Author Topic: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone  (Read 4911 times)

Offline Tribune

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Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« on: December 03, 2010, 04:35:38 PM »
Well, just like Foots a while back I've found one of my "Holy Grail" phones, though it will need a lot of work. A Connecticut TA-166/U.



Can't wait for it to arrive from eBay. Need to start thinking about what it will need - a dial for starters! I guess an AE 4A36  dial would be appropriate. But did Connecticut ever issue their phones with their own dials, and where the devil could I source one if they did? Don't know too much about these so any info would be very welcome. What would be the appropriate dial plate? I think the outer alphanumeric dial bezel is lurking there under the chipped dial blank .

Also, if the handset needs replacing (looks pretty rough if the eBay pics are correct) do Connecticut handsets for the TA-166/U and the TP-6-A differ? Were they marked differently?

May just strip and repaint in black, but I'm tempted to chrome the case - not exactly authentic, but looks awfully nice on TA-166s on the OPW website!

Mark
Mark Furze - TCI, ATCA

To miss-quote "Bones" McCoy . . .
                     "darn it Jim - I'm a doctor, not a telephone engineer!"

Offline Russ Kirk

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2010, 05:51:04 PM »
Here's a chrome one for hefty price - $295.

This auction - not mine - just eneded a couple days ago.

http://tinyurl.com/2ejyby3

it's a cool looking phone - never seen one like it.

Russ....

- Russ Kirk
ATCA & TCI

Offline rdelius

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2010, 08:32:52 PM »
There is usually a dial bezel hidden under the blank. It is brittle plastic and reverse painted. An AE or equiv dial will fit properly.You should find a black dial plate with dots or arrows for the dial. Watch out, these sets have microswitch hookswitches and they are often bad.
Robby

Offline paul-f

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2010, 12:40:24 AM »
These are often found with a Telephonics dial -- TA-45/GT.  Looks a lot like an AE dial, but has a neat dust shield under the fingerwheel.

ISTR the handsets were marked to match the phone model.
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline Tribune

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2010, 12:42:21 PM »
Thanks for the information gentlemen. I'll see if I can source a TA-45/GT dial and a black dial plate. Probably not the most common things to come across!
Mark Furze - TCI, ATCA

To miss-quote "Bones" McCoy . . .
                     "darn it Jim - I'm a doctor, not a telephone engineer!"

Offline Tribune

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2010, 02:44:29 PM »
Looks like Steve Hilsz will be able to provide the requisite parts once he's back from his precious-metals salvage expedition in southern Texas!
Fingers crossed that the microswitches on the handset cradle are OK.
Hope to pick up the phone from the Post Office in the next couple of days. Can't wait.
Mark Furze - TCI, ATCA

To miss-quote "Bones" McCoy . . .
                     "darn it Jim - I'm a doctor, not a telephone engineer!"

Offline Tribune

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2010, 01:22:23 PM »
Well, picked up the Connecticut from the Post Office today, despite the "What!? Another phone?" comments from my good lady wife  ;)

Will post some pics when I have the chance, but packing for tomorrow's winter vacation in Hawai'i today  8)

Just wanted to canvas the opinions of forum members as to how I should refurbish this phone. I certainly will be adding a dial and by the looks of it replacing the badly damaged handset, but what I really want input on is colour.

Should I . . .

1) have it refinished in black and try to keep the phone looking as original as possible?

2) have the metal cased chromed and either a black AE or Telephonics military dial or chromed AE dial?

3) have the case refinished in a different colour completely - a very dark cherry red or even black cherry perhaps?

I'm completely undecided, so your opinions would be very valuable!

Cheers
Mark
Mark Furze - TCI, ATCA

To miss-quote "Bones" McCoy . . .
                     "darn it Jim - I'm a doctor, not a telephone engineer!"

Offline foots

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2010, 03:50:08 PM »
Congratulations on your TA-166/U. I am about to get started on refurbing mine. I'm wanting to keep mine looking as original as possible. The trouble I'm having is finding handset and line cords. My cords had deteriorated (along with most of the internal wiring) so I'm trying to track down some replacements. One change I'd like to make is I'd prefer to have a straight handset cord like yours has vs. the coiled cord as I find they look much better. 
"Ain't Worryin' 'Bout Nothin"

Offline Tribune

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2010, 12:40:48 PM »
Got a chance today to finally start prodding about with the TA-166/U this morning.

1 ) Interior in great shape, apart from obligatory dust
2 ) Dial blank cracked, but alphanumeric bezel hidden behind it in great shape - OK 'cos I'll add a dial anyway.
3) Bakelite handset missing trans & rec modules, and looks like it was attacked with a handsaw - will need new one.
4 ) Thick rubber line cord in great shape
5 ) Straight thick rubber handset cord cracked and brittle - look at it the wrong way and it cracks some more - even moving the stripped black, red, and yellow handset wires inside the phone causes them to crack - will need to replace. Other internal wiring good.
6 ) Dial tone! Yippee! - OK, don't get too excited, dial tone intermittent - either very good and clear, or not there at all
7 ) Hook switch micro-switch module sticky and working intermittently (see dial tone above). Big question: are these things serviceable or do I need to find a new one?
8 ) She rings!!!!! Yey-hey!!!!
9 ) Rivets and screws on base plate corroded on outside. - Hmmm . . . drill out old rivets and replace? Are the main screws that attach the case to the base plate pretty standard, can I easily source new ones?
10 ) Minor rust on outside of base plate - re-paint while preserving red stamped numbers.
11 ) Base plate requires re-finishing: still undecided about colour. Any suggestions - original black, chrome, deep cherry red?

So, as you can see from the above list, defo a project phone  :D
Any advice from the esteemed forum members on the microswitch serviceabilit issue, and also colour preference?

Happy Holidays
Mark
Mark Furze - TCI, ATCA

To miss-quote "Bones" McCoy . . .
                     "darn it Jim - I'm a doctor, not a telephone engineer!"

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2010, 01:04:05 PM »
I got a handset & cord for my CT phone from Steve Hilz.
I am not familiar with the switch in your phone but the one in my TP-A was definetly serviceable although I do not think I got it back together quite right yet :D
I went with Purple ;D See the toaster phone thread.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"

Offline Tribune

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2010, 02:10:04 PM »
Love the purple toaster phone Harry, very nice. I'm leaning towards chrome or deep cherry red here, got to many black phones as it is  :D

One thing I am confused about on the TA-166 is what the metal bar adjacent to the two plungers is for. I can see no use for it either as a desk phone or in wall configuration. Certainly not required structurally with the bomb-proof metal casing. Only thing I can think of is a carry handle when used as a desk phone. But hooking your fingers in there and schlepping that heavy beast around is painful!

Mark Furze - TCI, ATCA

To miss-quote "Bones" McCoy . . .
                     "darn it Jim - I'm a doctor, not a telephone engineer!"

Offline Tribune

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 02:14:44 PM »
Well, its been a while in the making, but finally my Connecticut TA166/U is finished!

It was a major restoration as the phone was in rough cosmetic shape and the microswitches were playing up as is typical of these units. The handset was badly damaged and the handset cord was brittle and cracked. Also need an appropriate TA-45/GT dial. Steve Hilz came to the rescue with a replacement handset and rubber cord as well as a black dial plate. wds2185 from the forum here also supplied me with the military-spec TA-45/GT dial. Thanks to both of these guys for making this phone possible!

The line cord was OK, though very dirty and stiff, as were the rubber feet. Managed to get the microswitches working with a little effort and dry silicon lube after initially thinking they would need to be replaced. After an overnight soak in a mixture of hot water, dish soap and Oxyclean, the rubber cords and feet cleaned up nicely. It was then into a pot of boiling water for the line and handset cords for five minutes before being strung up with weights on the end to straiten them out. Worked like a dream. Letting them soak under a thick application of Armor-All give them a nice sheen and brought back their suppleness.

Then it was time to completely dismantle and drill out those nasty rusted rivets. That done the base could be rubbed down and given a shot of black gloss, masking and preserving the original stamps. Mean while the case was off to Fairmont Plating here in Edmonton for chrome!!

With the gloss on the base dry, the phone was reassembled and components riveted into place again. The dial proved to be a little reluctant to dial 1, so that's on its way to Steve for adjustment. Mean while I substituted it for a regular AE dial. Added a chromed finger wheel as well along with polishing up the original dial bezel that was preserved under the chipped dial blanking plate. Added a Connecticut dial card that I managed to produce as a facsimile from one on the Telephone Archive website.

The chromed case came back from the platers, and wow! Was that thing ever beautiful. Quickly buffed up the rusted screws and assembled the new looking phone. And what a beauty it is! Now my daily dialer, though it seems almost too nice to use. Something very satisfying to use this refurbished vintage technology to call long distance to my wife's iPhone!!!

Anyway, here are the pics and before and after shots to compare and contrast.

Mark
Mark Furze - TCI, ATCA

To miss-quote "Bones" McCoy . . .
                     "darn it Jim - I'm a doctor, not a telephone engineer!"

Offline Tribune

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2011, 02:20:19 PM »










Mark Furze - TCI, ATCA

To miss-quote "Bones" McCoy . . .
                     "darn it Jim - I'm a doctor, not a telephone engineer!"

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2011, 02:37:15 PM »
Wow!  What a beautiful job you did on that telephone.  Congratulations!

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Connecticut TA-166/U Project Phone
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2011, 04:29:21 PM »
WOW!!!! That is a beauty. You must be thrilled... WOW!!! ......Doug
Kidphone