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Old 3rd May 2020, 5:57 pm   #1
EF80TVVALVE
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Default GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

Hi all,

I picked up this rather battered 232 phone today with the attached bell box, I believe they're known as the King pyramid.

First inspection was that it looked complete but has obviously taken a hard drop at some point. The bottom section has faced damage. The main phone body is okay other than the screw moulding that holds the dial mechanism in place. I filed down some bakelite and mixed the powder with epoxy to rebuild this part which is currently curing.

The dial mechanism was loose and looks to have been pulled out as the three wires that connect to terminals 4, 5 and 6 in the phone body are all detached. In the bottom circuitry there is a loose wire from the capacitor, I presume this goes to the coil for the ringer?

If anyone can help with the initial wiring problems then that would be great. I'm not sure which colours should go to 4 5 and 6 from the dial mechanism. Only 5 and 6 actually go to the lower phone circuitry, 6 goes to the coil and red cable on the handset. 5 is blue and goes straight to the coil. Also the dial mechanism itself has two wires loose but I presume that these go blue, grey, brown, pink and orange from left to right.

I've tried looking for a schematic but I can't find one for this type, only the stand alone 232 which looks to be different.

Hopefully this will make a nice example, I have a few bakelite phones but have never done anything with them before so this is something new to me really.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 6:08 pm   #2
TonyDuell
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

That's odd.... I wouldn't have expected the induction coil to be on the bell set chassis. In a normal 232 it's in the main part of the telephone.

I have a couple of Telephone 232's with the Bell Set 26 screwed on the bottom. They are a normal 232, a normal Bell Set 26 and a short 3 core cable to link them. There are 3 N diagrams that apply :

N332 for the Telephone 232
N526 for the Bell Set 26
N4300 for how to connect them.

I would start with those and see if you can relate them to your telephone (which will be different).

Incidentally, the wires on the back of the dial go in the order Blue, Slate (grey), Brown, Pink, Orange. That is the case in every ex-GPO telephone I've ever worked on, and even some Australian, etc, ones. I was taught the nmemonic : 'Bill Said B****r (the) Post Office' to remember this.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 6:28 pm   #3
Dave Moll
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

Is the 'phone definitely a 232? The 162 is an earlier "pyramid" 'phone that requires an external induction coil, but externally looks like a 232. A shot of the innards might help.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 7:29 pm   #4
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

Thanks for the replies both, I found it unusual to have the coil in the bell box too as I can't find any photos similar online. I have attached a picture of the internals of the main phone unit. Currently it is stripped somewhat but all that is missing is the dial mechanism and the four wires which go to the bell box. There is also no sign of any coil being previously fitted into the main phone unit.

Also the wires to the bell box are actually fed through holes drilled in the top of the bell house casing so there are no wires connecting the phone and bell box externally and the handset cable goes to the bell box directly leaving the hole at the rear of the pyramid casting free from any cables.

The coil in the bell box looks to be an original fitment too, it's all too neat for this to be done by someone by the looks of things.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 9:19 pm   #5
Pellseinydd
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

Quote:
Originally Posted by EF80TVVALVE View Post
Thanks for the replies both, I found it unusual to have the coil in the bell box too as I can't find any photos similar online. I have attached a picture of the internals of the main phone unit. Currently it is stripped somewhat but all that is missing is the dial mechanism and the four wires which go to the bell box. There is also no sign of any coil being previously fitted into the main phone unit.

Also the wires to the bell box are actually fed through holes drilled in the top of the bell house casing so there are no wires connecting the phone and bell box externally and the handset cable goes to the bell box directly leaving the hole at the rear of the pyramid casting free from any cables.

The coil in the bell box looks to be an original fitment too, it's all too neat for this to be done by someone by the looks of things.
Sadly it is a 'bitsa' telephone and bellset. .The bellset has the 'looks' of a Bellset No 25 but it is not an original GPO terminal strip as that also had an 'E' earth terminal on it The wiring isn't up to the standards of the GPO - the capacitor doesn't appear to be fastened to the chassis. Are there any markings on the rear of the chassis which give clue? Are there any other marking on telephone or bellset - unusual not to have markings/diagram inside telephone. Is there a diagram inside the bellset lid?

When it comes to the telephone. It definitely isn't a GPO Tele 232 as the 'terminal' block/switch set is missing terminals 7 and 8. It is also missing its Induction Coil No 27 (No 24 on earlier models). The Telephone No 162 also had an Induction Coil as well as there being one in the Bellset No 25 - appears to be missing from this telephone. The circuit diagram of a Tele 162 and a Bellset 25 is diagram No N4200 http://www.samhallas.co.uk/repositor...4000/N4200.pdf

The GPO never drilled a hole in the top of a bellset to connect it to the telephone - the connection was done with a 'Cord 3/74 9inch' which came out of the rear of the telephone and went into the cord entry on the bellset which was normally on the LH side of the telephone. I've bought a couple of genuine original ones on eBay recently. Someone does produce repro ones on eBay - note they were never a plaited cord as another seller produces.

The term 'king pyramid' is a modern tern - never heard it used during my days wit the GPO in the 1950/6's. First heard it in the early 1990's .

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Old 3rd May 2020, 10:56 pm   #6
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

Yes I agree that it does look like a bit of a Frankensteins monster. The capacitor on the bell set is secured by a capacitor clamp. The base of the unit does have a stamping on, actually it has two but one is so rubbed and blurry that I can't make sense of what it is but attached is a picture. There is no markings or diagrams anywhere else, trying to identify it is a complete mystery.

The terminal strip in the phone looks identical to a 162 so maybe it was a 162 that has been butchered a little. This phone has obviously been like this for a long time as it was seized up and quite dusty and corroded. Still, I'm not going to give up on it and I'm going to look for spare parts to put it right.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 11:30 pm   #7
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

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Originally Posted by EF80TVVALVE View Post
Yes I agree that it does look like a bit of a Frankensteins monster. The capacitor on the bell set is secured by a capacitor clamp. The base of the unit does have a stamping on, actually it has two but one is so rubbed and blurry that I can't make sense of what it is but attached is a picture. There is no markings or diagrams anywhere else, trying to identify it is a complete mystery.

The terminal strip in the phone looks identical to a 162 so maybe it was a 162 that has been butchered a little. This phone has obviously been like this for a long time as it was seized up and quite dusty and corroded. Still, I'm not going to give up on it and I'm going to look for spare parts to put it right.
That answers the question! It is what is left of a Telephone L11549 made by Automatic Telephone Manufacturing Co later Automatic Telephone & Electric Ltd of Strowger Works in Edge Lane Liverpool. See https://britishtelephones.com/atm/l11549.htm I'm sure I've got one amongst my Bakelite phones.

One of the problems these days is that unless the phone hasn't been touch since in service, it can have had parts changed.
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Old 4th May 2020, 12:01 am   #8
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

Thanks for the help in identifying it! That printing is on the base of the bell unit so I presume that these two parts would have been together from new? I just need to find some photos of the internals of the ATM brand bell set and see what differences there are, or are they likely to be identical to a GPO equivalent?
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Old 4th May 2020, 11:19 am   #9
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

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Originally Posted by EF80TVVALVE View Post
Thanks for the help in identifying it! That printing is on the base of the bell unit so I presume that these two parts would have been together from new? I just need to find some photos of the internals of the ATM brand bell set and see what differences there are, or are they likely to be identical to a GPO equivalent?
I've looked at my AT&E combined 2XX type. It has L40041 on the bellset, both diagrams inside the bellset cover are faded to white . However the inside of mine is exactly as per a GPO Bellset No 26 (See https://britishtelephones.com/atm/t4058.htm for the inside of the AT&E equivalent of the GPO B/S 25 ). Note how the wiring is a lot neater than yours - looks like yours has been 'rewired' by a collector at some stage. Also the terminal strip in yours is different.

My telephone is also the AT&E equivalent of a GPO Tele 232 except for the 'ATM' logo in the oval on the handset and no other markings/diagram inside. I've kept it that way to use with one of my AT&E Strowger PAXs.
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Old 29th Jul 2020, 9:33 pm   #10
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

Hi all,

Well this phone was put to one side for a few months, having to find a replacement transformer for the phone proved rather difficult and took nearly two months to source one.

I've now replaced the dial mechanism with a nice example, the original was badly corroded and seized solid so I found a nice one to replace it. The transformer has also been fitted and I have also sourced a replacement ATM branded handset to go with it. The photos show what state it is in now, which is a lot better than it was a few months ago.

The final parts to sort is the bakelite cover for the bellset which needs a replacement due to a hairline crack, I'm not too bothered about this so it can wait for now. More importantly I need to find the correct terminal board that fits in the bell set and then start work making the bell set look right.

I've really became fond of this little 162 after doing so much work and hours contacting almost every restorer in the UK to find a replacement transformer! I think I'm going to use it as the main landline phone as after all the trouble I think it deserves pride of place.

Two photos attached showing the upper part of the phone, minus bellset. Hopefully it won't be much longer before it is all back together again!
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Old 30th Jul 2020, 3:00 am   #11
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

If you asked for an anti-sidetone transformer on here I'm sorry I missed it as I've got one.

I have an ATE T3903, see https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=137438, and on that the housing for the bell is just a skirt with no top.
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Old 30th Jul 2020, 10:05 am   #12
EF80TVVALVE
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

No I didn't ask on here, maybe I should have as it could have saved me a lot of trouble From how hard it was to find one I suggest you hang onto it if you repair a lot of phones, most of my enquiries were dead ends!

Interesting that the bottom part of your model is more a rim than an actualy bell set cover, I wonder if that was originally due to the magneto being fitted between the two? All of my phone casings are marked with the same stamping as yours which suggests that they originally went together, quite interesting as to how many variants there are of these models.
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Old 31st Jul 2020, 9:14 am   #13
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

I was going to buy a bellset for my 200 series phone until I realised that the wire connecting the two seems to run externally between them. Is that right?
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Old 31st Jul 2020, 10:03 am   #14
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

yes that is correct it comes out of the rear of the phone and into the side of the bellset
but it is only a short lead
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Old 31st Jul 2020, 10:13 am   #15
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

As Pellseinydd explained further up in this thread


"The GPO never drilled a hole in the top of a bellset to connect it to the telephone - the connection was done with a 'Cord 3/74 9inch' which came out of the rear of the telephone and went into the cord entry on the bellset which was normally on the LH side of the telephone. I've bought a couple of genuine original ones on eBay recently. Someone does produce repro ones on eBay - note they were never a plaited cord as another seller produces."
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Old 31st Jul 2020, 12:57 pm   #16
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

Sorry, I missed that. I think I will leave mine as it is with a 44 Bell set - which doesn't actually include a bell of course.
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Old 31st Jul 2020, 1:40 pm   #17
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

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Sorry, I missed that. I think I will leave mine as it is with a 44 Bell set - which doesn't actually include a bell of course.
The telephone on a Bellset 44 is a Telephone 248 which has a different circuit from a Tele 232 but with a bit of 'fiddling' you could get it to work. Always nice to restore as it would have been as it keeps its value as well as just 'looking nice'. You can 'convert' a Tele 248+Bellset 44 as described here. Lack of bell is not problem, just use a parallel 'plug in' extension bell without the need to 'mod' the Tele 248/BS44.
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Old 31st Jul 2020, 2:14 pm   #18
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

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The telephone on a Bellset 44 is a Telephone 248 which has a different circuit from a Tele 232 but with a bit of 'fiddling' you could get it to work.
The way I got round this with my Bellset 39 (similar to a Bellset 44) is to wire up the equivalant connections (or should that be connexions in GPO speak?) on the Telephone 232 and strap the pair that would go to the additional contacts in the gravity switch of a 248. It does mean that "speak to extn, exch held" makes a loop regardless of the placement of the handset, but otherwise it behaves as it should.

Fortunately, I managed to acquire a proper telephone 248 for my Bellset 44.
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Old 31st Jul 2020, 6:32 pm   #19
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Default Re: GPO 232 Pyramid phone with attached bell box

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Originally Posted by Pellseinydd View Post

The telephone on a Bellset 44 is a Telephone 248 which has a different circuit from a Tele 232 but with a bit of 'fiddling' you could get it to work. Always nice to restore as it would have been as it keeps its value as well as just 'looking nice'. You can 'convert' a Tele 248+Bellset 44 as described here. Lack of bell is not problem, just use a parallel 'plug in' extension bell without the need to 'mod' the Tele 248/BS44.
Yes ,I have an extension bell, I just thought it would be nice to have an internal bell until I realised that it isn't quite internal due to the odd (in my mind) lead connecting the two. I didn't realise that the circuitry in the phones was different. I will leave well alone. I managed to find the correct connections on the bellset for the input lead (sorry I don't know the correct term for this) so the switches on the bellset actually do something.
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