Author Topic: Just won Bell System Western Electric F1 D1  (Read 5420 times)

Offline antiqueguy

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Just won Bell System Western Electric F1 D1
« on: January 08, 2012, 02:12:16 PM »
Hello everyone.  I just won a phone on Ebay described as a Bell System Western Electric model 202 F1 D1.  It works. I got it for 80.00 which I thought was a good price.  They seem to go for up to 300.00 restored. This one is not restored. It's in good condition. It's got a metal base and a Bakelite handset. The marking on the inside consist of a Roman numeral III and 35.  One thing I thought was odd is that the cords were black rubber.  The one for the handset looks original, the one for the line has been replaced. But I thought the cords for these phones were all brown cloth covered. Another cool thing about this phone is that on the back its labeled " School Property, courtesy of Pacific Telephone." I would like some info were I can get the proper parts, dial card and any other advice about what to do or not to do with this item.  Thanks. Follow link to picture.
http://hullofsorrow.deviantart.com/art/western-electric-model-202-278354782

Offline GG

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Re: Just won Bell System Western Electric F1 D1
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 07:34:10 AM »


Good score, and excellent price given the condition that one is in. 

The marking III 35 means "third quarter, 1935."  WE used two different dating schemes, one with numeric month, the other based on the calendar quarters.   However it is highly likely that you'll find various different dates on different components, as the Bell System was the world leader in repairing and recycling everything they used (for example I'll bet that your dial is dated mid 1950s and is a #6 dial; the easiest way to tell is that the mechanism doesn't make a clicking noise).  Phones with all matching dates are rare and tend to go for a higher price as a result.   

The rubber handset cord is correct: many a D1 and 302 are found thusly equipped.  However if you prefer a brown cloth covered one, folks here can tell you where to find high-quality reproductions that are almost indistinguishable from original. 

It's surprising that a phone marked "school property" is working: often when Bell donated phones to schools, they were carefully stripped of internal working parts such as dial switch contacts, to deter anyone trying to appropriate them to hook up as bootleg extensions. 

NOTE, IMPORTANT!  If your phone does not have a ringer box attached, and does not have some kind of transmission network inside the base, then you NEED to take additional steps to make it work properly.  The reason is, there are ways to hook up old handsets such that they appear to function, BUT since the receiver elements are not designed to handle direct current, over time they will become demagnetized and the audio will grow faint until they are not usable. 

The best way to get advice about the above point, is to post photos here of the inside of the phone, and the inside of any ringer box to which it may be attached. 

There are three solutions:

One, an "R/C network" using a couple of resistors and capacitors you can buy at any well-stocked electronics shop (or a substitute list of parts you can buy at any Radio Snack store).  What this does is limit the current passing through the transmitter, and provide AC coupling to the receiver so it will continue to work forever.  It also enables you to connect a dual-diode bridge across the receiver to limit the loudness of clicks when you dial or hang up.  This is the least expensive (about $5.00) and easiest solution for most people to use, with good audio and so on. 

Two, an original ringer box of similar vintage.  This will enable you to wire up the phone in exactly the original manner, so it will sound just as it did when it was originally in use.  These ringer boxes can be found on Ebay for less than $100, often much less.  For this you will also need a 4-conductor line cord.

Three, a later-vintage ringer box, which will have the same internal components as in a WE type 500 set (1950s - 1980s vintage).  This may get you improved audio compared to the original vintage ringer box.  It will probably require using a 6-conductor line cord (all these brown cloth handset and line cords come from the same sources).  These ringer boxes can typically be found in the under $50 price range. 

Once you get to tinkering with that phone, you'll discover how well they were designed, for ease of service and maintenance over a typical 40-year service life.  That one is about 75 years old and still working, and will keep on working if it's taken care of.  There are few things in our daily life that have that kind of lifespan.

Offline antiqueguy

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Re: Just won Bell System Western Electric F1 D1
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 11:23:28 PM »
Thanks for the information. I think I will keep the rubber cord now. The dial does click and I think the seller said it's a #5, whatever that means.  Thanks for the advice. I don't want to damage the phone.  Please view these 4 images.  Any advice is greatly appreciated. It looks like someone has been in there at least replacing wires.
http://hullofsorrow.deviantart.com/#/d4lvrm8
http://hullofsorrow.deviantart.com/#/d4lvrjo
http://hullofsorrow.deviantart.com/#/d4lvrfj
http://hullofsorrow.deviantart.com/#/d4lvrcp

Online LarryInMichigan

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Re: Just won Bell System Western Electric F1 D1
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2012, 11:47:18 PM »
The dial is a #5H, which is probably the most commonly found dial in D1 bases.  The mounting cord looks to be of a much later vintage.  It looks vinyl to me.

Larry


Offline GG

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Re: Just won Bell System Western Electric F1 D1
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 10:50:35 AM »


Good pictures; that one was nicely wired.

Without tracing out the wiring in detail, it seems to me that the handset was connected directly to the line, including the receiver.  So if you want to put that phone into actual service, you'll definitely need to fix that by either building an R/C circuit or getting a ringer box with induction coil or network block inside.  OTOH if it's intended to remain on display and not be used, it's not critical.   


Offline antiqueguy

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Re: Just won Bell System Western Electric F1 D1
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 11:09:03 PM »
I have a VoIP line.  AT&T uverse .  I had to buy a DialGizmo to use the phone.  Do I still need the said modifications to protect the phone?  If so I am going to need some detailed Information. Thanks :)

Offline GG

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Re: Just won Bell System Western Electric F1 D1
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 06:04:00 AM »


Yes, you still need to modify the phone to protect it.   What you're protecting is the receiver (earpiece) against becoming demagnetized over time by DC (direct current) from a phone line passing through it.  The common denominator of the various methods is that they result in only AC speech signals passing through the receiver, which will not demagnetize it over time.   

There are instructions posted in various places on this site for hooking up a D1 to a ringer box, and for building a simple R/C network.  Keyword search "D1", "202," and similar terms.  Or someone here may know exactly where to find the instructions & schematics and post a link. 

Offline antiqueguy

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Re: Just won Bell System Western Electric F1 D1
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2012, 11:53:29 PM »
Thanks.  I will search the sight tomorrow when I have more time.  Maybe I will get lucky and someone will post a link.  I just hope I can understand it.

Offline bingster

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Re: Just won Bell System Western Electric F1 D1
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2012, 06:09:14 PM »
Very easy to follow wiring diagrams for this set, along with some explanation:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=784.0
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Offline deedubya3800

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Re: Just won Bell System Western Electric F1 D1
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2012, 10:17:16 PM »
There is also a way to mount a transmission board inside the base of the desk set, if you feel skilled enough to attempt it. It won't have a ringer, but it'll have the necessary components to function as an independent telephone by itself. It's the route I took, and I love it!