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Test Boards, etc.

Started by DavePEI, October 26, 2015, 01:45:38 PM

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Here are some photos sent to me today by Glen Cavers. He says:

"Attached are scans of the photos that I told you about.

You can clearly see the vertical shaft and banks for the line boards. I think this photo was taken in Belmont (230) exchange in west end of Toronto, but they also had them in the Roger exchange (760) located on Runnymede Road in Toronto. They were still running the payphones in both CO's in the late 70's. The one in the photo was the cabinet that had someone's initials and the year 1918 scratched into the bottom of the cabinet. I think that the line boards dated from around that period.  The other photos are of the North Queen test board, taken by a friend on the day that I left Bell in 1981. That's me in one of the photos. We tested 4 exchanges, Burnhamthorpe (62X) which was cross bar, New Toronto (25X), Rogers, and Belmont. Last three were all step. I never had occasion to test the line boards because they were only serving pay phones.

The first two test board positions were for cable testers and you can see the wheatstone bridges for determining where the fault was located.

The remainder of the positions were for exchange testing.

The dispatch office was in the room the very end so there was a belt located along the top of the boards to carry the line cards for lines that needed outside attention. You can just see the bins for the line cards behind the test positions in the long photo.

There were two main sets of keys and cords at each position. The first was the primary which was generally used for talking to clients and testing the lines. You could also bridge to the secondary cords if you wanted to hold a problem, or do a second test. You had limited test capability with the crossbar, such as not being able to pull dial tone. You had to get the co guy to put up a clip if you wanted to do this. You could put the number up and sit on monitor while the subscriber called in and out.

You could get the subscriber to dial 4107 which allowed you to hold the line up even when they hung up. One day this kid called 611 and started to mouth off to one of the clerks. She passed him on to me and he got worse so I told him to call me back at 4107 and I would talk to him. He did, so I asked for his mother and he hung up on me. Just pulled back the ringing key until he answered again. He did this about 4 times until I told him he would not be able to call out until she came to the line. She did and I think he probably got what he deserved that night. Lots of funny stories here which I can share over a beer some day.

I have to head up to our place up north but please email me if you have any questions. My memory is a little fuzzy, but some of it comes back. Maybe you could post the photos as I would be interested to see if anyone knows anything about the line boards or can add information about the test board equipment."
The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
Free Admission - Call (902) 651-2762 to arrange a visit!
C*NET 1-651-0001


The first photo (in the glass booth) is a Keith Line switch., a plunger type switch.
The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
Free Admission - Call (902) 651-2762 to arrange a visit!
C*NET 1-651-0001


This is a picture of the AE Type 21A test turret on the bench at MADhouse Telephone. It allows direct access to all lines via a pair of test trunks, or it can be accessed via selector or line number from the switch.
ADavid, MADhouse Telephone