The KTAS D08 is one of the true classics. Introduced over a hundred years ago, this phone was produced in quantity for many decades after and even today, modern facsimiles of this iconic design can be found.
Made by KTAS or Kjobenhavns Telefon Aktieselska (hope I got that right) in Denmark, the design is remarkably robust and well made (and heavy). Believe it or not with a little work and some love, it can be made to function in the modern world.
That is assuming your land line network supports pulse dialing, and most of the major players do.
In our area the Telus supports it and I am told Shaw does as well. If your land line network is tone only, the phone can still accept calls, but will not dial out. For outgoing calks in these cases, a pulse to digital converter can be sourced. These phones do not seem to work on VOIP type networks.
How long will pulse dialling be supported? It’s hard to say, since no one has given me a straight answer. As as mater of fact, some representatives at these phone companies I talked to seem to have no idea what pulse dialling is. So the best we can do is keep our fingers crossed. Even if it ends, it’s a moot point since there are those solutions mentioned earlier. They just cost more.
The phone pictured here arrived complete and what looked to be in good condition, save for some corrosion. I guess it sat outside for an extended period. On closer inspection however it was clear some parts would require replacing. That’s where the donor phone comes in. With out one it makes a repair a real challenge – replacement parts for these have not been made for a long time. In this case, some dial and handset internals had to be swapped, along with some cosmetic bits. And if course when this was done it had to be rewired, thoroughly cleaned and lubed, and adjusted.
The phone here was made in 1930-something. I could not read the last digit. Other KTAS D08 phones I have fixed were as old as 1912 to as new as the 1940s. In that span, very little changed internally, it was that solid a design. If there is a common trouble spot on this line it’s the dial mechanism. It’s the most delicate part of the phone.
One thing I noticed about this design is the clarity of a handset. When they work, the sound is incredible, clear and crisp with no distortion. And the bell, it could wake the dead (this bell draws a lot of current and may not ring at full power on all networks). It’s always nice if the original woven line and handset cords can be reused, and in this case they were salvageable. This particular phone has a call counter – some I have worked on have them and some not. A little window on the case allows these to be viewed. Given their age, these phones typically have a heavy patina and I find this is desirable to keep. It adds to the character.
I always enjoy working on any old phone, but this design is a special treat and I thought it would be nice to share.
If you have an old rotary or push button phone, or other vintage electronic device you’d like fixed or rebuilt, click here to reach Chris.
To see some other phones repaired or rebuilt, follow these links…
ITT Northern Telecom wall phone rebuilt.
Automatic Electric 80 and Northern Telecome WE500 phones rebuilt.
Date: September 2012
Location: Calgary Alberta.