Tape-recorded telephone ringing effects never sound just right. What you really need is a device that makes a real telephone ring, that stops ringing when the handset is picked up. This saves embarrassment and makes for a more realistic effect. Usually this would be operated by the stage manager, but most amateur groups prefer the sound people to do it.
Maplin Electronics Supplies (in England) and Jameco (in USA) used to have kits to create both UK and US ringing patterns automatically, but they seems to have been discontinued, however it might still be worth searching their web sites.
If you have someone in your group that understands electronics they might be able to make a ringing converter from a circuit diagram.
- Techlib.com: http://www.techlib.com/electronics/telephone.html
- Electronic Design.com: http://electronicdesign.com/content.aspx?topic=rfi-free-ringer-generator-works-off-single-5-v-sup&catpath=analog-and-mixed-signal
You may have to make do with a simple ringing converter with a continuous output.
Ringing cadence in the UK is: 0.4 secs ON, 0.2 secs OFF, 0.4 secs ON, 2.0 secs OFF
Sounding like "Burr Burr ... Burr Burr ... Burr Burr ..."
copyright Leigh Graham 1997-2010.