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How do i connect a 1960 rotary phone up?Which wires do i hook up? I have a blue wire &a blue white wire coming into my building,

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The Blue and Blue/white represent the first pair in a multi pair telephone cable. The second pair is orange the third is green and so forth. If this line is active, you will get a dial tone when you place a telephone instrument on this pair (or any subsequent live pair). Notice. If you are hanging on to the pair when the telephone rings - you will experience a 60 volt DC shock. It will not kill you but you may find it unpleasant.

On your Western Electric '500' telephone set, you should have three wires coming out of the original cable, a red, a green and a yellow. Normally, the red and the green will operate your phone on a 'private line' (only one customer on a private line). Try various combinations until you get a dial tone. You no doubt have a private line as there are very few party lines around these days if you are in the USA (and please do not say). Once up on a time, there were "party lines" where neighbors shared a line and they knew the call was for them based on the number of rings. The first customer got one ring, the second customer got two rings and so forth up th as many as 4 rings. When the telephone rang, you listened for the number of rings and answered only if it was your number. Picking up a call that was not your ring was frowned upon though it was not unknown for neighbors to listen in to other neighbors calls. It was like a reality show!

If your 500 has been upgraded with a RJ-11 wire, plug the wire in just as you would any modern telephone. If yours doesn't ring, remove the cover and study the interface. You will find several terminals marked L1, L2 etc. Move the wire you find on a "L" terminal to the various otgher L terminals until it rings when called. You may also have to adjust the spring on the ringer to get it to operate properly.

I hope this information helps you get your 1960 telephone to work.

Thank you for your interest in FixYa.com and enjoy your old telephone.

Posted on Mar 14, 2011

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