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Old 5th Jun 2022, 4:09 pm   #1
Wishiknewmore
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Default French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

I have just bought this box from a French car boot (and a radio, perhaps another post) I don't have a clue what it is nor what to do with it!
If any one can give some ideas or direction to look to find out more it would be greatly appriciated
many thanks
Philip
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Old 5th Jun 2022, 4:36 pm   #2
peter_sol
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

It looks like a small internal telephone exchange as would have been used in an office or shop.
Not every desk had a phone then so not many extensions.
Over here It would have been called a dolls eye board. Asking Google comes for " small French telephone exchange" comes up with the very same thing. Good luck with it.

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Old 5th Jun 2022, 5:06 pm   #3
pmmunro
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

It's a small private branch exchange (PBX), "Standard téléphonique" in French. Unless you paid more than the normal car boot sale prices, you probably have a bargin there!

Have a look at this;

https://pucesdoc.fr/boutique/objets-...ndard-en-bois/

As yours has a magneto it's probably older than the one above, which may add to its rarity value.

Unless you have a passion for vintage telephone equipment, I would suggest you sell it on or donate it to a genuine collector.

PMM.
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Old 5th Jun 2022, 6:56 pm   #4
Dave Moll
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmmunro View Post
As yours has a magneto it's probably older than the one above, which may add to its rarity value.
That leaves me wondering how an extension could be signalled if the PBX didn't have a magneto - unless it uses DC ringing.
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Old 5th Jun 2022, 7:20 pm   #5
Wishiknewmore
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

Hello all
Thanks for info so far
It does have a magneto, however it does not appear to turn, I shall investigate in time
I don't exactly have a passion for vintage telecoms but a ongoing curiosity, and this particular instance it was my good lady who was the instigator of the purchase (probably as it wasn't another radio or clock! and its a nice oak case!)
If I can get the magneto to work am I naive to think of creating a internal intercom type thing -I do have some old phones...
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Old 5th Jun 2022, 8:03 pm   #6
Dave Moll
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

Certainly, getting the magneto working would be a good start, as you could then check out which switch positions cause the ringing current to appear at which terminals. I would expect the terminals marked "L1" and "L2" to be the extension line pairs, though I'm unclear the purpose of "F1" and "F2". Most likely a 12V battery (connected across "BC") would supply the line current for the extensions (and anything else requiring battery, if anything), but experimentation will determine the optimal voltage.

I note that it appears to have "drop-down" indicators on all circuits rather than "doll's-eye" ones for extensions, so it may require magneto signalling from the extensions.
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 6:55 am   #7
Wishiknewmore
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

Good morning - update and questions

I have managed to get the magneto working and it generates up to about 90/100 VAC
So, to my potential project to create an “intercom”

Firstly, I don’t want to do anything that is not generally reversible and obviously don’t want burn out and components

Can I /should I connect a 12v dc power supply to the battery BC + and – terminals and then connect L1 and L2 to what I think and the Line terminals on the grey phone, picture attached.

I have gathered together my collection of French telephony bits, but it would appear that the black phone done not have a ringer (I think) but has a visual indicator on the front

My main question in there anything that I shouldn’t do?

Thanks
Philip
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 7:05 am   #8
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

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Old 11th Jun 2022, 7:21 am   #9
Dave Moll
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

Your above suggestions sound sensible to me based on my experioence of UK telephony, though I've no experience of French telephones. I would have thought it unlikely that you will harm anything. I would expect the "visual indicator" to be much the same as a ringer in terms of the input it expects.

You will probably need to to a bit of experimenting with the connection of 'phones to get them to talk to each other.
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Old 12th Jun 2022, 2:26 pm   #10
Wishiknewmore
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

Progress!
Connected up as suggested, after finding there was a break somewhere in the +12v dc wire I got also sorts of interesting results
I can chose to ring line one or line two, when handsets lifted the appropriate flat drops or if the switches are in different positions a white flag lifts on the right hand side switch
I therefore get activity on the three switches on the right, nothing so far to activate the left had two, I assume that these will be the line coming in from the "network"
Probably would help it I had a clue what it was meant to be doing in the first place!, but it would appear I could make it, at least partially, function as an intercom!
No success with the black phone yet, far too many connections/options!
Thanks for help so far
Philip
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Old 12th Jun 2022, 2:38 pm   #11
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishiknewmore View Post
No success with the black phone yet...
I take this to refer to the handset on the side of the unit, which will be the operator handset. This should be able to communicate with the 'phone connected to one of the extensions while the switch associated with that extension is in the same (up/down) position as that for the operator, which is presumably the switch with the red handle.

As you surmise, the left-hand switch probably relates to an incoming line connected to the L1/L2 pair labelled "RES", though this unit will not be approved for connection to the telephone network.
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Old 12th Jun 2022, 4:51 pm   #12
Wishiknewmore
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

Sorry, I have mislead you about the "black phone" I was referring to a complete phone as per earlier pictures with the "visual alert" rather than a bell, this phone in its previous life had a multicore cable with about 12 stands and all but two connected.

The black handset appears to work, even though I just guessed the wiring connections as it had been previously disconnected

Fully understand about the not connecting to the current actual phone company network, worry not!

Can I assume that the incoming line could be connected to another complete hand set if it too had a magento ? and if so would it require a DC supply as well.

I am also surmising that the "s" connection is for a bell (Sonnerie French for ringing?)

I appreciate that being a French set-up things will be less well known, but all help is welcome

Philip
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Old 12th Jun 2022, 8:26 pm   #13
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

In the absence of another private exchange, the best 'phone to use to simulate a line connection would be a lineman set such as a 704 or a 286*, in "LB" mode, as this provides the line current you will need as well as generating ringing.

*Unfortunately, Bob Freshwater doesn't appear to have a page for the 286, which superseded the 704 and has a keypad rather than dial, with the choice of either MF tone dialling or Loop Disconnect pulses.
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Old 13th Jun 2022, 9:06 am   #14
Wishiknewmore
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

Thank you
I will keep an eye open for a lineman phone and/or think of some way of creating an AC ring supply ( I have an old soviet phone somewhere with a crank on it that does not turn, so the is now due for investigation when I find it)
Thanks again
Philip
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Old 13th Jun 2022, 5:40 pm   #15
Roger Ramjet
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Default Re: French car boot telephone thing, What is it?

Hi Phil, a THG Member (Telecommunications Heritage Group) used to sell an 12V DC electronic multivibrator / ring generator. It was not too pricey & would easily fit inside your find.
Frustratingly I cannot locate the details of the seller but if there are any other THG members reading this, I am sure they could point you in the right direction.
Rog
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