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Federal FTR804A

The following is taken from Australian Post Office Telephone Engineering Instruction,
Substation E2002, issue 1, Dated April 1948.
Additional comments have been added by the Editor.

Manufactured by Federal Telephone and Radio Corp, U.S.A.


A limited quantity of the abovementioned instruments has been purchased by this Department to provide relief in magneto areas during a period of acute shortage of telephones. Magneto sets were in particularly short supply in the immediate post war years and many old sets were refurbished as well as new sets purchased to provide some short term relief.


The complete instrument, which is housed in a die-cast metal case, finished in a matt black crinkle paint, is illustrated in fig. 1. A notable feature of the design is that the cradle assembly and the electrical springset are attached to the case. The telephone FTR-804A will be issued with a 5 conductor line cord and a terminal block. The design of the telephone provides for conversion from a table instrument to a wall instrument by reversing the cradle assembly on the case. It is not intended to make use of this facility and the telephones are to be issued and used for service as table instruments only.


A circuit diagram is supplied by the manufacturer and pasted inside the case. A diagram using the Department's standard symbols and method of presentation is shown in fig. 2. Arrangements are being made for a suitable diagram to be made available for replacement purposes.


Connections to line and battery are made via the terminal block supplied with the instrument.

Standard battery equipment using two 1.5 volt dry cells should be employed.


The built-in hand generator is capable of delivering 85 mA into a non-inductive load of 200 ohms at 200 RPM crank speed (1000 RPM armature speed).

The magneto bell coils have a total D.C. resistance of 2000 ohms, each winding consisting of 11,050 turns. The minimum operating current is 20 mA. A biassing spring is provided on the bell movement but no use of this facility is intended. The biassing spring should be placed in the left-hand notch (looking at the bell movement from the armature end) in which position "no-bias" condition should be obtained. To check the adjustment move armature against either pole piece where it should remain firmly in position in both cases. The clearance between residuals and pole piece should be between 20 and 30 mils (amount of arnature travel during ringing). The armature end play between bearings shall not be less than 2 mils and not more than 30 mils. The adjustment of the gongs, which are made of steel rather than brass, is effected in the same manner as for standard bell type 59U.

No condenser is provided in series with the bell coils but adequate mounting space is available on the base plate to enable a condenser to be fitted if necessary. The connections to the terminal strip are arranged so that a condenser can be included in the circuit without disturbing the main wiring form. However, initially, in order that the instruments shall be placed into service with a minimum of delay, it is essential that their use should be restricted to areas where circuit arrangements are not affected by the permanent D.C. loop on the line. When the supply position eases provision of a condenser in series with the bell may be made as the opportunity offers. In this connection, condenser No. 27, 1.7 uF + 0.4 uF, serial 25, item 32B, should be used. The 1.7 uF unit is to be placed in series with the bell coils and the 0.4 uF unit in the anti-sidetone circuit as indicated in dotted lines in fig. 2. The connection of the 0.4 uF condenser should be restricted to services with extreme line capacity but under normal line conditions, this condenser should not be connected in the circuit.

The induction coil has a closed core with butt joints and is equipped with three inductive windings as follows: Winding 1 = 2 ohms, Winding 2 = 18 ohms, Winding 3 = 200 ohms. The anti-sidetone circuit of the instrument makes use of a non-inductive resistance on which various tappings are provided. The telephones as delivered by the manufacturer have the wiring connected to Tap 3 which corresponds to a range of line loop resistances from 300 to 750 ohms. Should the line loop resistance be outside this range the tapping has to be changed as per table.

Tap No.

Range of Line Loop Resistance (ohms)

Resistance Used


50 - 200



200 - 300



300 - 750



750 - 1200



1200 - 1800



1800 - 2100


It is essential that the lowest resistance tapping that provides satisfactory sidetone suppression should be used in order to maintain maximum receiving efficiency of the instrument. The moulded plastic handset is fitted with capsule type transmitter and receiver inserts.


In view of the relatively high impedance of the bell, the use of the telephone type FTR-804A on party lines should be avoided where possible, unless all parties on the same line are equipped with instruments having bells with similar characteristics.


It is not proposed to provide special replacement parts for the FTR-804A type telephone and the following arrangements should be made where replacements are necessary.

Standard equipment is to be used where practicable. For instance, standard 4-conductor line cords and 3-conductor handset cords can be fitted. When a 4-conductor line cord is used the earth connection to terminal "G" is omitted. If a transmitter or receiver capsule is defective the complete handset is to be changed for a standard handset No. 184 and the FTR handset should be forwarded to the repair centre and held in a pool for use on other telephones of the same type. This explains why so many FTR's are found with 300 type handsets fitted. In cases where replacements cannot be made readily in the field, the defective telephone should be forwarded to the repair centre to be reconditioned. If repairs should prove impracticable the instruments should be held in reserve for supply of serviceable component parts to other instruments of the same type.

From ATCS Newsletter, July, 1992.

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