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Q: BellSouth cordless telephone troubleshooting ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: BellSouth cordless telephone troubleshooting
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: hazelnutty-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 25 Jun 2002 17:36 PDT
Expires: 25 Jul 2002 17:36 PDT
Question ID: 33230
With my BellSouth cordless telephone model 26975 (26975EE2-B?), the
cordless handset is not being recognized by the base and I don't know
how to fix it. Advise please? I don't have the manual.
Subject: Re: BellSouth cordless telephone troubleshooting
Answered By: chromedome-ga on 25 Jun 2002 18:59 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi, Hazelnutty!

I sold cordless phones at retail for ten years or so, and I've been
throught the drill on this one more times than I care to think. I'm
assuming from the wording of your question that you've got the
maddening "my phone just beeps at me" problem.

Netcrazy had the basics right.  

When your base and handset stop talking to each other, it's generally
because of a power interruption.  Modern cordless phones transmit a
security code from handset to base, when you start a call.  This helps
reduce the likelihood that you and your neighbor will be talking over
each other, if your phones are on the same channel.  Unfortunately,
when they get out of synch, you won't be talking to anybody!  Usually
the phone will just beep "out of range."

The handset, you see, has continuous power because of its battery. 
The base unit doesn't (usually) because it's plugged into the wall. 
Anything that messes with the power supply can get put your phone out
of commission.  Even relatively slight flickers in your power (not
enough to reset your VCR clock) can do it to your phone. So, you need
to reset the chip which holds the security code.

So here's the drill:

1) As netcrazy said, step one is to simply place the phone back in the
cradle for a slow five count.  Then, pick it up and try it.  If it
works, you're done.  If not, let's try step 2.

2) Unplug the telephone's base unit.  Slide the battery cover off the
handset, and remove the battery.  Wait 30 seconds or so.  Plug the
base unit back in.  Wait five seconds or so.  Replace the battery in
the handset.  Place the handset in the base unit for a slow five count
(as above).  Now try it. This will almost always solve the problem.

If this doesn't work, then the chances are you've got something more
seriously wrong with your phone.  That may mean that the chip which
holds your security code is now defunct.  That's a bad thing, but
should be covered under warranty if your phone is new enough.

There are a couple of other things to try, though. It may be that your
battery is simply not getting charged!

There are a few relatively easy ways to troubleshoot this yourself. 
You'll need an inexpensive multimeter, a very basic piece of test
equipment.  If you don't have one, chances are you have a handyperson
within your circle of acquaintance who will.

First, clean the charging contacts on your base unit with a pencil
eraser.  This gives just enough abrasion to rub off any oxidation,
without impairing the chromed surface of the contacts.

Now, press the leads of the multimeter to the contacts.  You will
usually get a reading of 9-15 volts dc, depending on the phone. 
Generally they use a 12v supply.  Now, take the back off your phone
and lift out the battery.  Inside, look at where the battery attached
to the handset.  You will find either 2-4 pins (if your battery has
wires and a connector) or a couple of flat contacts (if your battery
is the kind without wires).  Put the leads of the tester onto these
contacts.  You will normally see voltage in the 3-6V dc range.

If you don't see the expected voltage on one of these tests, your
charging circuit is kaput and your handset doesn't have enough juice
to communicate.

If the battery is new (and changing batteries will sometimes trigger
this), the phone wouldn't reset, and the circuit gives you the correct
voltages, then your phone unfortunately requires service.  If it is in
warranty, your dealer should be able to help you.  If it is out of
warranty, you may wish to balance the cost of a repair against the
cost of a new (in-warranty) phone.

I hope this is helpful, and not too intimidating.  None of it is as
complicated as it sounds at first blush.

Good luck!
hazelnutty-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Well, it was a very thorough response, and I did the things you
suggested, but in the end, I'm SOOL. It's my own fault I no longer
have the paperwork or warranty info, so short of a miracle, it looks
like I'm left to buy a new phone--unless someone else has another
suggestion, but it doesn't seem like that's going to be the case.
There are no phone repair technicians out there?

Subject: Re: BellSouth cordless telephone troubleshooting
From: netcrazy-ga on 25 Jun 2002 18:20 PDT

I was not sure about my answer, so posting it in comments. 
The communication between HANDSET and BASE UNIT may not be possible in
any of the following situations:
  - After a power failure.
  - After relocating the BASE UNIT by disconnecting the AC ADAPTOR .
  - After replacing the HANDSET BATTERY PACK.
To reset, place the HANDSET on the BASE UNIT for 2 to 5 seconds.

This is the only procedure I was able to find out from the manuals of
BellSouth cordless phones. You can check these manuals on this page:

All the best.


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