Author Topic: Four Western Elec. 500 Questions  (Read 272 times)

Offline Rotorman

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Four Western Elec. 500 Questions
« on: June 08, 2019, 05:14:39 PM »
Q1:   What WERE the engineers thinking when they came up with those 623D line cord jacks that accept RJ11 plugs on the back of the phone body?  In working with a few of these vintage phones Iíve found that just by LOOKING at these flimsy plastic jacks the wrong way is inviting breakage disaster.  Getting a replacement is a lesson in the absurdity of hobby economy when the darned jack costs MORE than what I paid for the entire stinkin phone to begin with!   Maybe I need to look elsewhere other than eBay to find these wired jacks at a reasonable priceÖ..any suggestions? 
Q2:  I have a curled handset cord that needs a new RJ9 male plug on one end.  Iíve ordered a good quantity of the plugs, and wondered if I can install it WITHOUT the crimping tool, or is this just inviting problems down the road?  I donít foresee much need for the tool in the future, and wondered if I should just bite the bullet and order one.  Maybe they even make one that will crimp both RJ9 AND RJ11 plugs? 
Q3:  Is there a reasonably priced supply house that would carry such parts as handset mouth pieces, phone bodies, etc in various colors? 
Q4:  Are these phones becoming harder and harder to find?  I used to see them all over the flea markets a few years ago, but hardly ever any more.   

Offline rdelius

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Re: Four Western Elec. 500 Questions
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2019, 05:26:11 PM »
You have to have a crimping tool to install the plugs.There are some inexpensive metal crimping tools on ebay that crimp all three commonly sized plugs. The plastic on the jacks gets brittle with age.Remember some might be 40+ years old

Offline RotarDad

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Re: Four Western Elec. 500 Questions
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2019, 07:11:15 PM »
Re question 3 & 4, I think EBay or other collectors are probably your best bet for parts and phones.  There are a few online businesses catering to collectors as well.  Shipping costs are a potential downside, but you  are probably right about the thinning general market place for this stuff.  Rotary phones have been out of general service  now for 30+ years - time flies!
Paul

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Four Western Elec. 500 Questions
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2019, 09:47:41 PM »
Maybe they even make one that will crimp both RJ9 AND RJ11 plugs? 

They do indeed, I have such a tool (generic pic below) and it's been quite handy as it does the RJ9/10, RJ11/12 and RJ45 connectors, so useful for many things as I've used mine with wiring up my ethernet cables aswell as telephone connections... :)

Offline andy1702

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Re: Four Western Elec. 500 Questions
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2019, 06:18:05 AM »
You'll definitely need that crimping tool to fit the connector.

I feel your pain about the parts costing more than the whole phone. I also collect old pressure lanterns and they often come with no glass. A replacement glass is always at least double what I paid for the lamp!

I think I'd try filling in the square hole left by the old socket in the telephone's body and reinstate the hard-wired mouse-hole. depending what the plastic is, you can probably melt some scrap plastic of the same color using acetone and use that to fill in the hole. Those modular sockets are hopeless.
Call me on C*net 0246 81 290 from the UK
or (+44) 246 81 290 from the rest of the world.

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Offline RotarDad

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Re: Four Western Elec. 500 Questions
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2019, 01:14:17 PM »
To complete my earlier post, here are the two main online vintage phone & parts retailers:

http://www.oldphoneworks.com/

http://www.oldphoneshop.com/

Some items (like shiny complete phones) are quite pricey, while many others are pretty fair deals.  In my case,  Iíve mostly bought parts/parts phones/complete phones on Ebay to get what I needed, and then sold the balance (usually as a complete, shiny phone) back on eBay to recoup my costs.

Paul

Offline Rotorman

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Re: Four Western Elec. 500 Questions
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2019, 07:34:49 PM »
Thanks, all, for the answers and suggestions.  Lesson learned:  don't throw ANYTHING away....somewhere down the
line it will probably come in handy for another phone and will save a bundle on a replacement part and the
shipping cost involved.  The crimping tool seems like a great investment, and yes, they're all over the auction sites. 

Offline RotarDad

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Re: Four Western Elec. 500 Questions
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2019, 01:37:02 AM »
Many here share the ďdonít throw anything awayĒ sentiment.....  Especially if the items are small and store easily.  I have several cardboard boxes of parts and several locking plastic boxes for smaller parts.  If you can get to a phone show, those are great opportunities to load up on parts at fair prices with no shipping too.
Paul