There's an old, wall-mounted rotary phone in the kitchen and it's mounted
on a rectangular board affixed to the wall. I'm sure the phone's been there
since the house was built in 1972. I'd like to take it out and replace it
with a wall-mounted push button phone.
Will the rotary phone wiring work for a modern push button phone or is new
wiring in order? Also, what kind of phone wiring connector(s) is/are
required or needed in order for me to install a wall-mounted push button
phone in the kitchen?
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Of course it will work. I think you'll need a little phone junction box
to accomodate RJ-45 plug. ie. you have to adopt pair of wires to modular
RJ-45 plug. If I were you I'd install DECT 6.0 cordless phone base and
scatter the sub sets around the house for convenience.
The wires are the same, but the plug, if any, may differ. There are four
wires. Connect the wires to the RJ-45 wall mount jack that is available at
any hardware, home store, etc., then attach the phone to the mount.
That old rotary phone is coming back in style. There is a demand as people
are restoring older homes and want the old phones in the colors to match the
RJ45 is 8 wire for network. IIRC a phone connector is RJ11 or RJ14. (The
phone only uses 2 wires of 4 or more in the building phone wiring cable.)
New wall phones often attach to a plate that includes a phone connector
in the middle. You push the phone toward the wall and slide it down
slightly. Find out what the new wall phone requires. Like Floyd wrote -
read the instructions. When buying, info on the package might help.
When old rotary phones were in use, there were no jacks & plugs; they
wired directly into the boxes on the wall.
RJ-11, a 6 pin plug & jack, with 6 pins, only 2 or 4 of them used, is
correct for ALL analog telephones, rotary or DTMF. Either one, you
connect them red wire to red wire and yellow wire to yellow wire. An
RJ-45 is a 8 pin connector and NOT used with residential phone systems
on dialtone ckts; it's non standard.
Some telcos will still work with a rotary phone, but NOT ALL. Before
you spend money on a rotary phone that outputs rotary pulses, be certain
it'll work with your telco or you'll have wasted your money.
The better "rotary" phones you find today will have a converter in
them to count the pulses and convert them to DTMF digits for the telco.
No old, original rotary phone is going to do that, so your telco must
accept rotary pulses in order for them to work. Rotary signalling is a
thing of the past.
Please be careful of misinformation when you aren't sure what you're
That's because they're not really the old rotary phones but newer
electronic ones that only seem to be rotary.
Personally I like the old rotaries myself. I even had an old rotary pay
phone hooked up in the kitchen; great conversation piece.
NO, it is because people are buying the ORIGINAL old phones. I said what I
meant and I meant what I said.
You can see them here
Down towards the bottom.
Or go directly here
we have New Old Stock touchtone and rotary dial phones made years ago by
ATT, Stromberg Carlson, ITT and Northern Telecom. They're great if you're
nostalgic for the mid-20th-century, or just like the look, feel and sounds
of a rotary dial.
Hints for OP- If handset cord is modular, the wall mount is probably
modular. Also look for another layer of metal between the phone and the
wall, usually silver in color. If you see that, give the phone a sharp
upward rap on the bottom, and see if it pops up and off the wall. In the
transition era to the smaller 2550 TT wall phones, they even had
matching trim plates to cover up the mounting plate of the big old
rotary wall phones and/or the mismatched paint spot. If there is no
modular mounting plate, you will need to 'skin' the phone to get it off
the wall. Look for a notch at the bottom, where you can stick in a
flat-blade screwdriver to release the latch thingy. Once cover pops off,
the mounting screws and feedwire screws should be self-evident.
(I used to do some moonlight telephone work in that era, and still have
a couple crates of old WE phones in basement that I need to sort through
and do the mix-and-match on one of these days.)
aem, not a fan of modern throwaway phones, sends...
Chuckle. Take 'collectible' values with a grain of salt. In the case of
ebay and old phones (which I happen to have a bunch of), I did some
looking in the <completed> sales, not just the current asking prices.
Oddball and novelty phones did okay, but conventional ones, not so much.
WE/Ma Bell sold/abandoned in place a hell of a lot of rotary (and early
TT) desk and wall phones- millions are still out there and in use, with
people who don't move every seven years. And old real phones are
<heavy>. You will have to charge so much for shipping, that people will
think you are ripping them off.
I may bother to clean up and sell a few of the odd ones in my accidental
collection some day. But the value isn't high enough, so far, to make it
worth a lot of effort on my part. As long as I have extra storage space,
they aren't costing me anything sitting there.
As to not wanting one- of the 5 phones currently hooked up in this
house, 4 are old WE phones. (I have a disposable phone in guest room,
just for the memory function on it, handy for 20-digit international
dial-around services.) And yes, the one in master bedroom is rotary. I
may make an outgoing call from that room once a year, and it still works
fine and looks pretty. How many modern disposables will be able to say
that after the 25+ years I've had that one?
I still have 3 rotary dialers hooked up around here but the bedroom is
not one of the places I would have one. Dialing 911 in the dark is a
whole lot easier on a big touch tone desk set like a W/E 2500 (what I
have there). My rotary phones are where the novelty is part of the
Old wiring will work just fine. You will need a wall-mount jack which can
be picked up in a hardware store. It usually has screw terminals inside so
all you need is a screw driver to install it. Well, I'm skipping the part
where you remove insulation from the wires. I've seen it done in many
different ways using wire stripper, snips, knife, teeth, nails etc. Wire
stripper being the neatest and the safest.
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buffalo ny: probably if it uses a modular connector behind it it's
easy. if it is a wired phone, install a surface-mounted wall phone
jack to hang your new phone on, it often has a very short wire
provided to plug into the jack and the new phone.
and more; in case you've fallen and can't get up, that phone mounted
near floor level can still dial 911 for emergencies. here the dial
tone at 48VDC is coming down one pair of wires per phone line.
superimposed on it for ringing is 90VAC, with the caller ID data
arriving between the first ansd second ring. if that phone is working
properly, it will still be working when cordless phones lose power in
a power failure. if it has a mechanical ringer it may have a ringer
equivalence number on it on the bottom, the phone company ringers did
load the ringing amperage to its limit after several phones were all
ringing at once. the measurable resistance from the phone company was
measured depending on the number of ringers on the line when
determining what the desired resistance was from the phone company to
you, so as to compare to any service trouble you reported. in the case
of old wiring it can be disconnected from the dial tone and phone and
tested with an insulation tester that measures megohms under load with
a hand-cranked 700 volts such as a megger. this will reveal insulation
breakdowns that lead to out of service conditions such as high
resistance shorts from age, heat, humidity, and critters.
Go buy yourself a new phone. Take it home and get it
out of the box. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. Then take the
old phone off the wall, and READ THE INSTRUCTIONS again.
Then follow the instructions! (Alternately, chuck the
instructions, look at what you've got and go buy what
Or, also buy yourself a cell phone with a camera it, and
when you get stuck simply take pictures of what you
have. Post them somewhere convenient for others to
access, and then post the URL here (or better yet, post
Otherwise, *you* are the only one who can actually look
at what you have, and everyone telling what to do is
Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) email@example.com
Frank, what does it mean if the old phone had been rented from the phone
company? How would a formerly rented phone affect a conversion to a push
button phone using the same wiring?
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