Why do my rotary phones not ring?

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george

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Oct 30, 2002, 2:52:57 AM10/30/02
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I have two old rotary phones that I purchased because I wanted that nice
distinctive ring.
But they don't. They work fine. Even nice that teh telco still accepts
pulse dialing... but they don't ring. I've tried multiple lines at
multiple places. NO RING.
This morning I stopped at a thrift store and bought a touchtone with real
bells. It rings. So why don't the rotaries?


That Larry

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Oct 30, 2002, 8:06:08 AM10/30/02
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The old phone system used two distinct ringing FREQUENCIES, 40 Hz and
80 Hz, if I remember correctly, so they could put 8 people on a line
and the phone would only ring half as often. The bells had a tuning
capacitor which blocked the DC you're talking on while tuning the bell
coils to the appropriate frequency so you'd get your ring (and the
rings of the other 3 people on the line with your frequency). If the
phone was "tuned" to 40 Hz, it wouldn't ring on 80 Hz because the
series tuned circuit didn't produce enough current to ring the bells.

My grandmother's phone line was 473J3. 473 was the circuit number. J
was the frequency of the ringer (there were J and M freqs for some
strange reason) And, the 3 was the number of rings....3 short rings.

Some systems had short and long rings for more than 8 people on one
phoneline. In the little community where she lived, there were only 2
phone lines. Any time it rang, of course, they all picked up to see
what the call was about...(c; If you weren't home, no problemo! One
of the other neighbors on your ringer freq would always answer the
call to tell the caller you had gone to town shopping or were out in
your boat tearing up the lake trout and would be home about 4:30 to
clean and cook them....yum yum!!

God I wish I was back there and didn't know about all this new
crap.....The ringer was a big, ugly black box under the electric meter
and fuses in her living room behind the open door to the kitchen...(c;


Larry

Scotty! Calibrate the Transporter!
Then, BEAM DOWN MY FEET!!


Rich Greenberg

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Oct 30, 2002, 8:47:18 AM10/30/02
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This assumes that they are not frequency selective party line ringers as
someone else suggested.

Many of the older phones used a 3 wire line cord. Red, green & yellow.
The talk pair is red/green. One side of the bell is connected to either
the red or the green (I forget which) and the yellow is the other side
of the bell circut. While the line is ringing, try connecting the
yellow to either the red or green and see if that rings it.

If this fails or you don't have the 3 wire cord, you will have to open
the phones and locate the ringer wires.

A 500 series phone will have 4 wires coming off the ringer. 2 go to
the network block (K & K1 if I remember correctly) which is a capacitor
in the block. The other two should go to the L1 & L2 terminals which is
also where the red/green line cord connects. One or both is probably
connected elsewhere.

A 300 or 200 series phone has a different network, and the ringer may
have 2 or 4 wires. Again, you want the ringer and a capacitor to be in
series and that combination to be across the talk pair which is usually
marked L1 & L2 on the network.

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David Lesher

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Oct 30, 2002, 9:46:15 AM10/30/02
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ric...@panix.com (Rich Greenberg) writes:


>This assumes that they are not frequency selective party line ringers as
>someone else suggested.

Nod, only non-Bell used same.

>Many of the older phones used a 3 wire line cord. Red, green & yellow.
>The talk pair is red/green. One side of the bell is connected to either
>the red or the green (I forget which) and the yellow is the other side
>of the bell circut. While the line is ringing, try connecting the
>yellow to either the red or green and see if that rings it.

The ringer typically was ring to ground, i.e. red to yellow.


>A 500 series phone will have 4 wires coming off the ringer. 2 go to
>the network block (K & K1 if I remember correctly) which is a capacitor
>in the block. The other two should go to the L1 & L2 terminals which is
>also where the red/green line cord connects. One or both is probably
>connected elsewhere.

A & K are the ringer cap. Don't count on L1 & L2; trace the incoming
tip & ring.

----tip-----
\
/
\ ringer coil
/
\
/
-----------\
|
| A
---
--- ringer cap
| K
|
-----------/
\
/
\
/ ringer coil
\
/
--ring-----

Jeff Nor Lisa

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Oct 30, 2002, 1:27:53 PM10/30/02
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> I have two old rotary phones that I purchased because I wanted that nice
> distinctive ring.
> But they don't. They work fine. Even nice that teh telco still accepts
> pulse dialing... but they don't ring. I've tried multiple lines at
> multiple places. NO RING.

What make (ie Western Electric, Automatic Electric, SC, ITT, etc)?

What model (ie 500, 302, 80, etc.)?

Someone mentioned frequency differences. Actually this is unlikely
because party lines have been gone for a long time in many places,
and quite rare in others.

It's possible that the ringers are broken, or not wired correctly.
Someone else pointed out thigns to check.

danny burstein

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Oct 30, 2002, 1:53:54 PM10/30/02
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In <JwVv9.1695$vZ6.1...@newshog.newsread.com> hanc...@bbs.cpcn.com (Jeff Nor Lisa) writes:

>It's possible that the ringers are broken, or not wired correctly.
>Someone else pointed out thigns to check.

Keep in mind, of course, that many, many, people disconnected the ringers
on "extra" phones they had acquired one way or another, so as to prevent
the central office tests from picking them up.

Back in The Good Old Days, all phones were rented from the local telco,
and you had to pay an extra (dollar or whatever)/month for each extra
phone. Yes, children, that's the way it was in the ancient times.

So... if you somehow came into possession of some additional phones and
wanted to hook them up, there was concern that the technicians at the
cnetral office would detect it. Hence many folk disconnected the bells to
make this harder.

danny "read it somewhere or another" burstein

--
_____________________________________________________
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
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[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]

Tony Pelliccio

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Oct 30, 2002, 5:49:39 PM10/30/02
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In article <1035964397.942373@yasure>, n...@nn.nn says...

It's probably because the capacitor across the ringer has long since
dried out. I believe it's a 47mf cap but it's printed right on the cap.

Tony

george

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Oct 31, 2002, 11:45:34 AM10/31/02
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"george" <n...@nn.nn> wrote in message news:1035964397.942373@yasure...

> I have two old rotary phones that I purchased because I wanted that nice
> distinctive ring.

<snip my own post>

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I'm off to look.


george

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Oct 31, 2002, 11:54:12 AM10/31/02
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"Jeff Nor Lisa" <hanc...@bbs.cpcn.com> wrote in message
news:JwVv9.1695$vZ6.1...@newshog.newsread.com...

> > I have two old rotary phones that I purchased because I wanted that nice

> What make (ie Western Electric, Automatic Electric, SC, ITT, etc)?

C/B
??

>
> What model (ie 500, 302, 80, etc.)?
>

500. One manufactured in 1970, the other in 196x (somone painted the last
digit)

> It's possible that the ringers are broken, or not wired correctly.
> Someone else pointed out thigns to check.

I will be looking at these other things.


Lizard Blizzard

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Oct 31, 2002, 3:52:58 PM10/31/02
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I didn't think that those caps could dry out because they're paper or
plastic, not electrolytic. They have to be non-polarized so they're
usually not electrolytic.

> Tony


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Tony Pelliccio

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Oct 31, 2002, 9:28:44 PM10/31/02
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In article <aps53p$u3oc$2...@hades.csu.net>, NOS...@rsccd.org says...

> Tony Pelliccio wrote:
> > In article <1035964397.942373@yasure>, n...@nn.nn says...
>
> >>I have two old rotary phones that I purchased because I wanted that nice
> >>distinctive ring.
> >>But they don't. They work fine. Even nice that teh telco still accepts
> >>pulse dialing... but they don't ring. I've tried multiple lines at
> >>multiple places. NO RING.
> >>This morning I stopped at a thrift store and bought a touchtone with real
> >>bells. It rings. So why don't the rotaries?
>
>
>
> > It's probably because the capacitor across the ringer has long since
> > dried out. I believe it's a 47mf cap but it's printed right on the cap.
>
> I didn't think that those caps could dry out because they're paper or
> plastic, not electrolytic. They have to be non-polarized so they're
> usually not electrolytic.

Woops... I goofed. You're right but over time ever the paper caps
disintegrate. More than likely that's what happened.

Now in the old days, the didn't use paper - the cap on my 302 appears to
be electrolytic.

Tony

Tom Line

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Nov 1, 2002, 2:34:56 PM11/1/02
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They disconnected the ringers so telco could not detect the number of
phones by calculating power consumption during a ring test.

george <n...@nn.nn> wrote:
: I have two old rotary phones that I purchased because I wanted that nice

:
:

--

Tom Line
tl...@iglou.com

smos...@gmail.com

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Dec 5, 2018, 9:05:09 AM12/5/18
to
George this is a little late but many of the old rotary phones were set to ring on party lines. If you have a 500 rotary look at the connections to the network block inside the phone. On the back side of the network there should be 5 connectors labeled L2, G, L1, K, and A, respectively. The older ringers had 4 wires, red, black, gray and red/gray. The newer ringers had 2 wires, red and black. The other two were for the capacitor inside the network. The 2 wire ringers simply have the capacitor built into the ringer itself. Anyway, if the black wire from the ringer is connected to the G terminal of the network the ringer is set for party line operation and will not work in today's private lines. Move the black ringer wire from the G terminal to the L1 terminal and the ringer should operate. Back in the old days before the modular connections the technician could make a party line phone operate on a private line simply by wiring the green and yellow wires together at the connecting block on the wall. Electrically it is the same as moving the black ringer wire from G to L1. Give it a try.
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