How Do I Use a Rotary Phone on a Digital Line?

By Marie Clay

Rotary phones use pulse dialing, which is not supported on digital lines, such as VoIP services.
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Adding a bit of variety with electronics is a great way to give your home a unique touch and give new life to old equipment. Instead of hanging up an old rotary phone for good when you get a digital line, connect that phone to a digital line phone service or voice over IP connection with the help of a small and easy-to-use accessory .

Step 1

Buy a pulse-dial to touch-tone in-line converter.

Step 2

Connect the converter's cord to your rotary phone. If your converter does not have an attached section of phone cord, connect one end of phone cord to the rotary phone and the other end to the converter.

Step 3

Connect one end of a phone cord to the converter's output, and then connect the other end of the phone cord to the phone jack or digital device.

Step 4

Check the manual for any unit-specific instructions. For example, some units require a charging period when first connected before conversion can occur, and some require a powerful connection such as a whole-house VoIP unit to power the rotary phone properly.

Step 5

Pick up the handset and dial the first digit of the number you want to call. Wait until a tone is heard through the handset before dialing the next digit, and continue with this slight pause for every digit.