Author Topic: More than half of calls resulting in wrong numbers on Western Electric 500  (Read 1632 times)

Offline hunger

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Hi all, I'm new here but am hoping you can help me troubleshoot a problem I'm experiencing with a Western Electric 500 C/D I recently purchased off of eBay. As indicated in the subject line, more than half the calls I make are resulting in wrong numbers.

CONTEXT:
  • phone can receive calls (bell sounds good, sound through handset is good)
  • I do have DSL, but AFAIK my provider uses POTS (the CEO even posted a blog post a few years ago which emphasizes that their lines support rotary phones)
  • only 2 jacks in my house, 1 of which is disabled
  • I've been testing with no other devices connected
  • I've tested with and without a DSL line filter

PROBLEM AND TROUBLESHOOTING:
  • more than half of calls result in wrong numbers
  • I took a look at the phone logs, and most of the numbers are only wrong by 1 digit. Sometimes 2 digits are wrong
  • invariably, the wrong digit is off by 1 number (for example:  0 becomes 9, or 7 becomes 6, or 4 becomes 3, etc)
  • dial does seem to take roughly 1 second to return from 0

QUESTIONS
  • Judging by this information (and I'm happy to try to provide more info): does the problem seem phone-related or line-related? I did find this thread, which describes a very similar problem. All the people there say the problem is phone-related. The seller who told the phone to me insists I have line issues, but I'm skeptical.
  • Quite related to the above, would a pulse-to-tone converter solve the problem? The seller insists it will, but I think that if the problem is phone-related  the converter will not help.

Thanks so much in advance.

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: More than half of calls resulting in wrong numbers on Western Electric 500
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2015, 09:28:45 PM »
Sounds like the dial may be off a little bit. Your system may be more sensitive than the sellers. Cleaning and oiling may solve it. Or send it to Steve Hilsz and for $6.00 he will clean, oil & calibrate it.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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

unbeldi

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Re: More than half of calls resulting in wrong numbers on Western Electric 500
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2015, 09:33:34 PM »
Welcome!

Most likely the dial speed is just a little too slow for the tolerance of the switching equipment on the other end. Perhaps it's just that the little pawl is sticky that moves the contact springs. If kicks in too late, it may miss a pulse.  I would get some electronic contact cleaner in a spray can and spray the dial well, which requires removal from the phone and remove of the plastic protective shield.

Offline hunger

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Re: More than half of calls resulting in wrong numbers on Western Electric 500
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2015, 09:43:42 PM »
Thanks so much for the quick replies! What a great forum. Sounds like this could possibly be an easy fix, which is reassuring since the seller is refusing to offer me a full refund. Are there links you have handy that will guide me through the recommended maintenance?

I looked up Steve Hilsz. I'll definitely keep him in my mind. Seems like a good option.

Offline Lewes2

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Re: More than half of calls resulting in wrong numbers on Western Electric 500
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2015, 10:32:17 AM »
Hi Hunger -

Another vote for Steve Hilsz!  He has worked on five or six dials for me.  Reliable and friendly.

Having said that, my Vonage router appears to have very tight tolerances for dial speed and I continued to experience the occasional mis-dial.  I ended up purchasing a DialGizmo which injects the appropriate tone after each number dialed.  For me, the DialGizmo has worked perfectly.  Since it mounts just downstream from your router, it can be used for multiple rotary phones on your phone network.  Modern phones are unaffected.  And one other advantage, you can use your rotary phone for calling into, say banks with phone trees.  "Push 1 for  . . .  ."

Chuck

unbeldi

  • Guest
Re: More than half of calls resulting in wrong numbers on Western Electric 500
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2015, 11:24:57 AM »
Hi Hunger -

Another vote for Steve Hilsz!  He has worked on five or six dials for me.  Reliable and friendly.

Having said that, my Vonage router appears to have very tight tolerances for dial speed and I continued to experience the occasional mis-dial.  I ended up purchasing a DialGizmo which injects the appropriate tone after each number dialed.  For me, the DialGizmo has worked perfectly.  Since it mounts just downstream from your router, it can be used for multiple rotary phones on your phone network.  Modern phones are unaffected.  And one other advantage, you can use your rotary phone for calling into, say banks with phone trees.  "Push 1 for  . . .  ."

Chuck

Most dials really require very little 'help' to work almost like new and it is not complicated.

Navigating phone trees can also be accomplished with rotary phones when one selects the ATA appropriately.  For example, an HT502 automatically decodes pulses even during a call when configured for SIP INFO signaling.  Admittedly, the * and # keys though are more difficult.