Author Topic: Dial Card for Leich Convertible  (Read 1038 times)

Offline RCMcDonald

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Dial Card for Leich Convertible
« on: November 16, 2011, 06:47:22 PM »
Hi All -

I have a Leich Convertible that I'd like to put a new dial card in.

I can't quite figure this dial out, though.  It doesn't have the familiar metal ring, but rather a solid plastic center with an off-center circular indentation. There is a screw in the center of the dial and no obvious way for the dial card to fit over the screw.  The center is clear plastic, so it almost looks as if the dial card goes behind the clear plastic and the screw goes through the dial card, but that doesn't seem right, especially because of the off-center circular depression.   Can anyone help identify this dial and how to fit a dial card in?

Thanks for the help

Bob McDonald

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Dial Card for Leich Convertible
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 07:54:52 PM »
From the looks of it I would surmise it had a stick on number card.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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

Offline RCMcDonald

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Re: Dial Card for Leich Convertible
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 08:24:08 PM »
Thanks, Harry.  Is that the common practice with these dials?

There was a poorly stuck on blank card when I got it, But I had assumed that this approach was not standard.

Offline paul-f

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Re: Dial Card for Leich Convertible
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 09:47:22 PM »
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Dial Card for Leich Convertible
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 09:56:21 PM »
Apparently, according to the referenced BSP it is and not only with this phone. The 2 Leich phones I have had were both equipped with stick on cards. One I was able to reuse, the other one was destroyed so I made one from a computer label.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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

Offline GG

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Re: Dial Card for Leich Convertible
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2011, 12:43:09 AM »


I know exactly what that is.

It's an AE one-piece finger wheel that was painted black on the backside to make it look more like the metal fingerwheel that it replaced.

This style of fingerwheel is mounted to the dial axle with a single small screw in the center, as you see there.  In its natural state it would be clear plastic, and a 3" dial with that fingerwheel would have roughly a similar appearance to a French PTT dial but with the small screw at the center rather than the large screw used by French PTT.

When AE brought out this design, they intended it for use with adhesive number labels and adhesive round overlays.  The telephone number would be typed on the number label, which would be stuck to the center of the dial, and then the clear overlay stuck on over that to protect the writing from being rubbed off.

It was a clever, inexpensive, and expedient shortcut compared to the previous method of inserting a number label in the back of a solid-center fingerwheel that mounted to a metal spider that in turn was attached to the dial axle with a large screw.  However, you can't remove the fingerwheel without destroying the number label, unless you put the label on first and then put the center screw through it so the screw remains exposed, which has a vaguely European look to it because many European dials were built with a large exposed nut or screw at the center (not only France but also Germany, Austria, and others). 

The closest foreign example is the GPO UK practice with payphones, whereby the number label was placed under a plastic disc at the center of a metal fingerwheel, held in place by a screw with a hex-head center.  The purpose of this design was to reduce tampering with the dial, because a hex driver was needed to remove it.  However IMHO all it did was make the screw more visible and thus more tempting for tampering, compared to hiding it under a conventional number label and plastic protector. 

I tried to find clear plastic discs and screws that could be used to create something roughly similar to the GPO arrangement on new AE dials with those plastic fingerwheels.  The results weren't particularly satisfactory, as the clear plastic discs were too thick and were not perfectly round (they are a standard part produced by TAP Plastics, by slicing plastic rod, the problem being that plastic rod is not perfectly round in cross-section). 

Realistically, what someone needs to do is start producing reproduction plastic fingerwheels for AE dials, using the same overall system as GPO/UK does for the dials on their 746 telephones.  That method would be the best compromise in terms of having roughly the right look and preserving the ability to use historically correct (and non-adhesive) number labels. 

What you can do for the phone you have there, is find self-adhesive black or white circles, or use self-adhesive "Contact" plastic and trim it down to size using an X-Acto knife or equivalent.  Some of the places such as OldPhoneWorks may sell reprinted number labels specifically for these dial fingerwheels.