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Thread: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    I am a collector/user of vintage touch-tone and rotary-phones. I have one right by my bed, and I would like to be able to turn off the ringer when I sleep, without causing undue wear and tear on the RJ-11 jack. Does anyone have any ideas for how to install a simple inline switch? I used to use a heavy, bulky, box (I will post a picture later), and want something more elegant.

    :0)

    LEDAdd1ct

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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    Can you just open up the phone and put an inline switch to the wire goes to the electromagnet that rings the bell?

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    Flashaholic* sunspot's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    I also use some old phones. If you get a RJ11 Coupler, you can crack it open and install a on/off switch. Of course this will make the phone dead. If you want only the ringer off, I can’t think of anything that could be done without drilling a hole in the cover or base.
    On the other hand, you could interrupt the ringer wire and come out from the edge of the phone to an external box with a switch in it.

    I have a WE model 2500DM in tan and a WE 500M in black. The first is a touch tone and the other is a dial. Both use a RJ11. the “M” is modular and the “D” is digital.
    Dana

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    Well, near as I can tell, there are three possibilities:

    1) Install a switch on the line, before the phone sees the line. This will connect/disconnect the phone.

    2) Install a switch in the case, which disconnects the line.

    3) Install a switch in the case, which disconnects the ringer.

    Would option two or three be easier?

    Any other ideas for option one?

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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    Somebody probably makes an RJ11 coupler with switch that'll kill the whole phone, but who wants a dead phone? Here's a product made in the 70s for USA type old style phones. It's a switch for the ringer coil. edit: Hmm, it also kills the earpiece. I don't know if this kills the whole phone or not. The principle for killing the bell is the same if you find the right wire.

    Another trick I learned is that on many analog bell phones, there is a loudness adjustment on the bottom that merely moves the bells closer and farther away around a central striker. Many of these assemblies have a metal tab on the adjuster knob or lever to prevent the bells from moving too close - and shutting down almost all sound!



    Last edited by louie; 07-10-2018 at 07:17 PM.

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    Flashaholic* AndyTiedye's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    Some of the old phones use the yellow wire for the ringer. You could just wire a switch into the cord in that case.

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    Flashaholic* sunspot's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    Louie, I know what those were used for. In the old days when customers were charged by the phone, this device “hides” the ringer. The way the PhonCo tested was by “looking” at how many ringers were on the line.

    Re: turning down the ringer. Good thought. You could also jam a bit of cotton in the space that’s left to completely muffle the bells.
    Dana

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    -this is why I love CPF. Even in my quest to avoid buying "the next brightest toy", I can still log-in and find out information on another techie hobby from the terrific knowledge base right here!

    I feel like I am the guy who disarms bombs: "Red wire? Yellow wire? If I pick the wrong one...!"

    louie, I took off the case of my phone, and though it uses spade lugs instead of screws, there is an L1 and an L2, and one of them has a red wire. I think in about, oh, two minutes, I will grab a needle-nose pliers, and *gently* remove the red wire, and see if the phone behaves as the diagram you posted suggests. If it does, then it is time to find a nice little toggle switch.

    Just 'cause I said I would, here is the sort of box I *used* to use to disconnect the line:

    http://search.ebay.com/290199457268

    I think the switch in the case is far more elegant!

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    I've done both:

    1) A simple switch between the bell electromagnet and the source

    2) bend the wire that holds the clanger so that it rests on the bells when turned down alll the way.

    On some models you could simply reverse the wires at the RJ11 jack to keep them from ringing. This worked if they were set up for a two party line and used a dial instead of touchtone.

    I seem to recall that a standard single pole-single throw slide switch from radioshack wedged quite well between the metal base and the plastic cover.

    Daniel
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    OK, upon actually reading my sheet, I see that the device tells you to simply undo one of the 2 phone lines (red wire from the jack) and install the switch, so the phone is deactivated. You can't even pick it up and use it if you hear another phone ring, or initiate a call.

    I think the easiest thing to do if you have a 500-type desk phone, is to bend out the ringer loudness stop tab. This allows bells to close up around the clapper and you'll hear almost nothing, but the phone will still work.

    Photo 1 - 500-type phone at minimum loudness before stop tab is bent:


    Photo 2 - after tab is bent out, allowing one more notch to silence bells:


    To permanently disable bells but keep the phone otherwise working, undo one of the bell coil wires, in this case, red.

    Photo 3 - bell coil with gray and red wires:


    Photo 4 - at L2, small red wire from jack is left attached and large red wire from bell coil is taken off. This is where you'd put the switch to turn bells on/off.


    Photo 5 - wide view reference.
    Last edited by louie; 07-10-2018 at 07:26 PM.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    Awesome pictures!

    Last night, I showed the resident ham radio operator/electronics guru in the house what I wanted to accomplish. He agreed that the best way to do this was to simply put a switch between the coil that energizes the little hammer and the board where all the different wires meet. On my phone, we found one black wire (probably the same as the "gray" wire shown in Photo Number Three), where we could intercept the electrons with a switch. We are still deciding between a toggle or a push-button.

    The other methods of intercepting the electrons kill the phone, which, though it does serve the purpose of letting you know the ringer is off (because you won't hear anything!), is more than I desire to have happen. I am going down to NYC tonight, but perhaps late this evening (or definitely tomorrow), we will put a small hole in the case, wire in the switch, and test the whole thing.

    I think we have a camera somewhere in the house, and if I can find it, I will most certainly post pictures.

    :-)

    LEDAdd1ct

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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    Bending the Stop Tab back was actual Bell System practice and the method I used on my 500 set back when I used to carry it around the house. The mod is still in place, but I leave the ringer up all the way as it sits on my desk now.

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    Flashaholic* sunspot's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    This is great. Here we are looking, buying and using the latest technology in flashlights and we all have a 500 dial phone. That cracks me up.



    BTW, I have my cell phone ringtone set to classic just like the 500.
    Dana

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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunspot View Post
    BTW, I have my cell phone ringtone set to classic just like the 500.

    Same here and it is great except in the one place I volunteer a couple times a week. Seems the early touch tone phones had that same ring.

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunspot View Post
    This is great. Here we are looking, buying and using the latest technology in flashlights and we all have a 500 dial phone. That cracks me up.



    BTW, I have my cell phone ringtone set to classic just like the 500.
    Ahh, but "latest technology" does not necessarily mean best or highest quality! I have two or three "new" phones in the house I could use, but for both microphone and earpiece sound quality, as well as the overall construction quality of the phone (both base and handset), as well as solid, built-to-last feel, I have been hard-pressed to find anything new that beats these vintage jobbies!

    :-)

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    Flashaholic* NA8's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by LEDAdd1ct View Post
    Does anyone have any ideas for how to install a simple inline switch?
    LEDAdd1ct
    I've got an old 6' RJ-11 cable with a small ON-OFF switch built into the line. Off kills the ringer, but I get a dial tone in both on and off positions.

    The label on the back reads: Cat. No. 43-127 Ring Controller. Complies with: blah blah. Made in Taiwan.

    Thought I bought it at Radio Shack, but there's no brand marked on it, and it doesn't show up in a search at Radio Shack, so it may be from some other hardware type store that sells all that blister pak telephone stuff.
    Last edited by NA8; 02-18-2008 at 08:36 PM.

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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    Quote Originally Posted by NA8 View Post
    I've got an old 6' RJ-11 cable with a small ON-OFF switch built into the line. Off kills the ringer, but I get a dial tone in both on and off positions.

    The label on the back reads: Cat. No. 43-127 Ring Controller. Complies with: blah blah. Made in Taiwan.

    Thought I bought it at Radio Shack, but there's no brand marked on it, and it doesn't show up in a search at Radio Shack, so it may be from some other hardware type store that sells all that blister pak telephone stuff.
    That is a Radio Shack Catalog number so you are right on that one.

    Sandman has ringer cut off switches that will work with any phone. The one is manual (with a switch) the other is automatic and is controlled by adding or removing power. These can be modified to switch the line as well.
    http://sandman.com/wizard.html#RingerCut-off
    For the entire wizard's toolbox: http://sandman.com/wizard.html.

    Just a warning, he does have some BS stuff on his site as well, but it is in separate areas and easily determined. (Tasler for Kids, Phone-line powered devices.)

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    The inline switch on the Sandman site, though it looks cool, is way too expensive for what it is. I checked the Radioshack(?) version, and they definitely don't make it anymore if they once did; the catalog number refers to something else. If it *is* Radioshack, then they must be out there, if one is persistent enough.

    I am hoping my father and I can install the toggle switch tonight, and take some pics for all to see. A project is only good if the knowledge can be shared!

    LEDAdd1ct

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    My dad and I just finished! He did the wiring, soldering, attaching of spade lugs on the inside- in other words, I watched, learned, and tried to help, while he did the gruntwork.

    I would like to post the pictures of the final product. Can someone P/M me or post here how to display the pictures we took?

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* NA8's Avatar
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    Default Re: How install ringer switch in vintage phone?

    http://imageshack.us/

    Just upload a 800 pixel (max dim) picture. You don't have to register though they encourage it. Save the direct link address that they give you and put it in your post. There's a icon for it on the icon bar of the post editor.

    Practice posting here:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...splay.php?f=31
    Last edited by NA8; 02-20-2008 at 01:03 AM.

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