BELL Old Rotary Phone

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Old 08-19-11, 05:45 AM
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BELL Old Rotary Phone

I have this old Bell rotary phone from the early 80ís I would like to install in my workshop and it works when I plug it to wall jack except for the ringer which does not work.

BELL Phone pictures by kolias - Photobucket

As you can see from the photos, there is a black wire which is not connected and I donít know if this is the reason.

The terminal blocks above the left bell are marked from left to right L1, L2, G, X, Y. Nothing is connected on the X & Y terminals. I have noticed this number on the body of the phone QNB425EI.

Also I have a 12V DC power supply and I wonder if I can use it to test the ringer

Any ideas?
 
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Old 08-19-11, 07:27 AM
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If it was a phone for a party line then the ring frequency may not match your private line ring frequency. While it is probably possible to change the phones ring frequency an external bell from someplace like Radio Shack may be the simpler solution.

Background when party lines were used only a single pair of wires provided service to several customers. To keep from ringing everyones phone a filter on the ringer circuit blocked all but a very narrow frequency range assigned to you. Lot better then out in the country where phones exceeded the available frequencies and you had to count the long rings and short rings to see if it was for you and everyone knew when you got a call and could listen in..
 
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Old 08-19-11, 10:21 AM
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No its not for a party line. I got it from Bell when I moved to an apartment and later when we switched to the touch tones and Bell send me the new phone I kept it because they never asked me to return it.

So is there a way to make the ring working? How about the black wire that is not connected anywhere; should this be connected somewhere?
 
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Old 08-19-11, 10:54 AM
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No, a 12 volt power supply will not operate the ringer. Telephone ringers use about 80 to 130 volts at 20 cycles for general use and a few different frequencies for party line operation.

The ringer has four wires coming from it. Two wires will connect to the "network", one wire to one screw. The other two wires will connect to the L1 and L2 screws along with the incoming line cord red and green wires.

While that is obviously a Western Electric telephone the number you gave has no meaning to me. Look for a number that starts with a 5 or 7. Also, a closer picture of the network and with the wires separated enough so that I can see where each one goes would help.
 
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Old 08-19-11, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Furd View Post
No, a 12 volt power supply will not operate the ringer. Telephone ringers use about 80 to 130 volts at 20 cycles for general use and a few different frequencies for party line operation.

The ringer has four wires coming from it. Two wires will connect to the "network", one wire to one screw. The other two wires will connect to the L1 and L2 screws along with the incoming line cord red and green wires.

While that is obviously a Western Electric telephone the number you gave has no meaning to me. Look for a number that starts with a 5 or 7. Also, a closer picture of the network and with the wires separated enough so that I can see where each one goes would help.
I added 3 more photos to the same link, cant get any closer because they get out of focus. In one of the photos, there is the number (78) visible on the terminal strip just above the left bell

Sorry but I dont know what part of the phone is the network

Thanks for the help
 
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Old 08-19-11, 11:57 AM
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The "network" is the circuit board on the left side when the ringer gongs are closest to you.

There are four wires on the ringer; red, black, slate (grey) and slate with a red tracer. The red wire goes to L2 with the red from the line cord. The black wire goes to L1 with the green from the line cord.

The slate and slate/red wires go to terminals marked K and A on the network.

Only the red and green wires from the line cord are important, the yellow and black are irrelevant.
 
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Old 08-19-11, 02:22 PM
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All wiring is as you said except the Black was not connected to L1 along with the Green. I connected the Black to L1 terminal together with the Green and now I have to find someone to call me to see the results

However since you said that Yellow and Black are irrelevant, I wonder if the ringer will work.

Thanks anyway
 
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Old 08-19-11, 02:45 PM
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Yellow and black ON THE LINE CORD are irrelevant. The black from the ringer coil MUST be connected to the green of the line cord and the red from the ringer coil MUST be connected to the red of the line cord. Slate and slate/red must be connected to the capacitor in the network denoted by the terminals A and K.

Do you not have a cell phone that you can use to call yourself?
 
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Old 08-19-11, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Furd View Post
Yellow and black ON THE LINE CORD are irrelevant. The black from the ringer coil MUST be connected to the green of the line cord and the red from the ringer coil MUST be connected to the red of the line cord. Slate and slate/red must be connected to the capacitor in the network denoted by the terminals A and K.

Do you not have a cell phone that you can use to call yourself?
ok, the Black from the ringer is connected to terminal F on the network and the red from the ringer along with the other 2 wires are connected as you described.

Should I take the black from terminal F and connect it along with the Green on L1 ?

No I dont have a cell thank God LOL. After I retired, I pitched mine away - for 20 years I never had my peace on holidays, nights and vacations from business calls, really got sick of them
 
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Old 08-19-11, 04:30 PM
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Should I take the black from terminal F and connect it along with the Green on L1 ?
Yes.
No I dont have a cell thank God LOL. After I retired, I pitched mine away - for 20 years I never had my peace on holidays, nights and vacations from business calls, really got sick of them
Good for you! I refused to give the stuporvisor my home phone number at my last stop before retirement. I do still have a cellular telephone though. Fact is, it is my regular telephone although I also have a pay-as-you-go VoIP for outgoing calls. Few people have my cell number and I rarely answer it anyway. Everyone I talk with knows they have to leave a message and I'll call them back...maybe.
 
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Old 08-19-11, 06:01 PM
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Much obliged for your help Furd

I did the connection as you said and the phone works. Now I asked a friend to call me to test the ringer and I'm waiting.
 
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Old 08-19-11, 09:29 PM
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No good news my friend Furd

Had a call finally and the ringer does not work. In addition, when I talk there is a large echo sound and the person on the other side has a hard time to hear me.
 
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Old 08-20-11, 03:14 AM
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Make sure the "loud" wheel is in the middle of its travel.

Depending on how many phones you have on the line and the total REN there may not be enough current to ring that old mechanical bell. Unplug all of the other phones on the line and try again. It's a long shot because new phones typically have low RENs.
 
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Old 08-20-11, 06:16 AM
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I remember that years ago I had the same phone in my workshop and used to work well but I dont remember if the ringer used to work.

The problem now is this big echo sound I get when I talk on the phone. To me, removing the black from terminal F to L1 caused this echo problem. If it's helpful I can draw a wiring schematic between the ringer and network.

To my opinion, the black wire shown in one of my photos that is not connected it must activate the ringer. Can someone tell me where this wire should be connected?
 
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Old 08-20-11, 09:23 AM
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Hi.
What Furd has written is all right if the phone is an old Western Electric 500.
I do not recognize the network unit, but try to move the wire back and get rid of the echo.
Then we starts from scratch.
How is the phone marked under? Make and model???

Links to wiring diagrams: Downloads | 500-series | Western Electric | Wiring Diagrams & Technical Library

Link to dedicated forum for American rotary phones: Rotary Phone Forum - Index

dsk
 

Last edited by d_s_k; 08-20-11 at 09:24 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-20-11, 09:47 AM
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I agree with d_s_k, move the black wire from the ringer back to where it was and then see if the echo is gone.

Trust me, that black wire on the line cord does NOTHING.

Like d_s_k, I do not recognize that network and THAT is a problem. Otherwise it seems to be a fairly standard Western Electric model 500.

Maybe the best idea is as Ray originally suggested, get an extension ringer from someplace like Radio Shack.
 
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Old 08-20-11, 11:29 AM
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Thank you d_s_k for the diagrams but could not find anyone close to mine.

My set has NE 500, 78 L/N, Made in Canada, stamped under it.

I will remove the black to its original position and that will fix the echo problem

I still believe that the black wire that is not connected anywhere must be connected somewhere. The way it was tackled with black tape at the end means someone disconnected that wire for whatever reason.

I will try to connect it in different places and see the results or I will get an external ringer

Thank you all
 
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Old 08-20-11, 12:32 PM
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Aha, the plot thickens!

The telephone you have was manufactured by Northern Electric. Check out this history of NE http://www.porticus.org/bell/norther...c_history.html

Some more history. Northern Electric phones - eNotes.com Reference

And this Canadian company has parts for your telephone. Oldphoneworks
 
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Old 08-20-11, 12:55 PM
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You may get some diagrams for northern phones at the same pages, but it didnt help me.
Please describe how the 4 wires from the ringer was, colors, tape or connected to termina mareked? etc.
If you may read something on the ringer it could help too.

dsk
 
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Old 08-20-11, 01:55 PM
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Furd, those links were an excellent reading in history and since I enjoy history provided an excellent topic, thanks

Dsk, here are the wiring / connections; I could draw a simple wiring schematic but I donít think is necessary. The ringer has no any ID that I can see and it has 4 wires coming out of the coil. Slate with red stripes, Black, Red and Grey.

The network is more complicated. Just imagine a rectangular box and at the top it has 4 terminals each marked L1, L2, G, X, Y

At the bottom of the network there are 2 sets of terminals. One set has the terminals A, R, then the next 2 terminals are identified as B, and then the last terminal is C

In front of these terminals are another set of terminals: F, then the next 2 terminals are identified as R, and then the last terminal is K.

So the ringer wiring is connected as follows:
Slate/Red to terminal A
Black to terminal F
Red to terminal L2
Grey to terminal K
 
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Old 08-20-11, 02:25 PM
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I originally wrote to connect the ringer wires as follows.

Ringer black to terminal L1 with green from line cord.
Ringer red to terminal L2 with red from line cord.
Slate (grey) to terminal K
Slate/red to terminal A


But you wrote that you had the slate on terminal F.

The slate and slate/red MUST be connected to terminals K and A.

Try that configuration and post back.
 
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Old 08-20-11, 05:40 PM
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Sorry Furd perhaps I misunderstood

Let me give another try and I will post back + I have to get someone to give me a call back for testing which may take some time
 
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Old 08-20-11, 05:59 PM
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I'm retired, time is the one thing I have in excess.
 
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Old 08-20-11, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Furd View Post
I originally wrote to connect the ringer wires as follows.

Ringer black to terminal L1 with green from line cord.
Ringer red to terminal L2 with red from line cord.
Slate (grey) to terminal K
Slate/red to terminal A

But you wrote that you had the slate on terminal F.

The slate and slate/red MUST be connected to terminals K and A.

Try that configuration and post back.
All wiring is as per above but as I described in my post #11 & 12 when I connect the black from the ringer to L1 on the network I get that bad echo when I talk on the phone and I'm unable to have a conversion. In addition the ringer still does not work.

So in order to have a proper conversation on the phone the black must be connected to F, as it was originally connected
 
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Old 08-21-11, 06:11 AM
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I'm a little confused here, and have to guess.... somone has fixed another problem earlier, and the phone does not follow the std diagram anymore.

I believe this is the right diagram:

please check systematicly all connections and colors.

The moving of the black wire should not interfere with the speach.

dsk
 
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Old 08-21-11, 06:55 AM
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Thank you dsk

The diagram is not legible in your email

Is it possible to send me the link where you got it from or send it as an attachment?
 
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Old 08-21-11, 07:19 AM
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Is this view better? I think I can get a bit larger before the forum resizes down.





 

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Old 08-21-11, 08:50 AM
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Yes, the very last diagram is the important part.




if you have an ohm meter we may do some tests.

I would still start with just remove all the 4 ringer wires from the contacts, and just test if the speach works well. (It should)
Does the A and K terminals have other wires connected? (should not)

dsk
 

Last edited by d_s_k; 08-21-11 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Adding text
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Old 08-21-11, 09:34 AM
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Thank you Ray and DSK, the schematic is now visible and have to study it to see what I can get out of it. I think it will help a lot

I do have an ohm meter but today I cant do any work due to other priorities
 
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Old 08-22-11, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by d_s_k View Post
Yes, the very last diagram is the important part.




if you have an ohm meter we may do some tests.

I would still start with just remove all the 4 ringer wires from the contacts, and just test if the speach works well. (It should)
Does the A and K terminals have other wires connected? (should not)

dsk
This diagram d_s_k is the closest to my phone because itís the only one that has the X & Y terminal on the network.

So with the G, R & Y mounting cord wires connected on the network I have a good speech and the ringer does not work.

But I noticed on the diagram from L2 there is a wire (RED) going to the ringer and that I have; then from the ringer I have a Grey/Red going to terminal A.

But on the diagram there is a wire from G going to the ringer K and that wire I donít have. On the G I only have the Yellow from the line cord and what I have going to K is a grey (slate) wire from the ringer
 
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Old 08-22-11, 12:10 PM
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I know that I am sounding like a broken record but that Y (yellow) line cord wire DOES NOTHING! Or perhaps I should state that unless you live in the sticks AND have an extremely old telephone system the yellow does nothing.

Back some forty years (or more) ago (or on old systems that had not been upgraded) some party line telephones used a grounded ring circuit. These would send the AC ringing voltage over one of the telephone line wires and through the earth. By using one side of the line or the other you could get two party ring service without having to use multiple frequencies or coded ringing. Having the ringer "bridged" across the two line wires gave three party service. By also using different ringer frequencies with this method you could have as many as six or more subscribers on a single party line yet each subscriber's telephone would only ring on calls for that particular subscriber. In these systems the telephone DID use the yellow wire and it was connected to ground (earth) at the "protector" circuit where the telephone line entered the house.

Bottom line, unless you have old wiring in your house, the chances that the yellow wire in the line cord is connected to the ground terminal at the protector is almost nil. All modern systems use bridged ringing.

Now all that stated, you MAY have a defective ringer or the capacitor in the network (terminals A and K) could be bad. Also, the double terminals L1, L2 and G along with terminals X and Y don't go anywhere, they are simply points of connections between the line cord and other components.
 

Last edited by Furd; 08-22-11 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Added terminals X and Y to text of message.
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Old 08-22-11, 12:43 PM
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Furd my friend no you dont sound like a broken record, on the contrary I enjoy the education.

Since I have an ohm meter, is it possible to find out if the ringer is burnt or not? But I must say that I dont really know how to use this meter besides basic voltage / resistance readings. Electronics is my weak field.

Otherwise I will give up
 
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Old 08-22-11, 01:04 PM
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My guess (and that's really all it is) is that the capacitor internal to the network and connected to terminals A and K is shorted. Unless your meter has a capacitance function (most do not) you cannot test the capacitor.

What you could do is go to a local electronics parts shop (Radio Shack if they have them in Canada) and purchase a 0.45 mfd. capacitor (plus or minus about 10%) with a voltage rating in excess of 300. Make sure it is a paper capacitor (or Mylar, polystyrene or ceramic disc) and not an electrolytic model. Wire the slate and slate/red wires to this new capacitor and leave the A and K terminals empty.

My thinking is that with a shorted capacitor you have that large inductance (the ringer coils) connected across the line and that is causing the echo. The capacitor is supposed to break the direct current (talk battery) connection between the two line wires while allowing the alternating current ring signal to actuate the ringer.
 
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Old 08-22-11, 05:46 PM
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Your thinking sounds good to me Furd

I attached 2 new photos here
BELL Phone pictures by kolias - Photobucket

The 1st shows my tester and the 2nd photo shows some whatever they are. I build CNC router machines for hobby and sell them after and although I have no problem with the mechanical staff, I'm a real brick with the electrical and some nice guys like you at the Mach3 forum give me a hand. I also have another one 33 ohm, 3 watts but I think those are resistors and not capacitors.

Anyway we dont have Radio Shack anymore up here cause they were bought by Circuit City a few years back. But there is another good place that I source my electronics from but its kind out far.

If what I have is not good, then I will go in the next few days and get what you want. If my meter is good to do any test please tell me what you want. But remember in that case I know almost nothing about circuits and testing so you must tell me in details what I have to do.

Thank you
 
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Old 08-22-11, 06:49 PM
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Sorry, your meter does not have the capacitance function nor are the components pictured helpful. What you can try is to set the meter to ohms and then measure across the A and K terminals after disconnecting the ringer leads. If you get a low ohms reading then the capacitor is definitely bad.
 
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Old 08-22-11, 07:28 PM
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ok, after disconnecting the wires from terminals A & K the ohms reading is 1 or I like there is no continuity

So I will go and get the capacitor you described
 
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Old 08-23-11, 06:06 AM
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I will try to go to the store today but this store is like a warehouse full of electronics stored in various bins and there is no help around from anyone which means you mast know what you buy.

Is the "in excess of 300V" is this AC or DC volts or it doesn't matter?

How about if I find a capacitor lets say 100V or 1000V?

And the +/- 10% of 0.45 mfd, you mean no more / less of 10% of 0.45 mfd? Very small range
 
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Old 08-23-11, 07:07 AM
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100v no, too close to ring voltage. 1000v ok. Quality = % = cost. The quality is expressed by a percentage number. 10% is average quality. The circuit has enough tolerance to handle that. Some circuit don't or are more critical then the lower percentage is needed.
 
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Old 08-23-11, 10:36 AM
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I got a capacitor 0.47 / 400V and it has the markings: 9737 MMK 63 on one side and 470 nK on the other side. It is ceramic about 3/8"x 1/4" x 1/4" with 2 VERY sort wire stubs sticking out from one side. I wonder if it may damage the capacitor when I solder to them the wires from the ringer.

Also I removed the ringer from the base of the phone just for fan and under it it has the markings: Northern Telecom, NE - C4A

Furd can you please let me know if the capacitor I got sounds ok so I can go ahead and solder it?

Thanks
 
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Old 08-23-11, 10:56 AM
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Yeah, that capacitor should be okay. Try to solder the extension wires quickly to keep from overheating it. You can try using a wooden clothespin to gently clamp a couple of coins or metal washers to either side of the capacitor to act as a heat sink while soldering.

I knew it was a C-type ringer. I will look up later to see if the A suffix is of any importance. I may not be back for several hours.
 
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