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Need Some Help on a Western Electric 500, ringer will not work.

Started by ChristmasGuy, October 20, 2021, 10:00:59 PM

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What I have attached is a hypothesis, this phone is wired exactly as the "500C and D Telephone Sets Connections".
I have watched a few videos on youtube which entail taking the black wire and moving it over 1 terminal block to the left. That did not work for me and even moving the yellow wire to the middle terminal block made the phone work less. I usally get this stuff but I am at a total loss. It would mean so much if someone could help, any information provided will be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your time reading this and have a wonderful day! ~JMS
Jack Sidlauskas


Move the black ringer wire to L1 (where the green hookswitch wire is in picture).

Connect green line cord wire to L1 and  red line cord to L2  (where the yellow and slate (gray) hookswitch wires and the red ringer wire are).
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.


Dear Martin, I tried this with this phone and moving the Black wire to L1 does not make the ringer work, thanks for the input tho
Jack Sidlauskas


You could have a, "Dead Ringer", Hee Hee???
Have you checked the resistance of the coils?
Not sure what they are on that one, but one could be bad???
Or a broken wire???


Dear RB,
The resistance across bell ringer wires Black and Red on terminals L1 and L2 read 582 ohms, roughly 600. The slate and red dotted wire do not have any resistance across any of the remaining wire combinations. I am getting high voltage on the line, perhaps the "transformer as I call it" the box with white top with terminal bank may have a bad cap? I know that for the ringer to work it needs to have Alternating Current or something like that
Jack Sidlauskas


You need to measure the resistance of the two coils with all 4 ringer wires disconnected.

Black to Slate = 1000 ohms

Red to Slate-Red = 2650 ohms
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.


Dear poplar 1, my resistance for Red to Slate was around 2.8k. I did not get a reading for my black to slate wires. When I was in the testing process, I was putting the red and black wires in parallel with my Touch tone telephone, but me being dumb, I used alligator clips on the contacts of the coil of the 2500 which broke the small delicate wire. Both wires were broken thus breaking the circuit for the coil. I dont think I can resolder one of the wires since it goes up into the middle and the wire is so brittle that it just breaks when I tug lightly to get more slack. Either I have to unwind or get a donor. Great. Wondering if you have any spare 1980s ringer coils
Jack Sidlauskas


Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

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


Jack Sidlauskas

Jim Stettler

They say not to dis-assemble a ringer.  it will mess them up.
So, basically , don't replace the coils, replace the ringer.
You live, You learn,
You die, you forget it all.


If the "new" working ringer does not work, it could be a bad capacitor inside the network between A and K, where the slate and red/slate wires are connected.

Use a DVM that can measure capacitance between A and K with no wires attached to make sure it is good, about 0.5 uF. They rarely fail but if they do, an external 250 Volt 0.5 uF capacitor can be connected between the red and red/slate wires.

The ringer circuit is pretty simple: green line cord to L1, ringer black to L1, ringer slate to K, 0.5uF capacitor from K to A, ringer red/slate to A, red ringer wire to L2 and red line cord to L2.


the best thing to do is wire it the way the schematic shows and adjust the bias spring. I've had the same problem and by adjusting the spring fixes the problem. the phone companies now don't send out enough current to drive the original bells... plus, if you have more then 2 phones on the line, the power is greatly diminished. leave it to modern technology...... once electronic ringers came along, the phone lines didn't need as much power....


It is OK to replace the coil, just don't take the frame apart.


You can not remove that magnet, or else it will weaken, but I have replaced coils many times with no trouble at all.