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Old 14th Sep 2023, 9:27 pm   #1
Tkidess
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Default Vintage Butler's Bell

I would like some assistance in getting a Vintage Butler's Bell in the kitchen repaired. The bell was going off independently and so someone just cut one of the wires. Now, we are unable to get it to work again. For one thing, I don't know if electricity is even getting to the entire box and I can't figure out how to check that. I am including some photos, would appreciate the advice.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 7:04 am   #2
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Default Re: Vintage Butler's Bell

There were no pictures attached to your post. You'll find a guide to posting pictures in the forums here:-

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=77650
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 8:46 am   #3
Tkidess
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Default Vintage Butler's Bell

Hello, I was hoping you can help my repair a Butler's Bell. Apparently, it started going off continuously so someone snipped one of the wires and now we can't figure out how to reconnect it. The Butler's Bell is also what's connected to the main house door bell and since the wire has been snipped, the house door bell is not working either. I will try to put some photos, I would appreciate your insight.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 10:10 am   #4
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Default Re: Vintage Butler's Bell

Can you post a straight on view please. The wiring of these boards is very simple, but I need to establish where the power and batteries are connected.

Does this use batteries or a mains driven bell transformer?

Where is the bell?
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 10:11 am   #5
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Default Re: Vintage Butler's Bell

At the most basic level, each flag is activated by applying battery between the connections at each end of the coil. As to the voltage required, you will probably need to do some experimentation, starting low and working up.

Wiring of the board as a whole consists of connecting one side of each coil together to one side of the battery, then connecting the other side of each to the appropriate bell push with the other sides of the bell pushes connected together to the other side of the battery.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 10:14 am   #6
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Default Re: Vintage Butler's Bell

If there is a bell, I assume this should be connected in series between the flag unit and one side of the battery (or whatever power source is being used).

My first post crossed with Graham's.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 10:18 am   #7
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Default Re: Vintage Butler's Bell

Post #1 suggests there is a bell which was ringing continuously, so a wire was "snipped".

Why anyone would snip a wire I can't think, much easier to disconnect the bell pushes one at a time at the terminal screws which would localise the fault. I hope it's not permanent wiring within the panel that's been snipped.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 10:20 am   #8
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Default Re: Vintage Butler's Bell

Typical circuit here:-

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...7&postcount=13
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 2:31 pm   #9
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Default Re: Vintage Butler's Bell

Yes, we need more pictures.

Is there a battery hiding in a cupboard somewhere?

Or an ancient transformer by your fusebox/consumer unit?

The wiring looks newish (1960s) to me, so I wonder whether it's had the ancient, original wires replaced at some point. This is a almost certainly a good thing.

And is it just me, or does the "frame" look newer as well, as if this might have been put together from bits salvaged from elsewhere? When was your house built?
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 3:30 pm   #10
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Default Re: Vintage Butler's Bell

My understanding is that each Indicator Flag in the display box has an associated push-button.

When the push-button in the Drawing Room is pressed it passes current from the power supply through to the Indicator Flag marked 'Drawing Room'.

The current could then pass through a bell and back to the power supply.

If the bell sounds continuously, it could be due to a stuck push-button or a problem in the wiring.
I am assuming that it was working OK before the fault developed.
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 4:20 pm   #11
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Default Re: Vintage Butler's Bell

Another thread where lack of response from the OP leads to endless speculation.

Let's face it there's not much to go wrong with these servant bell boards. No electronics whatsoever and the problem could probably be identified by visual inspection although a meter would help.
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Old 20th Sep 2023, 10:49 pm   #12
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Default Re: Vintage Butler's Bell

Well yes. Quite apart from being (almost certainly) not in its original frame it looks generally corroded and in need of a strip and reassembly.
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Old 21st Sep 2023, 12:14 am   #13
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Default Re: Vintage Butler's Bell

If you swap the position of the bell and the battery in the circuit above it is possible to use two or more different bells with the push buttons allocated to an indicator and a bell. Very useful if you want to distinguish between internal and front/back door.

Years ago I wired one of these when a friend moved house and one was installed in their new house.
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