Author Topic: WECo 557 Answering Service Cordboard  (Read 12726 times)

Offline marty

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WECo 557 Answering Service Cordboard
« on: April 12, 2011, 11:20:11 AM »
Hi All;
I have just acquired a 557 Switchboard.. I know what it is... I have attached basic voltage (27 volts) and used a 1050 Telephone Analyzer for ringing.. I have tried it on different cables lines, and I get NO blinking lights of on and off... Am I missing something ???? Here are some pictures...
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 02:46:00 AM by AE_Collector »

Offline marty

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 11:21:46 AM »
Hi All;
more pictures..
THANK YOU Marty
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 11:24:56 AM by marty »

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 02:19:27 PM »
Hi Marty:

I am not familiar with this board, and while some here may have answers, I am afraid I can't help at all.  It has all the earmarks of a learning project.  I see you have posted the same question on the TCI listserve and you have received some replies but not a lot.

Switchboards are funny things, since there were so many variations, and a LOT of customization went in to each installation.  Many, such as the 552 I have resided behind a great big room full of PBX switches, such as the 701 PBX.  In other words, mine was not a stand-alone unit and does nothing all by itself. 

I think the 555's and the 557's were more stand-alone units that can be made to function without a separate room full of switching equipment.

Good luck with it, and I think eventually one of the switchers from the TCI list server will eventually come up with an answer for you.
-Bill G

Offline marty

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 05:52:37 PM »
Hi All;
Bill, yes, I have made some progress on the board. I can hook up a phone to a 'Stal' line and a light lights up and shows that a phone has gone off hook... I also have hooked up my phone line to the 'TRK' trunk lines and can patch the two together with the patch cord and it will work, I then can call out on the WE 500 phone attached to it... On the trunk line I doesn't show a light but maybe it only lights when it "rings"... I have NOT had any luck with the Secratrial lines , I can attach it to my phone line but nothing goes through as of yet...  THANKS for the encouragement...
THANK YOU Marty

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 07:46:05 PM »
555 is a stand along PBX and the older versions of the 555 are 551A and 551B PBX's. Then as Bill says there are operators positions that fronted SxS and Crossbar PABX's AND there are ANswering Service boards. I get them all mixed up besides the 551/555 PBX's but I THINK the 557 is an ANswering service board. Thus instead of a few trunks and lots of inside stations, they have LOTS of trunks and few or possibly even NO inside stations. From the pictures I'm going with this (557) being an Answering service board.

So if you applied talk and ring voltage across any of the trunk circuits I would think you might get some sort of incoming indication but in all liklihood the board needs power connected to it to operate as well.

Terry

Offline ESalter

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 08:06:32 PM »
We have a both a 555 and a 557.  the 557 is a stand alone PBX.  It has 50 or so extensions and 3 trunks.  All of which have lights by the jacks.  The 557 has the same number of extensions and probably 10 trunks.  Here's the big difference, the station jacks on the 557 have no lights, the trunks do.  The following was always my understanding.  On a PBX you can dial direct from station to station or dial 8 or 9 for an outside line.  However, how does an incoming call from an outside line get connected to the right station?  That's what I was told this board was for.  To be used as an answering board with a PBX. 

---Eric

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 08:17:22 PM »
So a 557 is an operators position in front of an automatic PABX then?

PABX stations could dial each other and dial 9 for an outside line. Before DID service all incoming calls to the PABX would land at the operator position where they usually could be "plugged" through to the stations and/or dialed through to stations on relly big boards.

Terry

« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 11:00:35 PM by AE_collector »

Offline ESalter

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 08:47:53 PM »
That's what I believe ours has is.  Marty's is quite different though.  All the cordboards I've seen have stations above and the trunks down below right above the cord ckts.  His is opposite from that and has TONS of trunks up above.  I've never seen that many trunks in a cordboard before.  I'll try to take a picture of our board tomorrow for comparative purposes.

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 11:03:00 PM »
I really thought that 557 was an Answering Service Board since all the lines that they were answering would need to appear as trunks on the board. Probably no need at all for stations but maybe they came with a relatively small number of station jacks as well to support the Answering Service offices. Just a guess.

Terry

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2011, 12:02:58 AM »
The answering service probably needed a way to extend a call to the business they were answering for in the event they were just screening calls and needed a way to put the call through from that "important" client.

Surely, there must be a BSP or something out there on the function of a 557.  I'll check with Colin Chambers.  He once worked on an answering service board if my memory serves me.
-Bill G

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2011, 12:15:27 AM »
A quick Google search and the first hit was from the Seattle Communications Museum.

Quote:
In 1955, a specially designed “answering service” switchboard, called the 557, was developed.


http://www.telcomhistory.org/vm/exhibitsSeattle6.shtml

Terry

Offline marty

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2011, 12:45:16 PM »
Hi All;
My board has 100 Secretrial lines at the top, that can answer , but not call out.. It has 10 trunks for calling out at the bottom left, and below that it has 10 lines for extension phones... there are 40 lines on the lower right , that as far as I can tell must go to another board, as they are just jacks and lights...  I have gotten the trunks and the extensions to work together. But , so far have not had the secertrial part working, I have the SD's for it and it looks like it should work, but no go so far... I will update everyone when I get more working or more information... I have attached the trunk line to my home phone land line and a WE 500 to an extension line, which lights up when the receiver is lifted, and can call out on the WE 500... I have not yet tried to see if I can hook two extensions together and ring one and connect them together, thru the patch cords...  This is next to try..
THANK YOU Marty

Offline marty

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2011, 06:40:46 PM »
Hi All;
I have tried to connect two phones together thru the patch panel that are on the STAL lines (I assume extension), I assume that I don't have 'talk' voltage, and so are dead to each other... Even though they work with the trunk line..
I have two thick wires on the "MISC" section and as of yet I don't know if they are "talk" or for "Ringing"..
I now have three phones connected thru the STAL lines and my Home land line to the Trunk line, I can Patch any of the three phone to my trunk line.. They will work with or without power applied.. It still will blow the fuses on the power supply, and I am not fully sure why.. I think that when I plug in to the trunk line depending on which plug I use it triggers a relay and that is too much of a current pull  for the fuse I have installed, since my amp meter only shows .034 when a lamp is lighted and nothing when no lamp is lighted...
Does anyone know if there is an operators manual for this beast ??
THANK YOU Marty

Offline marty

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2011, 07:10:50 PM »
Hi All;
When looking under Google for 557 switchboard operators manual.. I didn't find a manual, but did find many articles on starting your own Telephone Answering Service, using this SwitchBoard.. I don't know how old the articles are, but I plan on going home and reading them just for Fun..
THANK YOU Marty

Offline Jim S.

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Re: 557 Switchboard
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2011, 12:15:37 AM »
WE had a 557 A and a 557B.   The base 557 was an answer service board, however the scarcer variation also worked as a switchboard. Marty has the scarcer board.

This is the way I understand it. I was the previous owner of the board. Fred Haynes has seen it. He said it was the scarcer model.

It is a relativly unmolested switchboard. I "adopted" it about a year ago. It was being considered for scrap. I bought it and held it. I had  $250.00 and 30 hours invested in this board. Marty was interested in it, close enough for delivery and skilled enough to resurrect it.

I sold it for $250 delivered, and am quite tickled about Marty's progress. My 30 hours of labor with this switchboard was volunteer
labor  to save a quality artifact.
It come under payback to the hobby.
Keep up the good work Marty,
Jim S.

BTW I did nominate  this switchboard on April find of the month.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.