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I Have been getting into phones for a long time and now I have desided to get into the wonderful world of Key system, and what put me over the edge was my fathers boss who has been in the phone business for over 30 years, and still has customers that still have 501 KSU's running! so what Im wondering is, What is a good price for a 551c either with cards or not. I have a few things im following on ebay, here is a few that I think I can work with,
www.ebay.com/itm/182344158311?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
www.ebay.com/itm/262748791577?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
If you guy's are willing to sell me one for a good price i'm more than happy to buy it.

Last edited by PINKBOY1006; 12/05/16 06:03 PM.
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30 years on a 501 is nothing. Those things last forever. I found one in a building that was abandoned in 1971 and the interrupter was still running. If you really want to learn about 1A2, the 501 by any manufacturer is your best bet. The reason is that you can see and trace all of the factory wiring, whereas with the 551C, all of the wiring is hidden in the back.

Besides, 501s are much more plentiful in the secondary/used market since they were used by all telcos, where the 551C was only used by Bell companies, which limits your access to availability.

You should be able to name your price on this equipment nowadays, but I wouldn't spend more than $75.00 on a 551 of any vintage.


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I'm with Ed. 501s are better - much better, if a little larger. Do NOT get an ITT 601 they had, as I recall an Electronic interruptor that lasted no more then 6 months.

However 501s from, ITT, WECO, S-C, AE, were all good - and practically interchangeable.

$75.00 (plus shipping) is probably top end for a 551, though you might need a ringing generator on top of that.


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Originally Posted by EV607797
You should be able to name your price on this equipment nowadays, but I wouldn't spend more than $75.00 on a 551 of any vintage.

You would think... Has anyone else looked on eBay lately for 1A2 stuff? I can't believe what some of that stuff is going for. It almost seems like all the cheap stuff that people just wanted to get rid of is all gone and now the demand is up a little so people think they can get a mint for this 40+ year old crap.

Don't get me wrong, I love my 1A2 system, even if I'm the only idiot that actually uses it, But there is no way I would pay $70 and up for a six button set. If it was a N.O.S. pink 2565, ok, that might be different. But for an ash or ivory set with a zillion miles on it... come on. Same deal with the line cards. You used to be able to get line cards for a dollar or two apiece and cheap shipping. Now the idiots are asking 15-25 bucks for an old 400 card. Give me a break. Most of them are below issue 15, so they won't even work for most people. There's a way to modify them so they will, but I have to get permission to share that secret.

I noticed my key system stopped ringing up on my copper POTS line the other day. Times they are-a-changing. Fairpoint was still using grounded ringing and the pre-issue 15 cards worked just fine. Not anymore. Once I stuck a 15 in there it would ring up just fine. Checked all my grounds and they all seem to be solid. Figured this might be relevant to anyone getting into this.

I have a couple 620 panels I'll never use, but the shipping on them with the power supply would be obnoxious. The power supply has the interrupter so you need it to make them work. I also have a couple of the intercom panels that go with the 620 panels, I don't remember the numbers, but they have all the cards and they work. They even have the touch tone decoders and they are still tuned right. If someone wanted them, they can have them, but I'm not going to the trouble to ship them. It would cost more than they're worth to ship them, and I don't have the time to box them up and take them to the post office.

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My fathers business have no use for 501 parts, I've already found a power supply and all of the manuals for one but can not seem to find a ksu in storage. So I might have to look else where, so what would be a good place to start looking for a 501 ksu?

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The stuff is around, you just have to have some patience. Most of my stuff came from eBay. I'm a... frugal... person when it comes to 1A2, so I'm always looking for the cheapest price on this stuff. Sometimes I have to spend some time putting it back together when it shows up, but that's part of the fun for me. I got my ITT 501 from a guy on eBay who was selling some other 1A2 parts but didn't have the KSU listed. I sent him a message through eBay's messaging thing and asked if he had a KSU or if he was just selling off some old parts he had. His response was he thought nobody would ever want that crusty old thing so he didn't bother listing it. He boxed it up, along with all the 25 pair cable he could rip out of his house, and a slew of other parts and sold it to me for the price of shipping. It needed some very minor rewiring, but was otherwise ready to go. The nice thing about the 501 -and I would think they all were like this- the power supply has the ringing generator built in. The 551 series of Western Electric KSU's are awesome little packages but they didn't come from the factory with a ringing generator. You can't use the common audible ringers without the gen. The generators are getting to be a real pain in the arse to find, and you can just about forget ever finding the bracket that mounts it. Most people just strapped the generator to the interrupter with a big zip-tie and called it a day. Even when they were still being made those brackets were tough to find.

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Originally Posted by ChrisRR
The stuff is around, you just have to have some patience. Most of my stuff came from eBay. I'm a... frugal... person when it comes to 1A2, so I'm always looking for the cheapest price on this stuff.


Trust me I have patience and I am most certainly frugal. I collect apple ii computer stuff and I have been known to sit with a search for months at a time just to find a certain part or a good price, I just wanted to know if anyone had one to sell or give for a good price. I am about to set a search for "501 KSU".

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A man after my own heart.

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PinkBoy: Call me 631-749-0100. 6 pm to 10 pm, Eastern. I have a few 501's for sale.


Arthur P. Bloom
"30 years of faithful service...15 years on hold"

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Arthur to the rescue! Didn't you have a 501 in Lancaster that you couldn't GIVE away? I believe it had a very special tag on the cord that was probably worth more than the KSU.

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