Herald/Pentara/Pentara Plus


Herald/Pentara/Pentara Plus is the most versatile and expandable PBX I know of.
During its lifespan it has been through 5 different versions of system hardware and 3 different sets of Terminals. Whilst most parts are interchangeable there are obviously some options which are only available on certain systems. The first two variants of Herald are not really suitable for home use as they have to be programmed by computer and the software to do this is not available. The latter three variants however can have the majority of features programmed from the master programming terminal (usually Extn 123).

How to identify which version of Herald/Pentara/Pentara Plus you are looking at.

Remove the front cover of the top shelf and starting at the right hand side

  • Herald A (1st Generation)
    • AC/DC Power Unit 1A1/SA20013 (White Handle)
    • DC/DC Power Unit 1A1/SA20005 (Red Handle)
    • Memory Card 1A1/SA20002 (Black Handle)
    • Processor Card 1A1/SA20001 (Green Handle)
    • Tone Card 1A1/SA20003 (Clear Handle)
    • 5 slots at the left hand side fitted with blue or yellow interface cards
    • The majority of the terminals will have Tele x/SA2001x underneath
  • Herald B5 (2nd Generation)
    • AC/DC Power Unit 1A1/SA20013 (White Handle)
    • DC/DC Power Unit 1A1/SA20005 (Red Handle)
    • Empty Slot
    • Processor Card 1A1/SA20550 (Green/Black Handle)
    • Tone Card 1A1/SA20003 (Clear Handle)
    • 5 slots at the left hand side fitted with blue or yellow interface cards
    • The majority of the terminals will have Tele x/SA2001x underneath
  • Herald B8 (3rd Generation)
    • AC/DC Power Unit 1A1/SA20013 (White Handle)
    • DC/DC Power Unit 1A1/SA20005 (Red Handle)
    • Empty Slot
    • Processor Card 1A1/SA20551 (Green/Orange Handle)
    • Tone Card 1A1/SA20003 (Clear Handle)
    • 5 slots at the left hand side fitted with blue or yellow interface cards
    • The majority of the terminals will have Tele x/SA2001x underneath
    • Herald B8 was effectively a Pentara but was an upgrade to existing systems.
  • Pentara (4th Generation)
    • Combined Power Unit 1A1/SA20553 (White/Yellow Handle)
    • Processor Card 1A1/SA20552 (Green/Yellow Handle)
    • 7 slots at the left hand side fitted with blue, yellow or brown interface cards
    • The majority of the terminals will have TX5x underneath
  • Pentara Plus (5th Generation)
    • Combined Power Unit 1A1/SA20553 (White/Yellow Handle)
    • Processor Card 1A1/SA20579 (Green/White Handle)
    • 7 slots at the left hand side fitted with blue, yellow or brown interface cards
    • The majority of the terminals will have TX5x or TX6x underneath
Manufacturer TMC
Supplier BT
System Capacity 2+4 upto 16+76
Feature Phones 1st Generation Terminals (Brown/Brown, Grey/Grey or Grey/Orange)
Tele 4/SA20012 8 button Terminal.
Tele 4/SA20014 8 button Powerfail Terminal.
Tele 3/SA20012 26 button Terminal.
Tele 3/SA20014 26 button Powerfail Terminal.
Tele 2/SA20561 Improved 8 button Terminal with Monitor.
Tele 2/SA20563 Inproved 8 button Terminal with Handsfree.
2nd Generation Terminals (Brown, Stone or Grey)
TX54A Operator Console with monitor and LCD Display.
TX55A 7 button Terminal with monitor.
TX56A 7 button Terminal with Handsfree.
TX57A 18 button Terminal with Handsfree.
TX58A 18 button Terminal with Handsfree and LCD Display.
3rd Generation Terminals (Light Grey)
TX65A 8 button Terminal with monitor
TX66A 8 button Terminal with Handsfree.
TX68A 16 button Terminal with Handsfree and LCD Display.
TX69 Key module with 24 buttons PENTARA PLUS ONLY.
Standard Phones MF/LD with Earth Recall (LD only on Herald A/B5)MF Requires DTMF Option Card
Music On Hold B8/Pentara/Pentara Plus only
Internal with MOH Option Card
External from any approved source
Paging All systems - External via third party add-ons (line or extn port)
B8/Pentara/Pentara Plus - Internal from terminals with Broadcast Option Card.
Call Logging B5 from Processor card
B8/Pentara/Pentara Plus require Call Logging Card
Caller Display Not Supported
Programming All systems programmed from computer but software required is unavailable
B8/Pentara/Pentara Plus can have MOST features programmed from master Terminal.
Extension Wiring for a Feature Phone using Secondary Line Jack (2/3A)
System Colour Socket
xA WHITE/Blue 5
xB BLUE/White 2
xC WHITE/Orange 4
xD ORANGE/White 3
Extension Wiring for a Standard Telephone using Master Line Jack (2/1A)
System Colour Socket
xA WHITE/Blue 5
xB BLUE/White 2
Earth WHITE/Orange 4
Suitability for Domestic Use
Reliable phone systems which is easily available secondhand.
Equipment shelves are quite large and heavy.
Connection boxes occupy quite a bit of wall space.
Can be configured for MF working with Feature Phones.
AVOID HERALD A/B5 SYSTEMS as you will be unable to reprogramme them !!!
System Options.
All Systems.
  • 1A1/SA20006 (Yellow Handle) 4 port Extension Card.
  • 1A1/SA20008 (Blue Handle) 2 port Exchange Line Card with Powerfail.
  • 1A1/SA20557 (Yellow/Red Handle) 4 port Display Extension Card.
  • 1A1/SA20558 (Blue/Orange Handle) 2 Port Full Facility Exchange Line card with Music on Hold.
B8/Pentara/Pentara Plus Systems.
  • 1A1/SA20556 (Brown/Red Handle) 8 Port 2 wire (ordinary telephone) Extension Card.
  • 1A1/SA20559 (Blue/Red Handle) 4 port Compact Exchange Line Card without Powerfail.
  • 1A1/SA20572 (Black/Red Handle) Call Logging Card.
  • 1A1/SA20565 (Clear/Black Handle) Options Motherboard houses upto 3 daughterboards.
    • 1A1/SA20566 MF4 Option Card contains 2 DTMF receivers.
    • 1A1/SA20567 Speech Synthesis Option Card "tells" you what your buttons do!
    • 1A1/SA20568 Music On Hold Option Card
    • 1A1/SA20571 Broadcast Option Card required for internal paging.
Other cards you may find in secondhand systems.
  • 1A1/SA20010 (Orange Handle) SSDC5/SSDC10 Inter PBX Card.
  • 1A1/SA20555 (Orange/Red Handle) SSAC15C Inter PBX Card.
  • 1A1/SA20011 (Grey Handle) External Conference Card.
  • 1A1/SA20569 Modem Option Card.
The Inter PBX cards listed above are quite common but of little or no use in a domestic environment. I have NEVER seen an external conference card in any of the hundreds of Pentara's I have worked on!! The modem card will be found in many Pentara's and all Pentara Plus's but can only be used for remote programming of the system and as the software is unavailable, this card is effectively useless.

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This page last updated : 5th October 2000