Dismantling the handset can be tricky, depending on what model you have. It will probably be a 300 series with the cup over the transmitter. Look for a small hole around the edge of the cap. You can poke a small nail or strong bent paperclip in this hole and depress the catch that holds it all together. Then just twist the cap off the bayonet fitting on the handset in an anticlockwise direction. The receiver cap usually just unscrews. Keep the original wiring if you can, but later capsule units had a metal frame that the tx capsule sat on and earthed through. A centre pin provided the other line of the circuit. The rx capsule was usually set up through 2 metal springs. You might have to make up some short wire adapters to fit these.
The ringer worked from around 40 volts up to 400 (some enterprising techs fitted them up with coils to boost the voltage over bad lines) . The batteries were indeed for voice DC . The early carbon granule transmitters could start to burn out at higher voltages. The simplest way would be to measure the generator output that works the bells on your phone on an AC voltmeter, and stick to around 3 - 5 volts DC for voice. It sounds like the rest of the hardware should be fairly easy to configure to match these settings.
Bob has mentioned what I'm doing to his friends and I've sent him the RSS feed for this blog. If any of you guys are reading this, HELLO, and WELCOME to my blog.
By blogging about my work on this phone, I hope to provide useful information to anyone else who wants to do this.
Other related posts:
Old phone ringer working
Old phone plan
Old phone has arrived
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