Telephone Equipment

Brooke Clarke 2003 - 2007

Satellite Telephones - Iridium, Inmarsat, Military
Cell Phones - Analog (aka AMPS), CDMA, TDMA, Repeaters, SpotWave, Service Providers
Internet Related
Military  -
    Field Wire
Test Equipment & Tools -
Signaling Tones
My Telephones
Telephone Poles
---- separate web pages ----
Telephone Patents
Telegraph Equipment
Wet Cell Batteries
Sound Powered Telephone

Satellite Telephones

As far as I can tell it is not feasible to buy a satellite telephone for use only in an emergency.  This is because you can not buy and store minutes.  The way minutes are sold it amounts to a monthly fee of hundreds of dollars per month.
When I was using Starband  2-way satellite for my internet connection and the only fiber-optic line for our phone system was cut a hundred miles south and all the phones (landline and cell) went dead, but the 2-qway satellite system worked for internet and email, but that system would not support VOIP.

Iridium -

This is the original satellite phone company (Wiki: Satellites, Sat Phone Co., SBD Modems: Short Burst Data Service 9601, 9602, 9603).  Note that the Iridium satellite system covers all of the Earth, unlike other systems (including GPS) that have poor coverage at the poles.  In 2007 the phone service was not able to pay the costs and bankruptcy was prevented by the DOD buying the system.   In 2013 a "Positioning, Timing and Authentication" system was added (Iridium).
There is also a line of products for explorers, hikers &Etc.  Some of these are based on the Iridium Short Burst Data Service (Iridium).
Rock Seven offers a number of Short Burst Data Service products for users with a lot of remote units, the Yellow Brick version is for individuals.
Garmin inReach combines GPS and 2-way messaging - monthly cost between $12 and $100

Lloyd's satellite constellations -

2007 Pentagon acts to save Iridium satellites - Pentagon awarded a two-year, $72 million service contract

Iridium owners optimistic about new satellite focus - Instead0, Iridium Satellite plans to target industrial business markets, such as aviation and oil and gas  exploration concerns, as well as government customers

Iridium - Satellite based mobile phone that works anywhere in the world. Cell phones only work within short range of a cell site, which are now located only along major roads and in high population density areas. $2.50 to $15.25 per minute.  Must have lie of sight to satellites for voice, will not work inside buildings or airplanes.

In the war with Iran, 2003, the Iridium telephone turned out to be a more reliable communication method than many of the military radios.

PageNet - world wide pager using Iridium satellite technology.

Globalstar -

Satellite phone system.  Unlike Iridium that could send messages between satellites, Globalstar is a simple "bent pipe" system.
The SPOT (SPOT, Wiki) system is a one way up-link system that combines GPS with the uplinked message.  Can be used to provide a bread crumb map of a hikers path and can send an SOS signal if he needs to be rescued.  The problem is that the person sending the request for help does not know if the signal was received and so does not know if or when help will arrive.


'little LEO' for data messaging that is already operational. Low bandwidth, no phones

ICO (Intermediate Circular Orbit)

Inmarsat Based

This service was started for use by ships at sea.  Since that about fully covers the globe, they also work virtually anywhere on Earth.  In addition to the voice service there also are Inmarsat services for data and video.  Many of the local Pacific Gas & Electric service trucks have a white dome about a foot in diameter and 8" high that is an Inmarsat telephone system.  This system will work in canyons where there is no cell coverage and away from heavily traveled highways.

REI - Satellite Messengers -

ICO (Intermediate Circular Orbit) - spin off from inmarsat - ICO emerges from bankruptcy protection on 15 May 2000

McKay Communications - WorldPhone -
KVHI - Tracphone 25, Tracphone 50

Teledesic - ICO takeover or ??


Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) satellite system.
Magelian - GPS + email  GSC 100

Cell Phones

A tutorial on the different types.
SF Examiner article - Navigating the cellular maze -
TalkingOnAir - SF Bay area delaer, Inc. - service plans, phones & accessories
Use on Commercial Airlines - no evidence of any kind that there is a problem

Analog (aka AMPS)

These are the first generation cell phones that use narrow band fm modulation that is the same as is used by most VHF & UHF 2-way radios.  These can be heard on scanner radios that were made before the US law forbidding there sale or radios that have been "unblocked".


Two common flavors are Code and Time Division Multiple Access:

CDMA - Code Division Multiple Access

"Digital by Qualcomm" is the typical logo on this popular type of phone.  Qualcom also had Palm Pilot interfacing.

TDMA - Time Division Multiple Access


I live in a forest canyon so there's no cell service downstairs.  But there's a hot spot upstairs where you can get three bars.  It would be nice if you could use a cell phone anywhere in the house.  There are a number of ways to do that. 

In ALL of the following solutions it's mandatory that the frequency band of the added equipment match the frequency band of the cell service provider.  Modern cell phones can work on different frequency bands automatically selecting the correct one.  The service provider should be able to tell you what frequency band your home location would use. 

Go to Wireless Advisor and enter your ZIP code then pick your service provider from the list.  In most cases there's only one choice for frequency from one provider, but there are cases whee one provider has two frequencies.  For example my local Verizon shows:
The System frequency is what's important for the repeater or booster, the Technology is transparent so doesn't matter.  The Technology does matter when choosing a phone.

There are service modes for the cell phone that give you more information on receive signal strength and transmit power that are helpful when working with external antennas.  The antenna provider can probably tell you how to access the service mode for your phone, or Google hacking cell phone "service code" and the model of your phone.

Outside Antenna Connected to Cell phone Antenna Jack

Some people have had success using a Wilson outside Cell Antenna.  This is a good solution if the problem is caused by the building construction (what amounts to aluminum foil is wrapped around the house) shielding the signal.  If you get a good signal outside but not inside then this has a good change of working.  The frequencies for cell phones range from 800 MHz to a little over 2,000 MHz and in this range coax has loss, both reducing the transmitted power and adding noise to the received signal.  The smaller in diameter the coax the more lossy.   So using an extension on the Wilson coax to get it higher may or may not do any good depending on how long an extension and what size coax is used.

But when the signal is also weak outside then a higher gain type antenna up high is needed.  One option is a flat plate gain antenna fed with large coax and then a short pigtail of small coax to the cell phone so you don't try to bend the very stiff large coax.  It's an improved version of the Wilson omni directional system and may be good for  one or two bars of improvement.


Another option is to add a two way amplifier at the antenna and still connect to the cell phone using the External Antenna Jack on the cell phone.  This is a good solution, but somewhat restrictive in that you must use the cell phone only where the connection is located.  The quality of the connection with this method and the Intelligent Repeater will be about the same if the outside antennas are about the same.  The coax loss is not as important in a booster system since the amplifier at the antenna makes up for the losses.
Wilson sells a number of booster amps, some of which can be used with an inside antenna to make a booster.

Classical Repeater

The idea is to have a two way amplifier at the top of a tower or  chimney along with a gain type antenna aimed at the cell site.  The amplifier boosts the transmitted signal from the cell phone to make up for the loss in the coax cable.  On receive the amplifier overcomes the noise that the coax would add if the receive amplifier was not there.  Inside there's a passive antenna that feeds signals to and from the cell phone.  You can buy this type of system for a few hundred dollars.  The problem is that the outdoor antenna must be pointing in the opposite direction from the indoor antenna.  If for example the indoor antenna was pointed directly towards the outdoor antenna the system would go into oscillation.  That would not only make it unusable but would also very much upset the local cell company because it would take down one of their channels.  So this type of system requires a balance between gain and relative antenna positions. 

About 1994 the local Verizon cell phone store had a repeater system with the antenna on a mast above their roof and an indoor local antenna that was not visible when in the store.  This way they could demo the phones.  But when you went outside they would not work until you got to a better location.

Some of the "Indoor Repeater" systems have the amplifier inside and a passive antenna outside.  This is not a very good approach because the coax losses are all working aginst you.  On receive the coax loss adds to the noise and on transmit the coax loss reduces the transmitted signal.  Much better to have the two way amplifier at the outside antenna.
JD Teck sells the Indoor Repeaters
Wilson (2016 now called Weboost) has a number of Classical Repeater systems.  The 801245 (no longer available) is a dual band amplifier, outside & inside antennas and coax are additional.  The amplifier is not weatherproof and so needs to be in a weatherproof container if outside, or mounted inside as close as possible to there the coax comes indoors.
Wilson offers various types of coax cables. RG-174 which is about 1/10" diameter and very flexible but has a lot of loss.  RG-58 which is a little better than RG-174 but still way too lossy to use for more than a few feet.  An equivalent to Belden 9913 which only comes with a type-N male connector that's 3/4" diameter.  9913 is much too stiff to connect to the phone which is why shorter pigtails of RG-58 or RG-174 cables are offered.  Typically you also need coax adapters.  Most cables that have a type-N connector use a male so to connect two cables, like a pigtail to a 9913 where they both have male connectors you need a double type-N female also called a type-N-barrel.  It's best to make a diagram showing each part of the system and what connectors it has and what adapters you need.  It's a little too late when you're at the top of a latter and the coax doesn't mate to the antenna.
zBoost - has the signal booster (indoor reoeater) that Radio Shack sells for $300 to $1000 (but you might find one on sale).  The installation for the zBoost starts with just the indoor amplifier box.  When it's powered AND your cell phone has at least a bar or two of signal (to be sure you phone is on the correct frequency) you place a call and if the amplifier green LED lights then you know you have the correct band repeater.  If not you have saved unpacking the rest making it easier to return for the correct band.

SpotWave Z1900 for the 1900 MHz band

Sony Erickson
                K800 Icons Spotwave
                Outdoor Unit Signal
                Strength Icon with Repeater working
Cell phone on my office desk no repeater = no signal.
Outdoor Z1900
Cell phone on my office desk with repeater = two bars in center.

Cell to Wired Adapter

There are adapters designed for locations where you have a strong cell signal inside your house that have a cradle that matches a specific model(s) of cell phone, gets power from a wall wart and connects to the house internal (NOT external) phone wires.  Then you can use regular phones anywhere in the house through the cell phone.  Using one of these at the "hot spot" in your house would be an improvement over needing to stay at the hot spot during your call.  The indoor phone could be a cordless model allowing freedom in movement while on what amounts to a cell phone call.  Some models are:
CellSocket, Dock-N-Talk,

Intelligent Repeater

The first Spotwave patent is titled "Intelligent gain control in an on-frequency repeater".  They add a modulation to the incoming cell signal that's fed to the indoor unit allowing the outdoor unit to detect if it's receiving any signal from the indoor antenna and if it is to turn down the gain.  When the indoor antenna is located in such a way that no signal is getting back to the outdoor unit the gain is at maximum.  There is are LEDs on the indoor and outdoor units to help when aiming them.  Since they have good control of the gain you can use common 75 Ohm TV coax between the two units.  I don't yet have one of these systems, but it looks the best to me.  Sure wish they had one for WiFi.
The cost of the Intelligent Repeater may be considerably lower than for a Classical Repeater or Booster amp.
6889033 Intelligent gain control in an on-frequency repeater, Spotwave
7088953 Coverage area signature in an on-frequency repeater, Spotwave

Blue Tooth Headset

If you have a Blue Tooth headset you can relocate the phone to a higher place.  For example instead of putting the phone in front of you on a desk place it on the top of a close by bookcase or a window sill facing the cell tower.  This might get you an extra bar of signal strength.

Sony Ericsson K800 Status Bar Icons

Most of these have to do with the Profile in use (Normal, Meeting, Car, Outdoors, Handsfree, Home, Office) or Keylock or Silent Ring, or Battery status.
The very left icon combines three signal strength bar graphs.  The upper one, the bottom one and one the fills inbetween those two.
If you know how to read the singnal strength icon let me know.
Sony Erickson K800

There are two signal strength measures shown as 1 and 2.  What do they mean?
(3) Musical Note with Red line through it = no ring tone, vibration mode
(4) Two people shaking hands - Meeting Profile (from standby press top button to bring up Profile select menu)
(5) Battery Status - shown fully charged.

The K800 manual on page 14 has Chinese Input information and the manual has no information about the status icons.
The K800i manual on page 14 has status icon information, but it does not cover or explain (1), (2), (3), (4) so is not much help here.
The Profiles available are:
Normal: no icon
Meeting: two people shaking hands (4) above
In Car: car icon
Outdoors: tree icon,
Handsfree: phone &2 ear buds icon -
Home: house icon -
Office: two buildings icon -
Silent Ring: Musical note with red bar (3) above
Keylock" key icon

Service Providers

Service Providder Analog Digital Frequency
Cellular One AMPS TDMA 800
Sprint na CDMA - PCS 1900
Pac Bell na GSM - PCS 1900
Nextel na iDen 800
WorldCell - rents & sells na GSM 800?
Sprint Spectrum - Bosch 718

Internet Related - get pages with short emails sent to you via internet & stock prices, sports scores, etc.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)


US Army Wire Communication WW I to Present by William L. Howard - photos of some very old phones including the EE- series.


TG-5-B Telegraph Set

Signal Corps 1935 version of the Fuller Phone.

Fullerphones - separate web page

For sending Morse code that's almost impossible to intercept without a Fullerphone.  Range of 700 miles between two sets.

TELEPHONE SET. D. MK.V  is also on this web page since it combines a normal field phone and the Fullerphone capability.

EE-8 Telephone Set

This is the oldest model that I know about.  Got one, 6/03 more to come.
Crusty Old Joe's EE-8 Field Telephones including schematic
eBay photo TopSide, handset - another eBay photo -
TM 11-333 Technical Manual Telephones EE-8, EE-8A and EE-8B. March 1945. 66 pages 5.875 x 9 inches

TA-1 Sound Powered Telephone Set

This is a handset that is also a sound powered (no batteries) field phone.  It has a hand crank generator to ring other phones on the line.  It comes stored in a plastic case.  For use in a "platoon hot loop" the TA-1 phones are connected in a series circuit. ETM has the following manuals, but most are restricted (why?):
TM 11-2300-369-15-1 Install,
TM 11-5805-243-13, TM 11-5805-243-23P


Based n the Western Electric WE302 dial phone

TA-43/PT Telephone Set

Was modified and became the TA-312.
CY-1277/PT bag
TM 11-337 Telephone Set, TA-43/PT, Departments of the Army and the Air Force, July 1954

TA-43/PT Military Field Phone
TA-43/PT Military Field Phone


TM 11-5805-247-12, -20P, -34P, -35 are all on line. -12 has block diagram
Converts 20 Hz ringing tone (on LOOP side) to 1225 or 1600 Hz tone (on LINE side) that will pass over radio link and decodes that tone back to 20 Hz to ring POTS phones.  Either 2 or 4 wire systems. TP = TelePhone, TG = TeleGraph (RTTY).  4 binding posts for LINE and 4 binding posts for LOOP, although the 2W OR 4W switch allows using only 2 wires for LOOP and 2 wires for LINE operation.  Runs on 115 VAC and has no on-off switch. Uses tubes: 12AX7, 12AU7 (3 each), 6AL5, 1AL5, 6X4 (2 each)
Front Photo -

TA-312/PT Telephone Set  (Field Phone)

This is a nice 2 wire analog field phone that can also be used on the Plain Old Telephone System when the optional TA-955 touch tone pad is installed.

TA-263/PT  Lineman's Telephone Set

This set has circuitry to allow it to be connected to lines where carrier systems are in operation without disturbing those circuits.
TM 11-5805-255-24P

TA-264/PT Long Line Telephone Set

This is a battery powered phone that has a vacuum tube amplifier built in for working with long circuits.


Analog touch tone phone 4 wire
NSN: 5805-00-910-8844
Reference: TM 11-5805-384-12, -20P, -30P, -30, -12HR
in FM 24-24
Fair Radio - Photo - big gray desk phone

TA-838/TT Telephone Set

Analog touch tone phone 2 or 4 wire operation
NSN: 5805-00-124-8678
Reference: TM 11-5805-650-12, -20P, -34&P,
TM 11-5805-650-34&P TELEPHONE SET, TA-838/TT (NSN 5805-00-124-8678) AND TA-838A/TT (5805-01-125-5976) {TO 31W2-2TT-12} (REPRINTED W/BASIC INCL C1-5) (THIS ITEM IS INCLUDED ON EM 0059)
Fair Radio - Photo -
This phone can be connected to the POTS and is a touch tone phone.

TA-938/G Telephone Set

equivalent to the 2500 touch tone civilian telephone
NSN: 5805-00-134-2599

SB-22A  Switchboard

This is a manual switchboard that has 12 plug-in cards for each remote telephone. Manuals TM11-5805-262-20P and -34P are on line at ETM but TM11-5805-262-12 and -34P is restricted access?


Portable, 12 line, 2 or 4 wire, DTMF switchboard. 
Fairly compact if compared to the SB-3082. Not as many functions as a SB-3614. 

SB-3614A(V)/TT Telephone Switchboards

NSN: 5805-01-032-1694 (SB-3614(V)/TT) 5805-01-216-0887 (SB-3614A(V)/TT)
Reference: TM 11-5805-695-12, -20P, 34P, -20P-1,  -34P-1 (SB-3614(V)/TT) TM 11-5805-749-12, -34 (SB-3614A(V)/TT) analog and touch tone
Might be in FM 24-14 (wanted FM 24-14)
TM 11-5805-695-12 
TM 11-5805-695-34 
TM 11-5805-695-20P 
TM 11-5805-695-34P 
TM 11-5805-749-34 
TM 11-5805-749-12 
TM 11-5805-695-20P-1 
TM 11-5805-695-34P-1 

GRA-39 Radio Set Remote

Allows remote (up to 2 miles) control of radios using U-229 audio connectors.  Can also be used as a local battery telephone.

Digital Military Terminals (have both telephone and data connections)


The Digital Non-secure Voice Terminal (DNVT) TA-954/TT is a four-wire terminal contained in a ruggedized case, which transmits and receives conditioned diphase-modulated digitized voice and loop signaling information at 16 or 32 kb/s. The DNVT has a 16-key push button keyboard, receiver and ring volume controls, an incoming call/off-hook indicator light, and writing pad. It contains built-in protection from nuclear energy electromagnetic pulses and lightning.  Handset H-350/U is issued with the DNVT. The microphone element is activated when the handset is removed from the cradle (hot mike). The push-to-net radio interface switch is only pressed to key the C-6709. The DNVT provides a digital communications interface with Tri-Service Tactical Communications (TRI-TAC) and Mobile Subscriber Equipment (MSE) circuit switches.

As far as I know this phone can NOT work with another phone of the same model, it only works with a digital switch.  If you know other, please let me know.

Git Hub project DNVT2IP to build interface to the internet.

"Its primary goal is to provide an adapter to interface military surplus Digital Nonsecure Voice Terminals (DNVTs) to Internet Protocol (IP) networks, specifically for use as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phones using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). Supported DNVTs include: * TA-954/TT * TA-1035/U * TA-1042A/U "

TM 11-5805-735-12 DIGITAL NON-SECURE VOICE TERMINAL, TA-954/TT, PART NO. 23400-502 (NSN 5805-01-159-9691) {TO 31W1-2TT-161; EE165-DA-OMP-010; TM 08789A-12/1}

Fair Radio - Photo -

TA-1035/U Digital Nonsecure Voice Terminal

NSN: 5805-01-246-6826
Reference: TM 11-5805-761-12&P
TM 11-5805-761-13&P TELEPHONE, DIGITAL, NON-SECUR TA-1035/U (NSN 5805-01-246-6826) (EIC: HHT) MSE (THIS ITEM IS INCLUDED IN EM 0075) - restricted

As a prime subscriber terminal, the TA-1035/U provides full-duplex, conditioned, diphase digital voice and loop signaling information with wire and mobile access equipment. It also provides supervisory, clock, plain text, and voltage reference signals with data devices. The TA-1035/U provides a data port for interfacing the communications terminal (CT) and AN/UXC-7 data devices to the echelons corps and below (ECB) network. The TA-1035/U operates in a common-battery power mode, deriving its power from the switch line termination circuit.

As far as I know this phone can NOT work with another phone of the same model, it only works with a digital switch.  If you know other, please let me know.

TA-1042  Digital Non-Secure Voice Terminal (DNVT)

NSN: Not available
Reference: TM 11-5805-780-12&P

The digital nonsecure voice terminal (DNVT) is a ruggedized field telephone. It is operable as a tabletop device in tents, shelters, and office environments. It also may be operated outdoors while strapped to a tree or pole. The DNVT is designed for durability to exposure of the elements during operation and transportation. Voice communication is accomplished through the handset. Digital data from an external device interfaces through the TA-1042A/U's digital
data port (DDP). The DNVT transmits and receives full duplex, conditioned diphase digital voice and loop signaling information at 16 or 32 kb/s rates. The DNVT is a nonsecure telephone with no encryption capability. It digitizes voice information using continuously variable slope delta (CVSD) modulation. Digital communication transmissions, both to and from the DNVT, are accomplished using a conditioned diphase (CDP) data transmission method. This is accomplished by using the DDP. The DNVT operates in both common battery mode and local battery point-to-point mode, but not simultaneously.

Two of these phones will talk to each other.  See the seperate web page for details on the hookup.

TSEC/KY-68 Digital Subscriber Voice Terminal

NSN: 5810-01-082-8404
Reference: TM 11-5810-329-10
The digital subscriber voice terminal (DSVT) KY-68 is used for encrypting/decrypting voice traffic and provides secure digitized data traffic. It operates as a full-duplex or half-duplex voice/data subscriber terminal at 16 to 32 kb/s. The KY-68 provides secure and nonsecure access to the switched networks and secure access to non-switched networks. Handset H-350/U is normally issued with the DSVT and includes a push-to-talk switch which is used when the DSVT is operating in the half-duplex mode to allow for voice transmission. The terminal consists of a five-position function switch, audio and ring volume controls, ring/busy, extension, and nonsecure warning indicators. The DSVT provides a digital communications interface with TRI-TAC and MSE circuit switches.

Racal Military phones - RA525 System Matel uses standard 2-wire cable and can have a number of independent full duplex conversations going on at the same time. Must be a digital system.  MATEL 2C800 Field Phone


From FM 24-12:
Radio set control C-6709/G provides the capability for manned integration between 4-wire tone signaling telephone communications systems and push-to-talk radio systems. The C-6709/G is compatible with both current and future wideband transmission requirements. The 300 Hz to 70 kHz baseband allows the unit to accommodate a wide variety of interfaces for data communications and other needs. Radio keying can be accomplished with manual control by the NRI operator, by DTMF procedures, and/or by automatic voice actuation. It contains an H-250 handset, an H-325 headset microphone, and connecting cables with a basic unit. The C-6709/G provides facilities for controlling transmitter/receiver circuits of a variety of tactical radios in a 4-wire switched system comprised of AN/TTC-38s, AN/TTC-39s, SB-3614(V), CNCEs, and radios with COMSEC, such as PARKHILL and VINSON.


The most common single pair military telephone wire is called WD-1 and comes in spools of different lengths.  The conductors are steel and copper strands so that the wire can be suspended between poles.  This makes it difficult to splice.

In WD-1 the two wires are twisted together and can easily be separated, like to use as an antenna for a radio.  WD-1A has the two wires connected together, like a zip cord used for a lamp.  WD-1A also has a twist of 1 turn per foot that does not show up in some of the illustrations I found on the web.  WD-1A has better electrical specs because the wire separation is controlled, but is harder to use if you need a single conductor.

MK-356/G Wire Splicing Kit - uses cylindrical sleeve that are crimped onto the ends of two wires to form an in line splice.

Telephone Manuals

The Military uses telephones that depend on wires for connivance and so that the enemy can not listen like can be done with radios.  Also a radio even though scrambled still sends out a signal that can be picked up and it's location determined and "traffic analysis" used to learn much without decoding the actual information being transmitted.  There are also satellite based telephone circuits that use the UHF military frequencies.  Like in the movie "Under Seige".

TM 47377 Communications Equipment 1950-1970

FM 24-20 Field Wire and Cable Techniques

The first part is about how to deploy WD-1 field wire and the rest has information on the equipment.

Special Text 11-154-3 Signal Reference Data   Wire and Multichannel Communications Equipment

Is a training manual with all kinds of voice and data equipment that works over wires.


Chapter 1 is on Telephone Equipment
Section I Telephones
Section II Switchboards
Section III. Auxiliary Telephone Equipment
FM 11-55 Mobile Subscriber Equipment (MSE) Opertions
TA-1035, KY-68, FAX terminal, AN/UXC-7 etc
Transition system that covers both analog and digital phones

Field Wire

FM 24-20 covers Field Wire

WD-1/TT & WD-1A/TT

Is a single pair. Four copper strands and three steel strands.
MX-306A/G is a canvas donut holding 1/2 mile of WD-1.
The "A" version has the two wires joined together like zip cord (no twist) whereas the original version has the two wires just twisted together.
PS magazine Issue 659 pages 44 & 45.

WD-1A/TT Field Wire on D-8-AR Spool with RL-39-B Reeling Kit
WD-1A/TT Field Wire
                on D-8-AR Spool with RL-39-B Reeling Kit

Label info:
NSN: 6145-01-155-4258
CAGE: 54736
P/N: WD1A-0.5 km Cable, Telephone

ST-35 Sling Strap
NSN 8465-00-269-0682.

Sling Type 16
MIL-S-1938 (?)
MFG 60468
Reeling Machine RL-39B

NSN 3895-00-498-8343.

Hand Crank:
NSN 5340-01-142-9478.

Cotter Pin:
NSN 5315-00-842-3044

Carrying Handle:
NSN 3895-01-135-2538


Quad wire, i.e. 2 Pair.

Test Equipment & Tools

General telephone equipment for civilian or military systems.

Telephone Tool Kit

Phone installer or inside wiring or . . .


I can remember in the 1950s the "telephone company" man (there was only one then, company that is) using this meter as his standard tool.

Butt Set

These are very handy handheld telephones.  A nice feature is switchable very high input impedance so that you can monitor a line without disturbing data transmissions.
Of course the main purpose is to allow the connection of a phone to just terminals or wires.  It's handy to have both the phone type alligator clips with the wire piercing pins and also a standard modular plug.  I also have a modular break out device that allows using the alligator clips on any of the modular pins.

Tone Generator & Sensor

To find or track wires these are very convenient.  You clip the tone generator on a pair and when the sensor gets within a few inches of the pair you can hear the tone.
Using this method you can find a pair that is surrounded by a thousand other pairs without connecting to each one.

ZM-4B/U Resistance Bridge

Typically used for telephone line measurements, including open and short location, D cells ETM has the following manuals:
TB 9-6625-388-35 Cal,
TM 11-6625-249-12P Op,
TM 11-6625-249-34P maint,
TM 11-2019 Test Sets.
Inside the Lid are Instructions.

TS-27B/TSM Test Set

This may have been a prior version of the ZM-4.   It is described in TM 11-2057A (TO16-35TS27-6) Oct '52.  It includes a capacitance measurement function similar to the "kick" method used with the KS-8455L2.  The following are things that can be measured:
insulation resistance, loop resistance, capacitance, location of faults with many options.  It uses two tubes.  Instead of decade resistors there is a single slide wire potentiometer.

Tempo Sidekick T&N Line Tester - separate web page

Harris TS1000 ADSL Test Set -
Acterna DSL Services Tester 350
JDSU SmartClass ADSL

Tone & Probe station wire testing

Telephone Poles

Separate web page


Old-Time Telephones by Ralph Meyer
Has a lot of theory and practical testing plus schematics for most old phones in a generic way, rather than a by model number way.

oldphoneguy - good info on how to build you own equipment for testing various aspects of phones

Signaling Tones

SIT  (Special Information Tones)

the triple tone that you get when you dial a number that doesn't exist (3 tones, each higher in pitch than the last) Used by CDA (Call Disposition Analyzers) to differentiate between human voices and recorded announcements and categorize their type. Most CDA's merely look for three sequential tones occurring in less than 3 seconds using a band-pass filter centered around 600 Hz.

Loren D. Cahlander of AMCOM Software, Inc. 5555 West 78th St Suite Q Minneapolis, MN 55435
From the documentation that I have, there are four different sequences of tones:
                                         First Tone             Second Tone       Third  Tone
Tone     Tone                    freq  length            freq    length         freq    length
Name    Description        (Hz)(10 ms)            (Hz)   (10 ms)      (Hz)   (10 ms)
 NC     No Circuit              985.2  38.0        1428.5  38.0    1776.7  38.0    Found
 IC       Operator                913.8  27.4        1370.6  27.4    1776.7  38.0    Intercept
 VC     Vacant Circuit         985.2  38.0        1370.6  27.4    1776.7  38.0
 RO     ReOrder                 913.8  27.4        1428.5  38.0    1776.7  38.0

Macy Hallock of F M Systems, Inc. 150 Highland Dr. Medina, OH 44256 says:

Period  Frequency    Designation
 SSL      LLL        IC - Intercept - Vacant No. or AIS or etc.
 LLL      LLL        NC - No Circuit (Inter-LATA carrier)
 LSL      HLL        VC - Vacant Code
 SLL      HLL        RO - Reorder Announcement (Inter-LATA Carrier)
 LSS      LHL        #1 - Add'l Reserved Code
 SLL      LHL        RO - Reorder Announcement
 SSL      HHL        #2 - Add'l Reserved Code
 LLL      LLL        NC - No Circuit, Emergency or Trunk Blockage
Where: Period-Duration: S=Short 274 msec   L=Long 380 msec
       Frequency: L=Low  913.8 Hz  1370.6 Hz  1776.7 Hz
                        H=High  985.2 Hz  1428.5 Hz
This information taken from a central office recorder/announcer installation manual ca. 1983. I believe SIT's are specified by Bellcore and/orr CCITT. I have heard SIT's used on international calls to several countries.

I have not been able to confirm that SIT is spec'd by CCITT (now ) or by BellCore (I don't think they are online?).

Telemarketers HATE Answering machines:
Techniques for call progress detection are readily available by looking at sample patents:
5724420 Automatic Call Distribution with Answer Machine Detection
5430792 Automated Telephone Calling System
5371787 Machine Answer Detection

more at: The Telephone System

Getting this type of information in an organized format is one of the main goals of my Technical Reference  project. Any help is greatly appreciated.

above by James Newton

5920623  Method and apparatus for defeating a predictive telemarketing system - sends 914 Hz tone burst after phone is picked up


Hand cranked used to power ringer.

914311 Electric Current Generator, Charles C. Ruprecht (RuprechtElectrical Co.), March 2 1909, 310/75.00R - 3 "U" permanent magnets

My Telephones

Gallows Phone
Side (Gallows)
Gallows Phone Mouthpiece
Side (Gallows) view
This is a reproduction of the origional A. G. Bell patent phone. 
Coil inductance about 5 mH & 6 Ohms.  Note that the coil used in a telegraph sounder when used in a local loop would be a "4 Ohm Coil" and marked that way.  So it looks like the coil is a slightly modified telegraph part.  The terminals are telegraph parts.


Western Electric 202 Dial phone - consists of a phone and a "sub set" that's mounted on the wall.
Bell System 302 Dial Phone - the "I Love Lucy" phone, this is the first phone I can remember.  The first phone to have all the parts in one case.
Bell System 500 Dial Phone - basis for the REN Ring Equivalence Number that's on the label of all modern phones
WE 500 Dial Phone -
Bell system 2500 Touch Tone phone -
Western Electric 2554 Wall Touch Tone Telephone
Western Electric Candlestick Dial Telephone
PhONE Genius 2008 - "Super Mini Phone" - fits inside one hand.
PhONE Genius 2008
          - "Super Mini Phone"

Military (See Above)


Field Telephones -
US Army Signal Corps Telephone equipment -
Mike Sandman - Installer's tools & equipment plus interesting gadgets
TELECOM Digest & Archives -Links -
Harris Corporation -
North American Numbering Plan (NANP) - Vertical Service Codes (VSCs) - like *67
Quest Technical Publications -
Military type Autovon sets -
US Army Wire Communication WW I to Present -
Bell System Technical Journal -
Bell System Technical Journal, 1922-1983
Antique Telephone Collecting Ring -
Antique Telephone Collectors Association - Pictures -
Antique Telephone Repair - reasonable prices plus good information - How to Diagnose Troubles -
Australasian Telephone Collectors Society - with a number of very good articles -
Bell System Memorial - history and links to old phone supplies
Bell System Practices - for many common phones and related
Bell System Technical Journal, 1922-1983
Bobs Telephone File - UK - Clocks related to phones -
Central Office Online - just what the name says, about the CO
Communications Time Line -
Kellogg Page - one of the early phone makers, like Automatic Electric, Western Electric, Stromberg-Carlson
Microwave Radio and Coaxial Cable Networks of the Bell System -
The Museum of Communications -
New England Museum of Telephony - includes switching equipment
Old Telephones As Entertainment! -
Old Telephone Schematics - - switchboard parts & other stuff
Outside Plant Articles by McCarty
Rotary Telephones -
Sam's Telecomms Documents Repository -
Telephone Archive -on line pdf versios of old catalogs and books
The Telephone Exchange Project - When I was a kid our phone number started with Yorkshire and people in Palo Alto had Davenport.
Telephone Collectors International - Pictures - Singing Wires Yahoo Group -
Telephone Creations - Transparent phones with original working parts, really works of art
Telephone Tribute -
House Of Telephones - repro cords of all kinds made by H.O.T. and retroparts for candlestick phones
Vintage Phones - does an old phones show in San Jose
Classic Telephones by  Gilbert Engler - Phone Collection
Western Electric Catalog & Yearbook 1916 -


Exploding The Phone - On line extras

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