Phone Mod

Since it seems such a fad these days to case-mod a computer and then make a website about it, I thought I'd make a website about my case-moded phone, made in 1992. Phone parts came from a Western Electric (so said the handset) desk rotary phone. Inside those old desk phones, there are two breeds that I've seen. One breed has a small circuit board with lots of slip in spade connectors, four connections possible per connector. The other breed has a metal and plastic box with screws on the top for the spades. My phone is based on the circuit board type. The metal box would not fit within a 2x4. I think the metal box ones are newer, those are the only ones I've seen with DTMF (Touch Tone to lay folk) dialing.

Phone picture The phone as it normally sits around. The base is a piece of pressure-treated 2x4 that I hollowed out. Note to self: pressure treated wood is hard to chisel. The front panel is a bit of fiberboard or somesuch with a shiny front.

Phone picture At this point the colors in the pics go all wonky. That doesn't matter though. This photo is to show that the handset does not activate any on/off hook mechanism.

Phone picture The back of the phone, showing the dovetail I intended to use for a wall hook, but never built that bit.

Phone picture The dial is attached with two L-brackets. The protective plastic on the bottom is very useful.

Phone picture The red sticker has my phone number, circa 1995, on it. The little switch there is a 3-pole dual-throw switch wired just like the original in the Western Electric phone I gathered all the parts from.

Phone picture NOTICE
I got this label off of a central vacuum (a vacuum that sits in one place and uses pipes throughout the building and a long hose).

Phone picture The brown wire goes to the handset. The metal collar has a hook which used to attach the bottom sheet metal of the phone. Now it attaches to a staple. The gray wire is a regular phone wire. Originally I wired it up to spade connectors to attach to the board in the phone, just like the original. With the third cord, I deciced to install a RJ-11 socket in the phone. Note that the hole in the front panel is not big enough for a RJ-11 plug. I have to thread the cord through and then crimp a plug on it. Still much easier than crimping a pair of spades. (Guess which crimp tool I don't own.)

Phone picture A side view, you can see the hole for the dial wires. Those are still spade connectors.

Phone picture A top view of the phone. Part of the original plan was to hang it from a wall mounted 2x4. The handset is just the right width to fit comfortably on top of a 2x4, and would have sat on the top of the wall mount.

Phone picture When I originally made it, I had labeled the numbers inside the finger holes, but later I decided that labeling the center of the dial worked better. The numbering was done in india ink with a dip pen, then painted over with glow-in-the-dark acrylic medium (hence the lack of shine in the center). You can just make out the very small hole between 9 and 0 that is used to take the dial off. Using the phone without the plastic dial, or without the finger stop is difficult. I've tried.

Page made: 27 June 2003, by Eli the Bearded.