Poll

What's your oldest mostly original 500?

I have a '49, but don't tell anyone.
1 (1%)
1950
9 (9.2%)
1951
11 (11.2%)
1952
20 (20.4%)
1953-1957
57 (58.2%)

Total Members Voted: 88

Author Topic: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?  (Read 54837 times)

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #60 on: June 07, 2009, 12:07:13 PM »
Hi Steve:

Do I use it? Not much, I bought it in August 2007 and it was in my office till the end of 2007, when I had to store in a box in my closet. Now that you mention it, I may leave out out for a few days.

McHeath:

Thank you for the award. I am honored.

I also have a WE500 from 1952 and I think this is all original parts. It has the split network like this one does and a bakelite handset that looks like made of black granite.

If someone is interested, I can take some pictures of this 52 model.


Jorge

Offline Dan

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #61 on: June 07, 2009, 04:38:42 PM »
The phone Gods shined on me today. I went to a flea market and was doing the usual phone searching when I saw a  guy with WE500 yellowed aqua and a standard 60's beige. I asked the guy if he had any more phones and he said he had a black one in the truck he forgot to get out. I asked his price, he said $25. I offered $20. After showing my best poker face, I went home, added an after market wall plug (it had none). I took a picture, cleaned it up  and wired it up , no dial tone. Checked everything, it was the earpiece transistor. Replaced it, fired it up , all ringing and working.

Dates  Base 11/50
Earpiece and mouthpiece 11-14-50, and 11-50 respectfully.
Housing 11-II- 50 1 (first shift)
Dial 7A- dated 11-50
Cord was straight with  electrical tape in the center . The brass crimp was a 1953 . Looks like the cord was replaced but the rest of the phone was untouched.
Network 4-50 EARLY!
 311 Transistor  Sept 22, 1950.
I have a straight cord that I will replace the current cord with.

Does anyone know how to replace the 4A fuse part on the earpiece  speaker so it will be all dates matching?
Pictures












« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 06:42:49 PM by Dan »
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #62 on: June 07, 2009, 05:00:48 PM »
Dan:

That is a beautiful desk set. Notice that the numbers wheel seems not double injected like later versions. This could mean that the numerals and letters are painted (which is the way the original versions were manufactured).

Also, the word "OPERATOR" seems like a smaller font than later models.

Can you confirm?
Jorge

Offline Dan

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #63 on: June 07, 2009, 05:41:09 PM »
Operator is definately smaller. A neat rule is if "operator" is slightly wider than WXY next to it, you have a real oldie (newer sets have longer font). It is painted lettering because the letters have yellowed.
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline McHeath

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #64 on: June 07, 2009, 05:55:19 PM »
Lucky dog you!  An almost totally intact 1950 500 with the earliest network I've yet seen.  Okay, so what is with the 1950 500s that are turning up these days??  Seems every time we turn around another person has found one. 

And an April of 1950 network is very interesting from a historical point of view, clearly stuff was rolling off the line by mid year and being assembled into phones.  The mismatch of the base date and the network date seems to confirm that there were a lot of starts and stops in the process of making complete sets in 1950. 

Offline Dan

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #65 on: June 07, 2009, 10:37:43 PM »
Thanks, I am definately lucky!
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #66 on: June 07, 2009, 10:57:45 PM »
I took a picture, cleaned it up  and wired it up , no dial tone. Checked everything, it was the earpiece transistor. Replaced it, fired it up , all ringing and working.

Dates  Base 11/50
Earpiece and mouthpiece 11-14-50, and 11-50 respectfully.
Housing 11-II- 50 1 (first shift)
Dial 7A- dated 11-50
Cord was straight with  electrical tape in the center . The brass crimp was a 1953 . Looks like the cord was replaced but the rest of the phone was untouched.
Network 4-50 EARLY!
 311 Transistor  Sept 22, 1950.
I have a straight cord that I will replace the current cord with.



Hi Dan:

The thingie on the back of the U1 receiver labeled 4A is a varistor, and its purpose is to supress loud clicks. 

You said you disconnected it.  Do you mean from the U1 receiver, if so, the rest of the receiver must be ok.  If that is the case, I'd just leave the varistor disconnected, but physicall still attached.

This varistor was a new item with the 500's.  Its sole purpose is click supression, so it is only there for the comfort value.  I don't recommend trying to physically replace it, since it is riveted in place and it would be very hard to cosmetically put a new one in. 

It would be best to try to find a whole U1 that had a similar date you are looking for.  That style of 4A varistor was used for many years throughout the 50's and into the 60's so there are many out there.  Like the cord with the 53 date, you can say that the receiver was replaced by the refurb shop.......in 2009.  I won't tell if you won't.

-Bill
-Bill G

Offline Dan

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #67 on: June 07, 2009, 11:12:25 PM »
Thanks for the info. I wasn't very clear. I meant to say the U1 entire piece (the one dated 11-14-50 in orange ink) was replaced by me with a 1953 U1 piece. It now works and technically matches. My cord is ok, except the black tape covers a split. Should I take the 1956 straight cord I have and remove the brass crimp and put the 1953 crimp on it and use it, or would you live with the tape? I haven't removed many crimps so I am affraid I'll screw it up. Anyone have a brass 1953 crimp?
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #68 on: June 07, 2009, 11:42:44 PM »
Dan:

You could replace the tape with a short piece of gray or black shrink sleeving. It may look better than the tape.
Jorge

Offline Jester

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #69 on: June 07, 2009, 11:45:56 PM »
Who's gonna be looking, Dan?  If you have a good cord with the same anchors, I'd use it as is.  With the cover in place, the crimp is hidden & no one's the wiser.
Stephen

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #70 on: June 07, 2009, 11:52:46 PM »
Thanks for the info. I wasn't very clear. I meant to say the U1 entire piece (the one dated 11-14-50 in orange ink) was replaced by me with a 1953 U1 piece. It now works and technically matches. My cord is ok, except the black tape covers a split. Should I take the 1956 straight cord I have and remove the brass crimp and put the 1953 crimp on it and use it, or would you live with the tape? I haven't removed many crimps so I am affraid I'll screw it up. Anyone have a brass 1953 crimp?

Dan:

The old U1 is more likely to be entirely bad, and not just the 4A varistor.  I think I would stick with what you have done when it comes to the receiver.

I don't have a 1953 (or 1950) cord stay, but I have had some success in transplanting them, but it is kind of tricky.  I would actually be tempted to keep it the way it is just for the originality of it.  However, if you have a decent straight cord, replacing it is up to you, and probably aesthetically preferable.

The hardest part is getting the stay off the keeper cord without damaging the cord.  The stay is very strong, and needs to be coerced/ finessed with a small screw driver or a good pair of wire cutters or a stout pair of needle nosed pliers or all three.  What ever works.  What you need to do is get under one end of the zig-zag opening with one of those implements of destruction and lift and get it so it bends open.  Once you get it started, it gets a little easier.  All this coercing needs to happen without putting so much pressure on the wires to break them inside.  Remember those wires are nothing but fine tinsel wrapped around a small cotton or fabric string.  That's what makes it flex.  If you can successfully open up the one off the keeper cord, then you are in business.

Getting the keper stay off the cord you no longer need is a piece of cake.  You don't care about that cord, you only care about the cord stay.  I use a pair of wire cutters and cut one end of the old cord off right flush with one end of the stay body.  Then, get out your cordless drill and find a drill bit no larger than the inside diameter of the cord stay.  While holding the cord stay with a pair of pliers, drill the cord out of the cord stay, leaving the stay as a hollow tube.  Now, opening it with a pair of needle nosed pliers should be a snap.

For a crimper to crimp the keeper stay on the keeper cord, I use a cable TV antenna crimper that is made for the type F TV connectors.  Preferrably one that is round inside.  Some have a hexagonal pattern, and while this would probably work, it won't look original.

That about does it.  If you can pull a tooth with a knarly root, you can do this.  Just imagine getting under that molar with that tool that dentists use to pry with.  Come to think of it, that might not be a bad tool to use for this.  Probably a little expensive though.  I always did think dentistry was largely about mechanics.

I hope this is not all too confusing.

On the other hand..... 1956 for a handset cord to replace an already replaced 1953 cord on an otherwise 1950 phone is not the end of the world.  We are, after all, collectors, but we are not museum curators.   Food for thought.

-Bill
-Bill G

Offline Dan

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #71 on: June 08, 2009, 12:22:35 AM »
I can pull curved  tooth roots all day, but the first was the hardest! I'm going to the phone show labor day weekend looking for a crimp.  I'm going to leave the tape on. It's really not too noticeable, and for a 59 year old phone, at least it's original. I was fortunate to have a 1953 U1 earpiece part so it's matching.
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #72 on: June 08, 2009, 01:34:17 AM »
Dan:

One more set of thoughts on that U1 receiver.  I mentioned that the most likely culprit would be the receiver itself, and not the 44A varistor.  I still believe that is probably the case.  However, if the basic receiver is still good and the 44A is bad, the 44A would be shorting out the signal to the receiver.

You can check this out if you have an ohm meter.  By placing the ohm meter across the receiver, if you have a dead short (zero ohms) then the culprit is the 44A varistor.  A good varistor will be about 5,000 to 9,000 (5k -9k) ohms, and the coil of the receiver is about 33 ohms.  So, if you measure and get about 5 to 9k then you are seeing the resistance of the varistor only and you would know the receiver coil is burned out, and thus no good.

Now, I looked closely, and the varistor is mechanically held onto the U1 by 1 rivet and two screws.  By taking off the screws and grinding off the rivet, the varistor will come right off.  Replacing it would just involve having a missing rivet.

All this is moot if the base receiver is burned out, however.

If this is more than you want to deal with,  I totally understand.

-Bill
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Offline Dan

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #73 on: June 08, 2009, 10:28:27 AM »
I have on OHM meter in my Dad's old tool kit. To be honest, I have never used one. But I cetrainly can put one wire on one side and one on the other of the 4A varistor and check the #'s. I think it would be next to impossible to find a 1950 U1 replacement. Are you talking about hooking the 1950 U1 back up to the land line, and placing the two  OHM wires on on each side of the 4a varistor and checking the readings?  You don't put the wires anywhere else, right?  I can schematic and troubleshoot  an  electromechanical pinball, but have never used an OHM meter!

I know I could get the varistor off, it is one screw and a rivet, Puting a new one on would require a new rivet or using my denture drill @ work to have the one end of the new varistor enlarged to slide over the rivet without destroying it. Then I could lead solder it in place if solder won't screw up tthe conductivity--will it?). But I HAVE to know if it is the 4A before I do this. Sorry about the LONG winded answer.
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Who Amongst Us Has The Oldest 500?
« Reply #74 on: June 09, 2009, 12:34:58 AM »
Dan: (And anyone else who wants to read along)

Well, hopefully using an ohm meter is not like pulling teeth.  (I couldn't resist, do forgive me)

Where I am going with this is just to determine if the problem lies in the receiver element or in the varistor.  By far, the most likely candidate is the receiver element or coil.  If it is, then it is toast;  Game over.  Toss it or use it as a paper weight. 

In the off chance that the receiver coil itself is good, then the thing is probably salvageable, especially with your denture drill and a little skill.  The purpose of the following is to narrow that down to determine if you have a 1950's model U1 paper weight or a receiver.  And if nothing else this can be viewed as an excercise in gaining familiarity with an ohm meter.


So, the first and most important order of business is to see if the ohm meter, when measured across the two receiver terminals, measures some resistance or if it measures a dead short.  This measurement would be done with the reciever out of the phone, and with the varistor still screwed down and intact.  You can also try this with a known good U1 to compare readings.

There are three possibilities, and remember these resistances are ballpark:

  • Zero Resistance would indicate a dead short probably coming from the varistor, and would probably mean that the coil in the receiver itself is still good.  This reading is unlikely, but if this is the case we can go onto step 2 which I will cover if we get that far.
  • About 35 ohms would indicate that the receiver is functioning and really not a problem, making this whole excercise for not.  This would actually be the best thing that could happen, but you have already determined that something is wrong with the receiver, so this is also unlikely.
  • A high resistance of somewhere around 5,000 to 9,000 ohms.  This is what I am actually expecting.  This is the resistance of the varistor with no receiver coil connected.  This would indicate that the receiver coil is burned out and ready for the bone yard.  There is no step two from here.

To use an ohm meter, make sure there is a fresh battery installed in the meter.  If it has been sitting around a long time in a tool box, then this will be a necessary step.  I am going to assume this is an analog meter-type and not a newer digital read-out type.

Select ohms which is often represented by the omega Ω symbol.  Make sure the test leads are properly connected.  There is usually a single black colored plug for the black lead, and two other places to plug the red lead.  One that says something like volts and ohms, and another that says something like amps or miliamps.  You want the red lead in the former hole.

Calibrate the ohm meter by touching the two test leads together and while together turn the knob (probably looks like the volume control from an old transistor radio)  that says something like "ohms" or "zero" to get the meter needle to line up with, of all things, Zero. 

Now you are ready to test using the ohm meter.  Many higher end ohm meters have several resistance settings selectable from the big knob on the front.  These ranges will correspond to the range on one of the scales on the face of the meter.  Choose the appropriate range.

If you have any trouble with the meter, snap a picture of it and send it to me, and I can help you with that.

-Bill
-Bill G