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Western Electric Automatic Dialers

Card Dialer Identification

Details of the evolution of automatic dialers can be found in the TCI Singing Wires article,
"Taming the Wild Cards" in the January 2011 issue.

This page shows the major dial types used and provides links to charts of model numbers
where you will find BSP numbers to consult for technical details.

2002-16 paulf.  All rights reserved.
(What's this copyright notice?)

Production Card Dialers     Modified Card Dialers     Cards     Coding Cards


WE 660-SERIES     WE 1660-SERIES     WE 2660-SERIES     WE AUTOVON Dialer    Data Phone Card Readers

WE 661 Card Dialer
Western Electric 660-type


  Bar split: Release and Start
     Release = Alow user to remove card
     Start = Start dialing

  For model variations, click here.

                Automatic Dialer
Photo of a set in the JKL Museum
Western Electric 1660-type

  Touch Tone, 10 button dial

  Single Bar: Start

  For model variations, click here.
WE 2660 aqua
                automatic dialer
Photo of a set in the JKL Museum
Western Electric 2660-type

  Touch Tone, 12 button dial

  Single Bar: Start

  For model variations, click here.

Autovon Card Dialer
Photo from Wayne Merit
Western Electric 3660-type

  Touch Tone, 16 button dial for Autovon

  Single Bar: Start

  For details, click here.
F-58554 Card
Photo from David Friedman
Western Electric F-58554-type

  Uses F-58553 dial and modified cards - to "provide extended life in high usage applications."

  Bar split: R (= Reject) and Call

  For details, click here.
Data Set w/ Card Reader
Western Electric Dataphone 103G4

Data Set with Touch-tone Card Reader

Also available in rotary (104G3)

More info, click here.

Modified Card Dialers

Rotary and
                Tone Dialer
Rotary - Touch Tone Card Dialer

Includes a rotary telephone and Touch Tone Card Dialer in one integrated telephone. Modified in the Western Electric Distribution Houses.

Marked 630DAM, 1179NO, 659523, Property of So. Central Bell.
G3 handset.
  630DAM is the model of the donor Call Director set.
  1179NO is the date, 11/79 and code for New Orleans.
  65923 is the standard modification code number.

Another found set is marked SET TEL, DIG TRANS, B659523, MODIF, and has a G5 handset with fatter 6-conductor handset cord.

The rotary dial could be used to dial a computerized service thru a non-Touch Tone Central Office.  Then Touch Tone data was entered using either cards or the keypad.

Multi-line Rotary and Touch Tone Card Dialer with Speakerphone
Multi-line Rotary Tone Dialer
1662 Touch Tone Card Dialer                661A Rotary Card Dialer
"Siamese Twins" Card Dialers

Appears to be two complete modified Card Dialers joined at the hip and sharing one mounting cord and handset.  They are wired together to operate as one integrated telephone.

Modifications to the 1662 (left) include cutting away the right side of the case and the installation of the speaker in the wells behind the dial, and pointing out the back of the unit.

Modifications to the 661A (right) include cutting away the left side of the case and replacing of the line key with a standard speakerphone module.
Dual Card Dialer
History and Operation

This set was found in the barn of a retired Western Electric engineer.  He believed it was cobbled together as an experiment to see how the combination would work in several applications such as remote ordering or banking -- areas his group had studied for many years. 

The labels on the front edge with names and extension numbers suggest the set was actually placed in service -- at least as a test.

Some earlier Dataphone items were found in the same storage area.  They were also used in similar applications, with card readers used to enter product model numbers and quantities for manufacturing and ordering applications and account numbers for banking. 

For some of the earlier Western Electric experimental card readers, go here:
   Data Phone Card Readers

The rotary dial was needed to dial the access number, as many exchanges weren't Touch Tone in those days.  Once on-line, some data could be manually entered using the Touch Tone keypad.

Back View
The crude work cutting and matching the cases, uneven drilling of the holes on the back, and the placement of the speaker suggest it was made for a "quick and dirty" feasibility study.  There are no test markings, as was common for more formal field trials.

The pattern of the color fading strongly suggests that the rotary faceplate was in place for years, then was lost or broken and discarded.  It would be interesting to see what it looked like. We may never know for sure.

Unfortunately the white set was quite sun-faded, then stored in a wet location.  The bottom is quite corroded and the internals are probably useless.  The set was covered with a nice protective layer of dirt and mold.  Some can still be seen on the handset cord, which hasn't had the first pass cleaning treatment yet.

I'll post more photos including the inside as the restoration continues.

Cards for Automatic Dialers
 WE Card Dialer cards

Cards measure approximately 3 7/16" x 2 7/32" x 1/32"

All use a 2 of 8 code: 
2 punches in a column for each digit. 

For instructions, see Coding Cards below.

Once punched, the card is a read-only storage device.
Cards for rotary and standard Touch Tone dialers

Cards are physically identical but are marked for different dials:

  1. Early Rotary sets (digits 1-0 only)
         Box of 20: P13E353

  2. Later Rotary or 10-button tone sets (0 added on 258 row)
         Box of 20: P24E238, 812 452 381

  3. 12-button tone sets with star and diamond keys.
         Box of 20: P28E382

  4. 12-button tone sets with * and # keys
         Box of 20: P21F752, 812 167 526
Autovon Dialer
Card for Autovon sets

  Shown left of a standard early Touch Tone card.

  Looks like standard cards, but is wider to accommodate an additional row of holes to code the fourth column of buttons: FO, F, I and P.

         Box of 20 cards: P-29E718
         Card Index set: P-29E719
Card for F-58553 dials
Card for F-58553 dial

  Shown below a standard early Touch Tone card.

  Only one row of sprocket holes and rectangular (not circular) holes. Cards meet American National Standards Institute standards and are not interchangeable with cards used with earlier model card dialers.

  Programmable for digits 0-9, *, #, a, b, c and d for use in special applications such as banking or inventory control.

  The F-58553 dial is used in the F-58554 set, F-58555 keyset and 1037B dial adjunct (F-58556)

         Box of 20: 840 360 564
Card Dialer -
                Card Index
Card Index Set

Used to alphabetize cards stored in the wells behind the dial.

Set order codes:  P-13E363, 811 353 630

Coding Cards for Automatic Dialers

Details are covered in the BSPs. The following summarizes info in several BSP issues.
Dialer Card
From BSP 502-661-101, issue 1, July 1963
Instructions for cards in Figs. 5 and 6.

1. Write name and number on card

2. Under each digit, punch the perforated circle in both the top and bottom groups.  Two punches per digit.

For example, to code a 5 punch the circles in the 456 and 2580 rows.

3. A punch in the STOP row causes the dialer to stop before dialing the digit in that column.  In Fig. 6, the punch in the digit 3 column causes the dialer to stop after dialing the access code (9), before dialing the three.  After the second dial tone is heard, press the START bar to continue dialing.

Note: STOP is pre-punched in the first column to have the dialer wait for a push of the START bar before dialing the first digit.

4. Punch STOP in the column following the last number to stop reading the card and initiate dialing faster (recommended).

Note: Punching 0 in the second group is apparently optional for rotary card dialers, as it was not printed on the early cards shown in Figs. 3 and 4.

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2002-16 paulf.  All rights reserved.