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Crackling and other noises...

Started by Tony V, September 23, 2008, 02:39:43 AM

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Tony V

Sorry guys as i forgot to mention some of the phones i've been having this problem with. They are:
W.E.  302 metal case
       500 metal dial
       500 plastic dial
       5302 metal dial
N.E. "Gallion"
S.C. 1443

These are just a few of what i have but are the ones that stand out as far as having noise problems. I will also mention that i did go and tighten the screws and the interior wiring looks ok on all of them with no rubber cracking or breaking. It sounds like the major consensus is that i may have bad handset cords or dirty contacts.


Try this:  take your noisiest WE phone, and replace it's cord with one from a WE phone that makes NO noise.  See if that stops the problem.  If it does, you know the problem with that one was the cord.  If not, then leave the new cord you just put on in place, and clean all the contacts in the dial and switchhook.  If that clears the problem up, then you know the problem was dirty contacts.


Quote from: bingster on September 24, 2008, 12:36:00 AM
I've seen far more perfect rubber conductors in my handful of telephones than in all my radios combined. 

Right-I have telephones cords from back in the 1940s that are all perfectly soft and pliable. My recently acquired '52 500 set has a a few spots where the insulation is slightly brittle, but it's certainly not bad enough to warrant replacing a cord original to the telephone.

Something else, too, is that the ones I've examined seem to have the rubber reinforced by thread. I think that this served to give reinforcement to insulation that's constantly under stress, but also serves as an additional barrier if the rubber starts to flake off.

On the other hand, I've been into Lionel trains a long time, and the rubber coated wires on Lionel from the '50s and earlier are almost universally bad. I often take a pair of wire cutters with me to train shows, and, when I buy items with dry-rotted wire insulation, I snip the wires off and toss them straight in the trash before leaving the premises-that would be the first thing I would do when I got home anyway, and it saves me from the mess that flaking insulation makes.


I've often wondered why the rubber phone cords seem to survive better. First, the radio produces heat. These sets were kept on for hours. Sometimes every day. That will dry things out. The phone cords never see this constant heat, then cool down, then heat. Second, I find the rubber cords in question are generally far thicker than their radio circuit counter parts. All this from the same era. I agree with one thing, rubber compounds were/are far inferior to the last 30 years. I have seen a few line cords that are crumbling into oblivion.

St Clair Shores, MI

Dennis Markham

Tony, I hate to beat a dead horse but it seems so unlikely that all of those various telephones would simultaneously have component issues.

Grab a couple of them and go to a friend's home and plug them in there.  See if the noise still exists.  It just does not make sense that the problem is with each individual telephone, made by several different manufacturers. 


Quote from: TIPandRING on September 23, 2008, 09:40:26 PM

Dirty contacts. Clean the hookswitch contacts AND the dial shunt/pulse contacts. Here's what you do;  Assuming you're at least 21 years of age, go down to the local liquor store. Purchase some EverClear (pure grain alcohol, very strong, and not so cheap!).

You can go to down to the hardware store and get denatured alcohol, which is the same thing with a few other things added in to make it poisonous and unpalatable-that saves you from having to pay the stiff taxes on alcohol that's fit for consumption.

A decent sized can of denatured alcohol should cost less than $5. Those of you across the pond will probably need to look for "methylated spirits" in your local hardware store.

By the way, my preferred general solvent these days is CRC QD Electronics Cleaner. It's an aerosol can which contains methyl alcohol and hexane. This means that it is an excellent solvent for the sort of things that might gum up dial switch contacts, as well as evaporating quickly. Some sort of mechanical abrasion, whether it's solvent on a business card, or even burnishing with fine-grit sandpaper, is also effective and often necessary.

Bill Cahill

Dan was having a miserable time with that problem on his phone. Tonight, as a last resort, he went to his junction box, and, found a loose screw. Problems solved.
Bill Cahill

"My friends used to keep saying I had batts in my belfry. No. I'm just hearing bells....."

Tony V

I ordered some new handset cords and will re-clean all the contacts and fittings and let you guys know the outcome. My main concern was to make sure my networks werent going bad. I had the phone company put in new lines and box when i moved into this house as it still had the original lines from the 1920's which wasnt good for my computer connection  :) The Gallion and the 302 are the worst two for noise so if i can get those two working great then i'll continue to the others.