Replacement for the Telephone No. 80.

Engineers were demanding a dial on their test phones as automation was steadily covering the country.  To this end the No. 280 was introduced.

With a rubber covered metal body and smaller than usual dial this test phone was in universal use throughout BT until the mid 1980's when electronic test telephones entered the market due to the requirement for DTMF dialling.  The Telephone No. 280 was robust and could be easily repaired.

The dial came with numbers only or with letters painted onto the dial finger plate.

Trailed circa 1954, the phone was then introduced in 1956.  Originally the switch hook button was non locking, but in 1959 this was changed to a locking type.

There was a Mark 1 and Mark 2 versions.

The picture to the right shows a typical used Telephone No. 280, with tape around the body and a collection of different plugs on the cord.

See also Plessey Model No. 202328

Telephone Included:-
1 x Dial, Automatic No. 17LA.
1 x Capacitor No. 8005.
1 x Press Button W.
1 x Receiver, Inset No. 4T.
1 x Transmitter, Inset No. 13.
1 x Resistor, Carbon No. 1, 120 ohms.
1 x Resistor, Carbon No. 2, 82 ohms.
1 x Cord, Instrument No. 2/95F Black 48 inch.

Circuit diagram - N380.

A 1010
Issue 1, 1/5/59


1. Scope of Instruction
This Instruction describes the Telephone No. 280 which is an exchange maintenance telephone incorporating a dial. TOOLS & TRANSPORT, Hand Tools, A 0040 gives the basis of provision of exchange maintenance telephones and A 3102 in this sub-division details the procedure to be adopted during exchange transfers.

2. General
The Telephone No. 280 is a telephone designed for the use of exchange maintenance staff when a dial is desirable.  The telephone is made of rubber to obtain the necessary robustness and uses a small lightweight dial to reduce the overall size and weight.  A press button is provided in the telephone for completing the calling loop and in the un-operated position it leaves a monitoring circuit connected.

3. Circuit
The circuit of the Telephone No. 280 is shown in Dgm. N 380. It is similar to that of the Telephone No. 80, Mark 5, but component values differ due to the substitution of a Receiver-inset No. 4T for the Receiver-inset No. 1L or No. 2P, and the circuit is further modified to include the off normal and pulsing springs of a dial.

4. Case
The case is moulded in black natural rubber and consists of three parts: the body, earpiece and mouthpiece (see above).  Both the earpiece and mouthpiece are “force-fits” in the moulded body.  Other features moulded with the body are:-
(a) A lug on the receiver end of the body for hanging up the telephone
(b) A hole for the press button in the side of the body
(c) A lead-out grommet for the cord in the transmitter end of the body
(d) Four inserts moulded into the transmitter end of the body for cord terminations and strapping
(e) An identification code is moulded on the body beside the press button.

The earpiece and mouthpiece can be levered from the body in a similar manner to the removal of a cycle tyre from its rim.  Care should be taken, when replacing, to ensure that the key on both mouthpiece and earpiece engages with the keyway on the body.

5. Frame
A tubular aluminium frame is inserted in the hollow handle of the telephone to act as a stiffener and as a mounting chassis for the capacitor, induction coil and press button.  A clip is riveted inside the frame to secure the capacitor, and a plate and block are fitted to the receiver end to screw the dial mounting to the frame.

6. Transmitter and receiver
A Transmitter inset No. 13 is fitted into the rubber mouthpiece and held in position by a metal ring and two rubber lugs.  Connexion is made by means of two wander leads, one connected via an 82-ohm resistor to a tag on the metal ring and the other terminated on a sprung pin (Tag. Part 1/DTA/153) which is inserted in the connecting hole in the back of the transmitter.

A Receiver-inset No. 4T is fitted and secured in the rubber earpiece by means of a metal ring and two rubber lugs.  Connexion is made to the receiver by two wander leads terminated with ring tags secured under the receiver terminal slotted nuts (Part 1/DNU/87).

To release either the transmitter or receiver from the mouthpiece or earpiece, the two rubber lugs should be eased outward from the metal securing ring and the inset then pushed out by pressure on the outer face of the mouthpiece or earpiece.  When replacing the transmitter in the mouthpiece, care should be taken to ensure that the cut-away portion of the securing ring is under the lug on the shallow side of the mouthpiece.

7. Induction coil
The Coil, Induction, No. 29 is mounted inside the frame on a cut-out lug.  It is a non-anti-sidetone induction coil consisting of two windings of 36 and 135 ohms.

8. Dial and dial mounting
The Dial, Automatic, No. 17LA fitted in the Telephone No. 280 is a development of the Dial Automatic, No. 12 described in B 1003, differing only in a modified number plate, case, finger plate and stop.  It is mounted and secured by three screws to a cast aluminium alloy ring which is a force fit in the rubber case.

To remove the dial, first remove the rubber earpiece and receiver.  Next release the dial cord terminal screws and remove the dial cover to expose the rear of the dial.  The dial can then be removed from the telephone by releasing the three screws which pass through lugs in the cast ring into tapped holes in the dial case.

9. Press button assembly
The press button is mounted in the side of the handle in a convenient position for thumb or index finger operation. The latest supplies of the telephone are fitted with a modified button assembly which includes contact “follow-through” and locking devices.  This type of press button is available as a Rate Book item and is coded Part 1 /DBU/ 14. Early pattern Telephones No. 280 without the locking type of press button may be modified locally by ordering Part 1 /DBU/ 14 and fitting it in place of the existing part.

To release the button assembly from the body it is only necessary to unscrew the hexagonal bush through which the button protrudes and the button assembly can be withdrawn from the case intact.

10. Cord and plug
The cord fitted to the telephone is a Cord, Instrument, No. 2/95F, Black, 48 in.  The plug for terminating the cords should be requisitioned separately according to local requirements, the types of plug available being detailed in H 5101.

11. Replacement parts
The following parts are available if replacements are required:-
Dial, Automatic, No. 17LA
Transmitter-inset, No. 13
Receiver-inset, No. 4T
Tag. Part l/DTA/153
Button, Press, Locking, Part l/DBU/14 (Part of Press Button W)
Nut, Hexagonal Slotted. Part l/DNU/87

Telephone No. 280
dismantling procedure

  1. Receiver and transmitter - these are both removed by prize out carefully from rubber shroud.
  2. Remove connections.
  3. The dial must now be removed
  4. Remove centre screw and finger plate, this gives access to small screw into the handle framework.
  5. Remove this screw.
  6. Once there is access to the rear of dial unit - remove all 4 connections to dial tags.
  7. Now remove the 3 screws retaining the rear cover to dial and remove cover.
  8. Remove 2 further screws connecting dial housing to handle framework.
  9. Push out entire dial housing through the front aperture.
  10. To remove handle internals - firstly remove switch button.
  11. This is easily done by unscrewing with a suitable box spanner - a 13mm box spanner can be made to fit.  Be careful not to turn the whole switch.
  12. Service can now be carried out to the switch contacts (this switch can be a source of trouble).
  13. Beware of losing the spring and the silver disk can become detached.
  14. The handle assembly can now be withdrawn into the dial space and out of the handle, but will probably be a tight fit after many years.
  15. Unclip the capacitor from the top end and withdraw.
  16. Remove the screw retaining the induction coil.
  17. It is now possible to withdraw the inards sufficiently, from the dial end, to access the induction coil, but to remove completely you will probably have to disconnect the capacitor.

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Last revised: November 20, 2021