Friday, July 11, 2008

4-Prong Adaptor

Who knew finding the 4-prong to modular adaptor would take longer to track down then the actual vintage phone?

The goal was to keep the original, pink cord.

I've spent months since buying the phone looking high & low for this adaptor (or an actual 4-prong jack). The kid working at Radio Shack didn't even know phones once came with 4 prongs :-) Salvage places told me stories of the hundreds of jacks they had thrown away. The adaptors online were selling for more than I paid for the phone. Just couldn't do that.

Anyway, finally, here it is.

22 comments:

John said...

Okay, I had no idea that old phones have four prongs. And, we had a phone just like that (except green) when I was growning up. Weird. Definately learned something today.

Mike said...

I can tell you with absolute certainty that Radio Shack carried a lot of those in 1986 when I went to get one for an old phone I'd found and wanted to use. Of course many people still HAD rotary dial phones back then!

In 1964, we lived in a small town north of Iowa City for one year, we had a party line telephone!

Kathy from NJ said...

We also had a party line when I was growing up. And phones were hard wired into the wall. Even in my first apartment the rotary dial phones were hard wired (I guess I'm giving away my age!). And our phone number was CA6-1692 (CA for Caldwell). Four prong was way in the future.

fred@opc said...

I had no idea old phones had four prongs! My grandmother had a phone like that (albeit black, not pink). So, along with John, I too learn something new.

StuccoHouse said...

Uh oh...this is going to be one of those posts where we can guess everyone's age based on whether they remember 4-prongs or not :-)

My parents still have the beige phone (identical to my pink one) that came with their ranch house when they bought it. Complete with the 4-prong jack. The last apartment I had before buying my old condo had a hardwired phone....the building was from the 1920's and so was the phone system. My landlord made me pay for my own conversion to a modual jack.

Mike - I think I'm just on the tail end of the adaptors being manufactured. I was totally taken by surprise that Radio Shack didn't have them. I was sure I'd walk in, plunk down my $5 and be out of the stroe in 3 minutes. I actually thought the young salesman didn't "get" what I was asking for and drove to another RS nearby and asked them. That guy seemed to know what I was asking for, but told me "no body uses old phones anymore." I told him he might want to take a look on ebay at the prices some of those old phones were getting ;-) I was still sure they had to have them and went home and searched their website. Lol..I had to face facts that they just did't carry them anymore. I finally stumbled upon someone who knew a guy who knew a guy that sells them locally. I had to resist the urge to hoard a few just in case.

Kathy - I so wish we still had those cool letter/number combo phone numbers. A couple of years ago we switched to 10 digit numbers around here - blah.

Sara-kail said...

I have been reading your blog for a couple months just out of curiousity. I got here one day when I did a search about restoring our windows that are in BAD condition. We just purchased a bungalow style house in WI and the PO was far from handy. We reffer to it as the house that Jack wrecked. I am slowly working on some restoration and I've discoved the local Habitat Homestore is a treasure trove of cheap supplies. I have three young children and work from home so it really is going slowly. Anyway, I have enjoyed your blog and it has helped me stay motivated, even considering one of my own. And for the record, I WANT THAT PHONE. I love it, gonna have to try and find me one ;-).

Thanks for the inspiration,
Sara

Jennifer said...

I had no idea, either... but I'm glad you kept that awesome pink cord!

Diva by Default said...

I'm totally in love with your pink phone!

StuccoHouse said...

Sara-Kail - Glad you started reading! Once you get a system down on restoring the windows, they become kind of fun. I think it's still the single most rewarding project I have worked on. I keep meaning to check out the Habitat store near me....maybe this week. The phone took a month of prowling on ebay before I finally snagged one that was in good condition.

Jennifer - Lol...I thought I needed to keep the pink cord too.

Diva - Yeah, it makes me smile everytime I use it.

Ryan said...

I have a bunch of old phones and one with a 4 prong cord (and no adapter yet, but I have used it as a stage prop). One was rewired at the cord end by a friend but my problem now is that I don't use any analog telephone service. I bought a bluetooth phone router so I could use real phones with my cell phone, but I haven't worked out all the kinks in my personal new-age telephone network.

Kristin said...

I had no idea...but I know now :) The pink phone is really cool.

Anonymous said...

you left out the important part. where did you find the adapter?

StuccoHouse said...

Shoot - I ran around last night looking for thr receipt and couldn't find it. If you live in the Twin Cities, it's a phone shop located in the vacinity of Larpenter & Lexington. If I drive down that way, I get the exact address & name.

Anonymous said...

Could you help me please?

Did your phone come with a plug/prog at the end of it? I've got one here with the old cord, but the end of it just hacked off. No plug,no prongs, just wires hanging out the end of the cord.

I really don't want to junk the original cord if I dont' have to.

Help!

StuccoHouse said...

Anonymous - My phone did come with a 4 prong plug on the end of the cord. However, I'm pretty sure there is a way to use the ld cord and add a plug.

I've had a couple of requests for the name of the place where I bought my adaptor. That guy sells parts and also resotres old phones. Give me a few days and I'll drive over to his store and get the store name & contact info. I'll post his contact info on this thread. He may be able to help.

Anonymous said...

thanks!
I did find something online called a 4 prong modular adapter, but I'm not sure if that's something that can be hardwired onto the adapter or needs the 4 prong plug already in place on the phone cord.

this might just be a two part problem... one, putting on the orignal 4 prong plug, two, using a 4 prong adapter to convert it to a RJ11 plug.

This is what I hate about seeing things online, if I could just hold it and look at it, turn it round in my hands...

OY. I think I've got five dozen gray hairs trying to solve this puzzle.. and the BF is getting impatient!
: )

StuccoHouse said...

Just a quick note - I have not forgotten about the contact info. for the phone store. Just haven't made it down there yet.

Larry said...

We have one of these (in yellow/gold) that we still use. Instead of the four prong thingy I just spliced the the phone wire into the phone jack.

StuccoHouse said...

Sorry for the long delay. Here is the contact info for the place where I bought my adaptor. The guy sells adaptors and restores old phones.

Phones 'N Things. 1897 Rice Street, Roseville, MN 55113 Phone: 651-787-3425

StuccoHouse said...

Here's another online source for the 4 prong to modular adapters:

http://www.oldphones.com/servlet/Categories?category=PARTS

John said...

We have recently aquired 3 western electric 5302 models (black), 1 dollar each phone at an auction house, 2 with the new modular rj11 jacks and one with the metal rotary dial and 4 prong plug, not clear plastic dial, that we are going to use on my wife's antique desk for her office. The problem I think I may run into is we don't have a landline through the phone company. We have Vonage and I'm not sure if this phone is going to work with Vonage. This phone has a 4 prong plug that we ordered the adapter for from www.oldphoneworks.com . I have cleaned the phone inside and out and it seems to be in great condition but as I said I fear that we won't be able to use it with Vonage. Another great thing about these phones...if you lose power you can still make a phone call as these phones were powered by a small electrical charge through the phone line from the phone company.

Anonymous said...

This was an interesting discussion but still does not answer my question. I have the 4 prong receptable on the wall downstairs in the laundry room. If I get an adapter with 4 prongs and a jack receptable, will any phone I purchase work????? Thanks.

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