Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Switching => Magneto & Manual (Cord Boards etc) => Topic started by: BigBird0000 on June 17, 2017, 11:56:26 AM

Title: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 17, 2017, 11:56:26 AM
I just picked up a Western Electric 550-C PBX.
It has the schematic with it, but I am new to phones,
and was wondering if there is any additional info besides the schematic that is available.
It appears to have all the parts.

The Dial doesn't return after rotating  to fingerstop, is there a way to ID the dial so I can find a spring(think its missing) to repair?

Thanks
--alan


IMAGES:

https://ibb.co/album/iBsfrF (https://ibb.co/album/iBsfrF)  --->  ( images copied from external hosting site and attached below )
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: unbeldi on June 17, 2017, 12:07:45 PM
Welcome !

The board looks nice, but the dial is was added later and is not by Western Electric.

The dial is a Type 24A36 by Automatic Electric Company.  They are easily found.

I am wondering, however, whether it be better to use a Western Electric dial instead, but the board may have been modified for use with the AE dial.   Reviewing the schematics would provide an answer.

Did you remove the wires from the dial, or was it there just for decoration ?
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: unbeldi on June 17, 2017, 12:16:55 PM
Hmm.  That board actually looks familiar.  Didn't that sell on eBay just recently ?

Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 17, 2017, 12:52:23 PM
The wires were as is.  The dial fits and holds in the metal clip. I am not used to the WE Schematics, so I am going to scan it in to my computer, and whiten background to make it easier.

Yes, it was the one ebay.

Any known installation info on these, or what would be similar? I didn't find on TCI.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on June 17, 2017, 01:26:11 PM
The wires were as is.  The dial fits and holds in the metal clip. I am not used to the WE Schematics, so I am going to scan it in to my computer, and whiten background to make it easier.

Yes, it was the one ebay.

Any known installation info on these, or what would be similar? I didn't find on TCI.
Switchboards except 555s and their derivatives and 608s typically require a dial with one normally open off-normal contact isolated from the pulse contacts since it switches local PBX battery voltage to a relay in the attendant's TEL circuit.  So any AE dial or a WECo 2/4/5/6E or F dial will work interchangeably with no internal connections to the swbd. 

They also will mount interchangeably on a WECo dial mount and might also on an AE dial mount as long as the vertical screws at 3 and 9 o'clock are being used rather than the horizontal screws at 2 and 10 o'clock.  I don't recognize this dial mount from the bottom and am unable to see any screws holding the dial to the mount. 

However in the upper right corner of the photo showing the back of the dial I can see the bottom end of the WECo 25B or 25C connecting block to which a WECo 6000 or 6044 dial mount attaches and makes contact to connect the dial to the keyshelf wiring.  So I suppose it's the back of a 6000-type dial mounting with 20º incline of the dial face. 

It seems to be missing the large ~3" diameter gold colored metal crescent shaped 52-type dial adapter which normally mounts the dial to the dial mount using the 3 vertical screws on the back of the dial and two radial (horizontal) screws to attach the crescent shaped dial adapter to the 6000 type dial mount.

AE dials easily and often fetch up due to dried up lubrication on the governor bearings and may seem to be missing a spring but that's actually very unlikely.  Try putting a tiny drop of oil on the governor bearings being careful not to get any on the inside of the governor cup or fly weights.

What you describe as a schematic is probably not and also not very useful for most purposes.  WECo switchboards usually contain a "T" diagram which is an "air-line" wiring diagram showing the colors of leads from the wiring harness connected to each piece of apparatus (relays, coils, jacks, keys, etc), hence the diagram may help in reconnecting wires broken off terminals but is of zero benefit to understanding circuit operation.  If I were you I would not waste any effort trying to scan it since the same T drawing may already be available as a PDF and surely the actual schematic is, along with the Bell System Practices.

BTW, I'm not sure whether it's a 550C or a 551B.  I thought 550s used separately mounted rather than strip mounted jacks but the orange keys at the left certainly are not characteristic of a 551B so maybe the strip mounted jacks are the difference between a 550B and a 550C.  Something to research in the future.  A complete photo of the face equipment would be helpful for future reference.

Where did you find the "550C" identification?  Look around inside for a 5-digit J-number stamped in orange ink beginning "J5####L where # are numerals and L is one or more letters.  That would be the most definitive ID.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 17, 2017, 06:13:39 PM
Alex,

You are correct about the dial, it starts to return, but when the governor should start to open, the return stops. I will oil and check as per your instructions.

You are also correct about the "Schematic", it is a "wiring of circuits".

I found the 550-C on them "schematic" attached to a metal cover. I haven't seen the "J#" yet, but am still looking.

I have uploaded pics of the "schematic" and other pics of the PBX to https://bigbird0000.imgbb.com/ (https://bigbird0000.imgbb.com/)
until I move them to the other album.

I will post any updates
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on June 17, 2017, 06:16:48 PM
Alex,

You are correct about the dial, it starts to return, but when the governor should start to open, the return stops. I will oil and check as per your instructions.

You are also correct about the "Schematic", it is a "wiring of circuits".

I found the 550-C on them "schematic" attached to a metal cover. I haven't seen the "J#" yet, but am still looking.

I have uploaded pics of the "schematic" and other pics of the PBX to https://bigbird0000.imgbb.com/ (https://bigbird0000.imgbb.com/)
until I move them to the other album.

I will post any updates
Good! 

Correction to my previous statement: ...with no internal connections wiring changes...
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 17, 2017, 07:59:48 PM
Mr. Bell,

As you suggested, the drop of oil on the bearings helped. The dial is working great after just a minute or two.

Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on June 17, 2017, 08:27:19 PM
Mr. Bell,

As you suggested, the drop of oil on the bearings helped. The dial is working great after just a minute or two.
Great!  Thanks for getting back to us.

AE dials are especially vulnerable to this problem.  In general the higher speed a shaft spins the more dry lubrication results in unacceptable drag. 

The worm gear drive on AE dials makes this especially so because it gears up the governor speed and also has drag of its own because there is a lot of surface contact area and sliding of the surfaces against each other compared to the way ordinary toothed gears mesh, hence friction between the surfaces.  So a tiny amount of oil on the spiral of the worm gear will also probably help.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 18, 2017, 12:55:47 AM
I'm going to clean off any goo *the techie word", and then put down the thinnest layer of oil.
I will also CRC clean the contacts, and burnish if necessary, then figure out wiring.
I need to find somehting to open op the shelf  to spray clean the contacts for the switches.
then the jacks and plugs. before I even start the back. I also need to get the drops of paint off,
and refinish the cabinet

Then try and hook up some of those magneto phones.

Why is it you loose personal time when you retire?

--alan

Still looking for install and/or operating manual for this pbx.

I plan on sending all the files I find to TCI library!



Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on June 18, 2017, 01:31:42 AM
I'm going to clean off any goo *the techie word", and then put down the thinnest layer of oil.
I will also CRC clean the contacts, and burnish if necessary, then figure out wiring.
Might well not be necessary to clean contacts.  I'd wait until it's powered up to see what works and does not.  I've powered up equipment that sat around for decades in adverse storage conditions and it worked perfectly with no contact cleaning.

Do you have appropriate power for it?

You need a lamp cap and lamp puller to get the lamps out without damage.  Even with these sometimes the contacts come off and they become unusable.  Often swbds which were in service late have completely inappropriate lamps because the repairman used whatever he could get as support and supplies waned.  So you should check lamps. 

Sometimes it's best to wait until it's powered and judge by their brightness to decide whether they are correct or not to avoid damage to lamps by removal just for inspection.

Burnish only with a bonafide relay contact burnishing tool.  Anything else can remove precious metal and destroy contacts.
I need to find something to open op the shelf  to spray clean the contacts for the switches.
then the jacks and plugs. before I even start the back. I also need to get the drops of paint off,
and refinish the cabinet
Do you mean the key for the key shelf?  It's standard for all 550s, 551s & 552s, possible though expensive to copy because the blanks are in low production and costly.  I have an original and can look into having it reproduced.

Again I would be cautious and not plunge head long into contact cleaning.

You might want to read some of the topics related to restoring finish on wood phones.  Original finish restored may be better and more authentic than a new finish.
Then try and hook up some of those magneto phones.

Why is it you loose personal time when you retire?

--alan
This is a common battery switchboard.  It is not compatible with magneto phones as-is.  There are ways to adapt depending on what you want to achieve.  We can discuss that later.

Sorry, I don't answer existential questions on this list.  It would be off-topic.  ;D

Still looking for install and/or operating manual for this pbx.

I plan on sending all the files I find to TCI library!
OK, good.

You can identify the relevant installation and maintenance Bell System Practices from BSP 000-000-002, BSP Master Index or division indexes 534-000-000 and 536-000-000 in the TCI library.  Look in divisions 534 and 536 in the Master Index.

The operating booklet for the 551 type is probably completely appropriate since the 551 was a redesign to use later apparatus and change some ergonomic aspects but is not functionally different.  PBX operating booklets are around.  Not sure whether I have the 551 but I might, not scanned though.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 18, 2017, 12:07:13 PM
Alex,

Thank you so much for the detailed answers and comments.

I will look at the BSPs you suggested.

It would be great if you can find out about a key being copied. If not, would it be possible to take a couple of close up shots
next to a ruler (metric or standard) so I can measure it (also from the "hole side" of the key (opposite side of the bow, or handle of key)
with dimensions, I would be able to make a key.

I am pretty good at relay (and leaf switch contacts) - I have restored many Jukeboxes and Pinball machines from the 20's to the 60's, and have burnishing tool and usually use a business card with contact cleaner first.

I do not think I have a power supply, thats why I am looking for schematic/install/maintenance.

Happy fathers day to you - the man that fathered my latest hobby!


--alan
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on June 18, 2017, 01:21:15 PM
Alex,

Thank you so much for the detailed answers and comments.

I will look at the BSPs you suggested.

It would be great if you can find out about a key being copied. If not, would it be possible to take a couple of close up shots
next to a ruler (metric or standard) so I can measure it (also from the "hole side" of the key (opposite side of the bow, or handle of key)
with dimensions, I would be able to make a key.

I am pretty good at relay (and leaf switch contacts) - I have restored many Jukeboxes and Pinball machines from the 20's to the 60's, and have burnishing tool and usually use a business card with contact cleaner first.

I do not think I have a power supply, thats why I am looking for schematic/install/maintenance.

Happy fathers day to you - the man that fathered my latest hobby!


--alan
You're welcome Alan.

I think I may have photographed the key and dimensioned it by measuring with a vernier caliper.  I'll look around for that and also see if there is anyone around who can copy it.

The pinball machines and juke boxes I've seen in my youth (not recently) had industrial type relays with much larger contact buttons.  Telephone relays are somewhat more delicate.  Some contacts intended for dry circuits have gold flashing which will be removed by anything abrasive.  But your experience with electro-mechanical equipment is certainly a useful and relevant skill to bring to the table.

Business cards may deposit wood fiber in the pits of pitted contacts.  There is special high rag content paper strips which are used in telephone equipment maintenance.

Look for other recent threads on CRPF about lamp cap and lamp removal tools.  I'm pretty sure you need 24VDC or thereabouts and a source of 65-90VAC 20Hz ringing current.  Will see if I can locate my SDs to confirm that.  However most manual PBXs operate over a range of voltages and require the lamps to be matched to the voltage used.  IIRC, 550s and 551s operated over a range of 20-36V.

An excellent choice if you can find one at a reasonable price is the Tellabs 8050.  It's a switched mode unit, therefore is quite compact and standby power is low if you choose to leave it powered up.  It has switches to set the outputs to 24 or 48VDC and the ringing source to 20 or 30 Hz.  Switchboards always use 20Hz.  It also has a 10VAC 60Hz output for key telephone systems, so if set to 24V could power one of those too.

Common key telephone system supplies such as the 101G or 20- or 30 types use saturated core devices to produce the ringing current which have much higher standby power consumption, heat production and are much larger.  The 101G versions which provide ringing provide 20Hz while the 20- and 30-types produce 30Hz which is not appropriate and produces a somewhat "frenetic" sound at the ringers since they're operating at 150% of the correct rate. 

20Hz will sound better to you once you've heard them both and recognize the difference.  When you get to that stage, the longer clapper rods on these older type ringers may make your magneto telephone ringers not respond well to 30Hz, never tried it. 

Thanks for the holiday greetings.  You too.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 19, 2017, 11:09:08 AM
Alex,

I gave a tellabs 8050. Went in the garage this am to find it, before the temp goes up
to 122 today.

I am going through everything you mentioned, and I downloaded.

When I do relays/leaf switches, I am always careful. A lot of the jukebox stuff was gold plated, so I am very aware of
the dangers, but thanks anyway.

I will let you know when I have any updates -- hopefully soon.

--alan
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on June 19, 2017, 11:28:43 AM
Alex,

I gave a tellabs 8050. Went in the garage this am to find it, before the temp goes up
to 122 today.

I am going through everything you mentioned, and I downloaded.

When I do relays/leaf switches, I am always careful. A lot of the jukebox stuff was gold plated, so I am very aware of
the dangers, but thanks anyway.

I will let you know when I have any updates -- hopefully soon.

--alan
OK, good.  122?  Where?
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 19, 2017, 02:29:35 PM
I am in Laughlin, NV. 90 Mins south of vegas.
On the colorado river, the southern most town in nevada, where az, ca and nv meet.

We have excessive heat warning til Friday.

Good time to stay in the house and work on PBX!
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on June 19, 2017, 02:59:41 PM
I am in Laughlin, NV. 90 Mins south of vegas.
On the colorado river, the southern most town in nevada, where az, ca and nv meet.

We have excessive heat warning til Friday.

Good time to stay in the house and work on PBX!
Absolutely.  OTOH it hit 106 in Sacramento CA yesterday IIRC and even higher temps in the SF Bay Area's East Bay, over the hills in Castro Valley.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Fabius on June 19, 2017, 07:48:29 PM
OK, good.  122?  Where?

Beautiful Salome Arizona. The garden spot of North America.
Title: Re: NEWBIE Ready to Wire WeCo 550-C PBX
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 20, 2017, 04:30:24 PM
I ate in Salome once, many years ago. And no I didn't have salami.

I am ready to start to bring my board up.

For now, I just would like to connect a few phones, not connected to CO.

What connects where?
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: trainman on June 20, 2017, 04:52:01 PM
The rows marked STATION LINES are  your extensions. T and R obviously are for TIP and RING.

Should be marked TRUNKS or TRKS for the outside lines.
Title: Re: NEWBIE Ready to Wire WeCo 550-C PBX
Post by: Alex G. Bell on June 20, 2017, 04:52:40 PM
I ate in Salome once, many years ago. And no I didn't have salami.

I am ready to start to bring my board up.

For now, I just would like to connect a few phones, not connected to CO.

What connects where?
Didn't have salami and probably not Salomé either.

-24VDC connects to CENT OFF BAT.
The + side of the 24VDC source connects to CENT OFF GRD.
The high side of the 90VAC 20Hz ringing source connects to GEN +/-.
The return side of the 90VAC 20Hz ringing source connects to GEN G.

I'm not sure whether there is an internal connection within the swbd between the DC GRD and the ringing GRD.  It would be good to check for continuity before making these terminals before making connections. 

Similarly the 8050 may have a switch to return the 20Hz output to either the (-) or (+) side of the DC output.  If there is a connection within the switchboard let the ringing output of the 8050 float.  If there is no connection set the 8050 to return the 20Hz output to GRD (+).

Common battery telephone sets connect to STATION LINES, T&R terminals. 

I cannot read the designation on the far left above "STATION LINES" due to the reflection.  It's probably the CO trunk connections.

It's best to take photos slightly off to the side, especially when using flash.  Just a few degrees off perpendicular to the subject prevents reflections like are present in these photos.  A tripod is also a good idea if light is low.  These photos are blurry despite the very high resolution in terms of the actual number of pixels.  This is either due to camera shake in low light or incorrect focus, or both.  At ~4000x3000 pixels they would be crystal clear and perfectly legible if not for focus or shake.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 20, 2017, 05:26:35 PM
Alex,
Thanks for that info. I really needed the Power Supply info.
The designation on the far left above "STATION LINES was "TRKS" - obviously trunks.
The reflection was from the sun coming in through a broken blind. I took many pics, but I just uploaded ones that showed the layout
(that I tried to duplicate in the PDF), I then ran the pics through alogorithm to make them smaller (and added lossiness).

I'm gonna try and brave the heat, and go in the garage to get some wire.

TNKS!
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on June 20, 2017, 05:43:19 PM
Alex,
Thanks for that info. I really needed the Power Supply info.
The designation on the far left above "STATION LINES was "TRKS" - obviously trunks.
The reflection was from the sun coming in through a broken blind. I took many pics, but I just uploaded ones that showed the layout
(that I tried to duplicate in the PDF), I then ran the pics through alogorithm to make them smaller (and added lossiness).

I'm gonna try and brave the heat, and go in the garage to get some wire.

TNKS!
You're welcome.  Not sure what you mean by "ran pics through algorithm".  The free Irfanview program will instantly change actual resolution individually or in batch mode as well as allow conversion among a wide variety of formats.  Also provides for text and line annotation, deskewing and many other functions.

Maybe you need to adopt a nocturnal schedule in your climate: sleep during the hot day and go out and into the garage only at night!   ;D
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 20, 2017, 06:37:04 PM
I used the "reduce size of file" in irfanview. Just a habit, as many sites restrict size of files.

I have a better idea, sleep at night, and during day; keep everything in the house! (maybe actually have a car in there for once)!
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on June 20, 2017, 06:43:55 PM
I used the "reduce size of file" in irfanview. Just a habit, as many sites restrict size of files.

I have a better idea, sleep at night, and during day; keep everything in the house! (maybe actually have a car in there for once)!
CRPF allows very large file sizes and absolute resolution as determined by the pixel dimensions.  So it is usually counterproductive to reduce file size by lowering the JPG "quality" setting or the pixel dimensions.

Car in the garage???  Now you're getting radical!  Be careful!   ;D
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 23, 2017, 07:25:20 PM
IT'S ALIVE!

I just got back from a quick jaunt. I used a lab power supply instead of the tellabs for now.
That way I can watch the amps, and it has an adjustable cutoff. No ringer supply right now.

I have connected 1 phone right now. Off hook, the white light goes on, and there is power in the phone.
I am going to plug a headset, and add a few more phones in next....
and see if I can talk to the phone a particular station.

 :) ;D
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on June 23, 2017, 09:08:27 PM
Congratulations!  I guess there's joy in Lauglin, whether or not there is in Mudville.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on June 23, 2017, 09:55:39 PM
In Mudville..... struck out..... I hit a home run!

Headset works with phone!

Many thanks to you Alex, I wouldn't have gotten this far yet without your help!




Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on June 23, 2017, 09:58:57 PM
In Mudville..... struck out..... I hit a home run!

Headset works with phone!

Many thanks to you Alex, I wouldn't have gotten this far yet without your help!
You're very welcome!  The fun has just begun for you!
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on July 23, 2017, 07:20:54 PM
I've been having fun with the kids and the PBX.

Is there an easy way to connect the ring generator to the PBX so the magneto does not need to be turned to signal?

Those PBX operators must have been pumped!
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on July 23, 2017, 07:29:40 PM
I've been having fun with the kids and the PBX.

Is there an easy way to connect the ring generator to the PBX so the magneto does not need to be turned to signal?

Those PBX operators must have been pumped!
Trust me!  They weren't.  The magneto was there as a backup because in the days when cord switchboards were first used most commercial electric power, if available at all, was DC therefore not easily converted to the voltages required by a switchboard except by using high-maintenance motor-generator sets. 

Consequently, spare cable pairs from the Central Office to the PBX location were used for reliability and low maintenance cost to charge batteries to provide the DC and feed CO ringing current to the PBX.  The batteries would keep it going for a while if the DC charging feed failed and the hand generator if the ringing feed failed.

Yes, of course you can and should connect a ringing generator.  I may have to review the history of this thread to see whether I have sufficient information to advise you as to where to connect the ringing source and cannot do that now. 

ISTR you posted photos identifying the terminals so I may have already answered this question earlier.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on July 23, 2017, 08:00:38 PM
Hi Alex,

I have attached a pic of the back of pbx with the black lamp wire cords going to voltage and ring gen.
(I even used a tripod this time)!
--alan
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on July 25, 2017, 04:44:06 AM
You are feeding 90V 20Hz AC to the GEN +/- and G terminals and still are unable to ring an extension by operating the ringing key?

Does a telephone connected directly to these terminals ring?

There should be a GEN transfer twist key for switching between the hand generator and external source.  It must be set properly.  There should also be an Edison base bulb socket with a resistance lamp screwed in.  Is the lamp there?  Is the filament continuous?  (check continuity by any of a number of methods or bypass the lamp temporarily with a jumper.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on July 25, 2017, 07:25:03 PM
Once again Alex, you are correct!
I had all the on/off switches set OPPOSITE of what they should be.
(The writing is rubbed off on my PBX, I need to restore that section.

It does sound good to hear those old metal real ringers!

 :D
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on July 25, 2017, 08:12:11 PM
Once again Alex, you are correct!
I had all the on/off switches set OPPOSITE of what they should be.
(The writing is rubbed off on my PBX, I need to restore that section.

It does sound good to hear those old metal real ringers!

 :D
So it's working from the ringing supply now instead of the hand generator?
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on July 25, 2017, 08:40:08 PM
Yes... it is working on both.
I will use the tellabs generator, I'll have the kids still use the crank!

Thanks Very Much Alex !!!!
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on July 25, 2017, 09:04:20 PM
Yes... it is working on both.
I will use the tellabs generator, I'll have the kids still use the crank!

Thanks Very Much Alex !!!!
Very good. You're welcome. 

Please post a close up photo of this cluster of keys.  I'd have expected engraved nickel plated escutcheon plates above these keys designating their functions, rather than ink markings, and tiny holes remaining above them from the brass escutcheon pins (tiny round headed nails) which originally attached the designation plates once they were removed.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on July 26, 2017, 12:59:57 PM
Looks like the letters were engraved, don't see nail holes.
From the "GEN" it looks like they were white filled.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: unbeldi on July 26, 2017, 01:43:13 PM
Yes, the questionable key is the "Buzzer" key, often also called the "Night-Alarm" key.

Most common battery PBX switchboards, corded or cordless, of the time have basically three controls, other than those that operate on each specific station line or trunk line.

Battery (on/off):  This key disconnects the switchboard from the DC power feed, which came either from a local supply (battery or generator), or from a wire pair from the central office. It was set to the off position during times when the PBX attendant was NOT available at all, e.g. during night time, and weekends.  When off, the PBX could typically be set up for night connections, so that any incoming calls ring directly at a PBX station, rather than announce the call at the switchboard.

- Night Alarm or Buzzer (on/off):  This key is operated when the attendant is available, but away or distracted from the switchboard, to sound an audible alarm, typically a mechanical buzzer, when any line lamp, or any other supervisory lamp (talk circuit, trunk hold circuit) turns on.  This permits the attendant to do other work without being focussed at the switchboard lamps.

- Generator:  This key selects the source of ringing current applied to PBX stations.  It has two positions,  power generator (P.G.) and hand generator (H.G).   For P.G.  operation the ringing current comes from either a local ringing power generator, or from a remote feed of ringing current from the central office.  This was the normal setting in probably most installation scenarios.  When this power source was not available, the control was set to obtain ringing current from the built-in hand generator. Thus, the attendant had to operate the ringing key as well as operate the hand generator at the same time.

On these Western Electric switchboards, these keys were turn-keys with a knob from early on, as on your board.  But it was also common to use level-type keys.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on July 26, 2017, 01:51:26 PM
Looks like the letters were engraved, don't see nail holes.
From the "GEN" it looks like they were white filled.
Right.  On 551s these keys are on the cabinet to conserve keyshelf space, so metal escutcheons are nailed into the wood.  I forgot where they were on a 550.  Phenolic key escutcheons that are an integral part of the key assembly would have to be engraved and filled with white paint. 

You might be able to get an engraver who makes phenolic name plates to re-engrave them.  Normally engravers work on a phenolic sandwich with a white middle layer and engrave through the top layer to expose the white middle layer to reveal the letters in a contrasting color so this would require filling with white paint.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on July 26, 2017, 02:15:06 PM
Unbeldi & Alex,

Thank you both for the info. Unbeldi, the descriptions off the switches help. :)

Alex, I have some white paint that I have used in Radio and Jukebox restorations. I normally use a toothpick, and put paint in. When Dry I repeat again a few times. Lastly, I put the paint in (think pour over, but on a lesser scale) and wipe extra paint off. Works great, I will try that before going to an engraver.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on July 26, 2017, 02:22:46 PM
Unbeldi & Alex,

Thank you both for the info. Unbeldi, the descriptions off the switches help. :)

Alex, I have some white paint that I have used in Radio and Jukebox restorations. I normally use a toothpick, and put paint in. When Dry I repeat again a few times. Lastly, I put the paint in (think pour over, but on a lesser scale) and wipe extra paint off. Works great, I will try that before going to an engraver.
Sure.  If the engraving seems deep enough to hold the paint, by all means try that first. 

I'm not sure whether an engraver can follow pre-existing engraving.  They probably use a stencil or pantograph and may not be able to retrace existing engraving, only create new engraving according to the size and style of their tool set, which might not match the original.   So if the original is still visible best to just refill it.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: BigBird0000 on July 26, 2017, 03:04:50 PM
I'm not sure if a jewelry engraver can. You are thinking old style, I'm sure most of them use
computers now so any minimum wage worker can do it. A real jewelry craftsman would be hard to find.

But I was thinking if I had to, a Gun Engraver might.

I'll let you know what happens.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: TelePlay on July 26, 2017, 03:08:31 PM
I have some white paint that I have used in Radio and Jukebox restorations. I normally use a toothpick, and put paint in. When Dry I repeat again a few times. Lastly, I put the paint in (think pour over, but on a lesser scale) and wipe extra paint off. Works great, I will try that before going to an engraver.

I've done this many times on metal and plastic. The engraved area must be free of dirt and oils. Any kind of paint will work but I usually go with a ceramic enamel. Just slobber it on over the engraving, press it into the engraving with Saran Wrap over a finger, gently wipe off the excess, let it sit for 15-30 minutes and then use the paints solvent on a flat objects to wipe the almost dried paint off of the surface without removing it from the engraving. I've successfully filled some very light and fine engraved letters that way. Learned that process at the Antique Radio Forum.

If you don't like the results, you can then go to an engraver, gun or trophy or jeweler.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: Alex G. Bell on July 26, 2017, 03:09:06 PM
I'm not sure if a jewelry engraver can. You are thinking old style, I'm sure most of them use
computers now so any minimum wage worker can do it. A real jewelry craftsman would be hard to find.

But I was thinking if I had to, a Gun Engraver might.

I'll let you know what happens.
Yes, I suppose so.  Please do.
Title: Re: NEWBIE WeCo 550-C PBX Info wanted
Post by: trainman on July 28, 2017, 06:46:31 AM
can also use this.  back in the day,it was lacquer paint. not sure what  it made from today.

http://www.markal.com/solid-paint-markers/lacquer-stik/

I ordered one from an Amazon vendor.  although i do recall seeing them at Ace Hardware once.