You do know that the phone company must supply power to the phone
lines for running the old phones don't you?
It is obvious that you are suffering a power shortage on your phone
line and you can ask the phone company to provide the proper power to
your phone lines.
Some of your 'powered' phones are masking your line problem.
On 22 Jan 2007 22:09:11 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
if you have a NID try plugging phone in there, it disconnects your
entire home. proves one way or other if phone or internal wiring of
home has trouble
i would try first plugging the suspect phone in a different outlet
Use the new, $10 Radio Shaft phone for this exercise.
I suggest using a 16-lb sledgehammer.
FWIW, the correct term for "banging on the switch-hook" is "flashing the
switch-hook". Many modern phones have a "flash" key, but is usable only for a
SINGLE flash to switch between callers in Call Waiting mode.
Did you know you can "dial" and entire number by simply/quickly "flashing" the
switch-hook? It's called pulsing the line.
Flash the switch-hook, in rapid succession, 5 times for the number 5; 8 times
for the number 8; and so on. It really works but you have to be VERY nimble
with your finger on the switch-hook and ACCURATE with the short pause between
each pulsed number. Talk about worthless trivia...
I used to have to do this with an old modem hooked into my CoCo.
The phone and modem were polarity dependent and opposite.
With one polarity, the phone didn't work (for dialing).
With the other the mode, the modem wouldn't work.
The access number had multiple 8s, 9s, and 0s... which made it a real
killer to mess up. Plenty of negative reinforcement to get it right
the first time. I was eventually able to dial most numbers without too
Just on the border of your waking mind, There lies - Another time,
There is usually a box on the outside wall , its the demarcation point
between your hose wiring and the phone companies line.
In there is usually a test point that you can plug a phone into . If it
works there the problem is in your house wiring.
I have actually never seen a domestic phone that required outside power
. The phone is powered via the phone line .
If you are reversing pairs make sure you are reversing the correct line.
OK everyone. Here's where I am so far. I didn't think I'd get any
response! I'm glad to see there is so much knowledge out there.
Bottom line is that I got the original phone working and now it dials
out fine. The next to the bottom line is that I don't know what I did.
The new Radio Shack phone still doesn't dial out on tone, but it works
OK on pulse.
I had already disconnected all the other devices in my house and I'm
pretty sure I reversed the correct wires. Last night the old phone
wouldn't dial out. Today I repeated all my efforts and the phone
worked! I assume there was a bad connection somewhere or maybe a
nicked wire or something. I don't know that I'll ever find the precise
I checked outside my 30-year-old house. There is an old junction box;
no modern plugs! It was getting dark so I just took a wrench and
tightened the nuts. Each nut tightened a little and I could see some
green corrosion on most of the metal parts. Next time the phone
doesn't work, I'll do a thorough cleaning of this box.
I tried the new Radio Shack phone with spade lugs at the junction box,
and the tone dial still doesn't work. I'll try it at a neighbor's
house when I get a chance.
For the record, the old phone is from Western Electric and the date on
its base is 11/80. There is a sticker on the bottom certifying that it
was properly sold (to me I guess, but I don't remember) on
such-and-such a date, but the date is unreadable.
The new Radio Shack phone cost $11. When you figure that Radio Shack
had to make a profit on it, the packaging had to be paid for, and it
had to be shipped from China; there can't be much quality to the guts
This brings up the issue of what the "phone company" used to be. If
you're old enough to remember it, then you know. The youngsters
wouldn't believe it anyway.
I remember in the early '60's touring a central office. I do remember
banks of batteries waiting for the day they'd power the system. Even
then, there was a crew of old timers who communicated with these
batteries and kept them charged. I doubt such skills exist today.
Lastly, when the earthquake comes, (and it will), if we lose power, it
will be out for months. During that time wouldn't it be silly to have
a live phone line into the house and not be able to use it because I
didn't have a phone that didn't need AC power?
I forget the name the gentleman called me, but it's a name his wife
might call him if he gets his family in that situation. A neighbor of
mine took some courses in emergency civilian response. They warned the
class about how many people would get themselves into situations from
which they would have to be rescued. I was afraid the warning was
exaggerated, but that cellphone comment removes my doubt.
Thanks everyone. I'll be back if the phone acts up again.
I watched the War -er- HISTORY channel a couple days ago. It was Modern
Marvels, I recall. They claimed that a good portion of the nuclear fuel for
our power plants now comes from decommissioned (destroyed/dismantled)
Soviet/Russian missile warheads.
Well, If the material you're using has a half life
of 87 years, and you want at least 90% of the designed bang,
how long before you have to re-refine the stuff?
I get around 13 years, but I'm not all that sure of my math.
(10 years comes out to 92 percent of the designed boom.)
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