Author Topic: Just to introduce myself.  (Read 2794 times)

Offline Stephen Furley

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Just to introduce myself.
« on: March 14, 2009, 06:57:38 PM »
Hi, I'm from London, have a small collection of British 'phones and one American one, a WE 500, with another, a AE 80 on its way to me.  I have a '50s Bakelite 310, pretty much the British equivalent of the 302, several 706 and 746, roughly equal to the 500, though probably closer to the AE80 in styling.  Hoping to get a 150 Candlestick) and 200 series (older pyramid shaped Bakelite) someday.  Also have a few earlier electronic push-button 'phones from the '80s, but am not really interested in anything after that.

I work as an I.T. Technician at a College, where amongst other things I look after a Mitel 3300 system with something like 800 extensions, about one third of them IP, the rest of them analogue.  I also do occasional work as a relief projectionist at a local cinema.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 07:54:36 PM by Stephen Furley »

Offline Dan

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2009, 07:01:58 PM »
Welcome, Stephen. You'll love our group. Will American phones work in the mother country without significant modification?
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline McHeath

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2009, 07:08:13 PM »
Welcome.  It's pretty fun having this forum of folks from around the globe all with an interest in old phones.  I'm in California, and have only seen the old BPO phones in pictures. 

Offline Stephen Furley

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2009, 07:22:34 PM »
Well, I've only been able to try one so far, but that does.  British 'phones used to be hard-wired, with low-impedance bells wired in series when extension 'phones wee installed.  Around 1981 we switched to a modular plug-in system, with high-impedance bells wired in parallel.  The bell capacitor is now in the master socket, and secondary sockets are wired in a three-wire system, four wires if earth recall is needed.  If an old 'phone is converted some links inside it are moved to take the old capacitor in the 'phone out of circuit, but it is left in place, so the conversion can be reversed.  If I just take the two main wires of the line I can connect an American 'phone to them.  Our ringing current is different, it's 75V 25Hz., with a cadence of 0.4s on, 0.2s off, 0.4s on, 2s off, to give the characteristic Brrr-Brrr   Brrr-Brrr double ring that we have here.

Our dial pulses are also different; I believe yours are 60% and 40%, whereas ours are 66% and 34%, but it's close enough to work.  It's still 10 pps.

It's interesting that people from here have bought the BT Tone Dialers from the Ebay seller in the UK, and say they work fine with a WE 500; I bought two of these, and I've found that they work fine with everything I've tried them with, even the old 310 where you can't get it close to the microphone, except my WE 500, which doesn't seem to wok at all with it at the moment, I'm not sure why.  The instructions which come with it say that it may not work with old carbon microphones, but I've found it works fine with these.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 07:46:41 PM by Stephen Furley »

Offline Stephen Furley

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2009, 07:36:07 PM »
Welcome.  It's pretty fun having this forum of folks from around the globe all with an interest in old phones.  I'm in California, and have only seen the old BPO phones in pictures. 

Hi, There is a pretty complete collection of British 'phones, GPO/PO/BT on this site:

http://www.telephonesuk.co.uk/

This site has a lot of information, including a full list of model numbers, and details of connecting up:

http://www.britishtelephones.com/

Finally, this site has a large collection of documents, including Post Office 'N-Diagrams', which are useful for anybody wanting to work on British 'phones:

http://www.samhallas.co.uk/repository/index.htm#Railway

HobieSport

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2009, 10:19:09 PM »
Greetings Stephen,

I'm curious if you bought your WE500 from the US, and if so how much was the shipping cost to the UK.  I'm also wondering what it would cost to ship a phone from the UK to the US.

Last week I sadly had to pass up one of those nice two-tone green British phones from the 1970s, being sold on Ebay from Alberta, Canada, because the shipping to Northern California was $28. :P

That sounds like good work you did on your 500 birthday phone.  I admire your perseverance (blood, sweat and tears) and now you have a real classic icon of a phone. :)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 10:21:55 PM by HobieSport »

Offline Stephen Furley

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2009, 11:15:57 PM »
Greetings Stephen,

I'm curious if you bought your WE500 from the US, and if so how much was the shipping cost to the UK.  I'm also wondering what it would cost to ship a phone from the UK to the US.

Last week I sadly had to pass up one of those nice two-tone green British phones from the 1970s, being sold on Ebay from Alberta, Canada, because the shipping to Northern California was $28. :P


It's very expensive, because these things are heavy.  I also paid a lot of money for the 500, because it's in very nice condition.  The AE80 I got for just $9.99, mine was the only bid, but in both cases the shipping was about $40, and then on top of that I have to pay 15% tax on the total cost including shipping, and 8 pounds handling charge when it arrives.  The last time I sent something to the US I seem to remember that it was even more expensive in that direction.

There are some things to watch out for if you want to get British 'phones to work over there, but it's 03:15 here now, and time for bed.  I can pot details tomorrow, if you're interested.

Offline Steve K

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2009, 11:33:35 PM »
Hi Stephen:

Welcome to the forum!  Some years ago I started collecting foreign phones and have a few British ones.  They include a 232 with drawer, 332, 706 ivory and a 722 Trimphone.  I also have several German phones some of which I picked up in Germany.  I rarely look for those phones now as (as you stated) the shipping is too expensive but I would still like a green 706.

Steve

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2009, 11:33:47 PM »
Welcome Stephen to our forum.  Thank you for the links to the British phones.  I have to plead ignorant when it comes to non-American telephones.  I have enjoyed seeing photos that some of our members have posted here.  It's good to have you on board.

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2009, 01:23:12 AM »
Welcome Stephen, now we know where to go for info on British phones...
D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

Offline mienaichizu

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2009, 07:58:17 AM »
welcome!

Offline contraste

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2009, 04:52:13 AM »
Hi Stephen and welcome,

I'm also new to this great forum and from London.
Coincidently I was a projectionist for 25 years.

Lee

Offline AtomicEraTom

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2009, 12:42:10 AM »
Welcome!
I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main roads. Searchin' in the sun for another overload.  I hear you singin' in the wires, I can hear you through the whine, and the Witchita Lineman is still on the line.

HobieSport

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2009, 01:27:41 AM »
Two projectionists from London...what are the odds?  Now if only we could "project" a few phones across "the pond" to each other without all that expensive shipping and tax...

Stephen and Contraste; what might be the nearest British telephone equivalents to the 1940s Western Electric 302 and the 1950s WE500?

Offline Stephen Furley

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Re: Just to introduce myself.
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2009, 04:26:53 AM »
Two projectionists from London...what are the odds?  Now if only we could "project" a few phones across "the pond" to each other without all that expensive shipping and tax...

Stephen and Contraste; what might be the nearest British telephone equivalents to the 1940s Western Electric 302 and the 1950s WE500?

When I was projecting the telephone in the box didn't ring very often, but when it did it always seemed to be in the last few seconds of a reel; several times I had to wait for the motor cue, run the length of the box, ask the caller to wait for a few seconds, and run back to the incoming machine just in time to hit the changeover button.

The nearest thing to the 302 would be the 300 series, but these were bakelite, not metal or thermoplastic like the 302.  There were many different versions of the 300 series, some with buttons for various functions, some without dials etc. and they all had different numbers.  The vast majority of the 300 series were black, but a smaller number were made in ivory, red and green; the red and green are very rare

The nearest thing to the 500 would be the 706 of 1959  This evolved quite a bit during its life, and was eventually replaced by the quite similar 746.  These telephones are thermoplastic, but I think it's a slightly different type to that used for the 500.  The style of the 706 is rather different to the 500; it's more like that of the AE 80.  The 706 was made in seven colours, with brown being added for the 746.  There were less different versions of these 'phones produced, ans extra parts could be fitted to standard models for special purposes.

Go to this site:

http://www.telephonesuk.co.uk/

There are lots of pictures, the 300 series are in the Telephones pre-1960 section, and the 706 and 746 in the Telephones 1960-1980 section.