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bj
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:59 pm    Post subject: old phones Reply with quote Back to top

I just signed up with Vonage. I have an old Western Electric touch tone phone that doesn't seem to work with Vonage. I get a dial tone but no tones when I push the keypad buttons. A cheap $10 phone I picked up at the drug store does work, so I'm fairly certain the problem is with the phone. It works with our land line; any idea how I can make this old phone work with Vonage? My wife prefers to use these heavy old phones, so she'll be pretty unhappy if we switch over to Vonage for all phone service and she can't use them. (We have several others too, but they're in storage right now, so I haven't tried them.)
Thanks.

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scerruti
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Bell System Memorial wrote:
Q. My touch-tone phone gets dial tone and rings but I can't dial out. I don't hear any tones when any of the buttons are pressed - just a weak clicking sound. What could cause this?

A. Some of the vintage Western Electric touch-tone phones were polarity sensitive meaning that if the wires going to the telephone jack contacts were reversed the dial would not make tones. It's a simple fix - just reverse the red and green wires in the telephone jack in the wall and the phone dial should then work. Later model Western Electric phones had "polarity guard" circuits installed which allowed the phones to be wired in either direction.


Just an aside, check the REN (Ringer Equivalency Number) on the phone if you can find one. You may be limited to far fewer phones if the older phones have mechanical ringers with high RENs.

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Last edited by scerruti on Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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ToddlerTN
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Holy cow, scerruti, what a find. And a cool site, too!

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scerruti
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I was shocked at that one too. High page rank at Google.

BJ, you should read that site, those phones look valuable.

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paul248
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

We had an old touch-tone phone that didn't work with Vonage either. My best guess is that the old phones don't generate frequencies as accurately as the new ones, and the ATA has less tolerance for picking up those tones than the equipment used by the phone companies.

That probably means you'll also have trouble accessing menu systems and stuff. Rather than trying to send the tones as audio (which isn't very reliable over VoIP), your box listens for the tones during a call. Whenever you press "1", the ATA generates a packet which says "1 was pressed", and it gets converted back into a tone at the other end...

Anyway, I don't really know how to fix the problem. My RT31P2 doesn't seem to recognize pulse dialing, so that's ruled out too.
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bj
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 4:04 am    Post subject: old phones Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the lead scerruti.
I took the cover off the phone to see what I could learn. The wires go from the modular socket to a huge ceramic screw-terminal block. I reversed the red and green wires and now the phone works with Vonage. But with that configuration it won't dial out on the POTS line. Well at least now I know what to do to make the phone work if we give up the POTS.
I was vaguely aware of the REN problem. Yes, this phone has a big mechanical ringer. I will try to avoid using too many of these old phones at once with Vonage.
Thanks again.

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redstick
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:46 am    Post subject: old phone Reply with quote Back to top

I have 3 old Western Electric telephones with the mechanical ringer. I had to reverse the red and green on one of them. One is a rotary phone. They all ring at the same time in addition to 2 newer Nortel screen phones that I have. The rotary works great.

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Cozzman
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:12 am    Post subject: Rotary works fine Reply with quote Back to top

Were you referring to the rotary ringing fine? Does it also dial out with Vonage? If so what adapter (ATA) are you using that accepts Pulse intead of tone?
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MrKenmore
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Many early touch tone WE's were polarity sensitive. Switching the red and green wires allows the keypad to work with Vonage.
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a-dhold
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

it not that the phone is wired wrong i noticed that on my RT31P2 when i hooked up a phone test light that the polarity is reversed on the jack in the RT31P2. i just put inline a 6 inch cable with the rj 45 crimped on upside down to reverse it back to normal for house wiring.

if anyone has the RT31P2 and a test light check test the jack and you may find that is the source of the reversed polarity.

MrKenmore wrote:
Many early touch tone WE's were polarity sensitive. Switching the red and green wires allows the keypad to work with Vonage.
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