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No bells or whisles

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After watching many black and white movies I fell the need to have my very own rotary phone. I thought it would look great on my old secretary oak desk. It didn’t took too long for me to find one. Jason’s Corner in Calgary is one of my favorite place to shop antiques and vintage. Unfortunately the phone I like the best didn’t ring it’s bell. But I still got it. It’s 50’s look was too appealing to leave it behind.

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Once home I played a bit with it and then decided to opened it up to find out why the phone had gone mute. These old phones are quite simple and a ringer should not go out of work for a simple reason. Here’s how I did it. On my Automatic Electric phone there’s 6 screws on the bottom. Only 3 of them are for the base montage. The other 3 are holding the gut of it. On mine, the montage screws were indicated.

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Once the screws were removed. The top easily gets off to expose the guts. It is very important that the ringer parts are not touched. They are filled with electricity and they old a charge even when not plugged.

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So, I followed the wiring of the ringer to see where they led. They were doubling up some of the numbers on the one side leaving a free space. I wasn’t too sure which of the 2 doubled up was the one I needed to move but I assumed that it would be the one red sitting on top not the blue wire under the number 9. The number 7 was free of any wires. I then moved the red to the number 7 and called my land line with my cell phone. Success! The phone rang loud and clear.

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Later I made a quick research on my phone and I was reading that they used to make that wrong wiring to mute the phones as there are no mute on those. Makes total sense and it’s a real easy thing to do. The loudness can be adjusted but even on the bare minimum it can still be loud.

My phone works nicely and I use it from time to time. It’s been a blessing for when my cordless runs out of batteries! I don’t even complain when I’m forced into using it. No one can tell I’m talking to them from a rotary phone. I’m not sure it would work when you need to press numbers on a call but to dial people there’s no issue. Now when I don’t want it to ring I just pull the cord. It’s a nice decorative item and practical at the same time.

For those who would like to visit Jason’s Corner. Their address is 3714 17 Avenue SE, Calgary. They have lots of nice things. Go check ’em out!