Here are some questions I
frequently get from Ericofon owners.
Q: I hear static in my Ericofon when using it.
A: There are several things that can cause this. The most
common problem is with the transmitter (the part you talk into). One way to know this is
that the louder (or longer) you talk into the phone, the louder the static gets. You need
to replace the transmitter element (see the section on replacing the transmitter). Another
problem, but very rare, can be the line cord. Line cords tend to go bad at the point they
enter the phone. Shortening the cord and getting into "fresh wire" is a good fix
for this. One last common thing that can cause this is corrosion on metal contacts (see
the maintenance section about this). Another common cause of static is corrosion on the
pulse contacts. Clean these contacts (and others while you're at it) and see if this
Q: I can barely hear the person I am talking to on the
A: Low volume in the receiver is another common problem
area with the Ericofon. The receivers (the part that goes to your ear) go bad. They
"fade away". At first, the volume decreases, eventually leading to no sound at
all. There is no cure for this as the receivers are permanently glued into the housing. In
some cases, the receiver can be replaced (see "Working on your Ericofon section), but
you don't want to do it if you don't have to, it usually leaves a visible scar.
Q: I have wired my phone according to the instructions,
but the Ericotone ringer still doesn't work.
A: There are several sensitive components in this circuit
that tend to go bad with age. See the section on ringer troubleshooting in the
"Working On Your Ericofon" section, or, if you don't know a soldering iron from
a 9 iron, take it to an electronics repair shop.
Q: When I dial the phone, nothing happens, I can still
hear the dial tone.
A: Rotary: Make sure you have the proper kind of phone
service for rotary phones. Rotary phones will not work on modern VOIP phone service.
A: TouchTone: Vintage TouchTone telephones are polarity
sensitive. Since polarity hasn't been an issue since the early 80s, houses are wired with
no regard to polarity. If your TouchTone phone is hooked to a jack with reversed
polarity, it will function but not dial out. You need to swap the red and green
wires around at some point. In the phone, the plug, the jack, it doesn't matter.
Q: I can hear the person on the other end of the line,
but they can't hear me.
A: The transmitter element in the Ericofon is mounted in
the shell. There are 2 contacts that stick out from the chassis and make contact with the
back of the transmitter when the phone is put back together. If these are bent just a hair
out of place, they will not make contact and no sounds will be transmitted. You need to
open up the phone and monkey around with the contacts to get them in the right spot so
that they touch the transmitter when the shell is put back on. I find that just pulling
out a hair on them usually is all that is needed. Take a look at the section on replacing
a bad transmitter for pictures of what to look for.
Q: My phone miss-dials phone numbers.
A: The Ericofon is a worldwide phone. Some phone systems
are more sensitive to dial speed than others. For instance, Ericofons from Denmark have an
incredibly fast dial, nearly as fast as touch-tone dialing! Anyhow, frequently I have seen
dials that are either turning too slowly or to quickly for the phone system they are being
used on. My best advice is to experiment with speeding up and slowing down the governor.
See the section on working on your phone to learn how to do this.
A: On Ericofons that use the big metal can condenser you could have a
problem with this. Testing the condenser is a crap shoot at best, replacement is the best
way to find out.
A: If the phone dials one number too many (ie. you dial a 3 and the phone
company sees a 4), then you need to adjust your dial switch. There is a loop of metal that
rides on the main gear. You need to bend this in or out until the numbers dial correctly.