Rotary phone ringer problem

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-03-09, 07:15 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Rotary phone ringer problem

I've had a rotary phone in my home theater for years, as it's about the only way to hear the phone ring if I've got a loud movie going.

Unfortunately, the ringer voltage on my line dropped a couple of years ago and it's now too low to make the rotary ringer work.

The phone company claims to support rotary phones, but the voltage at my jack measures 88 volts, which is insufficient to make the ringer work properly.

They say they're looking into the problem, but they've been telling me that for three years.

Any suggestions as to how I can get the voltage high enough to get the bell to ring?

Thanks,

Charlie
 
  #2  
Old 03-03-09, 09:46 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,495
Received 36 Votes on 28 Posts
It depends on which ringer you have. If you have the old Western Electric 500 series telephone with the two-gong ringer there is a bias spring between the gongs and close to the baseplate, under the clapper. It looks like a small diameter piano wire. It has two positions and you can try to move it to the weaker position. If you have this ringer it will be immediately obvious when you look.

Otherwise, I would have to break out my BSP (Bell Systems Practices) Station Service Manual and look up your particular ringer. If you have something other than a Western Electric telephone I won't be able to help.

One other thing you could do is to buy an add-on external ringer relay. These plug into a 120 volt receptacle and have modular in/out jacks along with a 120 volt receptacle for a lamp or other 120 volt device. This is probably your best answer.
 
  #3  
Old 03-04-09, 02:41 AM
mango man's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
Posts: 2,122
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
you can buy a external ringer for less than 20 that should work

something like this
PHONECO ringer telephone phone bell box

chances are your bell has just worn out , nothing lasts forever

another issue is how many ringers you have on the line

each ringer has a REN number , your mechanical ringer is one ren , the Telco needs to provide 5 REN if you exceed 5 you will have issues (the number is printed on each device )

you can add a ring booster to bring the voltage up
Viking RG-10A Ring Booster, Boost Ringing Power to Ring up to 15 Additional Phones, Compatible with Caller ID, Modular installation, 40V AC - 150V AC Ring Detection, Compatible with distinctive ringing services, Corrects square wave ringing

have you tried plugging your phone in at the NID with everything else unplugged ?
 

Last edited by mango man; 03-04-09 at 03:09 AM.
  #4  
Old 03-04-09, 08:14 AM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Phone ringer problem

This problem occurs with any of a half a dozen rotary phones I own, so it's not specific to one telephone.

Yes, I have tried plugging in just one phone where the line enters the house.

I had a phone company tech here yesterday and he confirmed that there is insufficient voltage to make a rotary phone ring.

He says they will "look into it", though I doubt that it's going to be a priority for anyone.

Still, if Qwest says they support rotary phones, the line should meet spec. It doesn't.

The Ring Booster may be the solution I'm looking for. Adding an external ringer sort of defeats the purpose of using the rotary phone in the first place, since the entire point is to hear the bell ring.

Thanks,

Charlie
 
  #5  
Old 03-04-09, 03:24 PM
mango man's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
Posts: 2,122
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Still, if Qwest says they support rotary phones, the line should meet spec. It doesn't.
well if you can dial then they are supporting pulse dialing(rotary) the ring has nothing to do with supporting a "rotary phone"

if they say it doesn't meet the spec I would call Qwest , ask for a supervisor and threaten to go to the state public service commission unless they resolve it that usually gets their attention

be sure you document everything

a ring box like this in line with the phone lets you use your rotary phone for looks and gives a real bell sound to hear

PHONECO ringer telephone phone bell box
 
  #6  
Old 03-04-09, 04:28 PM
mango man's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
Posts: 2,122
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
you know if all you want is the bell sound I regularly buy these at garage sales and thrift shops in the 5 dollar range

just look to be sure it has a real bell , some of the new ones have electronic ringers

http://images.smithgear.com/2500-DESK-BLACK-BIG.jpg
 
  #7  
Old 03-04-09, 04:57 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,495
Received 36 Votes on 28 Posts
Back in the days when Mother Bell had a fit if you had any "unregistered" telephones in your home (they would test the ringing current draw) I would take a ringer apart and epoxy a reed switch inside the core of the ringer coil. I'd use an equivalent capacitor to the one in the network and a ringer supply from a key system. I'd modify the telephone sets by reconnecting the ringers to the spare (yellow and black) pair on a RJ-14 line set and then feed the new ringer current through the reed switch to the various telephones. The telco only "saw" the ringing current of one ringer and all the telephones in the house had a strong healthy ring. Down side was that if the AC power went out the phones wouldn't ring.

If you only have one or two phones plugged in and they ring okay this may be an option for you. I think I still have a couple of ringer supplies and if you're interested you can PM me.
 
  #8  
Old 03-05-09, 07:09 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,767
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I made one to ring a surplus fire alarm bell.

It took the phone line side components from an old cordless phone base (it used an optoisolator), and mated that with an triac driver with a snubber capacitor. It was to ring in a work yard.
 
  #9  
Old 03-21-09, 10:04 AM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Rotary phone ringer problem

I've acquired the Viking RG-10A Ring Voltage Booster, which is supposed to allow me to hook up as many as 12 phones and have them all ring.

I've hooked it up at the main box outside the house, with just a single rotary phone plugged into it. I still can't get it to ring. I've tried it with several different phones. Nothing with a bell will ring on this line, even with the ring voltage booster in the circuit.

Am I missing something here?

Charlie
 
  #10  
Old 03-21-09, 04:05 PM
mango man's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
Posts: 2,122
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
you could call viking , their tech support people are good.

have you tried taking your rotary phones to someplace where you can try them on a different line (friend, neighbor , relative etc etc )

also try one of the bell box's like I linked to earlier

It souldns more and more like its your phones and not the line
 
  #11  
Old 03-22-09, 06:53 AM
LOCKtec's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NorthWest Ohio, SouthEast Michigan
Posts: 398
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
i dont think it really matters if its a ROTARY dial telephone or TOUCHTONE™ .... are we talking about a simple old 2500 style telephone that has a bell in it instead of a modern 2500 style with electronic ringer installed??

If it is an old one- real old one-

have you changed ANY telephone wiring in the house??? Years ago, many years ago- to have a ringer work the YELLOW wire was required to be connected to the red wire from the pole. The old phones had a 7' round wire coming off the phone to a 42A block & cover {hardwired, or maybe a 4 prong jack & plug}- thats were the yellow wire was either connected to the red or not, if it wasnt connected, it wouldnt ring. there was no black wire, just the 3 .

If you changed any of the wiring , you may have upset this. It could also be at the point of demarcation- the yellow going into the house was connected to the red there, and if this was changed, then you would not have the "RING" going into the house anymore.

This is NOT the case with more modern telephones.
 
  #12  
Old 03-23-09, 05:15 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Rotary phone ringer problem

I've tested this with several different phones, all are early 1980's vintage Western Electric units.

It souldns more and more like its your phones and not the line

We're talking about five or six phones here. Three that are in use in the house and two or three more that I've used for testing.

If I take apart the phone and look inside while testing, the ringer vibrates very gently, but not enough to hit the bells.

I haven't recently changed any wiring. The phones abruptly stopped ringing several years ago, either in late 2006 or early 2007. One day they worked; the next day they didn't. I had three rotary phones in my home at the time. They all stopped working at once.

They don't work at any other houses on the street, either, as I've tested that.

I'll check with Viking tech support.

Charlie
 
  #13  
Old 03-23-09, 07:24 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,495
Received 36 Votes on 28 Posts
Did you try to adjust the bias spring to the weaker position as I described in post number two?
 
  #14  
Old 03-25-09, 05:06 AM
R
Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,233
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Search Ringer Equivalence Number (REN). Today's electronic phones place a much lower demand on the phone lines than the old bell-ringers. The phone company may have reduced the current available for ringers, which would cause your phones to ring quietly or not ring at all.
 
  #15  
Old 04-24-09, 03:36 AM
D
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Norway
Posts: 310
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If all the old ringers stopped working at the same time, its unlikly the telephone.
The ringer circuit contains of a capcitor and an electromagnet.
This circuit is considerably more selective to filtering devices as ADSL splitters etc. than the electronic ringers.
If you have any kind of splitter, or filter in your house try to move the Ring Voltage Booster to a location after the filter.

An other posibility witch usually have no effect is to reverse the line (switch tip and ring). By some reason it happends to help sometimes.

dsk
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: