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Open a Payphone Handset?


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#1 Famicoman

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 03:59 PM

I got two payphones today (Single coin slot on the right) pretty inexpensively. One was locked and I'll probably end up drilling it open, and one was open already.

Now the one that was open, I was trying to see how I could convert it for home use, but I might ask another bit about that later. Anyway, I was simply connecting the handset to the red and green wires to test it out and I held another phone to me ear and while I could talk into the payphone handset and hear it on the other, I could hear nothing from the payphone handset. No dial tone, no static, no noises, nothing (Keep in mind I didn't run anything through the payphone at this point, just the handset)

Now, I'm guessing that part of the handset is faulty and I have a few components I could probably salvage from old scrapped rotary phones, but I cannot get the handset of the payphone open. I heard once they were glued shut, but don't know if this is true or not.

Are there any tricks for getting the handset open or should I just shell out for a replacement from http://www.payphone.com/ ?

#2 rbcp

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 06:51 PM

I'd try one of those rubber jar openers. Or maybe a plumbing wrench that would fit around the mouthpiece so you could twist it off. Or be like David Lightman and bang the handset on the pay phone until it comes loose.


Since handsets are about the same size as the old style General Electric phones, you can replace the microphone and speaker components with parts from those phones. You might be able to find old home phones like that cheaper than buying them from that web site. Or you could just go out to a pay phone, open their handset and steal the parts from them. Not like anyone uses pay phones anymore.

#3 Afterm4th

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 07:34 PM

I'd try one of those rubber jar openers. Or maybe a plumbing wrench that would fit around the mouthpiece so you could twist it off. Or be like David Lightman and bang the handset on the pay phone until it comes loose.


Since handsets are about the same size as the old style General Electric phones, you can replace the microphone and speaker components with parts from those phones. You might be able to find old home phones like that cheaper than buying them from that web site. Or you could just go out to a pay phone, open their handset and steal the parts from them. Not like anyone uses pay phones anymore.



If you're trying to set the payphone up for home use you may find the tutorials from here: http://www.citizenengineer.com/ usefull.

They used to have a link to a video of this hot phreaker babe ripping apart this payphone and moding it for her landline. SHe moded it so that it would only make calls after a quarter was inserted.

Doesnt look like the link to the video exists on the page anymore, but it's out there.



Also, to get the handset off, my suggestion would be to bang it really hard then try what RBCP said with the rubber jar opener. I've found that bashing the handset loosens up the glue enough to open it up.

Good luck!

#4 Famicoman

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 07:49 PM

If you're trying to set the payphone up for home use you may find the tutorials from here: http://www.citizenengineer.com/ usefull.

They used to have a link to a video of this hot phreaker babe ripping apart this payphone and moding it for her landline. SHe moded it so that it would only make calls after a quarter was inserted.

Doesnt look like the link to the video exists on the page anymore, but it's out there.



Also, to get the handset off, my suggestion would be to bang it really hard then try what RBCP said with the rubber jar opener. I've found that bashing the handset loosens up the glue enough to open it up.

Good luck!


I'm very familiar with that video and I'd try to follow it, but my payphone and theirs differ by quite a bit and mine wasn't properly hooked up inside.

I'm gonna give some bashing a go, thanks!

#5 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 07:56 PM

Now the one that was open, I was trying to see how I could convert it for home use, but I might ask another bit about that later. Anyway, I was simply connecting the handset to the red and green wires to test it out and I held another phone to me ear and while I could talk into the payphone handset and hear it on the other, I could hear nothing from the payphone handset. No dial tone, no static, no noises, nothing (Keep in mind I didn't run anything through the payphone at this point, just the handset)


You can usually test the handset audio output by just sending it to an audio input on something. I think the phones with keypads built into the handsets themselves are the only ones that have scary POTS voltages. Try reversing the line polarity too, it could be one of those postpay payphones that're supposed to kill the receiver when you answer.

But yes, the handset caps aren't removeable on payphones, chiefly to stop you from pulling a David Lightman or vandalizing the phone. If you've ever seen a Western Electric charge-a-call (the ones with real Bell System handsets), they even went back and made sure those won't open.

Now the one that was open, I was trying to see how I could convert it for home use, but I might ask another bit about that later.


Since it sounds like you've got yourself a phone without a COCOT board, I thought I might as well mention that despite what the eBay school of telephony tells you, you don't need to take the coin relay out or anything to make it work normally. As the term dumb phone implies, nearly everything is handled by the CO on a line specifically provisioned for coin use. If you just connect the phone and use it like any other, it should work.

Not like anyone uses pay phones anymore.


*ahem*

#6 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 07:56 PM

Now the one that was open, I was trying to see how I could convert it for home use, but I might ask another bit about that later. Anyway, I was simply connecting the handset to the red and green wires to test it out and I held another phone to me ear and while I could talk into the payphone handset and hear it on the other, I could hear nothing from the payphone handset. No dial tone, no static, no noises, nothing (Keep in mind I didn't run anything through the payphone at this point, just the handset)


You can usually test the handset audio output by just sending it to an audio input on something. I think the phones with keypads built into the handsets themselves are the only ones that have scary POTS voltages. Try reversing the line polarity too, it could be one of those postpay payphones that're supposed to kill the receiver when you answer.

But yes, the handset caps aren't removeable on payphones, chiefly to stop you from pulling a David Lightman or vandalizing the phone. If you've ever seen a Western Electric charge-a-call (the ones with real Bell System handsets), they even went back and made sure those won't open.

Now the one that was open, I was trying to see how I could convert it for home use, but I might ask another bit about that later.


Since it sounds like you've got yourself a phone without a COCOT board, I thought I might as well mention that despite what the eBay school of telephony tells you, you don't need to take the coin relay out or anything to make it work normally. As the term dumb phone implies, nearly everything is handled by the CO on a line specifically provisioned for coin use. If you just connect the phone and use it like any other, it should work.

Not like anyone uses pay phones anymore.


*ahem*

#7 Famicoman

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 08:12 PM

Well I doubt it killing the receiver matters because I'm testing the handset without connecting it to the phone at all.

As for the board, it has an old Protel. but there is some weird stuff going on that I can't figure out (Never seen the insides of one of these). I plugged in all the cables into their proper spots as far as I can tell. There is a weird two pin thing coming out of the bottom of the board that I can't seem to place (It isn't that battery port, that was already plugged in). There are also 6 screws right above the coin compartment which I'm guessing is where you wire in the phone line, and there is an rj-11 plug coming off of that which I'm guessing plugs into the board, as well as another wire under one of the middle screws which I think gets connected to ground on the board.

Also, bashing this handset isn't doing much good, though it has some more character now. Maybe I can wire in a handset from an older phone to do some more testing with.

#8 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 08:48 PM

I'm surprised you can talk through it, Protel phones usually disable the transmitter until it thinks the call answers.

Anywho, what model is this? Pics plz? I might just happen to have the very same one.



#9 ticom

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 07:10 PM

The phone may require some external power to run. This was provided by a wall wart usually plugged into an outlet near the demarc and sent down the black and yellow wires. With the power supply connected to the phone, you should get the usual fake dialtone when you pick up. Depending on the programming left in the phone, it may also attempt to call out to the number that once belonged to its server.

The old-fashioned Bell System ACTS phones will act just like regular phones when connected to a phone line.




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