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Old style telephone wiring....and BT infinity?



 
 
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  #11  
Old August 20th 14, 09:44 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
David
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 182
Default Old style telephone wiring....and BT infinity?

On 20/08/2014 20:09, The Natural Philosopher wrote:
On 20/08/14 20:04, George Weston wrote:
On 20/08/2014 19:34, Mike Tomlinson wrote:
En el , Adrian C
escribió:

That green wire
doesn't do anything, it's from the overhead drop wire unused pair.

Not the green wire, the bare twisted copper earth wire that seems to
come out the back of the box in one of your photos. That would
originally have gone to a lead water pipe, an earth rod, or sometimes
simply a sheet of lead buried in the ground.

Its purpose was to provide the common earth return of a pair of party
lines. Going back some time now :-)

I remember party lines from when I was a kid. You shared the line with
a neighbour, but each leg of the pair (the A and B wires) formed a
circuit to earth. Both lines couldn't be used simultaneously - if you
lifted the receiver when your neighbour was on the phone, you could hear
the conversation.

You had to press a button on the handset to tell the exchange you wanted
to make a call. That connected the line (A or B) wire to earth and
caused the line uniselector to connect dial tone, then you could start
dialling.

Ringing was achieved by sending ringing current down the A or B wire,
causing just one subscriber's phone to ring. The earth wire was the
return for ringing current. This meant you couldn't use 'off the shelf'
phones as they had their ringers connected across A and B (rather than
A-earth for one subscriber and B-earth for the other), meaning they
would ring for calls to either subscriber.

In dry weather conditions, the party line lost its earth and you
couldn't make or receive calls. In our case, flushing the downstairs
toilet restored service because the earth of the phone line was
connected to the lead soil pipe.

I'm sure some people reading this will think I'm making it all up :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_line_%28telephony%29

Nope - I believe every word, as we had a party line too!

Only thing is I don't remember having the button to make a call



Yes I do, you picked phone up if the other party not talking you pressed
to get dial tone.
Regards
David
  #12  
Old August 20th 14, 10:11 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
NY
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Posts: 470
Default Old style telephone wiring....and BT infinity?

"David" wrote in message
...
Only thing is I don't remember having the button to make a call


Yes I do, you picked phone up if the other party not talking you pressed
to get dial tone.


A friend had a party line in the late 60s and early 70s. I don't remember
the button to make a call. I'm sure when I phoned my parents from Richard's
house I just dialled as normal - the only thing that I had to be aware of
was checking that the other line wasn't in use.

Was it only available literally to next door neighbours (eg in adjacent
houses of a semi-detached pair) or could the two parties be several houses
apart?

If either party was making a call, did *both* phone numbers give an engaged
tone to an incoming call, even though only one was really engaged?

Presumably you could only have a party line if the other house happened to
want one as well, and if subsequently you wanted to upgrade to a normal
line, the other party's line had to be upgraded to normal at the same time.

  #13  
Old August 20th 14, 10:21 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
NY
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 470
Default Old style telephone wiring....and BT infinity?

"David" wrote in message
...
I remember party lines from when I was a kid. You shared the line with
a neighbour, but each leg of the pair (the A and B wires) formed a
circuit to earth. Both lines couldn't be used simultaneously - if you
lifted the receiver when your neighbour was on the phone, you could
hear
the conversation.


How did you phone the other party? Could their number be dialled or did you
always need operator intervention? How did the signal get between phones -
did it go from phone A to the exchange and then from the exchange to phone B
(as it would do normally) or was some special circuitry invoked which
temporarily connected the two phones directly without the signal going via
the exchange?

  #14  
Old August 20th 14, 10:38 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
David
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 182
Default Old style telephone wiring....and BT infinity?

On 20/08/2014 22:11, NY wrote:
"David" wrote in message
...
Only thing is I don't remember having the button to make a call


Yes I do, you picked phone up if the other party not talking you
pressed to get dial tone.


A friend had a party line in the late 60s and early 70s. I don't
remember the button to make a call. I'm sure when I phoned my parents
from Richard's house I just dialled as normal - the only thing that I
had to be aware of was checking that the other line wasn't in use.

Was it only available literally to next door neighbours (eg in adjacent
houses of a semi-detached pair) or could the two parties be several
houses apart?

If either party was making a call, did *both* phone numbers give an
engaged tone to an incoming call, even though only one was really engaged?

Presumably you could only have a party line if the other house happened
to want one as well, and if subsequently you wanted to upgrade to a
normal line, the other party's line had to be upgraded to normal at the
same time.


Ours was the next door neighbors but the GPO were not supposed to do
that because of trouble it could cause between them.

It was a party line in those days or no phone at all. You could not
upgrade, only when exchanges expanded and more lines run out could you
choose to.

If one was on both phones rang engaged for other callers.

Regards
David
  #15  
Old August 20th 14, 10:38 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
Russell Hafter News[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Old style telephone wiring....and BT infinity?

In article , David
wrote:

In dry weather conditions, the party line lost its
earth and you couldn't make or receive calls. In our
case, flushing the downstairs toilet restored service
because the earth of the phone line was connected to
the lead soil pipe.


Living on the bank of the Thames, this was not a problem.

In article
,
NY wrote:

Presumably you could only have a party line if the other
house happened to want one as well, and if subsequently
you wanted to upgrade to a normal line, the other party's
line had to be upgraded to normal at the same time.


Our party line in west London in the 1950s (and maybe early
1960s) was shared with the house next door.

The button on the phone was labelled 'Call Exchange'.

There was no option about it - it was all there was; there
was a major shortage of lines in the area at the time.

(We also did not have ac electricity - it was still dc, so
my parents had to sell the washing machine we had in our
previois house.)

The line shortage was only solved when they built a new
exchange just up the road.

By contrast, when living in Burlington, Vermont (by far the
biggest city in the state) in the mid 1970s, when we went
to the Bell Phone office they offered us a choice of an
individual line, a two party line or a four party line. The
choice was entirely up to us.

No call exchange button required.

The four party line which we had (to save money) appeared
to be made up of two pairs, each of which had a distinctive
ringing tone, so that you could tell whether it was your
phone or the other one was being rung. You did not know
about the other pair of lines.

It was actually quite a good deal, as there was only a
period of about a month, out of two and half years, when our
phone rang and it was not for us.

But I still remember one night when the other party's phone
kept ringing very late in to the night, and finally my
partner got up and shouted at the other party to tell their
friends to stop phoning at such an anti-social time. It
worked!

We never found out who the other party was...

--
Russell
http://www.russell-hafter-holidays.co.uk
Russell Hafter
E-mail to russell at russellhafter dot me dot uk
Need a hotel? http://www.hrs.com/?client=en__blue&customerId=416873103
  #16  
Old August 20th 14, 10:40 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
David
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 182
Default Old style telephone wiring....and BT infinity?

On 20/08/2014 22:21, NY wrote:
"David" wrote in message
...
I remember party lines from when I was a kid. You shared the line
with
a neighbour, but each leg of the pair (the A and B wires) formed a
circuit to earth. Both lines couldn't be used simultaneously - if you
lifted the receiver when your neighbour was on the phone, you could
hear
the conversation.


How did you phone the other party? Could their number be dialled or did
you always need operator intervention? How did the signal get between
phones - did it go from phone A to the exchange and then from the
exchange to phone B (as it would do normally) or was some special
circuitry invoked which temporarily connected the two phones directly
without the signal going via the exchange?


It was not possible to dial your party, do not know if there was any way
to, can't think why one would want to phone them anyway.
Regards
David
  #17  
Old August 20th 14, 11:04 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
Tony Dragon
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 26
Default Old style telephone wiring....and BT infinity?

On 20/08/2014 19:34, Mike Tomlinson wrote:
En el artÃ*culo , Adrian C
escribió:

That green wire
doesn't do anything, it's from the overhead drop wire unused pair.


Not the green wire, the bare twisted copper earth wire that seems to
come out the back of the box in one of your photos. That would
originally have gone to a lead water pipe, an earth rod, or sometimes
simply a sheet of lead buried in the ground.

Its purpose was to provide the common earth return of a pair of party
lines. Going back some time now :-)

I remember party lines from when I was a kid. You shared the line with
a neighbour, but each leg of the pair (the A and B wires) formed a
circuit to earth. Both lines couldn't be used simultaneously - if you
lifted the receiver when your neighbour was on the phone, you could hear
the conversation.

You had to press a button on the handset to tell the exchange you wanted
to make a call. That connected the line (A or B) wire to earth and
caused the line uniselector to connect dial tone, then you could start
dialling.

Ringing was achieved by sending ringing current down the A or B wire,
causing just one subscriber's phone to ring. The earth wire was the
return for ringing current. This meant you couldn't use 'off the shelf'
phones as they had their ringers connected across A and B (rather than
A-earth for one subscriber and B-earth for the other), meaning they
would ring for calls to either subscriber.

In dry weather conditions, the party line lost its earth and you
couldn't make or receive calls. In our case, flushing the downstairs
toilet restored service because the earth of the phone line was
connected to the lead soil pipe.

I'm sure some people reading this will think I'm making it all up :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_line_%28telephony%29


Not at all, I can remember 'watering' the earth spike for old earth
calling PABX's.

---
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.
http://www.avast.com

  #18  
Old August 20th 14, 11:08 PM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
The Natural Philosopher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,728
Default Old style telephone wiring....and BT infinity?

On 20/08/14 22:38, David wrote:
Ours was the next door neighbors but the GPO were not supposed to do
that because of trouble it could cause between them.


So was ours.

It was a party line in those days or no phone at all.


Exactly. Nationalised GPO and only one type of phone supplied. Think
Soviet state... But at leats we got ours in....

...AVOCADO...

You could not
upgrade, only when exchanges expanded and more lines run out could you
choose to.


Yep.


--
Everything you read in newspapers is absolutely true, except for the
rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge. - Erwin Knoll
  #19  
Old August 21st 14, 07:17 AM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
Graham J[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 723
Default Old style telephone wiring....and BT infinity?

David wrote:
On 20/08/2014 22:21, NY wrote:
"David" wrote in message
...
I remember party lines from when I was a kid. You shared the line
with
a neighbour, but each leg of the pair (the A and B wires) formed a
circuit to earth. Both lines couldn't be used simultaneously - if
you
lifted the receiver when your neighbour was on the phone, you could
hear
the conversation.


How did you phone the other party? Could their number be dialled or did
you always need operator intervention? How did the signal get between
phones - did it go from phone A to the exchange and then from the
exchange to phone B (as it would do normally) or was some special
circuitry invoked which temporarily connected the two phones directly
without the signal going via the exchange?


It was not possible to dial your party, do not know if there was any way
to, can't think why one would want to phone them anyway.
Regards
David



We had one in about 1973. The party was across the street about 3
houses away. The difficulty we had was that we were billed for our
party's calls, and they for ours. We both complained and I think they
found sufficient spares to separate us.

I have heard that to talk to your party you called the operator who
instructed you to hang up (while she called the party) then pick up the
phone after about a minute - on the basis that if the party had answered
you would then be able to talk and the operator would drop off the line.

--
Graham J



  #20  
Old August 21st 14, 09:57 AM posted to uk.telecom,uk.telecom.broadband
NY
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 470
Default Old style telephone wiring....and BT infinity?

"David" wrote in message
...
It was a party line in those days or no phone at all. You could not
upgrade, only when exchanges expanded and more lines run out could you
choose to.


Ah, I hadn't realised that party lines were forced on people because of
shortage of pairs in the overhead/underground wiring or at the exchange. I'd
always thought that it was an option that people selected if they wanted a
cheaper line rental.

Odd that our street had normal phone lines and my friend's street, only
about 1/4 mile away and with houses built a decade or so later, had party
lines - certainly for my friend's house and maybe for other houses in the
street. Maybe the streets went to different exchanges or the builder of the
street economised on the number of pairs that he got GPO to install.

Ah, looking on Samknows it seems that even now our old house is on Seacroft
exchange and his is on Moortown exchange. We were a hell of a long way from
our exchange - Samknows says normal ADSL is only 1 Mbps.

When were party lines abolished? I suppose the coming of internet was the
big driving factor, since you couldn't have ADSL and even with dialup there
was the risk that the other person would lift their receiver and the click
or their voice would cause the modem connection to drop.

 




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