How to Connect a Rotary Phone to a Phone System


A rotary-style telephone, while outdated, operates in much the same manner as a corded electronic phone does; a telephone cord connects to the rotary-style telephone to provide audio as well as electricity for ringing the bell for an incoming call from the phone system. To connect a rotary-style telephone to a phone system you'll need to modify a modular telephone cord. Household tools will be needed. The rotary-style telephone will require a partial dis-assembly.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat-edged screwdriver
  • Coffee cup
  • Telephone cord, 10 feet
  • Utility knife
  • Ruler
  • Wire cutter
  • Wire stripper
  • Turn the phone over. Remove the screws from the bottom plate of the phone using a flat-edged screwdriver. Place the screws in a coffee cup so that they don't get lost.

  • Cut off the plug from one end of the telephone cord with a utility knife. Slit four inches in on the outer insulation from the cut end using a utility knife. Peel the insulation back to reveal the wires inside.

  • Cut the yellow and black wires off using wire cutters as they are not needed for providing a phone signal to a rotary-style phone. Discard the wires in the trash.

  • Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from the ends of the red and green wires, using a wire stripper, that will provide the audio signal and electrical power to the phone.

  • Push the wires at the end of the telephone cord through the hole in the bottom plate.

  • Loosen the two screws that have a red and green wire wrapped around them, using the screwdriver; the screws are next to the ringer bell on the bottom of the phone.

  • Wind the end of the red wire inside the telephone cord around the screw that has the red wire wound around it. Wind the end of the green wire inside the telephone cord around the screw that has the green wire wound around it. Tighten the screws.

  • Place the bottom plate back on the telephone. Reattach the screws. Right the rotary telephone. Insert the plug at the other end of the telephone cord into the telephone socket on a telephone wall plate.

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