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Restoring an old Western Electric 500


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#1 JAKK

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 12:51 PM

Hi. I aquired a Western Electric modle 500 from 1960 and I have been restoring it. I soldered a phone cord to the end because there was no phone jack. The phone will ring,can recieve incoming calls,and gets a dial tone. However,I can't make any outgoing calls. The dial tone comes back each time the dial stops moving,and then it cuts out. I read this thread ,and the problem sounds similar to the one I am having. I checked the contacts on the dial,and they seem fine. The only thing I think may be causing a problem is the fact that I have Time Warner digital phone. Thanks for your help.

#2 nwbell

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 01:29 PM

What make/model of ATA (digital-to-analog phone adaptor) do you have? My first guess would be that it doesn't support pulse dialing. If this is the case, a plain old tone dialer would probably do the trick, or there might be a setting you could change to enable it (not likely).

I've heard of in-line pulse-to-tone converter type devices, but can't recall what they are called or who made them. The idea was that the phone would pulse out a digit, and the box would hear it and generate the proper tone. Might be worth pursuing.

#3 JAKK

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 01:38 PM

Hi,I don't have an adapter. I have one modem that handles internet and phone. The cable goes into the back of the modem, and a telephone line comes out of it and goes into a phone jack which provides the service.

EDIT: Here's the page for the modem. It mentions voIP which is interesting because Time Warner refferes to it as digital phone.

Edited by JAKK, 03 August 2006 - 01:48 PM.


#4 nwbell

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 03:24 PM

Yes, acourse it's VoIP. The spec sheet even says that this device supports SIP.

I don't know if it allows any sort of user-configuration (i.e., web or telnet based admin), but if it does you may want to take a look. Or you could call the cable company and demand they "make it work" so you can use your rotary phone.

#5 JAKK

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 04:10 PM

Ok,thanks. It dosen't allow for any type of web based configuration,I may try to contact the cable company. I found a pulse to dtmf converter on this website. Is there a possibility that it will work?

#6 nwbell

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 04:16 PM

The CID6K on that page is kinda pricey, but that's the kind of thing you'd need.

#7 JAKK

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 04:51 PM

Ok, I'll look around to see if I can find anything a bit cheaper. Thanks for your help.

#8 Alkali Jack

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 05:09 PM

Ok, I'll look around to see if I can find anything a bit cheaper. Thanks for your help.


Before you invest money, test your theory. Get another phone that is pulse dial (many phones have a switch on the side to convert them from DTMF mode) and see if that one exhibits similar behavior. Otherwise, it may be a problem with the Western Electric itself, not your service.

#9 nwbell

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 06:52 PM

Before you invest money, test your theory. Get another phone that is pulse dial (many phones have a switch on the side to convert them from DTMF mode) and see if that one exhibits similar behavior. Otherwise, it may be a problem with the Western Electric itself, not your service.


Good point - shame on me for skipping the first step :blink:

#10 CerealKiller

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 08:27 PM

I actually got one of those sitting right in front of me but all i can suggest is opening it up and seeing if something is disconnected. With me my ringer was disconnected so i had to reconnect it and i also had to fix the mounth piece so i could talk.

Edited by CerealKiller, 03 August 2006 - 08:34 PM.


#11 JAKK

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 08:50 PM

Thanks for the tip,I can't believe I didn't think of that. I'll try to find another pulse phone and try it. As for opening it up,I've done that already because I had to rewire it from party line mode so it would ring. I looked at the dialer,and it seems to be working okay. I could also try the phone in someone else's house that I know has a standard line.

EDIT: Okay,I tried another pulse phone and the same thing happened,so it's a pulse issue. Is there any alternitive method I can use or instructions for building my own converter?

Edited by JAKK, 03 August 2006 - 09:00 PM.


#12 bakelite gal

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 05:34 AM

I am having a similar problem, in the UK some of the telephone providers only support tone dialling :-( Have you managed to locate a cheap pulse to tone converter or a cct diagram to build one? Many thanks Karen

#13 nwbell

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 05:48 PM

With me my ringer was disconnected so i had to reconnect it


Seen that often. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC that "mod" was done so that when Ma Bell tested to see how many fones were on a line, the modified fone would not be detected.

I'm an idiot when it comes to the details of such matters, but I think it had to do with the amount of power drawn by the ringer(s) on the line. If the power drawn was more than what should be for the number of fone(s) you were leasing, you were assumed to be using more extension fones than you were paying for.

But again. I could very well be wrong ;)

#14 punk_kaos

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 06:18 PM

Just a quick tip. I discovered today that the Linksys PAP2 Version 2(NOT THE V1!) will accept pulse dialing.
These can be picked up at Best Buy or wherever as Vonage adapters and unlocked.
And they're alot cheaper than the Pulse-DTMF converters.

#15 floatfar

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 04:31 PM

With me my ringer was disconnected so i had to reconnect it


Seen that often. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but IIRC that "mod" was done so that when Ma Bell tested to see how many fones were on a line, the modified fone would not be detected.

I'm an idiot when it comes to the details of such matters, but I think it had to do with the amount of power drawn by the ringer(s) on the line. If the power drawn was more than what should be for the number of fone(s) you were leasing, you were assumed to be using more extension fones than you were paying for.

But again. I could very well be wrong ;)


I have a phone that has its ringer turned off for just this reason ie so that the company would not know that the phone was connected (according to the daughter of the man who disabled it). I wish to reconnect the ringer. There are two wires that go to the ringer solenoid. They seem to be connected to the wrong connectors. Where should these two wires be connected? Is it supposed to be connected across the two wires that correspond to the line being used (ie line1 or line2)?

Thank you :)




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