Author Topic: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection  (Read 781 times)

bellsystem

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Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« on: June 26, 2017, 11:42:04 AM »
I've acquired a Western Electric 302 that was made in May 1939. I opened it up and the wiring looks like it's in good condition, although there's one wire that goes nowhere (a red one).

The phone was hardwired, so there is no connector on the end. I just have a red, green, and yellow wire sticking out.

I outlined my problem here but didn't get much help:

https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/311120/is-it-possible-to-connect-a-3-wire-line-without-stripping-an-rj11-line-cord

I need to figure out to connect the wires to a line cord.

Right now, I am planning on getting an RJ11 connection block. This way I can connect the wires with the RJ11 cord more reliably. Is there an easier way I could put this back into service? Right now, this is the only phone I own that I can't use.

Thanks! This is my first post - hope I followed all the guidelines,
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 12:51:25 PM by TelePlay »

unbeldi

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 12:31:02 PM »
Welcome!

The various advice of the thread you posted looks pretty much correct upon scanning over it.

A modern telephone line only needs two wires, green (TIP) and red (RING) in most cords.  On a modular plug and jack those are the two center pins.
It can be somewhat of a challenge to make a good connection to old tinsel wires, even when freshly stripped, as used in the old cords.  Often the byproducts of rubber deterioration have already oxidized the surface of the tinsel threads too, but I have often succeeded by wrapping two or three inches of bare 28-gauge stranded wire from a modular cord, or one with spade tips, tightly around the tinsel, and then sealing it with solder.  Finally, shrink-tubing can be used to protect the "splice".

Inside the telephone the red wire connects to the L1 terminal, and the green to L2, but this assignment is historically not consistent and polarity in this case does not matter.  The yellow conductor in the line cord is not used and may be stored or connected to an empty terminal (GND) on the little phenol connection plate.  It was used for grounded ringing, when the signal came from either L1 or L2 and returned via Earth ground to the central office.

When connecting the cord end directly to a modular connection block, the wire colors should be reversed, green to red, and red to green, because a standard modular cords reverses polarity once again.  But, as mentioned, polarity is not a critical aspect today for simple telephones like this.  In my picture with modular connection box all three wires have been rescued, and the yellow wire was connected to the green line wire terminal in the box.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 01:30:22 PM by unbeldi »

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 12:49:51 PM »
Is that taped off red wire coming from the ringer? Someone may have removed it to silence the ringer. Or have you checked it and it does ring and if so, where is the other end of that red wire?
            John . . .

              

bellsystem

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 12:59:21 PM »
Thanks all for your help!

I haven't used the phone at all yet because I haven't been able to hook it up. I tried holding the cord to the other cord with my fingers but I never heard a dial tone.

I considered calling it when I was doing that but, my I wasn't sure if it's safe to hold onto the copper directly because I know electrocution can occur when a ringing signal is sent. I have the line hooked up to one of my Panasonic PBXs - not sure if that makes a difference. None of my PBXs are GROUNDED - so I don't think I can ground to it, right?
So, I don't need to do anything with the yellow cord at all?

The red cord did come from near the ringer, but it wasn't connected to. I'm a telephone hobbyist but I have no idea how the wiring works or how it's supposed to be. The person who gave this to me (for free too!) told me it came from a senior citizen who bought it in to a school to show kids what life was back way back when.

I like the connection box option because regardless of the wiring scheme, I can flip the wires around easily.

Also, I am using a reverse RJ11 cable, not a straight RJ11 cable. I don't know if that would make any difference. And this cable has all four wires - tip and ring as well as high and low (yellow/black) so would it be worth anything connecting yellow to yellow?

Thanks again all for your help!

unbeldi

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 12:59:36 PM »
John's advice is good too, we certainly need to make sure the telephone is wired correctly.   It does look like the ringer wire and it should be connected to L1.

The black ringer wire goes to the K terminal on the little square connection plate, where also the condenser is connected with its slate (~gray) terminal.  The yellow wire from the condenser goes to Y, which seems to be in place already.  There are two yellow wires on Y.  Y is the same physical metal as L2.

bellsystem

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2017, 01:06:18 PM »
Where are the L1 and L2 terminals?
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 01:17:09 PM by TelePlay »

bellsystem

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2017, 08:27:11 PM »
I feel stupid for asking, but do I need to unscrew the screw for L1? Or does it just clip on somehow??

unbeldi

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017, 09:29:02 PM »
I feel stupid for asking, but do I need to unscrew the screw for L1? Or does it just clip on somehow??

You loosen the screw, slide the spade tip under the screw head, and tighten the screw.

Offline nolan613

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2017, 11:36:10 PM »
The question is only simple after you discover the answer. Always ask....
Success is not final,
failure is not fatal:
it is the courage to continue that counts

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bellsystem

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2017, 01:22:58 PM »
I connected the red wire from the ringer to L1. Screw is back in and those wires are now secure. Thee are two wires on L1 both on top of each other as can be seen in the picture but I assume that is okay.

Now I just have to figure out the line cord wiring since it looks like there are no more loose wires inside (I have a black 500 with a loose yellow wire inside but it works without it).

I'd really rather not get a connection block unless absolutely necessary, so does anyone have any other suggestions on how I can connect the stripped hardwired cord to an RJ11 modular cord?

The PBXs are not grounded, so should I NOT connect the yellow wire?

Thanks!

bellsystem

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2017, 02:06:29 PM »
I now have another resource available - an RJ11 connection thing that goes in the wall with some extra line cord attached I can strip. This was handdone by a homeowner DIY so hopefully it was done right. I see green, orange, blue, and white wires in there. The wires terminate in a sort of DIY crimping punchblock attached to the port that goes in the wall.

So, can I use this? Now I have a hardwired line cord to go with the phone. I'm not exactly sure how to make this happen though...

Thanks again! I know I'm getting closer... I can feel it!!

Offline mentalstampede

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2017, 03:26:29 PM »
The piece of cable with the RJ11 keystone jack you have should work adequately for testing purposes, but it's far from an optimal solution for a permanent fix. If the keystone is terminated correctly (I can't see well enough in the picture), you can connect the solid blue and the blue/white striped wire to the L1 and L2 terminals on the coil in the phone.

Your easiest option that would look the best and be good for regular use is to install a new line cord that already has an appropriate RJ11 installed. New cords with original style cloth outer covering are available from a multitude of suppliers, such as OPW (https://www.oldphoneworks.com/cloth-covered-line-cord-spade-modular-various-colors.html). be sure to specify Western Electric style restraints when you order.

Once you've got that sorted, remove the original line cord that has the cut off end. Using a new cord like I've linked above, connect the red lead to L1 and the green lead to L2. Insulate the black and yellow leads with tape and fold them away inside the housing somewhere out of the way. A cord like this will work easily, and it will have the appropriate hardware to secure it and make a neat looking and secure installation without having to use a terminal block or connector. Then you can simply plug the phone in.
My name is Kenn, and I like telephones.

“Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” --Robert Heinlein

bellsystem

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2017, 03:45:19 PM »
Thanks for the advice, but I'd like to keep this original cord. For the time being, I want to make do with what I have.

I have several other phones working fine - and I prefer the 500 to the 302 anyways. I'd just like it to be in working order - but it doesn't have to be perfect,

Anyways, can I connect the cloth line cord from the 302 to the stripped brownish gray wiring coming from the jack? Since they're both stripped wire that's cut off, I feel like it would be easiest to connect the wires and I can easily match the right colors to the right colors.

I know this will look a little ugly right now but I'm fine with that. I want an immediate fix with what I have.

I tried what I described above but it is still not working... I stripped the blue and blue white wires and connected red to blue and green to blue white but nothing happened...

Thank you!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 05:04:52 PM by bellsystem »

bellsystem

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2017, 05:21:47 PM »
Thanks for your help everyone! I've finally gotten somewhere!

Used Scotch tape to insulate my fingers and then pinched down on the desk the red wire to the blue and the green wire to the blue/white wire.

Obviously, the telephone was off hook since you have to take the receiver off to repair the 302.

At first, I got the ringing signal a few times... but then I get a BUSY signal! Success!

Only my right hand was free, since my left was holding the wires down, so as soon as dialed, I tried pressing the switchhook down but I wasn't quick enough.

I have a pushbutton phone that only works with pulse dialing however, and it saved the day! I was able to punch the buttons quickly and then switch the phone and hold down the switchhook and I was able to hear it ring!

I'm still going to mess around with the wires to get them to stay without... you know, me holding them down like that since that's sort of impractical... but my idea worked. Thanks again everyone for your help! I can't wait to enjoy this Western Electric 1939 Model 302 telephone, working at last!

Offline mentalstampede

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Re: Western Electric 302 Line Cord Connection
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2017, 05:41:15 PM »
Sounds like you've got it sorted out then. Hopefully you can figure out a good way to splice the cut off wires on the original line cord; those can be hard to deal with. The conductors are fine tinsel woven with string for strength, so they're very difficult to solder to. Originally, it would have has insulation piercing terminals crimped on.
My name is Kenn, and I like telephones.

“Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” --Robert Heinlein