Giving this thread a bump in the hopes that somebody can help this guy out.
Hi Tom, by your name, location, and the fact that you have a TA-838, I have to assume that you are Bill's brother. Haven't talked to him in a while, I hope he is doing well.
1. I assume you read Brooke Clarke's page on this phone. He had one that was DOA, and after disassembling and reassembling it, it started working. He concluded there was one or more dirty contacts on the card connectors:http://www.prc68.com/I/TA838.shtml
He goes on to say that it stopped working again after about a year. :^(
2. I wonder if the owners of this forum have seen this post??? I have seen pictures of their operation, I would call it a shop, but it is more like a huge telecommunications electronics laboratory... If they can't fix your phone, then maybe nobody can.
Speaking from a secure undisclosed location.