Author Topic: Japanese OKI #4 Phone  (Read 5902 times)

Offline LarryInMichigan

  • ***
  • Posts: 5226
Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« on: September 05, 2011, 01:30:11 PM »
One of the phones which I bought from the guy in the Houston area (http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=5358.0) is a Japanese OKI #4.  From what I read, this phone was created by a group of Japanese companies in 1948 to be the new standard telephone in Japan.  While the design of the shell looks unique, some of the aspects of the design look like they were borrowed from AE and WE phones.  The dial is very AE-like but different in various ways.  Both "OKI" and "Taiko" appear on the dial parts.  The card retained is held into the finger wheel by tabs on the left and right.  The celluloid insert has a black border with the numbers 1-0 around the edges.  The number card is printed in English, so I do not know from where it came.  There was a rural fire department sticker on the cradle, so that might provide a clue as to where this phone lived.

The design of the hook switch, which is combined with the part below the shell grip and the fabric strap which holds the shell to the base look like they were borrowed from the WE 302 design.

The handset resembles an F1, but it is flat along the top edge.  The transmitter and receiver elements look different than any I have seen.  The cords are made of very soft rubber, and the handset cord is ribbed along its length, which I have not seen elsewhere.

The shell, except for the part with the hook switch, is good quality bakelite.  Unfortunately, there is along crack in it along the lower right side.  I put some super glue into the crack from the inside of the shell to keep it from growing.  The name "OKI" is embossed into the rear of the shell, and a logo with an "S" in it is attached to the front of the shell.  Does anyone here know whose logo that is?

The phone does work, but the sound from the transmitter is slightly distorted.

Here are some pictures.













Larry




Offline GG

  • **
  • Posts: 1170
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2011, 04:47:09 AM »


I'm going to guess that your particular example started its service life on a PBX at a US military base in Japan (an economical choice to install the local product on base; and the PBX may have been crossbar), and then after being taken out of service, was rescued by a US soldier returning home, who hooked it up at his house as a "bootleg" extension back in the day when such things were "mildly illegal but everyone did it."

The "Fire" extension number on the dial card, and the space to write in the name of the building in which the phone is installed, suggest a "campus" installation, over a large spread-out property (such as a military base).  I have no idea what "Tab." stands for, but the US military loves acronyms & abbreviations, and everyone is trained to learn them, so the people who used these phones would have known what "Tab. W" meant. 

The "Fire" sticker would have been added when the phone got to the US.  Interesting that it has what appear to be separate fire department numbers for business subscribers to call.  Perhaps the town had a bunch of fire stations spread around in such a way that some of them were closer to the Main St. business district? 

--

These phones are fairly common and were produced into the 1960s. They're nice and heavy, the ringers are loud & jangly (and the tones remind me of AE ringers), but they have really high sidetone to the point of being difficult to use.

The type 650 phone that was the replacement for this one, was imported and sold by Radio Snack in the US, and has the interesting distinction of being an extended numberplate phone with approximately G-style handset but with a straight handset cord, in the early 70s (the ones used in Japan had coiled cords).  From the rear and at a distance, the type 650 might be mistaken for a Kellogg 1000 or even a GPO 706.  Behind a modern PBX, the type 650 also has ferociously high sidetone.  I have to believe that Japanese PBXs and CO switches had substantially different impedance than US ones.

Offline Brinybay

  • **
  • Posts: 4436
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2011, 05:55:53 AM »
I can't quite tell from the picture, but is that a NEC logo on the back?
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
 - Mike Row
e

Offline LarryInMichigan

  • ***
  • Posts: 5226
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 06:48:25 AM »
This phone does not have loud sidetone.  It might be only very slightly louder than American phones but nowhere near as loud as a GPO.  The date on the bottom is 1954.

The logo embossed on the back is "OKI".  The name appears in several places including the paper sticker on the bottom and the inductor and ringer coils.

Larry

Offline GG

  • **
  • Posts: 1170
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2011, 06:00:15 AM »

Follow-up on Oki telephones:

Oki is the last name of the founder, it is not an abbreviation, so even though it appears in all-caps on the sets, it's also correct to spell it with only the first letter capitalized.  This is similar to the case for some other large Japanese manufacturers with long histories.

History of the development of the Type 4 Automatic Telephone is here:

http://www.oki.com/en/130column/05.html

In brief, developed in 1948, became a national symbol of Japanese postwar recovery, components were produced cooperatively by six companies and complete sets were often assembled from more than one company's parts.  Thus if you find a "mongrel" with parts from different manufacturers, it was most likely assembled that way to begin with. 

Taiko was an Oki subsidiary that originally produced some components.  Taiko also produced complete dials from at least the 1960s - 1980s, using a mechanism more closely resembling Western Electric (the flywheel governor and clutch mechanism for example).  Taiko dials were also used by Bohnsack Equipment Company in New York in their well-known heavy duty type 1011 hand test sets.

The Type 4 telephone was mass produced from 1949 - 1963.  I have a few examples of these, with parts variously stamped OKI, NTK, NYC, NEC, Taiko, and Iwasaki (these may have been the original six makers of these sets).  A couple of components are dated as late as 1966, and it appears one of the sets has a 1969 date that I think may have been a reconditioning date since it's stamped in a different location on the label on the bottom.  I also have one in light green from 1955, with all components made by Iwasaki, which company continues today as a producer of lights and lighting equipment. 

Near as I can tell, there isn't a way to adjust the ringer on Type 4 to bring the rear armature of the clapper closer to the bell coils and thereby reduce the loudness of the bells (as can be done with AE ringers, most GPO ringers, and Dutch PTT ringers by all three Dutch manufacturers).  So these will always be quite sufficiently loud to hear throughout the house.  The dials on Type 4 are almost identical to AE dials except slightly larger, so all of the methods used to recondition and adjust AE dials apply to these as well.  (Except, as Larry showed, the number label retainer is similar to Western Electric but with the tabs on the sides, so you won't need a tool or special technique to remove it.)

The little badges attached to the front can indicate either the manufacturer or the end user.  I have a couple of black ones with the same circular logo as Larry's example, with an apparent stylized S in the center.  Though the S could be an artifact of the logo design, and the actual symbol could be the two half-circles with bars at the end, similar to a modern "recycling" logo, perhaps representing Japan's national telecommunications company.  The light green one has the Iwasaki name and logo in it, the logo appearing similar to a three-bladed propeller. 

(My report of high sidetone was incorrect.  One of my Type 4s came w/o a handset, so I added a British Ericsson (ETL) handset of the type imported into Canada, that uses a transmitter similar to the WE T1.  That example has high sidetone.  The all-Japanese ones with all-Japanese components have normal sidetone similar to a WE 302 or AE 41.  The Type 600 as imported by Radio Shack does have ferociously high sidetone on Panasonic KXTDA series PBXs but is OK on direct CO lines.)

Type 4 was replaced by Type 600, which as I mentioned, bears a slight resemblance to a Kellogg 1000 or GPO 706 when seen from the rear. 

Oki eventually transferred its entire production of Type 600 telephones to Taiko, while Oki went on to produce all pushbutton sets.  The Japanese pushbutton sets with the later housing design use a very interesting ringer similar to a door chime but at ringing frequency rather than "ding-dong," which produces a wonderfully melodious ring.   

The Type 600 was imported into the US by Radio Shack and sold in beige only, with the straight handset cord.  These units were made by Toshiba, as you can see the Toshiba name inside the housing in front of the hookswitch plungers, and also in the receiver shell behind the receiver element.  However other manufacturers produced Type 600 as well, and the various key telephone systems using Type 600 components (dials, handsets, etc.). 

More on the Type 600 here:

http://www.oki.com/en/130column/10.html

The English language page of a Japanese telephone collector is here:

http://www.naonao.jp/tel_eng/html/tel/index.htm

If you click the tab for the Type 4, you'll see eight additional colors, and if you look closely, you'll see the various different little badges on the front of each one.  It would be interesting if someone could figure out what all of those badges are, and what the mysterious logo is that looks like a recycling symbol or a stylized S in the middle. 

There's an email link on this person's site, if any of the founders of this site want to invite them over here, it could be very mutually productive. 

Offline teka-bb

  • **
  • Posts: 592
  • JKL Museum of Telephony Curator
    • JKL Museum of Telephony
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2011, 07:00:59 AM »
Near as I can tell, there isn't a way to adjust the ringer on Type 4 to bring the rear armature of the clapper closer to the bell coils and thereby reduce the loudness of the bells (as can be done with AE ringers, most GPO ringers, and Dutch PTT ringers by all three Dutch manufacturers).  So these will always be quite sufficiently loud to hear throughout the house.  The dials on Type 4 are almost identical to AE dials except slightly larger, so all of the methods used to recondition and adjust AE dials apply to these as well.  (Except, as Larry showed, the number label retainer is similar to Western Electric but with the tabs on the sides, so you won't need a tool or special technique to remove it.)

The gongs of the Dutch PTT ringers have eccentric holes. This makes it possible to adjust the ringer volume by rotating the gongs towards or away from the clapper.
I guess this is possible with ringers from ther manufacturers too.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 07:03:10 AM by teka-bb »
Regards,

Remco, JKL Museum of Telephony Curator

JKL Museum of Telephony: http://jklmuseum.com/

===================================

AKA "dialmaster", AKA"Doc Remco."

TCI Library: http://www.telephonecollectors.info/

The Dutch Online Telephone Museum: http://www.telefoonmuseum.com
********************************************

Offline GG

  • **
  • Posts: 1170
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 04:12:30 AM »


Hi Remco-

Yes I know all three types of the Dutch PTT sets well, since the early 1970s.

Rotating the gongs closer together, without adjusting the clapper (per below), will reduce the loudness of a ringer, *but* at the expense of producing a "dull" sound.

The key to what I'm describing is to *also* adjust the clapper *in addition to* rotating the gongs.   

Dutch PTT and UK GPO ringers have a screw that holds the yoke on which the clapper is mounted.  Loosen the screw, slide the yoke just a little bit, thereby reducing the travel distance of the clapper.  Shorter travel distance = less inertia swinging in each direction, therefore striking each gong with less force = quieter ring. 

One still has to adjust the gongs so the clapper always comes to rest just clear of either gong.  When done correctly (clapper + gongs), both gongs retain a clear tone, but at a much lower volume. 

Offline wds

  • **
  • Posts: 2844
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014, 07:15:47 PM »
Picked up on of these almost identical to yours.  Front label says OKI, fingerwheel OKI, stamp on the back is OKI.  The handset has a different marking.  Matching dates of 1953, but the ringer doesn't work.  One of the coils is damaged.  Interesting phone - very heavy, and nice looking.  Bottom of the phone is engraved OKI Electric IND Co, LTD.  I notice the little emblem on the front is a little different than yours. 
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 07:17:45 PM by wds »
Dave

Offline LarryInMichigan

  • ***
  • Posts: 5226
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2014, 07:35:33 PM »
My handset seems to have the same characters on it.  Don't ask me what they mean though.  The handset looks alot like an F1 on steroids.  It is huskier than an F1 but has the same general shape.  The elements are much different though.

I still have no idea whose logo is on the front and bottom of mine.  My only guess is that it was from the telephone service provider.

Yours is about a year older than mine.  It's a shame that the ringer coil is open.  Perhaps it can be repaired.  The most likely place for a break to occur is where the winding ends connect to the terminals.  I have had to resolder coil windings on many electric clock coils.  Ringer coils are no different.

Welcome to the Japanese #4 club :)


Larry
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 09:01:31 PM by LarryInMichigan »

Offline Mr. Bones

  • **
  • Posts: 1444
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 08:54:29 PM »
Hope this helps some:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oki_Electric_Industry

     Will do my best through an expert to get you the translation of the closeup of handset logo; my dearest friend can prob pull it off: she's never failed me on katakana, hirigana etc,., so far (18 yrs.-ish, and running....
 
     It's a little tough to read, so we'll see...

Jaa, Mata!
Best regards!
'Hone'
Sláinte!
   Mr. Bones
      Rubricollis Ferus

Offline HarrySmith

  • ***
  • Posts: 6621
  • 1937 302
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2014, 09:00:04 PM »
Cool looking phone ;D
The dial looks like an AE dial to me :o
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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

Offline dsk

  • **
  • Posts: 4275
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2014, 01:21:02 AM »
One of the phones which I bought from the guy in the Houston area (http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=5358.0) is a Japanese OKI #4.  From what I read, this phone was created by a group of Japanese companies in 1948 to be the new standard telephone in Japan.  While the design of the shell looks unique, some of the aspects of the design look like they were borrowed from AE and WE phones.  The dial is very AE-like but different in various ways.  Both "OKI" and "Taiko" appear on the dial parts.  The card retained is held into the finger wheel by tabs on the left and right.  The celluloid insert has a black border with the numbers 1-0 around the edges.  The number card is printed in English, so I do not know from where it came.  There was a rural fire department sticker on the cradle, so that might provide a clue as to where this phone lived.

The design of the hook switch, which is combined with the part below the shell grip and the fabric strap which holds the shell to the base look like they were borrowed from the WE 302 design.

The handset resembles an F1, but it is flat along the top edge.  The transmitter and receiver elements look different than any I have seen.  The cords are made of very soft rubber, and the handset cord is ribbed along its length, which I have not seen elsewhere.

The shell, except for the part with the hook switch, is good quality bakelite.  Unfortunately, there is along crack in it along the lower right side.  I put some super glue into the crack from the inside of the shell to keep it from growing.  The name "OKI" is embossed into the rear of the shell, and a logo with an "S" in it is attached to the front of the shell.  Does anyone here know whose logo that is?

The phone does work, but the sound from the transmitter is slightly distorted.

Larry

Interesting phone, many of my thoughts arealready expressed by others, I see some Siemens inspired designs in internal layout, and ringer design. The circuit are probably partly inspired by the W.E. 302.

I would like to see the transmitter and receiver elements, if you could please post some more photos.

The noise from the transmitter may be helped by the std shaking treatment, but will not be repaired. Shunting the transmitter with a 220 ohms resistor may help without loosing too much of the strength. 

dsk

Offline wds

  • **
  • Posts: 2844
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2014, 05:34:02 PM »
Here's the receiver / transmitter elements.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 05:55:45 PM by wds »
Dave

Offline LarryInMichigan

  • ***
  • Posts: 5226
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2014, 05:44:44 PM »
Mine look the same.  The transmitter is almost the same diameter as an F1 but much deeper.  It looks like an F1 might actually fit into the handset though.  An HA1 receiver will not fit.

Larry

Offline rdelius

  • **
  • Posts: 2412
Re: Japanese OKI #4 Phone
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2014, 09:27:29 PM »
That logo on the handset is mazda (Toshiba). this logo found on radio tubes and light bulbs.Based on GE logo