TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Western Lamp Cadences

Re: Western Lamp Cadences
5 Sep 2006 21:32:25 -0700

Al Gillis wrote:

> Back in the "Good Old Days" Western Electric produced a number of
> products that used different lamp on/off cadences to indicate various
> circuit conditions. 1A and 1A2, for example had a flash cadence
> (~500ms on, 500ms off) and a wink cadence (~250ms off, 750ms on).
> There was another cadence on some products that I recall being called
> "flutter" which had a very rapid on/off cycle. Does anyone know what
> the on/off time intervals of this cadence were?

I think lamp blinking varied by product. On cordless switchboards,
IIRC there was 30, 60, and 120 flashes per minute. One meant incoming
call, one meant ringing party, and one meant request for operator
service. (I could look this up if desired). The 608 cord board had
blinking supervisory signals.

IIRC some key systems had a double wink signal.

There may be signal for "camp on", that is a line waiting to be
connected as soon as someone completes the call.

I think toward of the end of key systems, perhaps with Call Directors
or the ComKey systems, there were more blinking options as they added
service options. I used a ComKey but didn't care for it, modern or
not. I don't like tone ringers and the loudspeaker intercom. I think
ComKey was the last with a full thick cord with wires for each lamp
and function; then they went to electronic sets.

I don't recall a flutter. However, our office had a tiny behive type
lamp that lit steady when the shared line was in use. When the phone
rang, the lamp fluttered. I think it was a neon bulb connected
straight to the line without a relay (that employer was pretty cheap
and would take only the cheapest solution).

Now the later generation "voice terminals" which had the red and green
lights could do several things and the ringing signals could be
programmed in all sorts of irritating ways. I would so much prefer a
classic six button key set over them (Dimension? sets). Fortunately I
have my plain old 2500 set, augmented by my 302 set*.

Upsets visiting high managers, but no one told me to remove it.

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