Sunday, March 20, 2005

 

OLD TELEPHONE TALK

To serve the needs of folks who have encountered a problem with their vintage telephone, I have created this Blog. Here, you'll be able to research your problem and perhaps find a repair solution, saving you the expense of having to ship your phone for repair. A lot of problems with old phones can be solved right in your home. You can look through my main web site http://www.navysalvage.com/ for many links to pages devoted to repair, and I will be more than happy to answer your inquiries.

If you have a suggestion that others can benefit from, this Blog was provided. The Web was invented to share knowledge, and this is my small contribution.

Steve Hilsz
Comments:
Way to go Steve. I wanted to be the first to make a comment from the ATCA Listserv.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
I recently purchased a made-in-Taiwan 5-contact hookswitch for the conversion of a NE 1317 wooden wall tel set to CO-powered lines.
I have experienced difficulties getting the original hook to mate-up properly to the new switch.
Does anyone know if these new switches also require a newer, restyled hook ?
 
Hi Steve,

I'm glad that you've got a blog going.

Great work so far.

Just wanted to drop the line and wish you luck on it.

Ric
 
Sorry I've been away from the board for a while. I sort of forgot I had started this Blog.

Regarding Dave's problem, it's not unusual for Taiwanese reproduction switch hooks to bind up. You have to file the "stop" surface that limits the upward movement of the hook, in order to get a better throw. I've also noticed that you have to re-bend the main contact spring in order to produce enough "push" to bring the hook all the way up when the receiver is removed.

I am reproducing a good question from a person named Mark, who experienced a common problem with his #302 telephone:

"Recently on e-bay I purchased a model 302 phone. I was told by the seller it was a working telephone. When it arrived it wasn't wired for modular plug, so I got some phone line, stripped 1 end attached telephone spades to the green and red and attached them as they were connected on another 302 I have that works perfectly. However it doesn't work. No dial tone...nothing. I did notice as the wires were being held where the screw on there was a very,very faint static noise. Could you please tell me what I'm doing wrong? I have wired other rotary phones for use (500's) and have never had any problems. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Let me know if I should ship it to you."

Well, we all know by now that just about every phone sold on eBay says "working" in the description.

Here's what I told Mark to do:

"If you connected the red and green wires properly, there is every chance that your #302 may have a bad Receiver Element in the handset, or corroded contact points. A simple test is to unscrew the earphone cap from the handset, and take out the element. You'll see some spring contacts inside of the handset. Clean these by gently wiping them with ordinary writing paper. You can also clean the electrical contact surfaces on the back of the Receiver Element in the same manner. Paper has just enough abrasive qualities to clean silver-plated contact surfaces. You don't have to make them gleam, just polish the black corrosion off. Replace the element and cap, and see if this works. You should also clean the Transmitter Element contact surfaces and spring contacts, as this is a critical prt of the Primary circuit of your #302. Corroded transmitter contacts can cause a 'No Dial Tone' condition in a #302."

I'll continue to post more "do it yourself fixes" for everyone's benefit. You can find more tidbits on my main website www.navysalvage.com
Steve Hilsz
 
Hi Steve:
found your BLOG by mistake.
 
Thanks for the site, Steve. I have a rotary Snoopy (1966) phone in the box, and it looks good & complete. It was my Mom's and it's been in storage. I plugged it in and heard nothing. Everything is original, handset cord is super thick, and not unpluggable like later phones, but it doesn't have any kinks or breaks. On the bottom, though, it does have this little plug thing, almost like an external sound plug. Have you encountered that before? Does this thing have an external power source other than the phone line? I was readying this for sale, but want to be able to describe it accurately. Thanks.
 
Tammyt, I've never seen a Character Phone with an external plug. You should be able to obtain dial tone by hooking up the red and green line cord wires. The yellow wire is usually the Ringer wire, as older phones used "grounded" ringing in some cases. Here's a link to a page that explains ringer hookup in some detail: http://www.navysalvage.com/ringer.html
(You'll have to copy & paste the link into your browser)
 
It's Steve again. I have something here to share with everybody. It's not phone related, but was so darned interesting that I wanted to give everybody an opportunity to check it out. It's called Joe Kissell's "Interesting Thing of The Day." If you love trivia, check out Joe's site:
http://itotd.com/
Copy & paste the link into your web browser.
 
Hi Steve! Congrats on the blog, great addition to your webtsite. I look forward to talking to you again soon, enjoy your vacation from this desert heat! Here in Phoenix it was over 100 yesterday!
 
Hi Steve! Congrats on the blog, great addition to your webtsite. I look forward to talking to you again soon, enjoy your vacation from this desert heat! Here in Phoenix it was over 100 yesterday!
 
I just got a Western Electric 302, that seems to work except for the ringer. I tried the joining of the yellow and green wires, as suggested, but it still won't work. It does appear to be a straight line (not party). Is there an easy fix, or am I going to have to send it in? Thanks in advance for any help.
 
I seem to have answered my own question. I hooked the yellow up to the red and it worked! If someone knows of some reason why I shouldn't have done that please let me know.
 
Hi Steve or anyone,

I just purchased a W.E. 20AL Candlestick with a bull dog mouth cup. The Pat dates are: Aug 16 04, Sept 13 04, Jan 26 15. I have a couple of questions with hopes that someone will provide some answers.

Questions:
1. The candlestick is brass except for the transmitter housing that is black, is the transmitter suppose to be brass instead of black? The black housing I am talking about is the metal unit that attached to the candlestick and front part that attach to the bakelite mouth cup.

2. I have rewired most vintage desk phones before but this is the first time I work with a candlestick. Can anyone tell me how I can disassemble the candlestick so I can access the wiring inside the shaft? I am able to remove that bottom cover off the candlestick and I don't know what the next step are? Any instruction will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Regarding tighe's problem with his #302, the phone company used to reverse the wires to Line One and Line Two on some phones in order to allow for more parties on the line. The ringer was grounded via the yellow wire, a practice long discontinued.

Normally, the ringer was internally connected to the red and the yellow line cord wires, therefore to "bridge" it you had to connect yellow and green together. In tighe's case, the ringer was internally connected to the green and yellow wires, so to make the ringer operatonal you would have to connect red and yellow line cord wires together.

Infom apparently has a stuck lug mount (the part that holds the transmitter assembly on). The switch assembly is screwed to the lug mount, and everything is fastened via a screw through the bottom plate. In the case of a 20AL, the center screw holds the switch assembly.

To remove a stuck lug mount, you can take the bottom cover off and gently tap the very bottom of the switch holder (where the center screw was fastened) to push the lug mount out of the stem (main body) of the candlestick phone.
 
I have a Radio Shack French Contiental Phone. I haven't finished testing yet but I think it has a bad handset receiver element. Do you know where I can buy a new one? Thanks
 
I just bought an Automatic Electric 50 and have a couple of questions for anyone familiar with this model. First, the rotary dial return is very quick - it doesn't "tick" back to the starting position like the rotary phones I'm used to. Is this normal for this model?

Second, the numbers don't line up very precisely with the finger holes. Is there any adjustment for the dial position?

I checked for adjustments & missing parts when I had the phone disassembled to rewire it for a phone jack, but didn't see anything that jumped out at me.

Thanks,

JD
 
I have a Northern Electric wood wall phone - I think the model might be N1293RA. Do you know anything about this phone (age, value?). It is not working. It has an interesting ear piece, more like headphone style, with one earpiece. I can't find another like it anywhere on the net.
 
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a friend of mine inherited a wester electric 302 phone. I think it's one of the original ones because it's very heavy - made of metal. I've cleaned it up inside and out and doesn't look too bad. I haven't tried it out yet, but I was wondering what repair parts I might need to bring it up to snuff. In particular I noticed that there is a large capacitor inside. Does anyone know if there is a standard refurb process that needs to be done on these phones.
 
a friend of mine inherited a wester electric 302 phone. I think it's one of the original ones because it's very heavy - made of metal. I've cleaned it up inside and out and doesn't look too bad. I haven't tried it out yet, but I was wondering what repair parts I might need to bring it up to snuff. In particular I noticed that there is a large capacitor inside. Does anyone know if there is a standard refurb process that needs to be done on these phones.
 
Hi Steve, do you have any idea if a British 1950's bakelite telephone model number 332 will work in the US. If not do you have any idea where I can find information to rewire one to work on a RJ11 plug rather than a UK BT style plug?
 
I've got a Automatic Electric 50 jukebox phone. It was working fine until I moved and did not pay attention to the way the phone jack wires were connected to the phone. The Phone's got six sets of terminals to attach the wires to. From the left, the first has a red wire that looks like it connects to the handset. The second has a white wire that also goes to the headset. The third i can't tell. The fourth has a white wire connected to the top of the fifth one. nd I can't tell where the sixth one goes. Also there is a black wire loose that goes to the handset. Can you give hints as to whrer the black wire might supposed to go and which wires go where from the phone jack? Thanks
 
i have a rotary dial telephone, what would be the easiest way to remove the dial face (numbers)for cleaning/painting?
 
I just got a Western Electric Model 302 rotary phone from the 1940s. The ringer doesn't work yet, but I should be able to figure that out based on comments above. However, the weird thing I don't understand is when I make a call on the vintage phone, my other phone (new) will make little short rings as I dial.
 
I recently bought a Northern Electric crank wall phone in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and intend to install it in my kitchen so I can receive calls on it. I disconnected the magneto and hooked a phone line (red and green wires) to it. The receiver seems to work fine, with a clear dial tone and the hook also works well. However, I cannot seem to make the transmitter work. Any advice you can offer on what I need to do with the transmitter would be greatly appreciated.
 
Hello! I just purchased a vintage Stromberg-Carlson rotary phone off of ebay and it doesn't look like there is a cord to plug it into the wall!

The seller said that the previous owner had it wired directly into the wall. There is one singular wire sticking out of the phone with a fork-end. Any thoughts on what to do? Thanks so much.
 
hi steve i have a old us army tp-6-a telephone similar too the we 302 it has a red and a green wire in the hook up cord how do i connect this phone too my modular phone jack too see if it works thanks greg
 
Hi, I'm writing a story in which a character tries to call the police on a 20AL phone. How would this work? Would she pick up the receiver and have an operator ask her for the number she wanted? Would she have to crank it? How did these phones ring?
 
I just got a fun looking French Art deco/Danish Ivory Hotel phone. I can dial out and receive calls now that I adapted the jack to US but, the ringer isn't working. Any comments on where to start?
 
Is there a way to make a party line ringer work on a modern system?
 
Hi. I have an old Western Electric rotary phone from 1967. The cord was mounted directly into the wall and when it was disconnected the cord was cut. I removed the case from the phone and I see that the cord has three wires and they are still attached. I would like to rewire the phone so that it has a plug on the end to work on modern phone systems. Can anyone please tell me how to do this?

Thank you so much for your help!
 
Hi, I have an old bakelite phone which works well but the sound is faint. I read something somewhere about wd40 but can't find it again to read over. I have taken the cover off the earpiece and it all seems intact nothing wobbly or rusty. Any ideas.
 
Steve:
I have this fan, an old W.E with this funny fin on it that makes the fan oscilate when the fan blows on it. If I ask 12,000 dollars for it is that an anomaly ?
 
I have just got a 302 phone. It works fine except for the ringer. I has 2 wires coming in. One goes to L1 and the other to L2. The red wire from the ringer goes to the ground and the black goes to k. There is a piece of wire on the ground that is cut and goes no where. If this is correct any suggestions on how to get the ringer working.

thanks
steve
 
Hi Steve.
I have a 1930's WE 201 Spcaesaver wall phone in original condition and would like to rewire it for use on today's circuits.
Is there any info on this?
Jim
 
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