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#624658 10/27/18 03:50 PM
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Hey guys. Got a question that I have a hunch to what the answer is, but I wanted to see what the 1A2 guys thought. I recently got a pretty good haul of stuff out of a building that's being remodeled. Scored a pile of Western Electric branded colored backboards, a half a dozen WECO diode matrix blocks, and a bunch of 100 pair cabling. Like, a couple hundred feet. I'll finally be able to properly hook up one or two of my call directors. So my question is this. I slit open one of the cables and broke it into its constituent binders, and I was expecting four 25 pair binders, and what I found was five 20 pair binders. Nary a violet lead to be seen. This is the normal looking gray jacket inside wire like any other piece of 25 pair I've ever found, but with no violets. Was this common for inside wire of this pair count, or was this specific to key system cabling? Some of this cabling was used as house cable to bring umpteen lines from the 100 pair protector in the basement to the third floor IDF, and one piece went straight from the basement to one of the offices. Of course some dummy had cut off the end(s) and just plucked out the wht/blu pair from the first binder.

The whole building was wired for 1A2 as far as I can tell. There's 25 pair going from the third floor IDF to every room. Some rooms had multiple 25 pair drops. Some had harmonicas plugged into the 25 pair connectors, some had the ends cut off and a pile of smaller cables beaned to the end of them, one room had a 66 block mounted 3 inches off the floor with the 25 pair cut down on one side and a host of other smaller cables punched to the other side. It was a mess. You could easily tell that Bell had done a really nice job wiring the building for 1A2, and it had been hacked up over the years by every idiot and their brother. The building is an old HUGE farm house dating back to 1792. I was amazed that Bell had managed to snake all those cables through the old plaster walls and wide pine floors without really any trace. Hats off to those workers that originally did that install.

I'll post some pics of my haul when I get some free time to lay the stuff out. I also got some really bizarre jacks that I had never seen before. All Western Electric branded.

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ChrisRR #624659 10/27/18 06:57 PM
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Going to put any of the items up for bids? grin


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ChrisRR #624661 10/27/18 09:23 PM
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I hadn't really thought about it. I'd like to experiment with those diode blocks a little, but I'll probably never actually use them. The backboards are nice, but again, I don't have any immediate use for them. The owners of the building were going to rip it all out and throw it all in a dumpster, so I figured this was a better alternative. They're also going to rip out the main 100pr protector and bin it, as well. I know it's Telco property, and I told them they legally can't touch it, but they're going to rip it out anyway, so I'll probably grab that. It isn't much good since someone cut the cable coming out of it anyway. There's enough left to do an ugly splice, so I might put it in the shed for a future project/experiment. The building is fed with a 300pr buried feed from the street along with a couple of aerial drops. Looks like the 300pr hasn't been used in ages. Seems like overkill to me. The 100 pairs they have spliced to the carbon block seems like overkill. It looks like when the business closed up they cut the terminal off the protector and just used the aerial drops for basic residential service. The excavation guy already said he doesn't give a crap if he digs up that 300pr cable. I told him right where it was running so he could avoid it. Next time I'm there, I'll throw my buttsett across some of those pairs and see if anything is bridge tapped. I seriously doubt it.

ChrisRR #624662 10/27/18 09:51 PM
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I'll be curious to see what backboards, Western Electric (or vintage AT&T) 66 blocks and jacks are there. The stuff may be old, but, still very functional outside of IT/Data. wink


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ChrisRR #624663 10/27/18 10:23 PM
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That cable was designed for the 30 button WE Call Directors. They had 5 amphenols, 1 for each key strip, each with only 20 pair. They were weird.

Considering that the ITT 860(?) 30 button Call Director only used 75 pair (3 amphenols) we never used that cable in the Non-Bell world. I don't remember if the Stromberg Carlson 30 Button Call Directors had 4 or 5 fingers, but as I recall the 100 pair "no violets" was strictly a Bell thing.


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ChrisRR #624667 10/28/18 01:59 AM
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I kind of thought it was a call director thing. Not sure why they used it as "house cable". Expedient thing, perhaps, it was already on hand. I wouldn't have guessed it was a Bell only thing. That's kind of cool to know. I did know that the 30 button call directors used 5 fingers with no violets, that's why I suspected it was for that purpose. The other two lengths of cable were removed by one of the workers and haven't made their way to me yet. I'm interested to see if they have violets or not.

I have some quick pics I snapped before I ran out earlier...

[Linked Image from i34.photobucket.com]

[Linked Image from i34.photobucket.com]

ChrisRR #624670 10/28/18 05:31 AM
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Sheesh....Someone took a magic marker to the backboards. frown


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ChrisRR #624674 10/28/18 10:13 AM
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Nothing a little rubbing alcohol won't remove.

ChrisRR #624791 10/31/18 07:57 AM
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We used those didode matrix blocks for a while but eventually found it more expedient to build our own. Those took up too much real estate on a backboard.

Sam


"Where are we going and why are we in this hand basket?"
ChrisRR #624800 10/31/18 11:52 AM
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So I finally got the other 2 pieces of 100pr last night and lo and behold, they have the violet groups. So the one piece without confirms there must have been a call director in that installation at some point. I never knew they made call director specific cabling, so that's kind of neat.

Sam, I'd be curious to know how you made your own. I tried doing it with a 66 block once, but it's a tight fit to cram diodes between the pins.

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