Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Identification, Repair & Restoration => Telephone Troubleshooting and Repair => Topic started by: AtomicEraTom on December 05, 2009, 04:25:17 PM

Title: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: AtomicEraTom on December 05, 2009, 04:25:17 PM
I moved G to L1 and still nothing.  I traced all the wires and compared them to my 1960 500 and everything looks right.  I did fix the fact that the phone would answer but the person on the other end couldn't hear you.  I thought that would be the hard part, but after even going as far as to put a new line cord on this one (2nd time I've replaced it), she still won't ring. 

Any suggestions?

(http://i658.photobucket.com/albums/uu307/AtomicEraTom/Phones/WE55410-58005.jpg)
(http://i658.photobucket.com/albums/uu307/AtomicEraTom/Phones/WE55410-58003.jpg)
(http://i658.photobucket.com/albums/uu307/AtomicEraTom/Phones/WE55410-58002.jpg)
(http://i658.photobucket.com/albums/uu307/AtomicEraTom/Phones/WE55410-58001.jpg)
(http://i658.photobucket.com/albums/uu307/AtomicEraTom/Phones/WE55410-58002.jpg)
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: Dennis Markham on December 05, 2009, 05:11:55 PM
Tom, there are some wires that don't look right in those photos.  But it's difficult to see what's what.  It looks like there are way too many wires on the L2 terminal.  I'll put together a wiring pattern for you.  I'll start by assuming the switch wires are attached to the correct terminals.  Those later phones did not solder the switch wires but attached them under the screws which may be why it looks like there are too many on L2.

I'll report back.
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: AtomicEraTom on December 05, 2009, 05:13:26 PM
Thanks Dennis, this will soon be my kitchen phone and I'd love to have her in full working order.
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: Dennis Markham on December 05, 2009, 05:48:10 PM
Tom, you can match the switch wires to those on your model 500.

Here's where the other wires should connect:

Dial

Blue Wire to F on Network
Green Wire to RR
White (either one) to GN
White (either one) to R

Ringer

Slate/Red to A
Slate to K
Black to L1
Red to L2

Modular Handset Plug

Green Wire to GN
Black to B
Red to R
White to R

Mounting Cord

Red Wire to L2
Green to L1

The 4 wires on my set that are connected to L2 are:
Red - Ringer
Yellow - Switch
Gray - Switch
Red - Mounting Cord

If you need help with the switch wires, let me know and I'll trace them down via this same method.

~Dennis
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: AtomicEraTom on December 05, 2009, 05:50:37 PM
Thank you Dennis, I am going to start back up on this phone again tomorrow, I am going to write down your schematic on my Telephone Tool Box (An old shoe box full of parts) so I always have it. 

Also, do you still have those cheesy silver handset covers?
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: Dennis Markham on December 05, 2009, 06:00:44 PM
Sorry Tom, I got rid of them.
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: AtomicEraTom on December 05, 2009, 06:06:09 PM
Okay, I am sure you will come across more.  No biggy.  I don't really NEED them.
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: Dennis Markham on December 05, 2009, 06:10:24 PM
I will put  your name on the next one I come across.
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: AtomicEraTom on December 05, 2009, 06:18:01 PM
Okay thanks.  I am also looking for extra handset cords, nothing fancy, just white, beige, and black if you have any extras.  Hardwire and Modular.
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: idanewco on January 09, 2010, 01:28:11 PM
I just got an old rotary desk phone for Christmas and it won't ring. It's a Western Electric (Bell System Property -- Not For Sale -- I love it!) and there is a 500DM stamped on the bottom.  I opened up the phone and it looks very much like some of the pictures I see here.
I believe the post that I've quoted below has the answers for me but I am too ignorant to apply them (first time I've ever seen a phone opened up).
The Dial wires are arranged very differently from the post I've quoted below.  Mine are:
Blue to RR
Blue to A
White to R
White to CN (or maybe that's GN)
But the dial seems to work okay.  I was able to make a call.

There are several wires that are not connected to anything and I think, from the colors, they are the ringer wires (they are slate, slate/red, red, and black).  I think I can locate all the connectors for those except K.  I don't see a K anywhere.

Can anybody help me out with this?  I hope I am making sense.  I have a feeling this would be really obvious and easy for a phone expert.
Thanks in advance.

-Ida


Tom, you can match the switch wires to those on your model 500.

Here's where the other wires should connect:

Dial

Blue Wire to F on Network
Green Wire to RR
White (either one) to GN
White (either one) to R

Ringer

Slate/Red to A
Slate to K
Black to L1
Red to L2

Modular Handset Plug

Green Wire to GN
Black to B
Red to R
White to R

Mounting Cord

Red Wire to L2
Green to L1

The 4 wires on my set that are connected to L2 are:
Red - Ringer
Yellow - Switch
Gray - Switch
Red - Mounting Cord

If you need help with the switch wires, let me know and I'll trace them down via this same method.

~Dennis
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 09, 2010, 01:47:40 PM
idanewco, welcome to the forum.

The wiring that I posted in the post you quoted is accurate.  The older dials have wires that are blue, green and two white.  The later dials (usually from modular phones---you said yours is marked 500DM which is "dial" and "modular") were two blue, two white.  So the fact that it's working means other wires may be wired differently too.  I've seen other wiring arrangements on these phones.

A picture is worth a thousand words.  If you could post a photo of what you have it would be easier to diagnose the problem.

Thanks and once again, welcome.

~Dennis
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: idanewco on January 09, 2010, 02:21:59 PM
Not sure if I know how to post a picture but I'll give it a try.  I'm going to make it an attachment.
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: Dennis Markham on January 09, 2010, 02:28:58 PM
The picture looks good.  I think you have me stumped on this one.  That is a newer network than what I'm used to......Perhaps the designations are the same but the position of them is much different.  It seems like there are less terminals.  I don't think I have anything that new with which to compare the connections.  Someone else is going to have to chime in here.  Otherwise you can look for a schematic here:

http://www.telephonecollectors.org/library/weco/weco.htm

Scroll down to the 500 Series Wall Telephones.
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: idanewco on January 09, 2010, 02:52:34 PM
Thanks for taking a look!  This forum is great -- makes me think about digging out the really old phone that my mother used to have to see if I can get it working too.
But back to the current project...
Other details about this phone:
It has an amplifier in the handset (which just seems to create static) and the handset is NOT modular.

Any idea about what years this phone would've been produced?
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: McHeath on January 09, 2010, 03:21:31 PM
You have a late model 500 there, that's one of the last of the Western Electric 500s with the newer 4228 network.  (The gizmo that all the wires attach to)

There ought to be a date code on the bottom of the phone, the numbers would be something like 83265, or whatever, the first two numbers are the year made and the last three numbers are the exact day of the year.

You ringer should have the red wire at K terminal, which may be the one at the far edge of the network by the ringer gong on the bottom.  The black wire should be at L1 which is, perhaps, the highest mount spot on the network.  (these are the positions on my 1984 WE 500 with a similar network.  The slate and slate red wires don't go anyplace.

Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: idanewco on January 09, 2010, 04:26:14 PM
There is a number stamped on the bottom of the phone right under the 500DM.  It is 77250 so I guess this phone is from 1977.  Thanks!
Still can't get it to ring, though.  I've tried the red wire at two different terminals that are unmarked and could be K while leaving the slate and slate/red wires unconnected.  No luck.  The unmarked terminals are in the corner of the block nearest the bells and the center of the phone.

I've read that it might be that there's just not enough voltage on the line to get older phones to ring so maybe that's the problem.  I was optimistic when I found the wires that weren't connected but
maybe that's only part of the problem.

I did find one wiring pattern that caused a quick ding in the bells when I plugged the line cord in (still no actual ringing, though).  It was:
Red to L2
Slate to the corner position that I think is K
Slate/Red to A
Black to L1

That causes a busy signal.

Thanks for your help!
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: Phonesrfun on January 09, 2010, 05:11:04 PM
You should not have a dial wire going to A as was mentioned in an earlier post.  

Refer to Dennis's post earlier on dial connections:

Blue to F
Green (or the other blue on some dials) to RR
White to R
White to GN

The ringer arrangement you last posted is correct:

Red to L2
Slate to K
Slate/Red to A
Black to L1



Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: idanewco on January 09, 2010, 06:03:45 PM
About the dial wiring, I don't see anything marked F.  One of the blue dial wires is on RR.  The other wire on A is white and appears to come from the switch.  Like I said, the dial seems to work okay but maybe that's causing other problems.

Ok, so if I have the ringer arrangement correct and it produces a busy signal... maybe that's why the ringer wires were disconnected when I got the phone.  (It was a gift and I understand it was purchased on eBay.)
And do you know which terminal is K?  I'm guessing one of the two that are in the corner closest to the bells and the center of the phone since I can't find any markings for those.

Would you expect an external ringer to work for this phone?  I'd like to have the bells ring but if I can't get that to work, I've seen electronic ringers for about $15.

Thanks so much for all your help here!

You should not have a dial wire going to A as was mentioned in an earlier post.  

Refer to Dennis's post earlier on dial connections:

Blue to F
Green (or the other blue on some dials) to RR
White to R
White to GN

The ringer arrangement you last posted is correct:

Red to L2
Slate to K
Slate/Red to A
Black to L1




Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: Phonesrfun on January 09, 2010, 07:06:37 PM
OK, please refer to the attached photo where I have marked the terminals.

F, A, and K are at the top of the photo.  Your photo shows the dial properly hooked up to F.  The ringer slate and slate/red need to be hooked to K and A respectively.

Take a look at how the connections to L1 may be touching the terminals hooked to R.  This could definitely cause the problems you are describing.  So, check to see that the green and black connected to L1 are not touching the metal part of R or the wires hooked to R.

Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: bwanna on January 09, 2010, 08:02:46 PM
must have missed this thread when it first came out....anyhoooo, tom i have some of those cheesy handset covers. PM ,me if interested.
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: idanewco on January 10, 2010, 04:55:00 PM
Oh happy day!  My phone just rang when I called it.  (And I just about jumped out of my socks -- those things are even louder than I remember!) :-)
The terminal that I thought was A was actually F so I had it all wrong.  That picture with the terminals marked straightened me out.
Dennis, McHeath, and phonesrfun, I can't thank you enough!  I'm so glad that I didn't just give up on this and get a cheesy electronic ringer.  This is much more fun.  This avocado green phone will make a great addition to my "vintage" room in the basement.
And I had fun messing around with it too.  I can see how cool old phones could be an addictive hobby.

Thanks again for this great and friendly forum!

-Ida

OK, please refer to the attached photo where I have marked the terminals.

F, A, and K are at the top of the photo.  Your photo shows the dial properly hooked up to F.  The ringer slate and slate/red need to be hooked to K and A respectively.

Take a look at how the connections to L1 may be touching the terminals hooked to R.  This could definitely cause the problems you are describing.  So, check to see that the green and black connected to L1 are not touching the metal part of R or the wires hooked to R.


Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: Phonesrfun on January 10, 2010, 05:38:49 PM
Woo Hoo!  Ida, we are only glad to help out.  I thought you'd like it better than an electronic ringer.

-Bill
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: McHeath on January 10, 2010, 06:11:34 PM
Good job!  Glad you stuck with it, the ease with which anyone can work on these phones is one of the charms about them.

Personally, I think the C series ringer that your 500 has is the best sounding of all the old time phone ringers.  (ducks shoe) ;)
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: Dan on January 10, 2010, 09:36:18 PM
Nice job again Bill. I remember your help with my "mutt" candlestick.
Title: Re: White WE 554 10-58 won't ring.
Post by: Phonesrfun on January 10, 2010, 09:47:21 PM
Thanks, Dan.  Much appreciated.