Category Archives: chassis

Boy In A Suitcase

Today I was able to purchase a new Ericofon since long. Actually it is the first in 2019 that I can add to my collection. Was about time.

Here’s the sneak preview as the phone is still on its way in its own suitcase ūüėČ Can’t wait to receive it…

Update 13/04/2019:

This week the boy arrived and I am very happy with the new Ericofon. You might already have come accross this variance of Ericofons: a leather encased type. The origin of leather Ericofons is not really known although there are some speculations. It seems that they are seen in 3 colors: brown, green and red. All leather Ericofons have the same unique dial face. This model has a chassis that dates back to 1973 and the shell is Swedish, from 1975.

The dial face is a Swedish Telia type with an additional black sticker. This sticker covers the original 0-9 numbering and changes this is into 1-0. This indicates that the origin of this leather type is most likely not Swedish. One of the theories is that these types were make in Denmark.
Leather Ericofons were spotted in Brown, Green and Red. I expect that this one was originallly green as it still has a hint of this color over the surface. Must have been worn off or removed in the past.
Here you can see how tight the shell is sewn into the leather. There is no way it can be removed. The shell has Swedish markings inside and dates back to 1975.

Chaostrophy

Chaos in Ericofon-land. Clones, derivatives and neatly stolen designs.

Last week I deliberately bought a so called ‘General Dare Ericofon’. It was cheap and I was really interested in the way this Ericofon was tweaked. Besides that I was still looking for a tone-phone… pulses do not work on my broadband modem. Since I do not want to use the Ericofon TouchTones because they are way to vulnerable I had to go for something else. Well, the pictures below show the facts.

GeneralDare1GeneralDare2

From the outside the General Dare is similar to the original Ericofon. Except for the base and the rubber ring one cannot see a difference. Opening up the phone reveals the secret. It is an original Ericofon shell from Sweden, produced in 1973. The chassis is totally different and so is the microphone(s)… Do we have stereo sound here!? ūüėČ No, actually one of them is the ringer (blue-white = microphone, green-yellow = ringer).

GeneralDare4GeneralDare3

The chassis and dial face are replaced with a nice 1997 technology based variant. Enabling DTMF tone dialing. So far I have not seen any General Dare with silver buttons, normally they tend to be red. Maybe this is because of the 1.0 version?

There are some issues in getting the phone properly connected and working to my fixed line. It is not just a matter of connecting like already done in the phone. There is bit more to be sorted out.

Over time there were more Ericofon inspired phones on the market. Professionally reworked, designed or just produced in small series. The pictures were not taken by me, but downloaded from the web.

GeneralDare

Here’s the General Dare as I knew it before with the red button and with black numeric buttons.

Ceramic1Ceramic3

A ceramic variant of the Ericofon.

 mercer1mercer2

A Mercer phone from China. Easily recognized because the shell is composed out of several parts. It has an ‘in use’ LED on the front. Which I have also seen at some original 700s. There is also a small button at the place of your thumb.

Scandiphone1Scandiphone2

This is the relatively popular Scandiphone. Where the earlier version was more like the Mercer, this one looks better with the shell not in separate parts.

Not sure what this is, but it is ugly for sure!!

DualClassicrotaryphones1DualClassicrotaryphones4

Seen this one in 2 colors; yellow and red; an original Ericsson shell with a tone pad and a rotary dial in the bottom.

Nordicofon1Nordicofon2

Even the 700 has been cloned.

The Broken Wheel

The Ericofon was made in 3 different shapes, looking at the shell. But also in a functional way there are 3 types. There is one with a dial face, a touchtone and a… dial-less model. The latter is also referred to as the Manual Service or CB model.

manualsSo far I have only seen these in the new case type and not in the old case. But I heard from a friend collector¬†that he has one, in the Swedish variant. So they do exist in old case as well (~1960), and than I mean of course in an original setup and not put together in a later stage. Colors could be any color available, but gray is the most common. The “dial face” appears in 2 types, the Swedish as shown above and a North Electric type (which I am still looking for).

Usually these phones were used in places where there was no need to dial or you were not allowed to dial. One can think of e.g. hospitals or elevators as places where these could be spotted. However, there could also be special type of CB models, custom made for the occasion. Bob Mills refers in his book to the Australian Department of Civil Aviation, or even the Air Force, where they used them in control towers. “These sets were probably always grey and had no dial mechanicals, no induction coil and a microphone in place of the¬†transmitter. The switchhook springs simply disabled the receiver and the microphone when the instrument was set down. What appears to be a locally made printed circuit board was mounted horizontaly above the chassis to interconnect the cords and components.”

The shells and chassis are always from the dial version. The chassis is stripped and misses the dial mechanics. There are types with and without ringers.

manualchassis

Two ‘common’ examples, they are still rather hard to find, can bee seen above. The left model is also equiped with a PBX button. The exact function¬†is not known to me but it is for sure custom made as you can see the microphone being directly wired to the chassis.

Update 07/03/2016: 

Last week the North Electric manual phone arrived. It is an Aqua Mist flat with Ericotone, in pretty good shape and fully functioning.  There is a small scratch on the dial face but since these are hard to find in Europe I guess I have to handle that. Although the typical chassis; without dial mechanism; is from 1958, the rest is of 1964. A beautiful year. It is replacing the Aqua Mist that was already there and will be passed to another collection. Below is the new phone on the right. The one on the left is just another LME manual.

manuals

(With The Broadest Shoulders)

AztecGoldDuo

 

AztecGoldFlat

 

On this sunny day I received another shining Aztec Gold model. ūüôā

This one has¬†a flat ear-piece and it is in a much better state than the wedge. It is not such a big ‘mess’ when it comes to parts as the wedge. It has consistent ‘part-management’ so to say.

AztecGoldFlatInside

This phone came originally in the color 520553, which is Candle Glow. The date on the chassis is 1967, the date on the shell is 1968. So this is pretty much in line. The only dissonant item is the microphone, which dates back to 1957. But hey, there are worst things in life. There is an Ericotone version 3 ringer inside as well.

What I noticed today is that both Aztec Gold have some silver layer underneath the gold. This is applied as a primer I expect. Not sure, but from the insides they look the same. Tape-shaped original color and silver sprayed inside.

 

Gold Is The Metal

Aztec3

Yeehaa! Today I received my Aztec Gold Ericofon. The gold paint has some wear and needs to be restored here and there. But that I already knew upfront. Actually I did not have too much time this evening to check it out but there is one thing that I wanted to know: the insides.

I unpacked it and removed the chassis¬†to check what was inside. Hmm…

Aztec0

So what do we have?

A K14 rotary chassis with an Ericotone version 3 ringer and a standard North Electric dial face. The shell was something to puzzle about. It is a Taj Mahal TouchTone shell that was adapted to fit a rotary chassis (thanks Richard!). Looking into the shell you will see that there are plastic cubes glued into the shell to fit the 4 screws. The receiver is soldered directly to the contacts because the contact pads are missing. Also the microphone is glued into the shell. A weird combination of parts, most likely put together by North Electric.

Update the day after:

Aztec1Aztec2

As you can the see the  shell has some wear and damage on the paint. In the next few weeks I will try to restore this. Not sure yet how I want to do this. The advantage I have is that the surface is not very smooth. It looks like, and that is the purpose of this Aztec Gold, that small water drops are all over the phone.

In the pictures below you can see the details of the shell and the contacts. Since the shell is a Touch Tone, there are no brackets to mount the chassis on. This is resolved with the plastic parts glued inside the shell. Very creative. The speaker is glued into the shell as well and can’t be removed. The contacts are fixed to the speaker wires.

AztecInsideAztecContact

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The strange thing is that under the dial face the chassis is marked with week 19, 1972. On the top of the chassis it is dated with week 42, 1974. My conclusion is that the original chassis was made in 1972 but that this phone was put together in 1974. Because Touch Tones were produced until 1972, the stock with TT shells was obsolete in 1974 and used for other purposes.

As I understood, the Aztec Gold phones appear in different versions (rotary, Touch Tone and also with a flat ear-piece). This Aztec Gold was produced in the aftermath of North Electric, just before they sold their Ericofon assets to CEAC.

Titan Arch

The regular Ericofon we all know by now, but little is known on the Push Button or Touch Tone version of the Ericofon. Not meaning the 700 model.

touch3

The most catching and most vulnerable change was the big arch shaped hook switch instead of the central red button. This picture is from the Ericsson archive.

From 1967 to 1972 this touchtone model was made. The chassis was made on request of North Electric by Ericsson in Sweden and the shells were produced by North Electric itself. However it was marketed in the USA solely, few of these phones were sold in Europe as well.

The initial keypad from 1967 had 10 buttons but already one year later the 12 button versions were introduced. In addition to the 0-9 digits, there was a ‘*’ and a ‘#’ button to facilitate modern switching equipment. There is also a version with an ‘A’ and ‘B’ key. The one shown here is the standard North Electric dial face. Note that this touch tone phone did indeed produce so called DTMF (Dual Tone, Multi Frequency) tones. It is not a pulse device like its predecessor and the later 700.

touch1

touch2

As you can see the fixation of the chassis is established with only 2 screws instead of 4 in the regular rotary dial model. The shell looks identical from the outside, but on the inside you can see the difference.

These models (referred to as 60A) are rather hard to find. Mainly because the hook-switch mechanism was of poor quality. The plastic broke easily when it was treated too roughly. So the Touch Tone model was never a big succes. It is said that only ~7000 of those phones were produced, but only 3000 were sold. The other 4000 were malfunctioning or disassembled for parts.  Not sure if this is indeed the case.

I have seen this phone in 10 colors from different manufacturers (Ericsson and North Electric): Aqua Mist, Blue, Crystal Mint, Candle Glow, Gray, Mandarin Red, Petal Pink, Sahara, Sandalwood and Taj Mahal (which I have).

In 1972, North Electric stopped with the Ericofon line, and sold the remaining parts and equipment to a telephone refurbishing company named CEAC. Which you might remember from my beautiful North Electric Brown phone posting ūüėČ . They continued production for a short time before going out of business.

Update 18/12/2015:

This week I received my second Touch Tone in another color. It was part of a batch of shells and chassis that I was able to buy, mainly for parts. Most of the shells are not worth working on and in very bad condition. But the Touch Tone was surprisingly in a pretty good shape. Some slight spots, but overall a very nice phone.

Titan2

In a few days I am expecting a ‘dial face’ and gasket for this one so it will fit in the collection perfectly. It is a Candle Glow. Once it is restored there will be another picture.

Update 29/12/2015:

The dial face came with the mail yesterday and the phone is ready. To restore the gasket I used a reproduction gasket for the rotary version. The gasket for the Touch Tone is slightly different and as you can see it is not a 100% perfect fit. ¬†The original gasket is a bit wider and has an extra part on the front of the phone to match the lining of the hook switch.¬†I doubt if there are any spares left somewhere…

touchdialtouchduo

 

 

 

 

 

Here are both Touch Tones together: Taj Mahal and a Candle Glow. It was never my intention to collect these models (as it was never the intention to collect the 700’s; my daughters hate those…) but sometimes you need to be flexible ;-).

Update 11/03/2016:

This week I received 2 new Touch Tones. One of them is a Crystal Mint and in good shape. A bit of discoloring on the earpiece, but not too much. The other one, a CEAC painted Brown, came in pieces… at least the famous “red-arch-shaped-button-mechanism” came in pieces. But I seemed to have all the parts and repaired the mechanism as good as I could. One¬†part turned out to be broken but that does not affect the mechanism too much. But it proves that the whole mechanism is vulnarable. Not sure who invented this but it is a very complex up-down moving button.

4TT1

4TT2

Here are the 4 Touch Tones in a row. Although the Brown is painted by CEAC and originally Crystal Mint, I will keep it. On the Candle Glow Touch Tone I miss the original rubber gasket. No clue where I can get these…

Another Brown World

Here’s the second present that arrived this week. A Brown model. I was expecting to receive a North Electric Brown because it has the typical North Electric brown color and the North Electric dial face,¬†but¬†has¬†turned out slightly different.

Brown1

As you can see the Brown is different from the PTT Dark Brown that I know very well. Opening the phone, to check the insides, I discovered that the chassis is from 1960, the speaker from 1979. The buzzer is a weird piece of metal… and the shell is painted. Professionally because it looks great from the outside… but painted. Originally most likely Crystal Mint and no date to be seen anymore.

Brown2Brown3

So what is all this?

This is a so called CEAC phone.

In the late 1970s, North Electric withdrew from the telephone manufacturing business and with this from the Ericofon. A telephone rebuilding company, CEAC (Communication Equipment And Contracting Company) were at their peak at this time, and since they envisioned a future market for the Ericofon they purchased the “line” from North Electric. CEAC changed the product code to a simple 52, and offered it with or without the tone ringer.¬†CEAC discontinued production of the Ericofon in the early 1980s and the company itself closed shortly thereafter.

In fact CEAC compiled phones together from all the parts they inherited. They even sprayed shells in popular colors. So this is a CEAC phone, a true ‘Frankenphone’. Except for the weird buzzer and capacitor all original parts.

Nevertheless a very nice item to have… it has its charm and I will for sure keep it. ¬†It is part of the Ericofon history afterall.

New Gaskets

Finally I applied some new gaskets on the 700 models. Not all 4 had gaskets yet and I was able to get some although they were quite expensive. But I am really happy with them.

quatro

In the meantime I have 4 700 models. Three different colors, but the green one is double. From the shells and dial faces you can see the differences.

The 11 digit dial faces are the newest ones and these also have the RJ45 connector in the shell. They are equiped with the ‘R’ button for redialing. The 12th button space is left empty. The large red button has the text ‘Ericofon’ sort of engraved in it.

The older models have 12 buttons where the ‘#’ and the ‘*’ are dummy and not used. They have a ‘normal’ cord connection that feeds the cord to the inside. The large red button has a white/black shiny text ‘Ericofon’.

So the green model I have in both variations. One of the phones originally had a gasket with¬†‘Post Office Property’ pressed into it. Unfortunately it was crumbly and I had to replace it. And even more unfortunate, these specific British gaskets are not available anymore.

On the shelf there is room for the brown and the blue models. They will be difficult to get. But somehwere they will appear. ūüėČ