Royal Navy Auxiliary Interphone Panel

Regular readers will have probably gathered that I am something of a magpie collector, picking up odd bits that take my fancy even if they do not correspond with much else in my collection! Tonight’s object is just such an example, it doesn’t really have any purpose in my collection beyond the fact that I thought it was rather interesting and it has some fun switches to flick! This then is a Royal Navy auxiliary interphone panel:imageThis was part of a larger telephone console and was used aboard ship to select different internal telephone lines for communication purposes. The front of the panel is painted warship grey and has five three-position switches:imageIn the central position the telephone lines are dead, but by flicking them either up or down different telephone circuits would be activated, a bulb lighting up to indicate they were open lines. A removable black plastic panel is fitted with lettering on it to show where each line was connected to, for example the Operations Room or for when Replenishing at Sea (RAS):imageThe back of the interphone is covered in thousands of different coloured wires:imageThis component has a data label stuck to one side which indicates it was manufactured in 1988:imageWhilst a number of ships were under construction in the late 1980s, it is impossible to say for sure what vessel this panel might have come from as these were designed as an interchangeable module that could be swapped out and replaced with an equivalent as they became unserviceable or due for an upgrade. Amazingly I have been able to find an example of a very similar module in situ, here in a communications room on a Royal Navy warship:imageThe panel can be seen on one side of the large central communications console:imageAs I stated at the start, I am unsure what exactly the point of adding this to my collection was, but I do rather like it and it is very interesting so it’s a nice addition to have.

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