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Western Electric

10-button Dial Upgrade

©2002-14 paulf.  All rights reserved.
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Could a 10-button touchtone dial on a Western Electric phone be upgraded to 12-buttons?
No, and yes.

Early dials were designed to be 10-button, period ("non-convertible").
Once Western Electric decided that 12 buttons was the way of the future, in around 1968,  the 10-button dials were redesigned to be convertible, like the 25W3 shown below.  They had holes where the "*" and "#" keys would be, and were shipped with tape covering the holes. 

A kit of parts was available, which could be installed during a set refurb and conversion.
(Anyone have one available or photos to add below?)
"Material and parts required to convert convertible 10-button TOUCH-TONE dials to 12-button dials."

  D-180115 - for 25-type dials (with gray buttons)
  D-180116 - for 25-type illuminated dials (with translucent buttons)
After adoption of the 12-button standard, the 35-series dials became standard and
all dials were shipped with "*" and "#" keys.
WE 1500 with 10-button dial Western Electric 1500D with 25W3 dial.

Delivered with 10 buttons, field upgradable to 12.  Requires addition of "*" and "#" keys and replacement of the faceplate.  This makes the phone a 2500D.

WE 25 Dial
Detail of 10-button 25W3 dial.

Tape on the "*" key hole is removed to show the shape of the hole. 

A 10-button filler panel, as on the phone above, covers the taped holes. 

Click on the image to get an enlarged view.

WE 25 dial with filler
Detail of 10-button 25W3 dial adapted for a 12-button faceplate.

If the same dial (or any 10-button dial) were to be installed on a phone with a 12-button faceplate, a small plastic cover was used to fill in the unused 2 holes. This was done when 1500-series phones were refurbished after 35-series dials were standard and 10-button faceplates were no longer stocked.

These fillers have to be scarcer than 1500 sets!

WE 1500D2M - 12-button faceplate
WE 1500D2M

Refurbished and converted to modular, with 12-button faceplate.  Typically marked on the bottom with 1500D2M and a date on a paper sticker.
WE 25 dial - converted
Detail of 10-button 25W3 dial with bottom row converted for 12-button use.

This dial obviously had the buttons installed after the dial had been in service for some time, as the ten numeric keys are faded.
WE 2500DM
WE 2500 DM (showing the 12-button faceplate)

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©2002-14 paulf.  All rights reserved.