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Advice on cord weights for Ericsson switchboard

Started by escuta, June 09, 2020, 06:04:55 AM

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I'm in final stages of adapting a 40/50s Ericsson switchboard to act as an interface to an Asterisk PBX system. I've designed a simple stand for it and I now need to choose weighted pulleys for the cord weights. I won't try to source the originals as I need 16 and i think it will be too expensive to import them.

I'm wondering if people know what pulley diameter will work best? Also what might be the maximum width (or width of the originals)? Too small a diameter and I imagine they will have a tendency to spin and and catch on neighbouring weights. Is it absolutely necessary to have smooth sides? Probably...

I'll try and attach a picture of the design and an underside view of the cord arrangement. Note, the pulleys shown are just models that I grabbed off the net).

The cords are approximately 6mm in diameter. The centres of adjacent cords are approximately 24mm apart. 

All the best,


The best way I could think of is to get an original, make a mold and cast your own. You can get lead fishing weights to melt down for the mold. I am sure you can find one weight somewhere, maybe even borrow one from a fellow collector.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"


Very good idea from Harry re the lead/mold.

These do come up occasionally on the auction site.
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'   ...and a Duck!
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble


The weight pulleys I have seen, are about 2" in diameter.
I don't suppose you can get too large, but certainly don't want too small
That would promote twisting.
And ,yes, smooth is best.
Anything in motion, will be susceptible to collisions.
The weight varies some, I suppose depending on cord length??? not sure.
If you cannot find or make suitable weights,
I suppose standard smooth sided pulleys inverted, with a small fishing weight hangin from them would work well
Good luck with your project, and post pics please. :)
Would like to see your final solution.


Thanks a lot for the suggestions. Were the lead weights one-piece without a moving pulley inside or two pieces screwed together with a pulley?

I like the mould idea a lot.

It would be a travesty to do so but I was also thinking of curtain cord weights as as last ditch solution although these would probably need to be modified to accommodate a 6mm cord.

I'll certainly post photos here, this forum has already helped me enormously!



There are some cord weights on the bottom of the following page that look easy to replicate by screwing a roller to a lead weight:

Western Bell

search eblay for "lead ingots" and picks what you want.need if yoiu go the mould route


This is from the TCI website WE Catalog No. 5, page 168, which gives weight and dimensions of several cord pulleys for WE switchboards.