Tesla AK IA 301 / TA 32 Pancake telephone

Tesla AK IA 301 TA 32 Pancake
Tesla AK IA 301 TA 32 Pancake
Tesla AK IA 301 TA 32 Pancake side
Tesla AK IA 301 TA 32 Pancake side

Looks like a UFO, doesn’t it? This model was made by Tesla, a firm from Czechoslovakia (now Czechia). Naming and dating it was not easy. This particular one was made by a Tesla plant in the Ukraine and marked AK IA 301. Others are marked TA32, but that is also found on other Tesla models (possibly because the electronics are the same).
Some call it Tesla Stropkov, because that is one the label. But other types have Tesla Stropkov on their label too, simply because Stropkov is the town where the Tesla factory is situated where it was made.

Tesla AK IA 301 TA 32 rear
Tesla AK IA 301 TA 32 rear

This design is sometimes called pancake telephone, but that name is also use for the Northern Electrec “Dawn” which resembles it closely.

Dating it is even trickier. Most people seem to think it is from the 70s or 80s. Mine was made in 2005. Searching the internet I have not been able to find a single specimen with an actual production date from before 2000. This seems to indicate that is a post 2000 model.

Tesla pancake inside
Tesla pancake inside

It is a classicly desigined phone, dog and bone lay out, mechanical ringer with 2 gongs, hand grip at the back. It is simple and light with a plastic dial, which has a reasonably nice feel. All the electronics are placed on a pcb.

I got mine from the Ukraine, where it was made, and the label is in Ukrainian too. I got it translated with the help of several friends and it reads:

Tesla label Ukranian
Tesla label Ukranian

PP Tesla-Tzentr (Tesla Centre company)
Telephone Apparatus AK IA301
ТУ У -(Технічні Умови України)  32.2-13789063-002-2004
Production Plant number 0771
ВТК – (Відділ Технічного Контролю) – Department of technical control
Production year: 2005