Check with your phone company to be sure that your local exchange can
process rotary information or make a converter to take the rotary signals
(pulses) and convert them to tone dialing. My local exchange still accepts
pulse dialing but many businesses use voice mail systems that aren't
compatible with pulse dialing.
On Aug 10, 1:45 pm, email@example.com wrote:
It may work just as is. Certainly likely to be able to answer an
incoming call; o if it is in working condition at all.
Many telephone lines, at least those from regular 'line' telcos. Will
still accept the pulses from the rotary dial.
We have such a dial equipped phone in our hallway and it works just
fine, although we tend to use a cordless phone because of ease of use
and ease of pushing buttons and redialling etc.
But when there is the occasional power outage with traditional
telephone systems, often equipped with 24 hour battery back-up,
nothing works better than a plain old fashioned rotary phone.
If you want to test it before hooking up connect a 9 volt battery to
the two wires (often red and green) to see if you hear a click in the
earpiece, also try blowing or talking into the microphone part and see
if you hear something; it's called side-tone (i.e. you should be able
to hear yourself slightly. (Side tone sometimes is called 'Spitch') if
so the phone may work.
However depending on the original quality of the phone (Bell system
standard/Western Elctric/ AE Co. Chicago, for example , whether it is
in good condition and its model you may or may not get good quality
voice transmission, both ways. Although judging by some of the cheap
junk phones that have been sold and in some cases given away an older
standard rotary phone that meets international standards may be
better! I have pre-1950s phones that work just fine.
I don't understand why a rotary phone would be better. Touch tone phones
are also powered by the loop so if the loop happens to be on battery the
touch tone phone will still work just as well as a rotary phone.
To test if it works, remove cover from wall jack, touch red and green wires
from phone to same colors on jack. Listen for dial tone. If you get one, so
far so good.
Next screw the red and green wires from the phone to the jack and test for
outgoing and incoming phone calls. If it works, you can just leave it that
way-- or attach an RJ11 plug to the phone so you can use it an any jack.
David makes good point ............. while you may able to dial local
and long distance numbers, many/most voice-mail and automated
answering and directory systems cannot respond to dial pulses once you
have connected through the phone system to them. Many still say "Press
X for such and such .... . Or stay on the line to be answered
(Hopefully by a real live human being!!!!!).
BTW: Have seen one or two phone oddities from time to time. There was
one European phone that had 12 rotary dial numbers on it. Also the
standard speed of the dial pulses in North America and the UK used to
be/is ten pulses per second. So it takes one second to dial zero! Old
style rotary dial payphones outside sometimes used get pretty slow in
cold weather and below about eight pulse per second the telephone
equipment in the nice warm telephone building would misdial and one
could get wrong numbers. And lose the money inserted! So sometimes one
needed to push the dial back round to get enough speed.
Also the ratio of make/break of the dial pulses was slightly different
in different countries. Recalling in the UK each pulse around 66%
break, 34% make. In North America it was IIRC closer to 70% break etc.
So if this is some unusual manufacture of phone from say
Chechloslovakia, or some made up abomination of a 'fake vintage' phone
made in Taiwan or somewhere, expect anything in way of performance on
a standard North American telephone connection! Which is, btw, why, at
one time, Bell System and other companies discouraged the installation/
connection of 'other' phones to their lines; too many problems and
Oh. BTW don't think a rotary dial phone will work on any of the VOIP
(internet connected) services such as Skype!!!!!!
I don't know for sure, but suspect that dialing "O" would get you
through to the "operator" the way it does by pressing "O" with such
systems (most are set up to reach some default number on that keypress).
"Wikipedia ... it reminds me ... of dogs barking idiotically through
endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.
On Mon, 11 Aug 2008 12:19:35 -0700, David Nebenzahl
Also I think with enough practice, one can learn to make touch-tone
sounds with one's mouth. I think there was a guy on tv who could do
OT I get few junk phone calls now, but with one, I pressed 9, and a
recording said something like, "You have been placed on our
It's been done by whistling.
I can whistle dual tones myself, although I've never tried using that
talent for phone phreaking.
BTW, it's DTMF, not DTFM
I saw that, but it's very difficult because each button generates a pair
OTOH, you can pulse dial from a touch tone phone by pressing the
receiver hook the number of pulses for each digit. It's not as hard as
it sounds. There's a lot of leeway in the pulse rate and duty cycle. If
you've ever seen a phone in a public area with no dial or touch pad (to
keep people from making outgoing calls) there's a way around this
Both if it's working properly-- though as others have pointed out, there is
no touch tone capability so you couldn't Press One For English..... Way
back when, Radio Shack used to sell a pocket sized touch-tone generator-- or
maybe hold the speaker of your cellie up to the mouthpiece of the old phone
and enter them that way.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.