Author Topic: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...  (Read 9197 times)

Offline twocvbloke

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The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« on: January 05, 2012, 02:39:23 PM »
Well, I went and did it, I bought one of them cheap 500 clones with rotary DTMF dialling, why, I don't know, but, it'll be interesting to see what's under the hood as it were... :o

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/130621961423

Originally my thoughts were to see if the red case could be used to fit my genuine WE500, but after finding they have the notches for the line and handset cables in the wrong place, I thought I'd just leave it, but, the cheap price, it did something to me and I bid 18.64 (USS Reliant's registry, NCC-1864), and got it for 13.50, totalling 18.50.... :D

I know I'm not going to like it, but one of my uncles has been eyeing up my two WE500s, so I know it'll have a home, even if it's not a genuine original... :D

I dunno, anything to raise my ebay feedback eh?  ;D
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 12:38:33 PM by AE_Collector »

Offline dsk

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 04:24:50 PM »
Nat so bad, how far away from the real thing does it look, is it heavy?
How does it look inside?

Do you have some pictures from the inside?

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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2012, 05:17:50 PM »
Nat so bad, how far away from the real thing does it look, is it heavy?
How does it look inside?

Do you have some pictures from the inside?

dsk

Pass on all questions, only just won it on ebay this evening, so have yet to see and feel it in person...  :D

I estimate it'll be here next Monday at the earliest if the seller posts it tomorrow, pictures shall be posted as soon as I get it... :)

I did look in some of the older posts here, and learned that they have an Engrish spelling error, in that the manufacturer printed "operator" under the 0 as "rotarepo", so, that should be amusing...  :D

Offline McHeath

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 12:55:46 PM »
Wow, alright major cool that someone has got one of these curious phones and can give a report on it.  I've seen these all over E-Bay as of late, darned expensive, so I've not popped for one, but you got it for a reasonable price it seems to me.  And they seem to be the last actual rotary phone being made, as in you spin a dial to enter the number.  I'm guessing that inside it's simply a circuit being tripped and there are no gears or anything, but it does seem to have a spinning dial.  When I got one of the Crosley 500 replicas a couple of years ago I tore into it right away and was surprised at all the lead weights inside, they give it heft.  Also surprised at the overall good build quality, and the rather faithful following of the lines of the original. 

Looking forward to seeing your report back. :)

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 04:22:19 PM »
I'm pretty curious to see the inside of those things, I know it'll be nothing like the real things, but, I'm just one of those sorts of people who has to get stuff just to see how it works, then I either get bored of it or end up with a collection...  :D

I'm expecting plenty of lead in that thing, there's no way they can replicate the weight of a WE500, or GPO 700 series, without using lead weights and heavy components, the plastic'll be thin, the components minuscule and not fitted very well, and everything will just have a cheap feel to it, pretty much as with everything manufactured in the PRC and exported to us westerners... ::)

I think I read somewhere that the dials on those phones use light-switching and count the pulses to convert into tones, kind of like how on older computer mice, you had two sets of wheels with slots in the edges, but that was a vague description at best, so I'll have to wait to confirm that... :)

At least I didn't pay over the odds for it though, those things sell for over 50 a piece in some places, I paid 21.53 for my red WE500 and 27.61 for my black WE500, so, that balances out properly, cheap copy was cheap, genuine article cost a bit more, but like they say, you have to pay the extra to get the best quality... ;)

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 07:27:02 PM »
This is very cool! I am also very curious as to what goes on in one of these. There was a major discussion on the list not long ago and several people volunteered to chip in for one and have it dissected. Nothing has been said about it in a while, I am not sure if it was ever purchased or not.
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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 09:17:12 PM »
I'll make sure the screwdivers are at the ready and the camera batteries charged, I can see the thread on this phone will be popular... :D

Offline deedubya3800

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2012, 02:00:10 AM »
I see these "ROTAREPO" phones on eBay all the time, and I have frequently toyed with the idea of buying one just for curiosity's sake, but the cost to ship one to the states has always been on the low end of prohibitive.

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2012, 04:22:05 AM »
I know what you mean about importing things, I've bought stuff from the states directly and been charged import duties and handling fees, kind of sucks really, puts me off buying outside of the UK now (unless it's through a friend in Texas, cos he's good like that!!!)... :-\

I'm hoping that this phone will arrive soon (hopefully today, doubtful though), my screwdrivers are itching to open it up... :D

Offline GG

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2012, 08:31:14 AM »


International shipping is becoming prohibitive.  I used to buy stuff occasionally from Australia.  No more of that, when a phone that weighs a kilo costs twice as much to ship than to buy in the first place.  (And to think, I had a GPO red payphone shipped to the US in 2001!)

This situation will get worse as the peak oil situation unfolds.  What that means: basically the world has used up about half the easily-available oil supplies, so over time the cost to get at what's left will increase substantially.  This will cause an increase in the cost of everything that depends on oil, and overseas shipping by air will become much more expensive.  Shipping by surface mail (on a ship) will also go up, though not as quickly or as badly, though it can take a couple of months for something to get from the US to the UK that way.

So the bottom line is, if you think shipping costs are bad now, just wait a few years and today will seem like the good old days.  That means, if there are items you want in your collection that have to come from overseas, buy them ASAP and be glad you did.

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2012, 09:22:49 AM »
Yeah, international shipping has gone up in price a lot in recent years, though I only ever used USPS services from the US, as other services like UPS took the urine with their prices for small packages... :o

But for us brits, the issue is that Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs likes to slap 20% Value Added Tax on anything sold commercially for more than 18 (converted from the currency paid at the time it hit the border) that's imported, and then the Royal Mail adds an 8 "Handling fee" (even if they're not the ones "handling" the delivery), so, just having things pass the border is tough enough financially, but adding the cost of even a USPS Priority International package is quite expensive... :o

Of course, for you guys, buying from the UK and importing to the US is even more financially painful, as the US Dollar is 1.5x more than the GBP, so you spend more money, often more than the item is worth, and getting things through the US borders takes forever according to some I've spoken to in the past, as they delay things so much, presumably for "anti-terrorism" reasons, so you could have something posted from the UK, and it'd be on US soil in a week, but it'd be another month before you even got a hint that it was in the country or even your state, it's just daft... :-\
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 12:03:13 AM by twocvbloke »

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 12:11:15 AM »
Well, got a message from the seller, it had only been packaged up last night to be posted today, even though they had Thursday through Saturday to pack & post.... ::)

So, it'll probably be Thursday I get the phone now, even more waiting before seeing the guts of this modern rotary phone... :-\

Offline GG

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2012, 10:59:39 AM »


We had long long delays years before 9/11.  I've had things take 2 - 3 months.  I don't know if it's sitting in customs or whatever, because I've never gotten hit with a tax on anything I've gotten from overseas.  Even that red GPO payphone, which was NOS.  And I haven't seen any longer delays since 9/11, so apparently the security folks have figured out how to move things through quickly.   

IMHO, small casual transactions of the sort that we engage in, should be non-taxable.  It's petty nickel-and-diming the small guys/gals, meanwhile certain notorious entities appear to be paying no taxes at all.  So, I wonder if the constituency for this adds up to enough voters to be worthy of a candidate's attention...?

Offline LM Ericsson

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2012, 04:18:52 PM »
Well, got a message from the seller, it had only been packaged up last night to be posted today, even though they had Thursday through Saturday to pack & post.... ::)

So, it'll probably be Thursday I get the phone now, even more waiting before seeing the guts of this modern rotary phone... :-\
Haha!!! I bought a GPO 722 back in November, and expecting to arrive in the mail around January 23! It's coming from Mumbai, India!
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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: The Steepletone "Rotarepo" STP1960...
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 01:27:32 AM »
Haha!!! I bought a GPO 722 back in November, and expecting to arrive in the mail around January 23! It's coming from Mumbai, India!

So not only did they move british call centres there, they took our Trimphones with 'em too!!! :o

Fingers crossed it ain't an ITI clone though... :-\