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How to Rewire an Old Rotary Telephone to Be Modular

Updated April 17, 2017

Rotary telephones add a touch of old-world class and stand out amid the ho-hum of plastic phones populating most households. You can attach a rotary phone to your home's modular telephone connection to use it to take and receive calls, while taking advantage of its looks to enhance the decor of a room. The rotary phone plug will be replaced with a modular plug. Household tools and supplies from an electronics store or the electronic section in a hardware store are necessary.

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  1. Cut the plug off the rotary phone's telephone cord with a utility knife.

  2. Cut three inches into the outer insulation at the end of the cut telephone cord with the utility knife. Peel the insulation back to reveal the inner wires. Strip a 1/2 inch of insulation from the ends of the red and green wires with a wire stripper that are now revealed.

  3. Insert the tip of a flat-edge jeweller's screwdriver into the seam on one side of the modular plug. Pull up on the tip to loosen the two sections of the modular plug from each other. Pull the two sections apart.

  4. Place the section of the modular plug that has the contacts at one edge on a work surface. Rotate the it so that the end of the section that has the contacts is facing you.

  5. Plug a soldering iron into a wall outlet. Let the soldering iron heat up for 10 minutes.

  6. Solder the end of the green wire from the telephone plug to the extreme left contact on the modular plug section. Solder the end of the red wire to the contact that is right next to the one that now has the red wire soldered to it. Let the solder cool for two minutes.

  7. Snap the section of the modular plug that was placed aside back onto the section that now has the telephone cord soldered to it. Plug the modular plug into the modular socket on the telephone wall plate so that the rotary telephone can make and receive phone calls.

  8. Tip

    Protective gloves will ensure your safety when using the soldering iron.

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Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Ruler
  • Wire stripper
  • Flat-edged jeweller's screwdriver
  • Modular plug
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder

About the Author

Alice Godfrey is a marketing analyst with more than 15 years of experience in her field. She holds a Ph.D. in social and personality psychology. Past positions include market research analyst at various advertising agencies and corporations. Her articles on a wide variety of issues relating to entertainment have appeared in numerous trade publications.

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