Talk:1A2 Key Telephone System

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Welcome to the superintendent keyman[edit]

Before we get too far into a conversation about key systems, someone is going to ask "Who are you? And what do you really know about key systems?"

I was a telephone systems superintendent in the USAF. I started as a telephone technician in 1966 and retired in 1992. I personally engineered and installed WECo key systems from 1967 until 1983. In '83 I became so senior in the organization that my boss wouldn't let me work on equipment any longer--he needed me shuffling paperwork. During my technician days, I installed easily over 200 key systems. Most with about 20-100 users. The largest had 1204 key phones on it. I installed and relocated 1A, 1A1, 1A2, and 6A systems. I maintained these as well as WECo 102 and 302 systems. I installed and maintained 501, 502, 564, 2564, 565, 2565, 630, 631, 830, and 831 model phones and call directors and a small number of Call Commanders, the 100 button phones. I hold the USAF equivalent of two patents related to telephone subscriber equipment.

I stumbled upon the wiki pages on key equipment today and realized how little accurate information is available about these systems. I will attempt to reorganize the listings and get accurate info on each. Sadly, it appears there are few accurate Internet web pages covering this subject, and I may have to refer to Bell Systems Technical Data which is out of print. I will try to attach pdf files for those references.

Should anyone have questions about my information, I will be happy to answer them. I can be reached at



mc (talk) 22:03, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Hah! I just finished addressing some of these questions and others in your Talk Page. That's why we should always write under our user name and not anonymously, so other editors can quickly find everything we've done lately. You should also put much of the above material into your User Page so people will see it who are interested in anything else you're up to. There's lots of little things to learn, but we're all friends and we value people who know more than we do about some particular interesting topic.
Far as I know, we don't have a good way to handle PDF files that are not on the Web. Maybe other editors know better. Incidentally, having discovered a font of information about all 1A varieties, not just 1A2, I propose that we rename this article as 1A Key System or 1A key system Jim.henderson (talk) 01:12, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Separate articles[edit]

How about separate articles for all the various key systems? That wouldn't be too hard. Articles can be as short as the subject warrants... they don't have to be huge to be worth keeping. I propose 1A key system and 1A1 key system at the very least, and 6A key system if mc wants to write it. This particular page should have lower case "k" and "s" letters, in my opinion. It could be moved easily to 1A2 key system, if folks here agree. I expect you've all seen the Key telephone system page, where various systems are briefly described.
PDFs can be mounted on a different website and cited here. Google can host your documents at but PDFs must be saved as HTML, which sucks. To be honest, you don't have to have the original document available to the general public in order to use it as a reference. Just refer to it as a WECo internal technical document with date, author (if known), title, etc. The rest of us would benefit greatly from having the PDF visible but it's not actually necessary.
My credentials: Got hired by ATT-IS some six months before Judge Brown had a say in how ATT conducted business. Put in some 1A2 gear; pulled out some 1A2 gear. Mostly pulled cable through conduit... Heh heh. Ran some 4-pair lines for an early electronic system. After Judge Brown, I worked for three different small local phone companies installing KTUs and stations, including a few 1A2 units and a lot of cheap electronic systems that had dodgy intermittent logic problems you could never track down. Served as house phone tech for a stock brokerage with a busy trading floor. Every little thing that went wrong with 1A2 was relatively easy to find and fix. After four years of business phone systems, I jumped over to live sound as a career. Still got my buttset, though, just in case... ;^) Binksternet (talk) 02:57, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

All right; I just found out that Wikimedia Commons accepts PDF files, so that won't be a problem. Just create an account there as you did here in Wikipedia, upload the PDF there and then link to it from here. If you tell me the Commons filename I already know how to link it, having used the same process for photographs. Anyway it isn't difficult, so PDFs are not a problem if you've got good relevant ones. Me, I hate that format, but if that's what you've got, that's what we use.

That leaves the question, now many articles of what size? No, there isn't any lower limit to WP:STUB length, but what's bad about creating a cluster of tiny articles is that they make a topic difficult to understand and write, forcing the reader to jump from article to article and forcing the author to repeat background information for those readers who aren't jumping around. Now, once you've added enough good material for half a dozen real articles, that's not a problem. "Enough" generally means a few sections, each with a few paragraphs of a few sentences of a couple dozen well chosen words. Right now we don't have that, even in the current article, so we're pretty far from the point that splitting it would improve it. So, seems to me it might be better first to widen the scope of the current article with a section about each type. When the sections become big enough, they can be hived off into separate articles according to WP:SUMMARY style.

But, all that is based on my not knowing what material you've got. If you are ready to make not just a stub at first about each type, but a full article right away about each, then go right ahead. As for my qualifications, none on this topic. As my personal page implies, I'm an old crossbar guy who never cut down the wires in an Amphenol connector. However, I've edited a bunch of articles and have gone through many of the possible difficulties in article creation. Jim.henderson (talk) 05:17, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Finally back![edit]

Had a delay in getting copies of the Bell Practices--I now have them! I concur with your approach to create a series of smaller web pages. I would suggest a master page titled "key systems" which would provide a generaic discussion on the technology from 1A on up. It would also permit folks with expertise on Automatic electric systems to add 10A1 and those AE systems which I have no experience with. And it would allow transition into the newer electronic key systems which are in use today. It also allows us to separate out key telephone instruments which can be a subject of their own.

Over this weekend I will draft a proposed hierarchy for the subject of telephony and post it here.

BTW, can you point me to guidance and how to edit, so that I can do it the proper way as opposed to my current modus operandi of doing it how I think it is done? CMSgt Carl (talk) 12:18, 26 April 2008 (UTC)Mike Carl

WP:HELP can provide some elementary help but it's a lot to read without being complete, and it's not entirely necessary as long as someone knows the topic and someone knows Wikiwork. The one with the topical knowledge enters enters a draft, and the one who knows editing cleans it up to conform with WP:MOS and other customs of presentation. If you look at the article Key you'll get some idea what's wrong with an article called "Key systems", namely it's ambiguous and plural. Ambiguous means it has to take care of people who are looking for systems of musical keys, cryptographic keys, Dvorak keyboard and other typing keys, hotel systems of skeleton keys, the methods by which a pipe organ controls more pipes than it has keys, and other unrelated keys.
What we've already got is an article called Key telephone system and that's the one to which a section on generic technology ought to be added, and links of course to and from any new articles. Don't worry terribly much about editing it precisely in accordance with Wiki ways. As long as you're editing either an existing article or a new WP:STUB that has internal WP:LINKs in both directions and useful WP:CATEGORYs, editors with more experience (but generally less topical knowledge) will find them and fix them up. Often I run across a WP:ORPHAN and uncategorized article, due to an inexperienced editor failing to understand the Stub process. The majority of those, I kill with the WP:REDIRECT method, but some I ignore and others I link, cat, and expand beyond Stub status.
Hierarchical outlines can be drawn before, after, or during the entry of the information. Usually, all three but "before" is fairly uncommon and such outlines seldom survive well. The usual thing is to write a paragraph, save it, write and save another, decide the first belongs elsewhere, move it, write some more, link it, write some more, split overgrown paragraphs into sections, split overgrown sections into new articles, link them again, and keep going like that over a period of days, weeks or months. It's not like writing a book once and then publishing it. Wikipedia is forever a work in progress, and individual articles generally stop growing and splitting when they exhaust the interest of the editors rather than when all can be written has been.
Incidentally we've got almost nothing about BSP. It is now a sentence in Bell Labs, and could be grown to a paragraph, then a section, and eventually to an article of its own. Jim.henderson (talk) 03:59, 27 April 2008 (UTC)


Every item in the Deployment section is marked "citation needed" or "original research?". As a longtime radio station engineer and key system installer I know for a fact each thing said is true, but I have no idea where to find acceptable citations. This has to be a common problem with material that is learned only by specialized experience. Radio Sharon (talk) 20:49, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, it looks like the tagging is somewhat over-the-top. Facts that would be familiar to every person who is a topic expert do not usually need a fact tag. I will look and see which ones I can remove. Binksternet (talk) 22:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
The fact that something is just true, is not generally a criterion for inclusion in WP. It needs to be verifiable, acc. to WP:V. Kbrose (talk) 22:37, 24 March 2014 (UTC)