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Northern Electric 1240

Started by ve3kjx, September 04, 2016, 07:55:29 PM

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I got a gift from my cousin yesterday. A northern Electric 1240, from what I can tell from the little info I could find. (Thanks Dave at the PEI phone museum).

I want to get this old girl working, with just a couple of magneto phones and an external line. I'm looking for any kind of manual I can find as a big part of the wiring harness is gone.

Luckily I only want a few lines to work for demonstration purposes.

It's exciting, and will make the centrepeice to my collection. I'm running an asterisk box with some FXO cards that work a variety of old 500, 2500 and an AE50 around the house as an intercom. With SIP trunking, I can direct dial out to actual numbers. but I digress.

Here is a url of pictures.


Well, I borrowed a magneto set and thanks to Dave, again, used some of the documentation I found to get a drop to fall when I crank the crank. A video of drop #1 dropping.


I keep seeing switch boards.....I saw what appeared to be a good buy on EBAY....It's making me want one!

Panasonic 308/616 Magicjack service


Quote from: Pourme on September 05, 2016, 07:57:15 PM
I keep seeing switch boards.....I saw what appeared to be a good buy on EBAY....It's making me want one!

Do it.


If anyone needs a copy of the NE 1240 board manual, you can download its three files from the Museum Facebook page files area:




These contain both basic technical drawings, and also operating instructions.

Join the Group at: to download these.

I have a few diagrams for the 1240 at:

You will need to provide 3-5 volts DC for both the board and each connected magneto set. I find old Motorola switching cell phone supplies work well for the purpose. Strip off the old connector, tie the white sensing lead and red line together and use that for positive, and black for negative.

While Cell chargers do create some ripple, it is above human hearing range, and not at 60 hertz like conventional chargers, where you will hear the ripple as an unpleasant buzz.

Lines from the tip and ring of each phone go to either the connection board if still left in, or directly to each drop.

Dave (VY2AC)
The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
Free Admission - Call (902) 651-2762 to arrange a visit!
C*NET 1-651-0001


Thanks for the help!

Yes, 15 red and 15 black keys on my set.

I just downloaded all the information ... that will be a great help!

The project is on hold till the winter ... trying to build a new workshop (a place to move all my "toys").

I love this unit and it would be great to get it up and working!

I have conduits in between the house and new shop so I can set up my own little home phone company.

The locals who visit get a real kick out of making calls between my two magneto wall phones (just wired two together).  I can only imagine who how they will feel when they need to call an operator to make a even a local call.  Gives people a good feel of how it was 100 years ago!

Great info page!  Even found a link to a 223 pay phone.  I had one given to me last year ... want to get it up and running also.  It is amazing how many  people have never used a pay phone!

Thanks again ..... mike