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Old 5th Jun 2019, 8:14 pm   #1
rambo1152
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Default Bell switch memories

When my parents moved into their new house in 1953 they had a telephone service installed immediately as my dad had a physiotherapy practice in the front room.

There was a tele 332 in the kitchen and a second 332 in their bedroom.

There was a Bakelite tumbler switch screwed to the skirting board in the bedroom, wired into the connection box (BT20/4?) that turned off the bell This was presumably for my benefit, so I wouldn't be woken as a baby.

When I was a schoolboy, I reverse engineered the phones, (didn't we all?), and I remember thinking it was quite cool that even though the series connected bell was shorted out by the switch, (which was just a normal mains on/off switch), the switch was mounted upside-down and the cover the right way round, so according to the legend printed on the cover, when it was "off" the switch contacts were closed.

Was that the normal way of muting a 300 series bell? I can't remember seeing a similar switch used anywhere else.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 8:27 pm   #2
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Bell switch memories

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Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
...according to the legend printed on the cover, when it was "off" the switch contacts were closed.

Was that the normal way of muting a 300 series bell? I can't remember seeing a similar switch used anywhere else.
Yes, the way to disable a series bell was to short it out, as the circuit to any other bells needed to be maintained. Maybe what was unusual about yours was the use of a switch repurposed from non-telephone use that was marked "on" and "off". When converting old telephones with internal bell on/off switches from serial to parallel, it has been my experience that I have had to swap the open-when-on and the closed-when-on wires. Foruntately, they always seem to have been made as two-way switches.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 8:47 pm   #3
rambo1152
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Default Re: Bell switch memories

Thanks Dave, as it happens the electrician wiring those new houses became a lifelong friend of my dad. Perhaps he installed the switch as a naughty unofficial modification.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 9:02 pm   #4
OscarFoxtrot
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Default Re: Bell switch memories

I've seen one or two of those switches (possibly on Ebay). As most tumbler switches didn't have a legend, I assumed they were made for the GPO.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 9:13 pm   #5
AC/HL
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Default Re: Bell switch memories

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Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
Perhaps he installed the switch as a naughty unofficial modification.
Seems likely, the GPO would probably have fitted a 328 with a bell off switch, they didn't allow customers to modify wiring.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 10:59 am   #6
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Default Re: Bell switch memories

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
Perhaps he installed the switch as a naughty unofficial modification.
Seems likely, the GPO would probably have fitted a 328 with a bell off switch, they didn't allow customers to modify wiring.
And if you hadn't a Tele 328 on the van, you'd fit a Tele 332 with a 'Switch Tumbler 1M' - it does appear on the N diagram for the Plan 1A - Extension telephone with 'Bell On/Off' switch - but usually used when the extension was a Tele 232.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 2:12 pm   #7
rambo1152
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Default Re: Bell switch memories

A 65 year old mystery solved, thanks to Ian
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