Author Topic: AE 90: I got it to transmit and receive, and NOW it vibrates  (Read 1459 times)

Offline JLPicard

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AE 90: I got it to transmit and receive, and NOW it vibrates
« on: April 22, 2011, 08:44:41 AM »
I am new to the hobby, my brother gave me an old black AE 90 and I am trying to get it up and functioning.  I managed to figure out, with this forum's help and guidance, and got it to transmit and receive, hooking up L1 and L2, but it will not ring, the clapper won't even vibrate.  I understand the frequency difference problem, but I have found in another thread here that the user got his to vibrate enough to make a ring.  It appears to be wired correctly as per the wiring diagram I DL'ed from TLC, everything matches the wiring of the 90M diagram (Series NB-90).  THE ONE thing I did find different are the black and white wires that go to L1 and L2 from the Hook Switch, they appear to be reversed, Black going to the L2 terminal and White going to the L1 terminal.  Should I place them back where they belong, I am afraid of damage.  
« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 02:45:18 PM by JLPicard »

Offline AE_Collector

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Are you pretty certain that you have a frequency ringer rather than a straight line ringer? Straight line ringer wil lquite often have SL written on it where as a frequency ringer will usually have the frequency on it which is a 2 digit number. IE 20, 25, 30, 42, 50, 54, 66 etc and maybe the "~" symbol thrown in as well. There is never a volume wheel or slider on a frequency ringer either.

I have never messed wit ha frequency ringer to try to get it to make some noise. I have heard of others doing this though but it requires serious messing with the ringer, not just a little adjustement here or there. And I'll bet that the level of success might depend on the specific frequency of the ringer that you are working with.

Welcome to the forum by the way and "Good Start with an AE Phone" !!!

« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 10:03:33 PM by AE_collector »

Offline HarrySmith

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Hi and welcome to the forum. The AE 90 is a cool wall phone. I have restored a few and have had different ringer issues. Do you have some pictures? Besides the frequency ringer issue already mentioned do you have a capacitor? Do not be afraid of switching wires around, I tried many wiring configurations with mine and never fried anything. I do not think there is enough juice to do any seious damage.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

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

Offline JLPicard

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I switched the L1 and L2 around, and the clapper vibrates now.   Like a previous post here, I rotated the bells to be as close as possible to the clapper and it will strike.... I guess I wouldn't call it a full 'strike' it sorta touches it as it vibrates and gives a quiet ring.  It is indeed a frequency circuit, the coils have 33.3 ~ marked on them.  The cap is a .2 mfd cap.  I assume it is possible to switch out the cap with another value to manipulate the clapper frequency.    Would a .55 mfd cap work to bring the LC circuit frequency down to 20 hz?

Offline Wallphone

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Re: AE 90: I got it to transmit and receive, and NOW it vibrates
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2011, 02:29:30 PM »
JLPicard, If it was only that easy as to change the cap then none of us would have a problem with a frequency ringer being in the phone. The frequency of the ringer is more or less derived from the mechanical aspects of how the ringer was made. The clapper has a stiffer pivot point and the clapper itself could change in size according to what frequency it is. By doing what you just did, you can squeeze a little life out of them but that is about it.
Doug Pav

Offline Jim Stettler

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Re: AE 90: I got it to transmit and receive, and NOW it vibrates
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2011, 02:44:48 PM »
To "play" with adjusting a freq. ringer, you need to adjust the weights on the coil end of the clapper. 

Years ago I was able to adjust some enough to make me think it was a possibility.

The general consenus is that you can't easily "tune" them.

Since yours is kinda working, you may be able to tweak it enough for home use.

Typically it isn't worth trying to re-tune them, the sound won't be "right" and they may get out of "tune".


I was using a telephone tester for my ringer current.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.

Offline GG

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Re: AE 90: I got it to transmit and receive, and NOW it vibrates
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2011, 04:29:49 AM »

JLPicard:  JimS is right, you can move the clapper/weight on the clapper rod to alter the response a little.  There should be a tiny fixing screw on the clapper/weight that holds it to the rod.  Loosen this screw and you can move the clapper/weight back and forth on the rod.  Try different positions and see what works.  My guess is that moving it further "out" or "away" from the bell coils, will reduce the harmonic frequency of the ringer a bit and increase the ringing performance. 

Increasing the capacitor to .55 microfarad will also supply more AC ringing current to the ringer coils, and that will help somewhat as well. 

Frequency ringers are a bit annoying to deal with, but if you can make it ring, even quietly, excellent.  Actually, "ringing quietly" for an AE phone of any kind is an accomplishment : - )   (These were often used in places where there would be one phone in a house, that had to be heard ringing throughout the house and all the way out to the barn.  Stromberg Carlson 1543s are like that too.)

Offline JLPicard

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Re: AE 90: I got it to transmit and receive, and NOW it vibrates
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2011, 11:51:21 AM »
Thanks for the responses, I have rotated the bells, and slid the clapper weight to optimize what I do have.  I am going to look thru my electronics box to see if I have a suitable .55 mfd cap to see what that gives me.  I had to chuckle at the notion that these phones where often used to hear the phone ring 'out at the barn'.  That very comment brought about a wave of nostalgia!   :)

Offline stub

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Re: AE 90: I got it to transmit and receive, and NOW it vibrates
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2011, 09:47:52 PM »
JLPicard ,
              Welcome to the Forum and here's a way to ID the AE ringers -  The top is a frequency ringer and the botton is a straight line ringer.
               I always loosen the 2 screws , on the flat piece of metal (clapper pivot ) on the bottom of ringer, till the clapper has enough movement to ring but not tap when you dial . When it rings like you would like put a drop of super glue on the screw threads to keep them from working out.  Good luck.     stub
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 09:54:03 PM by stub1953 »
Kenneth Stubblefield