The desk stand (candlestick) or cradle telephone normally has only 3 wires in the mounting cord (the proper name for the cord that goes from the instrument to the subset). We will use a Western Electric telephone as an example, as it is the most common. In normal use, the green wire connects to the receiver, the yellow wire to the transmitter and the red wire is common to both, being connected through the hook switch. Some models have what is known as an anti-sidetone circuit, in which case there will be a black wire. This wire is connected to a condenser in the subset (sometimes called a ringer box).


Inside of the subset, in addition to a ringer, is an induction coil and the condenser, the purpose of the induction coil is to amplify speech sounds outgoing and the purpose of the condenser is to separate line current from the receiver circuit.


If a ringer is not necessary, a modern printed-circuit network can be installed inside of the telephone base and a modular cord or adapter installed on the mounting cord.


While it is possible to obtain a dial tone without use of the network, there is a risk of demagnetization of the receiver element, and overheating of the carbon granules inside of the transmitter, plus acoustic shock due to the presence of line current in the receiver element (the diaphragm will be released violently when the hook switch is operated and thus can cause damage to the ear).


Installation of a network, upgrade of the transmitter for better sound reproduction, and installation of a modular mounting cord or adapter is $40 for candlestick phones, $35 for cradle phones, plus postage. If you choose to send your telephone for an upgrade, please refer to the link below to access and print out an Information Sheet that should be put in the box with your telephone. Shipping addresses for USPS or ground carriers are at the bottom of the Information Sheet.


VTS Industrial Company

PO Box 429

Salome, AZ 85348-0429

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