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Making a payphone ring


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#1 Aghaster

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 09:39 PM

I've always been wondering, is there any way to make a payphone ring?
They have their numbers on them, but when you try to call them it says that this phone cannot receive phone calls.
I once tried to call the operator to make her dial the phone number of a payphone, but it didn't work, she figured it out.

Anybody has an idea?

#2 signull

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 09:45 PM

You need to find the ringback code for your area.

Try finding it here: http://www.outpost9....hony.shtml#D-13

#3 PhreakerD7

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 09:53 PM

Dude, thank you SO MUCH. I couldn't find my ringback for the life of me! Thanks, man!

#4 I-baLL

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 10:12 PM

That list is outdated. 660 hasn't been the ringback number for NYC since we got 10-digit dialing. It is now 113-xxxx.

#5 signull

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 10:21 PM

Outdated it may be, but I couldn't find a more up-to-date one.

#6 unity

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 07:48 AM

Generally incoming calls aren't allowed on payphones. Some payphones are set up on lines that aren't provisioned specifically as "payphone lines", ie they allow incoming calls. If you hunt around on the net you'll find a few payphone lists (read: YAPL). Usually the lists'll tell you if there's incoming calls allowed. Sometimes, though, payphones have the ringing bits removed, so they won't ring even if they have a call incoming. Whatevs, though, usually they will, if they accept incoming calls. So that's about it. If you want to slug through manually checking payphones in your area, bring a cellphone and walk around calling all the 'phones you find.

#7 theMaxx

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 11:53 AM

How long has this been true? When I was a kid, I remember making collect calls and leaving the payphone # as my name so that whoever I was trying to reach could call me back.

#8 GIJoe

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 02:11 PM

How long has this been true? When I was a kid, I remember making collect calls and leaving the payphone # as my name so that whoever I was trying to reach could call me back.


Hah, reminds me of a great old commercial where a guy's wife just had a baby and he goes to call his parents, calling collect giving a name "ItsBob WeHadABaby Itsaboy".

I believe it was changed as a way to prevent use by drug dealers

#9 Rightcoast

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 04:00 PM

How long has this been true? When I was a kid, I remember making collect calls and leaving the payphone # as my name so that whoever I was trying to reach could call me back.


Hah, reminds me of a great old commercial where a guy's wife just had a baby and he goes to call his parents, calling collect giving a name "ItsBob WeHadABaby Itsaboy".

I believe it was changed as a way to prevent use by drug dealers

droopshadababyitsagirl :D

#10 Brooklyn

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 07:17 PM

Hey, since the new ringback for NYC is 113-xxxx, do you just dial that, or do you have to dial 1212113-xxxx? And does it work the same way (having to hang up for a brief second and then getting a second tone and then hanging up again) before ringing?

#11 Royal

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 10:11 PM

Generally incoming calls aren't allowed on payphones. Some payphones are set up on lines that aren't provisioned specifically as "payphone lines", ie they allow incoming calls.


You don't have to look for "non-payphone lines" to find a payphone that accepts incoming calls. True that the majority of them are provisioned to restrict incoming calls, however there's plenty that DO accept them, just like you explained yourself. So I'll bet you anything that the payphones you've found that accept incomong calls are provisioned 100% as "payphone lines".

Hey, since the new ringback for NYC is 113-xxxx, do you just dial that, or do you have to dial 1212113-xxxx? And does it work the same way (having to hang up for a brief second and then getting a second tone and then hanging up again) before ringing?


The ringback does require you to flashhook on the simulated dialtone you get after dialing 113-XXXX. This can be tricky to do on payphones because there's usually firmware in the payphone programmed to keep the line on-hook for a few seconds when you flashhook, even if it's a quick tap! If you're on a Verizon Hybrid, you need to hold in the switchhook a little longer than usual, but not too long. It's very tricky because you have to time it just right so that the line goes back off-hook fast enough without the ringback getting disconnected. Just practice until you get it right.
I actually have plans on making a high quality recording of this being done in the near future, among many many other payphone recordings (I've got 54 completed so far). ;)

Hah, reminds me of a great old commercial where a guy's wife just had a baby and he goes to call his parents, calling collect giving a name "ItsBob WeHadABaby Itsaboy".

I believe it was changed as a way to prevent use by drug dealers


Was it really? I remember that commercial very well; one of the funniest I've ever seen relating to phones.

Receiving Party: Hello?

OPERATOR: Collect call for Mr. Bob WeHadABaby ItsABoy

Receiving Party: Sorry. Wrong number. *hangs up*

Wife: Who was that dear?

Receiving Party (to wife): That was Bob. They had a baby. It's a boy.

Wife: Oh!

...and then the commercial says, "Don't screw the phone company..." Anyone remember what that commercial was selling?

#12 jfalcon

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 10:28 PM

...and then the commercial says, "Don't screw the phone company..." Anyone remember what that commercial was selling?


Sprint 5c or something like that...

#13 Royal

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 11:45 PM

...and then the commercial says, "Don't screw the phone company..." Anyone remember what that commercial was selling?


Sprint 5c or something like that...

No, I think it was something unrelated to telecom.

#14 Spaz101

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 12:46 AM

Wow you got my hopes up for that ringback sheet.... But yes my area was changed also over time. So because the area code has changed does it mean the ringback numbers are different now?

I did find this when I tried looking for a list myself. It was on wiki, I eventually thought they could help but stupid me. But couldnt hurt.

Ringback Numbers
Toll Free

1-888-294-9681 - Ringback and ANAC (Disconnected as of January 11, 2006)

In New Jersey: 550-xxxx, where xxxx indicates the last 4 digits of the number from which you are calling.

In Michigan: 951-xxxx, where xxxx indicates the last 4 digits of the number from which you are calling.

In New York: 113-xxxx, where xxxx indicates the last 4 digits of the number from which you are calling. This is also an alternate ringback number for New Jersey and other parts of the Eastern United States that are served by Verizon.

In Indiana: 777-xxxx, where xxxx indicates the last 4 digits of the number from which you are calling.

In Vermont: 981-xxxx, where xxxx indicates the last 4 digits of the number from which you are calling.

#15 systems_glitch

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:14 AM

We've got a pair of payphones next to a 7-11 at university that both accept incoming calls. It would seem they're used almost exclusively for drug deals, as they usually only ring when shady characters are near (which has happened a majority of times I've been there late at night)

I'll have to find them and add them to YAPL sometime...then random people can mess with drug dealers!

#16 riscphree

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:25 AM

Hah, reminds me of a great old commercial where a guy's wife just had a baby and he goes to call his parents, calling collect giving a name "ItsBob WeHadABaby Itsaboy".

I believe it was changed as a way to prevent use by drug dealers


Haha, I remember that commercial too. But its all in the pronunciation of the name he says that makes it good. Its been a long time and I forget what it was for, but I don't think it was for anything related to telecom, like Royal said.

#17 signull

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:25 AM

We've got a pair of payphones next to a 7-11 at university that both accept incoming calls. It would seem they're used almost exclusively for drug deals, as they usually only ring when shady characters are near (which has happened a majority of times I've been there late at night)

I'll have to find them and add them to YAPL sometime...then random people can mess with drug dealers!

Drugs dealers are the primary reason why payphones don't accept incoming calls these days.

#18 greeniguana00

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 05:15 AM

Two years ago I was checking out in a supermarket when a payphone rang. I was curious, so I pick it up and heard, "Mommy?" :lol:
I laughed and told the kid it was the wrong number.

Edited by greeniguana00, 31 May 2007 - 05:15 AM.


#19 Brooklyn

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 06:57 AM

Hmm, 113-xxxx doesn't work on my home phone here in Brooklyn, and neither does 1-718-113-xxxx.

#20 JmanA9

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 08:06 AM

...and then the commercial says, "Don't screw the phone company..." Anyone remember what that commercial was selling?

It was a commercial for Geico car insurance :)




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