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New Member old_stuff_hound - Can't dial out

Started by old_stuff_hound, June 30, 2011, 07:04:52 AM

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Greetings! First time poster, short-time lurker here.

First, a little introduction: I found this forum after I pulled a phone line to my workshop/garage and decided that a craptacular current-production phone wouldn't cut it, and that I needed a phone like the one that hung on the wall in the kitchen of my youth. After some Googling I found myself here. This seems to be a great bunch of enthusiastic folk!

I have a 554 on the way, somewhere between ebay and here. I'm hoping it shows up this weekend! I may have a few questions about it once it arrives.

In the meantime, I hope I'm not guilty of a serious violation if I ask a somewhat off-topic question (TT!). My wife's late father's red 2500DM (1980 vintage) will suddenly no longer dial. It had been working fine (mostly*) in the living room, then we moved it to her desk. Now, when a keypad button is pressed, dial tone is muted but no DTMF tones are generated. When the button is released, dial tone returns to normal volume. No other phone in the house has this problem, and this phone now has it no matter where it's plugged in, so I'm certain it's in the phone. How would I go about diagnosing this? I searched for 2500 troubleshooting procedures but didn't find anything that seemed to address a problem like this. I did find a schematic but I'm not yet versed enough in 2500 operational theory to completely grok it.

EDIT: Probably not related but AT&T has been working on a toadstool that feeds my house -- the neighbor backed over it. Maybe that damaged an electrical component in the phone?

If this is the wrong place to ask, please forgive me and direct me to something like! ;-)


*Mostly: It had an intermittent problem in that sometimes the handset volume was low, but a gentle rap to the phone would usually fix it. After the no-dial problem started, I started poking around inside the phone and found that there was marginal electrical contact between one of the little metal "reeds" on the back of the keypad and the little metal post it rests against. I cleaned that up and the low-volume problem appears to be gone. I could not find the no-dial problem though. But I suspect it's probably a similar issue....


try swapping L1 and L2 on the network, should bring the tones back to life


So a TT phone as new as 1980 would still have the polarity issues?



Quote from: AE_collector on June 30, 2011, 11:27:26 AM
So a TT phone as new as 1980 would still have the polarity issues?


I remember encountering polarity issues with TT phones around then.



Good call! I just checked the polarity on the line and it's now reversed (according to my $2 Harbor Freight line tester). It was fine before all the trouble started with the toadstool.

I can fix it at the NID, but I guess I should complain to AT&T if it's still backward after everything is fixed (they're telling me July 11th....)


BTW -- the 554 showed up today. I'll start a new thread on it if anyone wants to see it. It's just a basic black 2/78 554, though. It does have (at least one) dial card though!

EDIT: Just swapped the wires at the NID. All is good now!  Cheers!


If it worked in another room it is probably just the wiring at the jack.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"


Quote from: HarrySmith on June 30, 2011, 07:23:18 PM
If it worked in another room it is probably just the wiring at the jack.

Hi Harry,
It worked in one room, then I moved to another room and first found that it didn't work in that room, and on further investigation found it worked in no room. This was more or less coincident with the AT&T guy messing with my wires at the toadstool in front of the neighbor's house.

In my first post I said that I was certain it was in the phone -- turns out I was wrong, but this phone is the only one that isn't polarity agnostic it seems.



If it is still backwards at the NID once AT&T is done, save yourself the trouble and just reverse the line at the NID as you suggested. That is all they will do and that is only if you can get them to do anything at all.

Then check each of your jacks as you could have reversals in your wiring and jacks as well.



Modular cords can also have the connectors swap the polarity if not put on properly.Most of the time it makes no difference.


Good suggestions, both! Good idea generally to check the line cord. However I knew in this case that the line cord wasn't reversed because the phone had been working fine for years and I hadn't touched the line cord. And I know the jacks are right because I checked each one as I installed it. This house is +/- 150 years old and the phone wiring was horrible -- mostly old, grungy, nasty station wire surface mounted on the outside foundation walls and going straight through holes in the exterior walls to surface-mount phone jacks. I've pulled Cat5e from the NID to a punchdown block, and from the block through the walls to each jack, home-run style. (The old wiring was home-run, but with a rat's nest at the NID.) I originally embarked on the project to help my DSL speeds (which it did) but got carried away. I've got three more runs to pull, then I can start on the ethernet wiring and the RG6.....  ;-)