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Joined: Apr 2018
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Hi,

I was wondering was there a difference in BSP Key Systems Service Manuals that was printed in different years or was it small changes year to year that really does not make any difference? For an example I seen some from 1975 or 1978 or 1980. If so, do you guys recommend a certain year?

Eventually I would like to get the hard copy of the books so I can have them handy for my work bench.


Thanks

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Your best bet is to check out TCI Library as each BPS is specific make/model/revision.

If you are referencing a BPS from the first revision and you are working on a later revision of a device...there are changes that "may" drive you in circles.


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Thanks Professor Shadow.

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For the different BSP revision dates, there are sometimes differences in the images, text, both, depending on the device.
Each section has its own issue#/date at the top right below the 9 digit section number. Sorting by these, you can tell which is the newest revision. Newest is /probably/ always "better", though it's hard to say.

In large BSP collections like the Volume I or Volume II BSPs, you'll often find that although the scanned document has a date like "1980", you'll find these revision dates jump all over the place, since I imagine some sections didn't need updating, so their dates remain "old". For instance in the "Volume 2" BSP I have dated 1980, although the compilation is dated 1980, the section 518-215-407 for the 550 & 551 series of KSUs is Issue 1/July 1976.

I believe the technique was the field techs would get a complete manual, then get semi-regular updates from Bell Labs for specific sections, and you'd have to keep track of the updates. That is, I *think* that's how things worked? I defer to the techs here on how BSP updates were made and handled.

As someone who generates documentation for evolving hardware myself, I totally understand the Bell System's need for version control of documentation, as sometimes errors are found, or devices are updated with new features that need to be mentioned. Their system of using 9 digit codes for each document, followed by monotonic issue numbers and dates (month/year) were really helpful in keeping organized track of things.

I suggest if you're studying a particular device, compare oldest vs. newest BSP docs for it, and carefully compare looking for relevant differences for the device you have. Often a section's revisions are listed in the first paragraphs on page #1 of that section, indicating what changed in that issue. Issue numbers and date stamps appear on the top right of the first page in each section.

I imagine Bell Labs sent out updates to the field techs whenever docs were changed. Perhaps this was on a subscription basis, so you only received docs for the hardware you needed to manage, e.g. field equipment as opposed to plant equipment? Again, I'm not sure, just guessing. So I think as a person in the field, it was your job to sort the updates into your copy of the BSP binders. I imagine it would be prudent to move older docs to an "OLD BSP" binder, so that you didn't actually throw away the old docs (in case they had relevant info/personal notes on them), but also didn't accidentally read the older docs while in the field.

Kinda curious myself about how the field techs handled BSP updates; did they come mailed to you at work, and you updated the manuals yourself, and keep them in the service trucks so they were always available in the field? Or did you order docs for particular equipment you specialized in, or maybe a bit of both?

Last edited by Greg Ercolano; 01/14/21 09:46 PM. Reason: top left -> top right for issue/date info
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I never worked for the Bell System, so I can't talk about BSPs.

I did work for GTE and their GTEPs were updated as needed. Every once in a while one of the "Big Books" ( a manual the size of an old Manhattan White Pages and printed on onionskin) would be updated. The Big Books covered things like "Cable Placing" or "CO Installation" or "Key Systems". Otherwise individual docs covering a particular system or task (printed on regular paper, prepunched for a 3 hole binder) were sent out when updated. You could make yourself a book of just the stuff you needed. Copies were always available for the asking.

Sam

Last edited by Silversam; 01/15/21 11:55 AM.

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Yep. Mine was 7033. Several green binders and you pulled the old pages out and replaced the new ones in, or just put the new ones in. I have my COEI book and Station Equipment book and some of the carrier pages. This was all abandoned in about 1976 when they closed the "trib" offices and pulled all switchworkers into the main C.O. I just got "rif'ed" to COEI. A much better place.


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