These pictures were taken from the Ericsson archive.
The picture above shows a patent filed by Hugo Blomberg in 1968 and published in 1970. It is a so called wallbracket for standing telephones. More information can be found here. To my understanding this is the first patent for this kind of accessory. A rather strange looking phonestand I would say. Not sure if they were ever put into production.
Since 1968 a few more patents can be found. This is another one from Hugo Blomberg with more or less the same purpose, filed in 1976.
More information on this wall-stand for telephone sets of standing handset type patent can be found here. For some reason I do not have any connection with these kind of inventions. Nevertheless there was even a patent filed in 2013 for mobile phones…
The dutch word for wall is muur by the way.
Around the autumn equinox I was able to get this beautiful Dusty Rose old case. In perfect shape and from 1959. The warm September fits the warm dark pink color, a typical autumn shade.
This is the 15th old case that I could get. Still missing 3 to have that series complete. Chartreuse, Riviera and Royal Dubonnet. Plenty of time to find them somewhere…
In need of some earcaps or earpieces I was going through a box with all kinds of spare parts from shells. Things you gather over time and you never throw away. Luckily the volume is not that big so a small box more or less does not matter in my garage. And for some reason you will always end up with usefull destinations… hopefully ;-).
This is what I had in mind when I bought the 2 Gold Plate shells from the previous post. Going trough the box I selected some different caps and I realized there was some ‘inside information’ to be shared on this topic as well.
Flat – Sandalwood
Wedge – Candle Glow and Persian Gray
According to my knowledge there are 2 types of speakers available in the Ericofon that have been used over the years. The wedge cap is available in 2 flavours to fit both of them. For the flat cap, I do not know if it comes with both speakers at all.
According to what I experienced, the bigger speaker tends to break from the cap from time to time since it is only mounted with 2 metal clips on plastic ridges. Therefor some Ericofons produce a rattling sound if you shake them. This can be resolved by stuffing the top of the phone with some soft material. It is not really fixing the problem but keep the speaker in place and you will get rid of the annoying rattle. Sound quality will also improve a bit if you use the phone.
We do not have a clue where the metal bar is used for. I can only think about extra possibilities in remounting the cap. But glue will also work without it.
If you do know, pleae tell me.
Today I received an extraordinary box in the mail, containing three DIY shells.
The Chrome Plated in the middle is in fact a complete shell, this one I will complete to a nice shining silver Ericofon. The other shells are Gold Plated, not to be confused with the Aztec types. Unfortunately both shells do not have the original gold plated earcap anymore so I had put in white ones for the picture. Let’s see if I can get them painted somewhere in the ‘cheapest-shinyest-chinese-plastic-toy-gold-color’ that exists. The shells are all NOS, but they have some wear from bad storage.
Both Gold Plated will become part of my collection, one with a wedge and the other with a flat earpiece.
Putting a phone together is not the biggest challenge anymore, but getting the earcaps in the right color will be. See it as a guide for beginners or maybe a guide for finishers.
This weekend I have completed the 2 Gold Plated phones. In the box with spare parts I had two complete sets of North Electric stuff. Including a flat and wedge earcap.
Earlier I have informed at several places, including professional painters, the best way to finish the earcaps. Or to have them professionally finished. The result was that all parties did not guarantee the exact color. Gold seems to be quite difficult. You can also see that both shells have a different gold color. The original surface is also very sensitive to e.g. (acid) fingerprints.
So in the end I bought some recommended paint and decided to go for it myself. First some experiments took place on a scrapped shell. Just to make sure the right combination of paint and distance. The result is actually not bad. It is not as shiny as the original but it comes very close.
In the process of getting the Aztec Gold in better shape there is no progress. It is very hard to get the color AND structure right. Not sure if I will succeed there.
A nice detail about the gold and chrome plated shells: they actually conduct electricity. While testing one of the phones a wire on the inside made contact to the shell. When I pickup the phone, I felt it ringing… It is approximately 60 Volts so nobody was hurt 😉
In the past few weeks I obtained 2 rather hard to get colors: an Old Case Nordic Blue and New Case (flat) Riviera.
With a ‘wrong eye’ you can sometimes not determine the exact color of the phones, especially when you buy phones online. Certain colors are hard to photograph: the light, the camera, the monitor, it is all influencing what you see in the end. Not 100% but pretty sure, I discovered some special phones a few weeks ago. Both phones did not have a color code inside, so they could not be checked upfront with the vendors. But I decided to buy them anyway and take the chance. And I did have a ‘good eye’ this time. Both were as expected.
For color reference I made a few pictures to see the difference between the Nordic and Riviera and the closest colors in their range.
From left to right and top to bottom: Petal Pink, Princess Pink, Riviera, Taj Mahal. The Riviera is a bonish pink, getting close to Taj Mahal.
From left to right and top to bottom: Persian Gray, Taj Mahal, Nordic Blue. Actually the Nordic Blue is not so very blue if you compare it with Wedgwood or Aqua Mist. It is more a light gray with a blue tinge.
Both colors I had never seen before other than on pictures. As I am not into pink that much, I do not really like the Riviera, however, the Nordic Blue is a very nice pale blue color, beautiful!
There is something with people, Ericofons and …… lights.
Over the years, searching for Ericofons and information on this phone, I came across a lot of modified Ericofons. I fairly do not know why people do this. It is ugly. There is no other word to it. Below you will see two pictures from the web to illustrate the general idea.
Actually in all lights you see the same setup. A lampshade on top of the phone. A hole drilled in the phone to mount it. *aaaarrgh*
And it hurts to think about the idea that these phones might still have been in working order.
Sofar I haven’t seen a creative mind think about another setup.
I hardly dare to mention it but I have to admit that I also own an Ericofon lamp, thanks to Peter who was so friendly to give it to me as a present. 😉 But this one is different… it is an Ericofon and a lamp, but still different.
A battery operated Ericofon torch. As you can see the neck is slightly bend forward to have the light shining on the table. Since I know the creator, I know that this shell was too bad to serve any other purpose. Very handy when I am working on my phones… 😉
Sometimes phones are yellowed over time. Because of the sunlight or because of a heavy poluted environment in a smokers home. Smoke has the most equal discoloring, sunlight is more capricious. You will be surprised how much a phone can be discolored. White turns to yellow, Sahara becomes Harvest Gold and Wedgwood looks brown/green. Terrible, and it hurts to see this.
Normally I will sand those phones, remove the polution by removing the upper layer of the phones’ surface. You can see it in the picture above where the side has been sanded (not polished) and the back is not yet done.
A few weeks ago I read an article on ‘bleaching’ phones with Hydrogen Peroxide. Some collectors seems to have some good experiences with this. Time for an experiment so I bought myself a litre of this stuff…
It is Hydrogen Peroxide, 12%. This bottle I got from an online hairshop for about 12 USD and is to be used by professionals. It is also called ‘developer’. After shocking my family that it was to be used on my own hair, I told them the actual purpose.
Normally the cosmetic grades are from 3% to 12% maximum. When you have over 50% you have bought rocket fuel 🙂 The relation between % and Vol seems to be linear: 3% = 10 Vol, 6% = 20 Vol, etc. 10 Vol means that 10 times its original volume in oxygen will be released.
And… it is a gel/cream, not a liquid. Otherwise it will drop of your phone right away.
Picking a candidate phone was quite easy. I wanted to start with just a little risk for the first time. So a ‘not too strong equally discolored PTT White phone’ was the subject. Here’s a picture of the victim: the second from the right. The one on the left is pretty close to Taj Mahal, the one on the right is closer to Candle Glow.
As Hydrogen Peroxide works best when you increase the environmental temperature I decided to put the phone in a box. In front of the box I put a 200W lamp which got pretty hot.
The cream was applied on the phone in a thick layer with a brush. So thick that it just not starts to drip off.
After 4 hours I was so curious and decided to get the phone out and to see the result of the work done sofar.
The result was not too bad, but I noticed that the phone was discolored in certain areas. The result can be seen below. As the lamp was 20 to 25 cm from the box, there was a strong heat source from one side of the phone. What I noticed was that the phone was getting whiter on the side of the lamp, and not on the ‘dark side’. Also the cream did its work better where it was applied thicker. So some stains were the result which can be seen here.
In the second setup, to have a less focussed/bundled heat source, I decided to have the phone on top of a radiator. The heat, being warm air, in this case is going up, equally spread on all sides of the phone. But the phone not being in a box desiccated the cream. The result after another 4 hours was pretty good. The back of the phone was lighter than before, most of the stains had disappeared. So equally applied heat is better than a strong source. Maybe an oven would work best…
The last and final experiment was inside a box, on the radiator. Again I applied a thick layer of cream on the phone, closed the box and left it there for another 6 hours. The temperature in the box had raised to 43 Celcius (109 Fahrenheit) when I came back.
The result is actually quite good. The cream was not fully dry, on the inside of the box some moist could be seen. The final result can be seen in the pictures below. Not bad at all!!
As already said in previous posts, it is hard to make pictures of colors exact as they are in reality. But this row of phones is the same as the ‘before’ picture. So there is quite a difference as you can see on the second from the right. It is close the Taj Mahal now, 2 tones lighter than before. The surface of the phone is shiny and smooth, no damage done at all.
The next candidates are already in the oven, ready to be cooked. A Taj Mahal and a Persian Gray. Both heavily discolored because of the sunlight.
The Taj Mahal just came out of the ‘Ericoven’ and the result is shown below. In both pictures the Taj Mahal is on the right. The phone on the left is a Candle Glow in both cases. Actually I first thought that the Taj Mahal was a Candle Glow, until it came out of the oven…
The advantage of oxygen based cleaning is that it is non-toxic and eco friendly. Chlorine products, which can also be used, are extremely toxic and harmful to the environment. On top of that, they tend to be detrimental to fabrics over time.
Seen the success of this method I bought some more of this stuff. Coincidently I ran into this truck this evening. Howmany phones could one clean with 30,000 litres? 🙂
Please note that white and gray Ericofons are a success until now. Pink is a more difficult color and bleeches out to a lighter shade, I recently messed up one. So be carefull what you do and do not use this on your most precious phone before knowing exactly what the effect is.
Last weekend I cleaned a Sandalwood shell. After the bad experience with the pink one, I decided to do sessions of 1 to 2 hours, depending on the heat (sunlight this time, it was 25 degrees Celsius 🙂 ). After a session I washed the phone and checked the effect. Four sessions were needed for this one and the result is great. It is good to intermediate check the status and wash off the old cream. This time I applied the cream in a thin film on the shell, not too much. The result: just great!!
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.
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!? 😉 No, actually one of them is the ringer (blue-white = microphone, green-yellow = ringer).
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.
Here’s the General Dare as I knew it before with the red button and with black numeric buttons.
A ceramic variant of the Ericofon.
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.
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.
Seen this one in 2 colors; yellow and red; an original Ericsson shell with a tone pad and a rotary dial in the bottom.
Even the 700 has been cloned.
My Old Cases. Stil missing are Royal Dubonnet, Nordic Blue, Dusty Rose, Taj Mahal, Riviera and Chartreuse. I’ll keep on dreaming that one day they will be complete 🙂
The Nordic Blue is a fact as well. It is not in the picture above but I managed to get one 2 weeks ago. The color is quite difficult to determine but it is somewhere in between white, aqua and gray. Also Taj Mahal is part of the Old Cases. Here’s an updated picture.
And also the Dusty Rose is part of the collection since a week. Not sure if I can get all 15 in a nice circle now.