In postal telegraph offices a "sounder," and not a "buzzer," is generally used to communicate the signals. Instead of a continuous noise, lasting as long as the key at the transmitting station is held down, the operator at the receiving station hears only a series of taps made by an instrument called a "sounder." The principle of this simple device is illustrated by the working diagrams in Fig. 35. M is a horseshoe magnet fixed to a base, A. Close to it is an armature, AR, of soft iron, attached to a lever, L, which works on a pivot and is held up against a regulating screw, P1, by the pull of the spring SP. When current passes through the magnet the armature is attracted, and the point of the screw S2 strikes against P2; while the breaking of the circuit causes L to fly back against S1. The time intervening between the "down" and "up" clicks tells the operator whether a long or a short -- dash or a dot -- is being signalled.

Materials

A horseshoe magnet and armature taken from an electric bell provide the most essential parts of our home-made instrument in a cheap form. If these are available, expense will be limited to a few pence. Oak or walnut are the best woods to use for the lever, being more resonant than the softer woods, and for the standard B and stop V. Any common wood is good enough for the base A.

The lever L is 6 inches long, 1/2 inch deep, and 3/8-inch wide, and is pivoted at a point 4-1/4 inches from the stop end. The hole should be bored through it as squarely as possible, so that it may lie centrally without B being out of the square. A piece of metal is screwed to its top face under the adjusting screw S1.

The spring is attached to L and A in the manner already described on p. 89 in connection with the "buzzer."

The plate P2 should be stout enough not to spring under the impact of the lever.

Fig. 36 is an end view of the standard B. The drilling of the pivot hole through this requires care. The screw S2 should be so adjusted as to prevent the armature actually touching the cores of the magnets when attracted. The ends of the magnet winding wire, after being scraped, are clipped tightly against the base by the binding posts T1 T2.

If sounders are used in place of buzzers they are connected up with the keys, batteries, and line wires in the manner shown in Fig. 33.

Elevation and plan of telegraphic sounder

Fig. 35. Elevation and plan of telegraphic sounder.