Offline bingster

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2008, 07:19:38 PM »
I don't own a hair dryer. :D  I keep my hair pretty short, so I haven't had one in probably twenty years.  But!  I'm going to try the reverse tonight.  Instead of heating up the transmitter end, I'm going to try dropping a few ice cubes in the aluminum transmitter cup, and see if it shrinks the metal enough that I can turn it.  If that doesn't work I'm going to invest in a strap wrench.  There's one on eBay for around five bucks including shipping right now.
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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2008, 08:12:55 PM »
I've heard of people putting them in the freezer too.  I've tried that with not much success.  The only purpose I have for a hair dryer is to get stuck Bakelite caps off handsets!   ;D  I had hair once that could have benefited from a hair dryer, but not any more.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2008, 08:29:44 PM by Mark Stevens »

Offline bingster

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2008, 11:42:01 PM »
Well, I think it's a strap wrench for me.  I mentioned before that I could get both caps off the handset, and since it's equipped with the newer F1 transmitter, that came out, too.  With the transmitter out, there's nothing in the transmitter end that could be damaged by water, so I figured my ice trick wouldn't hurt the thing too much.

I decided that, in addition to cooling the aluminum cup, it would add an extra bit of effectiveness to heat the bakelite first.  But how to do that?  I'll admit that caveman logic took over and the first method I used for heating the bakelite was sitting on the transmitter end for a while.  I don't recommend this method.  It doesn't heat the plastic enough, and it's not very comfortable. 

Then it occurred to me that since I was getting the thing wet with ice cubes anyway, I'd just to run that end under the water faucet, gradually going from lukewarm to hot.  After doing this, I got the plastic good and warm, and then took some ice cubes and held them in the aluminum cup.  The cup got cold right away, and I could fee victory within reach, but despite my best efforts at turning the cup, nothing would budge.  Nothing at all.

I thought about trying a pipe wrench with lots of padding, but decided aluminum threads are far too delicate for that to be feasible. So a strap wrench it is. I might look for a cheap one this weekend, instead of waiting for ebay shipping.  We'll see.
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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2008, 09:35:16 AM »
Bingster, I remembered that I took some pictures as I worked on the E1 handset that I bought in August.  If it helps any I'll post a couple here.  I'm sticking with the hair dryer method.  I know you said you don't have one but I'm sure they're pretty cheap at K-Mart, WalMart, Target, etc.  But a strap wrench will still be handy.  The problem is you need to be able to grip it, thus the rubber "cloth" that I used to get the grip.  You also need to protect the palm of your hand from the threads that are exposed after removing the cap.  This seamless E1 was in very nice condition when I got it but the handset cord had seen better days.  It now sports one of Odis LeVrier's reproduction cords.  Anyway, here are a couple of photos.

Offline bingster

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2008, 04:15:48 PM »
Yep, I was laughing at that, too.  It made sense at the time. Kinda.  ;)

Thanks for the photos, Dennis, they do help clear up a couple things about how the parts fit together.  I didn't realize the spacer was threaded onto the aluminum.  I had assumed it was held in place by the compression of the aluminum part being tightened down onto the handset. 

It also explains why my experiment didn't work.  It appears that the aluminum threads onto the outside of the brass flange.  Cooling the aluminum just clamped it tighter.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 04:20:37 PM by bingster »
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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2008, 04:22:56 PM »
I wasn't sure if that would help you or not.  But when I first took one apart I kind of did it blindly.  I'm always reluctant to force anything that doesn't want to move...we all what happens next---it breaks!  I have heard of guys snapping the handset in two by holding the receiver hand in one hand and cranking on the other end.  I am always careful to try and not do that too.  I've thought of the vice-grips, channel locks, etc., but am always afraid of leaving bite marks.  I guess the strap wrench is the safest way to grip it....but I still think heat applied to the isolated part, along with a dose of WD 40 helps.  The strap wrench minus the heat is not as effective, in my opinion as the strap wrench with heat applied before hand.  As Dennis Miller would say, "...that's just my opinion, I could be wrong...". ;D

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2008, 07:05:56 PM »
Well Bingster, I now find myself in the same position as yourself.  Just yesterday a 302 was shipped to me with an E1 handset on it.  The owner of the phone wants me to do a refurbish job on it.  I heated the darn thing up this afternoon, doused it with WD40 and for the life of me I can't get the aluminum piece off.  I'm hoping that the WD40 will soak in over night and I'll try again.  Otherwise, I'm going to have to get me one of those newfangled strap wrenches and hope for the best!

Offline BDM

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2008, 02:55:15 AM »
Go easy with the strap wrench. You'd be surprised how fast things can go wrong using it. Ask me how I know :P Like crushing the aluminum, or worse. Heat it up as suggested, and go slowly and carefully!

--Brian--

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Offline Bill

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2008, 01:44:52 PM »
First, strap wrenches are available in several sizes in the Plumbing section of a big-box hardware store, and maybe your local hardware store.

Second, last week I used a strap wrench to get the bakelite parts of an E1 handset apart. It took substantial force, but then, I had a pretty small strap wrench. Most important, it didn't damage or break anything. BTW, I had used penetrating oil followed by the dance of a thousand tap-tap-taps to try to lube the threads - nothing.

Third, I was warned not to try to get the aluminum cup out of the bakelite cap. And I suddenly wondered WHY I wanted to get it out? In my case, I had a 395 module that was badly packed, and I thought I needed to replace it. But on the advice of others, I whacked the aluminum housing a few times, and it unpacked the module quite nicely. If you have an F1 transmitter in your handset, I've been told that they are very reliable and hardly ever need replacing. And replacement of the transmitter capsule is the only reason to try to get the aluminum housing out.

Just my thoughts

Bill
« Last Edit: September 14, 2008, 02:45:16 PM by Bill »

Offline bingster

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2008, 02:01:42 PM »
Hi Bill,  Normally I'm of the mind that things shouldn't be taken apart if they're not broken, so I'm with you in principle.  But I'm dealing with the only other reason to get the aluminum cup out... To replace the handset cord.  I'm using the phone for daily service, and the original isn't holding up at all well.
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Offline Bill

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2008, 02:24:48 PM »
Bingster -

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your dilemma. When I took my E1 handset apart, I ended up with the "spitcup" containing the aluminum housing in one hand, and the handset itself in the other hand. The handset looked like the third and fifth pictures in Dennis' sequence above. The ends of the wires are clearly exposed in the threaded brass part of the handset.

What I was warned not to do was to try to get the aluminum housing out of the spitcup. I had wanted to get it out so I could replace the transmitter module - but there are no wires in there.

Are you saying that you got the spitcup (transmitter module cover) and the bakelite trim ring off the handset, but the aluminum housing is stiuck in the brass housing? If so, that is an entirely different situation that I encountered, and you can safely ignore my posts. That happens a lot.

Bill
« Last Edit: September 14, 2008, 02:46:56 PM by Bill »

Offline bingster

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Re: E1 handset woes
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2008, 03:07:01 PM »
Very close, Bill.  What I've got is the spitcup itself off, along with the little holed plastic screen.  The aluminum and the plastic spacer are still firmly stuck to the handset.
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