Author Topic: AT&T Merlin Phone System (PABX) and Telephone Sets  (Read 15082 times)

Offline Adam

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2011, 12:51:07 PM »
BTW: I posted a pic from 2001 and discussed it on this forum here:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=312.msg54589
Adam Forrest
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C*Net 1-383-4820

Offline jsowers

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2011, 02:51:56 PM »
That is the later model with the plastic stand. The early sets had a cast metal stand.

I always wondered if the metal stands were early, so thanks, Jim for that little nugget of info. I work for a school system and have for 26 years, so I worked back when these Merlin systems were still in use. We had some spares that were removed because a system got hit by lightning and you never saw a happier secretary than the one I sent the metal Merlin stand to replace the plastic one she had. I think she baked me a chocolate pie, she was so overjoyed!

The Merlin systems were installed in the schools that were in Southern Bell territory, which makes sense. They worked well in their time and always looked high-tech, I thought. With the upper model Cisco phones we have now, when the stand breaks, we have to replace the entire phone! Luckily the cheaper ones don't have stands like that.
Jonathan

Offline Jim S.

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2011, 09:50:11 PM »
I have always assumed the metal stands were early (same for the metal grill handsets).
It could be that they had standard and "hard use".

I do not know. This is/was my assumption. Now I am not sure.
Jim
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline ESalter

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2011, 09:58:16 PM »
I don't know about the stands 100%, but I can say all of the early sets I have came with metal stands.  Maybe coincidence, who knows?

---Eric

Offline Adam

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2011, 07:27:28 PM »
OK.  I was really curious about this, and never having had the opportunity to see them both together to compare, I really wanted to see for myself, how the touch-a-matic S telephone's handset compares to the Merlin handset.

So, I got a Merlin handset off eBay (reconditioned Merlin handsets are really cheap).

Below is some pictures of them together.

You can see that while the two handsets are very similar, the Merlin handset, as has been stated, is bigger.

But, even in dimensions where the handsets are very similar, the length of the receiver and the width of the transmitter, for example, the Merlin handset is still bigger by a very small amount.

Fun stuff!  :)
Adam Forrest
Los Angeles Telephone - A proud part of the global C*Net System
C*Net 1-383-4820

Offline ESalter

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2011, 08:06:31 PM »
I didn't realize they were bigger all the way around, I just thought the transmitter was different.  That's really neat to see them next to eachother like that to see all the differences.

I'm sorry I haven't gotten pictures of my Merlins yet, work has been keeping me super busy and I have all the colored phones packed up.  Anyway, I haven't forgotten, I'll get them taken and posted as soon as I get a free minute to do so.

---Eric

Offline bingster

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2011, 09:39:24 PM »
So to recap, the brown one is an M-type handset, the black one is an R-type handset, and the one found on some design line sets and very late 2500s is a K-type?
= DARRIN =



Offline paul-f

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2011, 02:11:27 AM »
So to recap, the brown one is an M-type handset, the black one is an R-type handset, and the one found on some design line sets and very late 2500s is a K-type?

Well said.

The Design Line used a variety of handsets including, K, L, N, Trimline and several apparently unlettered specialty handsets.
  http://www.paul-f.com/weDesignLine.html#Celebrity

The N also looks similar to the M and R handsets.
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline GG

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2011, 05:20:49 AM »


Probably the Merlin handset was built more ruggedly inside to withstand the heavier usage in a business environment.   The Touch A Matic would have been designed less ruggedly in order to keep it affordable as a phone the subscribers could buy outright.  I can't think of any other reason WE would have issued two subtly different handset types like that, rather than using one model uniformly. 

J.Sowers, re. broken stands on upper-model Cisco phones: how often do they break like that?  For instance if you have an office with 100 of that model of Cisco phone in it, how many stands do you expect to break in an average year?   Any other news re. breakage of those phones? 

Offline jsowers

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2011, 11:42:31 AM »
J.Sowers, re. broken stands on upper-model Cisco phones: how often do they break like that?  For instance if you have an office with 100 of that model of Cisco phone in it, how many stands do you expect to break in an average year?   Any other news re. breakage of those phones? 

We have maybe 500 or so of those upper model Cisco phones, with an integrated adjustable stand that's all plastic and kind of flimsy. Some of them are wall-mounted, so they won't suffer the broken stand when somebody leans hard on the phone. The rest are in offices where we need a full duplex speakerphone. I'd say we've had maybe 4 or 5 phones with broken stands over 6 years, so it's a small failure rate. It's not an epidemic, but we do have to replace the phone, which gets expensive.

We're a school system with about 2500 teachers and 90% of the classrooms have the small cheaper model phone with a removable desk stand that doesn't break and the classrooms that do have the more expensive phones have them mounted on the wall.

The handsets also suffer when dropped, but not to any great degree. One of our techs has figured out how to take the handset apart and repair the damage when the elements pop loose. We also have extra handsets from the many, many sets that have been killed by lightning. Lightning is our number one problem. Our administrative office ethernet network was struck by lightning twice last summer. It took out switches, phones, network printers and computers plugged into phones. I'm beginning to think NC is the most lightning-prone place in the US.

To get back to the Merlin, we had at least two Merlin systems also hit by lightning and it killed the main unit. That was when it was rented from the phone company (Bell South) so I imagine that was covered somehow. But the lease and moves/adds/changes from the phone company were costly, as was the long distance (we had two area codes and five phone companies in our county then).
Jonathan

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2011, 11:47:29 AM »
I'd be interested in someone starting a topic on phones seen in film, particularly science fiction.  And who can forget the videophone in _2001: Space Odyssey_?  

There is a very large thread (20 pages and counting) on "Old Phones in Movies" complete with LOTS of screen shots. I'm an advocate of keeping topics in existing threads rather than starting new ones on the same topic constantly so I don't know that a specific "Phones in Science Fiction movies" is particularly needed. But that's just my opinion!!

Here's the "Old Phones in Movies" thread:
http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=312.285

Terry
« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 11:51:14 AM by AE_collector »

Offline Everwood

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2011, 03:47:32 PM »
Hey Eric,
I have one white (or slightly off-white) 34 button (Z7305S01B 87SP06) that is in "like new" condition if you were interested to complete your collection.  I actually still have some 820D systems that I service in the field.  They seem to be mostly in my auto mechanic customers for some reason.  I try to get them to upgrade.. but they ask "why, it works just fine for me"  I really can't blame them... those old Merlin systems are bullet proof and cheap to maintain. 
I also carry a full compliment of all the old Merlin phones, handsets, modules, cards, control units ...ect.  If anyone needs anything just let me know.

Aaron

Offline GG

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Re: Merlin Phones?
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2011, 04:46:22 AM »


JSowers: thanks; That's good info; Cisco is a major presence in the Bay Area here so it's useful to know.  NC & lightning: Ouch, painful repairs.  Hopefully you haven't been getting any of the recent tornados.  Various weather experts are saying this is really unusual, 25% of a year's worth of tornados in the first month of the season, something along those lines.  We don't have much lightning here, for which I'm very thankful.

Everwood: good to see someone has that material in stock; nice to see a white one there. 

Offline Nilsog

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Re: AT&T Merlin Phone System (PABX) and Telephone Sets
« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2013, 10:30:03 AM »
Not to bring this topic back from the dead- but I just received a Merlin 410 and a pile of Merlin phones for free from a local car dealership. I was wondering what had to be done to make a rotary phone work on this system.

I have feature cards one and two, however card one causes the warning light to come on and the phones to stop working. I assume this is why they replaced the system. I plugged the second card into my record player and had Frank Sinatra swooning when I placed calls on hold, which was amazing!

Standard modular plugs will fit in the holes (quite properly it seems) however I just get a buzzing on the model 500 I plugged in. The other sets seem to work fine.
Ken

Offline Weco355aman

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Re: AT&T Merlin Phone System (PABX) and Telephone Sets
« Reply #44 on: June 03, 2013, 11:28:46 AM »
Hi
You CANNOT use any thing other than a melin phone on the 206/410
This is NOT a pbx or a hybrid system.
Just a 4 line by 10 station System.
The phones requires 4 pair (8)  wires to each phone.
Phil