Does anyone know what this device is?

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Old 12-08-12, 05:37 PM
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Does anyone know what this device is?

This device is in a friends home. I don't know what it is and wanted to know if anyone had any ideas. It is mounted near the ceiling on the top of the stairs near the 2nd floor.
 
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Old 12-08-12, 06:04 PM
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If that is in a public place, I would bet that there are more of those in other stairwells and they just annunciate sensor conditions on some system [maybe HVAC, burg, intercom or something similar] probably not fire. Any buttons? Lights? Reachable?

If it is inside the home more info would be needed [maybe it is leftover from a previous system].

Does it ever show any change? Any other similar parts elsewhere?
 

Last edited by tpring; 12-08-12 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 12-08-12, 06:11 PM
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Hey thanks. It is indoors in a single family home. There are also small (2*4 inch) metal objects on various levels in the house. I assume they are related. Will try to get a picture of them when I am next over there. He's lived there for about 2 years and I just thought he should at least know what is in his house.
 
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Old 12-08-12, 06:40 PM
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The symbol on the left looks like the old trademark of Dictograph alarms.
Definitely very old. Company has been gone for years.

I would say that was a remote burglar or fire alarm annunciator plate.
 
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Old 12-08-12, 07:30 PM
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Old 12-22-12, 02:16 PM
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servant call button?

is this a big old house with a rear staircase besides the front stairs?

i used to live in a house where there were servant call buttons, and at the servants quarters, a bell and light would indicate what floor they were needed.

(but, of course, there weren't any servants when i moved in)
 
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Old 12-23-12, 04:37 PM
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Dictograph for sure, must be an intercom.
 
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Old 12-30-12, 12:20 AM
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I strongly urge you to remove that link to the business. Advertising is strictly prohibited.
 
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Old 06-10-13, 03:46 AM
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We have one in our house too. It never worked because we never purchased/installed the required batteries. I thought I had an external photo of our unit but I don't.


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Image 1: Wiring diagram #1 inside of cover.
Name:  Dictograph Info 1.jpg
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Image 2: Wiring Diagram #2 inside of cover.
Name:  Dictograph Info 2.jpg
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Image 3: Internal backside view with data and model.
Name:  Dictograph Inside 1.jpg
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Image 4: Smoke Sensor
Name:  Dictograph Sensor.jpg
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Old 06-13-13, 09:31 PM
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From the picture it must be dictograph fire alarm or intercom. As you said it is old it may be used as a sensoring medium for communication.
 
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Old 03-21-14, 09:16 AM
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Fire Detective Locator Alarm Code

Hi there,
We have the same exact thing in our home with the little boxes all over the place. We had our handyman remove it and on the back, our box says:
Dictograph Prod., Inc. Danbury. Conn
Fire Detective Locator Alarm Code Model AL-5B

It is also imprinted with the date, Feb 28, 1963.
 
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Old 03-21-14, 09:28 AM
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I believe those were heat detectors. The early style smoke detectors were massive things.
 
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Old 03-22-14, 01:13 PM
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It definitely is Guardian Dictograph. The 2"x 4" devices are heat detectors. Although I don't remember ever seeing the other device I can imagine that it is a fire zone locator. Look around the house for a red box about 1foot by 18 inches by about 4 inches deep. There is usually a main control panel that these devices were wired to although it may have been removed. If you can't find the main box, look for some cloth covered wire. These are really old systems mostly installed in the 50's through the early 70's The company was located in Floram park NJ

Dictograph is long gone out of business. Or actually, I think they were bought by another company. So ...... to the person who's concerned about advertising in this forum, I wonder what the penalty is for advertising a company that's been out of business for over 20 years.
 
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