Familiarizing Yourself With Telephone Terms

Making yourself familiar with various terms used in the telephone field is always handy when discussing problems with the Repair Technician

Central Office: The telephone company facility where the automatic switching equipment or Switchboard is located.

Clapper: The part of a Ringer that strikes the Gong to signal incoming calls.

Common Battery: Refers to a telephone instrument that is powered from the Central Office or from a PBX or Switchboard.

Crank: The part located on  the right-hand side of a Magneto telephone that you turn to produce energy to ring other phones or to signal the Operator.

Desk Stand: Usually refers to a "candlestick" telephone, but is also applicable to any desk telephone set.

Dial, Rotary: This is the signaling part of your old telephone. It converts mechanical motion into electrical pulses that correspond to the selection you have made with the Finger Wheel.

Faceplate: This is the round part of the phone that the Mouthpiece screws into. The Transmitter itself is located behind the Faceplate.

Finger Wheel: This is the part of a Dial that you select the proper numeral with. It can be made of plastic or metal. In the center is usually mounted a Number Card.

Generator: See Magneto.

Gong: The part of a Ringer that is struck by the Clapper to signal incoming calls.

Handset: A combined Transmitter and Receiver, used most commonly on cradle telephones and universally on modern telephone sets.

Handset Cord: The cord that connects the Handset to the telephone instrument. It can be straight or coiled.

Line Cord: The cord that connects a Subset or telephone instrument to a wall jack.

Local Battery: Refers to a telephone that contains or is powered from dry cell batteries, such as a wooden wall phone once commonly used on farm telephone lines.

Magneto: Part of a Local Battery telephone. It is also called a Generator. It is used to convert mechanical motion via a Crank to produce sufficient energy to ring other phones or to signal the Central Office.

Mouthpiece: This is the part of a telephone into which you direct speech. It can be the cap on a Handset or a cone-shaped piece screwed into the Transmitter Faceplate.

Mounting Cord: The cord that connects a telephone instrument to a Subset.

Number Card: This is the paper that is stamped with the telephone's station number, and is usually mounted in the center of the Dial.

PBX: Short for Private Branch Exchange, a local automatic switch or Switchboard.

Receiver: This is the part you listen to. It converts undulating electric waves into sound.

Receiver Cap: The part that holds the Receiver Element into a Handset.

Receiver Cord: This is the cord that connects a separate Receiver (such as used on a Desk Stand) to the rest of the telephone instrument.

Receiver Element: Same as a Receiver except it can be removed as a unit.

Ringer: A signal using one or two Gongs to signify incoming calls.

Subset: A box containing the parts known as a Network and usually a Ringer. The Network consists of proper apparatus to boost speech sounds for transmission to the telephone line, to separate undulating currents to the Receiver, and to signal incoming calls if so equipped.

Switchboard: An apparatus consisting of suitable jacks and cords, or special manual switches to connect outlying telephone instruments together.

Transmitter: This is the part you speak into. It converts sound into varying electric current and is associated with the Primary circuit of your telephone.

Transmitter Cap: The part that holds the Transmitter Element into a Handset.

Transmitter Element: Same as a Transmitter except it can be removed as a unit.

Presented to you as a service of VTS industrial Company

Steve Hilsz, Telephone Technician

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