Western Electric Products- Bell Chime
Home Page About This Site What's New References and Links Bell System History Life in the Bell System Capsule History of the Bell System Bell Canada Bell Operating Companies Bell Labs AT&T Long Lines AT&T Historical Financials Historical Photos Historical Film & Video Bell Telephone Magazine Articles What Killed Ma Bell "The Day the Bell System Died The Rape of Ma Bell AT&T Divestiture The Decision to Divest Odds & Ends The Eastland Disaster Bell System Employee Stories Bell System Property - (Not) For Sale Bell Logo History Trading Post - Bell System stuff wanted, for sale, for trade, etc. Bell System Advertisements Don Lively's Essay and More Miscellaneous Retirees Info Trademarks and Copyrights Visitors Comments Dew (Distant Early Warning) Line Project "Yellow Pages" Site Map The Western Electric Store Books Bell System Practices (BSP) & Technical Manuals

Western Electric Products

Sewing Machine - Automatic Answering Service
"Mirrophone" wire ribbon recorder/player
Telephones - PicturePhone - Bell Chime


Bell Chime


When asked "How do I make a Bell Chime chime" the following responses were contributed by various ATCA and TCI club members:

Rolf Taylor

I have a Northern Electric QCY1A1 bell/chime that I presume would be similar to the unit Ronald has.

It has a 4908A Network as part of it. Mine seems to work fine wired as follows:

  • Screw Terminal 4 to Ring (phone line)

  • Screw Terminal 4 BLK Ringer Lead

  • Screw Terminal 4 Blue wire goes to Terminal G (soldered)

  • Screw Terminal 6 to TIP (phone line)

  • Screw Terminal 6 Green wire go to terminal B (soldered)

  • Screw Terminal 1- not connected

  • Screw Terminal 2 -SLATE (grey) Ringer Lead

  • Screw Terminal 2 - SLATE/RED (grey with red stripe) Ringer Lead

  • Screw Terminal 3 - not connected

  • Screw Terminal 7 - RED Ringer Lead

  • Screw Terminal 7 - RED Wire to terminal A

  • Solder Terminal A - Red Wire (see above)

  • Solder Terminal A - SLATE to control switch

  • Solder Terminal B - GREEN Wire (see above)

  • Solder Terminal C - not connected

  • Solder Terminal D - YELLOW Wire (hard to see bit it looks like this

  • connects to the clapper switch

  • Solder Terminal E - BLK Wire to control switch

  • Solder Terminal F - No connection

  • Solder Terminal G - BLUE wire (see above)

If you do rewire it, be sure to note how things are now. No, if yours is totally different, I would not tear it apart without looking into the following first.

The clapper is designed to trigger contacts whenever it is to the right side. The left most contact is pushed by the bell. When the bell is fully right the left contact should be touching both the center and right contact. Looks like left and right make contact slightly before left and center make contact, but its very close.

Adjust this switch, if necessary so that when the such that the contacts are engaged when you hold the clapper against the right bell both are engaged. (Selector switch should be in the Left (Ring) position.

Also, with a piece of clean bond paper, dipped in alcohol, insert this between the contact, close them and move it around to clean the contacts.


We Offer Personalized One-On-One Service!

Call Us Today at (651) 787-DIAL (3425)

The Western Electric Store


Greg Stewart

I don't have the diagram handy, (hopefully someone else will supply the correct terminal numbers for the line wires) - however from what I've seen the permanent magnet in these ringers sometimes looses its strength to the point where the mechanism fails to operate properly. Assuming its wired properly, and the contacts in the internal switch are clean, success can sometimes be had to make these things work by carefully adjusting the bias springs. Another method to add new life to these things was to add an external magnet to the unit strapped to the existing magnet... (use a nylon tye wrap perhaps) - I would think that the poles should match - ie N to N and S to S, but I've never tried it myself.

Remember - never ever disassemble the "magnetic circuit" of a phone ringer though, or it will never ring again - many people have found this out the hard way. That is, don't remove either the magnet, armature, or frame from the assembly, as the magnet will very quickly loose its strength.

Bob Kish

I have repaired a few of these and they are quite delicate. There is a set of contacts that cane be CAREFULLY adjusted. The first thing is to gently clean the contacts either with a contact cleaner or a very fine orange stick. (a.k.a., wooden nail file that can be purchased anywhere.)

When the chime is chiming these contacts rock back and forth making contact to swing the bell stem back and forth. Now if the contacts are ok the bell stem or mechanical part of the bell may have a problem.

If this is the case you can try to adjust the bell which can take some time but can be done to get the unit to chime. If the bell's mechanical parts are damaged in any way it is much easier to replace the bell as the contacts are not a permanent part of the bell assembly.

Usually these chime units are damaged either in storage or while being roughly handled so if all else fails most members might have one for sale but make sure the chime unit works before you get it. Hope this helps. Also try the mechanical adjustments first such as adjusting the bias spring on the bell or the distance of the bell gongs from center as adjusting the contacts can be a little tricky.


Steve Goddard

I have several of these and they can be the most frustrating to get the chime to work. There is a set of points or what looks like a simple switch hook that pulls the clapper to the high gong when ringing begins and drops it back to the low gong when ringing stops. They seem to be sensitive to ringing voltage as well. I got one working fine on the simulator but hen it refused to work on the Tel line. It's a combination of adjusting the points as well as the 3 position bias spring. I wouldn't be able to write instructions to cover it all.

I have spent hours on some of them, one must have the patience of a monk. Perhaps that is one reason they were discontinued.


Contact Us  About Us  Disclaimer  Legal Policy  Privacy Policy

Copyright MCMXCVII - MMXXIII AGB 1847, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bell System Memorial