Author Topic: Western Electric not ringing  (Read 3373 times)

Offline jonjonsson

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Western Electric not ringing
« on: January 17, 2011, 08:10:19 AM »
Hi,

I found this phone on a garage sale. It's a Western Electric, marked Signal Crops U.S. Army. Probably from the US army base in Iceland.

IMAGE A


IMAGE B


IMAGE C


IMAGE D


IMAGE E


Without thinking I clipped of the old Icelandic plug (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_telephone_plugs_%26_sockets) and was going to put on a RJ-11 but that proved more difficult than I thought.

That was a few months ago, finally my wife took it up again, took it apart and removed the original cable and put on a new cable with an RJ-11 end.

This RJ-11 cable we found has only 2 wires. She put red to connector 3 on image e and green to connector 5. The original cable also had a yellow cable that was on connector 4, so there is nothing on that connector right now.

We were very happy to find that calling and receiving calls actually worked. However the phone does not ring. I found a tip online about moving black wire from connector 2 to connector 5 but that didn't change anything. Any other ideas? :)

Also it would be interesting to know:
1) What type of  phone is this? Is it a 500 series?
2) Does the 68 on image C and D mean its from 1968?
3) Is it worth anything?

« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 08:18:51 AM by jonjonsson »

Online LarryInMichigan

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Re: Western Electric not ringing
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 08:30:49 AM »
Jon,

The phone is the US Army Signal Corps version of the Western Electric 500.  The "3-68" means that the phone was made in March 1968.  A typical black WE 500 from 1968 would usually be worth maybe $5-$10, but the Signal Corps version is probably worth more because it is unusual.  Someone here might be able to estimate a value.

To make you ringer work, move the wire which is connected to the terminal marked "2" to the next one over (marked "5").


Larry

Offline jonjonsson

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Re: Western Electric not ringing
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 08:38:01 AM »
To make you ringer work, move the wire which is connected to the terminal marked "2" to the next one over (marked "5").

Thanks a lot for the info! I actually tried moving the wire from 2 to 5, but it didn't do the trick, might it be because I'm missing a wire from connector 4 to the wall plug?

Online LarryInMichigan

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Re: Western Electric not ringing
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 09:18:58 AM »
Did you feel any vibration in the ringer?  You may need to adjust the bias spring on the ringer to allow the clapper arm to move more freely.  You do not need more than the two line wires.

Larry

Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Western Electric not ringing
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 09:20:33 AM »
Welcome to the Forum, Jon.

As Larry said that black wire need to be on the terminal you have marked as #5.  There is no need for the yellow wire connection that was once on terminal #4 (G).  The other wires appear to be correct.

Check your ringer's bias tension spring.  Sometimes just moving the thin spring wire will make a silent ringer ring again.  Look at the photo in reply #2 at this link:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=2905.0

(I was writing this as Larry was making his post just prior to mine)

Offline jonjonsson

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Re: Western Electric not ringing
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 01:56:00 PM »
Thanks again for the help!

"... that black wire need to be on the terminal you have marked as #5."

The black wire is securely on #5, I took the picture before moving it.

"Did you feel any vibration in the ringer?"

I do not feel or see any vibration. I can hear a very faint sound coming from it when I call it, not sure how to describe it, its not a ringing or anything like that more like some kind of electricity sound. Very low, have to strain to hear it.

"Check your ringer's bias tension spring."

I just tried this now, did not help. I guess I should see some kind of vibration before this becomes an issue?

Is there a chance my line does not have enough voltage or something like that? I newly renovated and the plug is a standard ethernet plug, RJ-45.

Online LarryInMichigan

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Re: Western Electric not ringing
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 02:16:34 PM »
It is possible that there is not enough ringing voltage on the line, especially if you already have many other phones with ringers connected.  It is also possible that the ringer and/or the capacitor built into the phone's network are bad.  You could try connecting a .47 or 1 μF capacitor between terminals 6 and 7 in your picture.

The normal modular connector used for one or two-line phones most places is RJ-11.  RJ-45 connectors are much wider, but they would work.


Larry

Offline jonjonsson

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Re: Western Electric not ringing
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 03:50:11 PM »
Its working! The sweet chimes of 1968 :D

I called a friend that has worked with phones and he was so sure about that the yellow wire must be connected. I told him he was probably wrong, I had read in multiple places it did nothing. But we tried anyway under protest and voila, much happiness. I guess this must be some Icelandic thing?

Thanks again for all the help!

Online LarryInMichigan

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Re: Western Electric not ringing
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 04:05:42 PM »
What is connected to the yellow wire at the other end of the cord?  Are you located in North America?

Larry

Offline JorgeAmely

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Re: Western Electric not ringing
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2011, 04:08:52 PM »
1968 is full of history. President Johnson was in charge back then. Among many things, he mandated that all computers purchased by the federal government use the ASCII character set.

Google is your friend: search for "What happened in March 1968" and that will give you an insight of the era when this phone was built.

Jorge

Offline jonjonsson

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Re: Western Electric not ringing
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2011, 04:34:26 PM »
What is connected to the yellow wire at the other end of the cord?  Are you located in North America?

Larry

I'm in Iceland.

I found a RJ-11 cable with 4 wires in my cable box (I was using a 2 wire before). Clipped off one of the ends and attached red and green like my image above, then yellow wire to terminal 4 on my image. Didn't do anything with the fourth wire. Plugged the other end into the wall.

Also the black that used to be in position 2, I kept in terminal 5 like before.

Got kind of a week ring, but adjusted the bias tension string like you guys mentioned and got a nice loud ring.

... search for "What happened in March 1968" and that will give you an insight of the era when this phone was built.

Good idea!

Online LarryInMichigan

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Re: Western Electric not ringing
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2011, 04:54:57 PM »
There may be a capacitor in the phone socket like the British ones have.  If that is the case, you could bypass the capacitor in the phone's network by connecting the wires on terminals 6 and 7 together (on either terminal).  If there is a capacitor in the socket, this should give you a better ring.  If not, it will take your line "off-hook".


Larry

Offline Adam

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Re: Western Electric not ringing
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2011, 05:28:09 PM »
called a friend that has worked with phones and he was so sure about that the yellow wire must be connected.

An old phone guy would say that.  As wired from the factory, the black wire from the ringer is connected to the yellow wire in the mounting cord.

To make the phone ring, at the connecting block, the yellow wire from the mounting cord is connected to the same place the green wire is connected to.

Basically, you've just taken a short-cut by connecting the black wire of the ringer right to the green wire in the set, bypassing its extra connection in the mounting cord.  That's the standard way to do it today.

It's why you'll see so many eBay auctions for 500 type sets that say "works OK but does not ring".  It's because the phone has never been opened or modified, so you'd have to know you have to connect the yellow wire to the green wire at the connecting block to make the phone ring.
Adam Forrest
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