Author Topic: Converting a British phone to work in US?  (Read 1497 times)

Offline Karen

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Converting a British phone to work in US?
« on: January 07, 2012, 04:30:28 AM »
There's a phone on ebay im lusting over... but its in Scotland.  Im wondering if it would be easy to get working on a US landline. 

What do you think?


Offline dsk

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Re: Converting a British phone to work in US?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 04:39:58 AM »
Welcome!

The only difference in those systems is the ringer capacitor is moved out of the telephone and into the UK master socket,
  • 1: You may buy an adapter.
  • 2: You may put in a capacitor to the phone.
  • 3: It may be a capacitor inside ready for use.
you may buy a converter.

dsk

I have even got a regular New York number :-) 646 570 1796

Offline Karen

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Re: Converting a British phone to work in US?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2012, 04:43:37 AM »
Dang it!  I dont know a thing about capacitors and they seem to be the root of all my phone problems lately!

Online twocvbloke

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Re: Converting a British phone to work in US?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2012, 04:52:40 AM »
You might want to see these threads:

Converting GPO 746 to US & Canada lines
and:
Absolutely Beautiful 1970/83 GPO 746 Red

They can help you with converting (if needed) to use GPO phones on US & Canadian phonelines... :)

Offline dsk

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Re: Converting a British phone to work in US?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2012, 06:03:16 AM »
This adapter may solve your problem:
http://is.gd/UqeIRR
Just plug and play ring  :D
dsk

I have even got a regular New York number :-) 646 570 1796

Online twocvbloke

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Re: Converting a British phone to work in US?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2012, 06:25:29 AM »
This adapter may solve your problem:
http://is.gd/UqeIRR
Just plug and play ring  :D
dsk

Thing is, not all GPO phones have a BT plug fitted, if it's in an original unconverted state with a terminal block, all it needs is to wire in an RJ11 cord in the BT52A, with US-Red to GPO-White and US-Green to GPO-Red, there usually is a strap between the GPO White and Green (or Blue, depending on how it was installed) wires... :)

Easier to use the capacitors built in to the phone than to add more... :)

Offline GG

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Re: Converting a British phone to work in US?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2012, 08:38:57 AM »


The short, sweet, and definitive answer is, YES, buy it, and YES it can be made to work in the US, easily.

To do the conversion properly you'll probably need to order a BT to USA modular adaptor, which will cost about $10 in many good electronics shops in the US and can also be ordered online.  Or you can see about asking the seller to send you a BT modular jack to go along with the phone, and we can talk you through the process of wiring it up.  Don't chop off the BT modular plug, since you can use an adaptor to make it interface to a USA modular cord. 

You may also need a capacitor, which will cost about a dollar at Radio Snack, and we can talk you through the process of getting the right one and connecting it inside the phone.  Alternately you may only need a short piece of wire to bridge between two screw terminals inside the phone.    In any case the work involves simply screwing down the capacitor or jumper wire between two terminals inside the phone.  It's remarkably easy to do.

What you have there is a Tele. 746, with a newly-manufactured dial number ring, arrow plate, and fingerwheel of the type used on the slightly older Tele. 706.  I have a 706 using those parts, and they are high-quality material that look & work correctly.  Strictly speaking, GPO / BT never produced 746s using those parts, but the combination looks fine and only an expert can tell that it was an adaptation.  But IMHO it's "legit" in the same manner as putting a WE #7 dial on a 1970s WE 500 set, to get a slightly older look. 

Concorde blue is a relatively rare color, and usually is seen faded to a kind of dark green.   That one appears to have kept its original color so it's a good find.  Though, do keep it away from direct sunlight or it will also fade to dark green. 

NOTE, IMPORTANT: Disassembly of Tele. 746:  There is a single screw in the rear above the cord entry points.  Loosen but do not remove the screw.  The housing will then lift off toward the front.  HOWEVER, BE CAREFUL:  The dial fits so closely inside the number ring, that it's difficult to remove the housing with the dial fingerwheel in place.  (The number ring is attached to the phone housing, only the approximately 3" dial itself is attached to the phone baseplate.)

So you need one more thing, and it's important: any little suction cup of about the right size to stick on the clear plastic dial number label holder.  Stick the suction cup on there, gently pull on it to remove the clear plastic number label holder.  Then unscrew the single screw in the center of the dial fingerwheel, and gently remove the fingerwheel.  Now it will be easier to unscrew and remove the main housing from the phone. 

To reassemble the whole thing:  Put the housing on first by fitting the tab under the baseplate in front, and then lowering it into place and screwing down the screw at the rear.  THEN replace the dial fingerwheel.  When you replace the dial fingerwheel, do not over-tighten the mounting screw or you may crack the plastic fingerwheel.  Then lastly, put the number card and clear plastic retainer back in place.