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Ernest D3 COCOT


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#1 df99

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 03:27 PM

I recently purchased an Ernest single-slot payphone on Ebay. I have all the keys. I have been unable to find any information about programming the phone from the keypad. There is a slide switch on the main board marked "Program/Run". In the "Program" position, the keypad is active and plays tones, but no voice prompts or any other feedback is heard.

The board revision is "D3".

I've done a thorough Google search and come up empty.

Any help out there?

Edited by df99, 25 August 2007 - 03:28 PM.


#2 levitis_leviathan

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 09:45 PM

Does your D3 have an LCD readout near the keypad on the front? If not, does it have a serial port on the main board inside?

#3 savant

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 11:37 PM

Hey df,

I can't directly help, but when I was trying to hook my Elcotel S5 up to Asterisk without being able to program it, I set up a special context in asterisl for that sip adaptor so that when someone dialed 911 on the payphone it brought them to an IVR menu with an option to dial out. It's an ugly hack, but it did the job...

#4 ic0n

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 02:59 PM

I've got the same phone and have been looking for awhile now myself...

#5 levitis_leviathan

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 12:38 PM

I've got the Ernest ETX and I know how to program it from the keyboard. You need a specially wired serial LCD connected inside to the main circuit board via a 16-pin ribbon connector (if your phone doesn't have an LCD display on the front.) Let me know the LCD situ with your phone. There are literally dozens of parameters which can be set from the keypad.

#6 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 02:25 PM

If nothing else, try connecting to it via modem. Chances are, you might actually get something intelligible spit back at you. Even if it isn't, post it here, I think all of us are interested :) .

#7 df99

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 10:33 PM

It does have the LCD connector, but no LCD didplay.

#8 df99

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 07:05 AM

I managed to locate the documentation, etc. needed to program the phone.

It would be great to have the LCD available to make quick changes via the keypad. Thanks for ideas for wiring that up myself.

The phone seems very full-featured!

BTW, the 2-digit codes used for the Protel COCOT boards are very different than the two-digit codes used on this payphone.

#9 zoe

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 07:19 PM

If nothing else, try connecting to it via modem. Chances are, you might actually get something intelligible spit back at you. Even if it isn't, post it here, I think all of us are interested :) .


You hooked it up to the phone againt, didn't you?!

#10 df99

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 05:12 PM

Here's my progress report.

A kind individual sent me instructions for wiring up a 14-pin parallel 16x2 LCD display. These things are < $5.00 on Ebay and very common. I used a cut-off IDE cable to connect to the board. It worked perfectly! I can now program from the keypad. In normal mode (program switch in normal position), the display even shows how much to deposit, amount deposited, and overtime credit. I mounted the display inside the phone.

Another kind individual sent me the TeleLink software to program the phone with a 1200 baud modem. This also worked perfectly, although I had to play with initialization strings to dumb-down the modem enough to work. The software .zip file had the phone manual included, with the keypad programming instructions!

BTW, Ernest is still in business as a payphone service provider, but no longer makes the phones. I spoke with them on the phone, but they have no interest in supporting the software or phones.

Using the programming tools, I was able to override the out-of-date rate table in the phone and set up my own rate structure. I have it connected to an ATA adapter into my ProjectMF Asterisk box. The phone itself is in my home hallway, as a second line for the house.

I had to replace a cracked coin totalizer switch ($10.00) and soldered in a new lithium backup battery ($8.00).

Much fun! I like blueboxing over projectmf from a payphone. Really adds to the experience!

#11 Nightmaremoon

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 04:48 PM

I would like to start by saying Hello, and Sorry for pulling this thread out of the grave...(But It seems so relevant to my situation)

I have also come across an Ernest payphone, with the ETX board. I have looked high and low on the Internet for the Pinout of the LCD header. It looks like df99 had found it, but It also looks like he hasn't been on in awhile. Anyone know where I get ahold of the programming manual, or at least the pinout of the LCD connector?
(Google wasn't much help, company seems useless, tried finding the +5v and contrast bias on header to no avail)

#12 df99

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:38 AM

The ETX and D3 boards are very similar. An LCD module is wired identically for either model. I used an old IDE disk drive connector cut off to fit the 14-pin connector, handwiring the LCD module. I mounted mine inside the phone and leave it connected all the time.

The LCD module is a standard 2x16 parallel LCD (got mine from Digikey, part is a Varitronix MDL-16265). The trick is in the wiring of the 14 pins from the ribbon connector. These must be soldered in the following non-standard order (which is a "proprietary" technique employed by Ernest to justify selling their LCD's for $75 back when they were in business.)

Non-standard wiring:
LCD Connector
1 2
2 1
3 4
4 3
5 6
6 5
7 8
8 7
9 10
10 9
11 12
12 11
13 14
14 13

I also had to wire the contrast bias pin on the LCD to the +5 volt line to get acceptable contrast, rather than use a pot. YMMMV, depending on the module type used. The board provides power for the LCD.

Mine has been connected for years to my Asterisk system and is still working fine.

Drop me an email at bluebox@projectmf.org and I'll send you the manual and programming software.

df99

I would like to start by saying Hello, and Sorry for pulling this thread out of the grave...(But It seems so relevant to my situation)

I have also come across an Ernest payphone, with the ETX board. I have looked high and low on the Internet for the Pinout of the LCD header. It looks like df99 had found it, but It also looks like he hasn't been on in awhile. Anyone know where I get ahold of the programming manual, or at least the pinout of the LCD connector?
(Google wasn't much help, company seems useless, tried finding the +5v and contrast bias on header to no avail)



#13 systems_glitch

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:48 PM

If you don't want to wire the "proprietary" LCD connection by hand-soldering, you can get a 14-pin IDC dual-row connector, crimp it to your cable as usual (pin 1 == pin 1), and solder it to the other side of the board with the pin 1 stripe in the same direction as it would normally be. This effectively switches pin 1 with 2, 3 with 4, et c. Obviously, this only works if the LCD module you get uses a 2x7 dual row connector, rather than a single 14-pin single row connector.

#14 df99

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:12 AM

I hadn't though of that. Great idea.

However, my LCD module has all 14 connections in a single row, so not an option in my case, as you mention.

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