The Fernsprechtischapparat 611

A project log for An old rotary phone as Bluetooth set

When did the charm of holding a bulky receiver to your ear end? What if we could bring the feel of the old times to our smartphones?

Xabi ZXabi Z 04/25/2019 at 18:480 Comments

German is such a language that allows the creation of long yet overly specific words such as the one designating the main protagonist of this project. The Fernsprechtischapparat  (tabletop-telephone-machine) Model 611, appropriately abridged as FeTAp 611, was the common-issue telephone from the Bundespost (German Postal Service) starting in 1968. It allowed the real broad expansion of the German telephony network. In 1963 only 19% of German households had access to the phone network, while in 1988 already 88% of private-houses had a telephone-line.

The device that I acquired is the Model 611-2a. The digits 61 let us know that it was the rotary-dial model (as opposed to the 71 and 79 which for instance already had a numeric dial-pad). The last digit 1 informs that it is a standard model (meaning it does not include any fancy features such as return-call functionality or a fare counter). The final 2a presumably shows that it is a later model.

On the same plate, the number 04/80 is engraved inside a black box pointing out to the date of issue of the terminal (April of 1980).