Phone Systems Tutorial III by The Jolly Roger


PREFACE:

 

THIS ARTICLE WILL FOCUS PRIMARILY ON THE STANDARD WESTERN ELECTRIC SINGLE-

SLOT COIN TELEPHONE (AKA FORTRESS FONE) WHICH CAN BE DIVIDED INTO 3 TYPES:

- DIAL-TONE FIRST (DTF)

- COIN-FIRST (CF): (IE, IT WANTS YOUR $ BEFORE YOU RECEIVE A DIAL TONE)

- DIAL POST-PAY SERVICE (PP): YOU PAYAFTER THE PARTY ANSWERS

 

DEPOSITING COINS (SLUGS):

-------------------------

ONCE YOU HAVE DEPOSITED YOUR SLUG INTO A FORTRESS, IT IS SUBJECTED TO A

GAMUT OF TESTS. THE FIRST OBSTACAL FOR A SLUG IS THE

MAGNETIC TRAP. THIS WILL STOP ANY LIGHT-WEIGHT MAGNETIC SLUGS AND COINS.

IF IT PASSES THIS, THE SLUG IS THEN CLASSIFIED AS A NICKEL, DIME, OR

QUARTER. EACH SLUG IS THEN CHECKED FOR APPROPRIATE SIZE AND WEIGHT. IF THESE

TESTS ARE PASSED, IT WILL THEN TRAVEL THROUGH A NICKEL, DIME, OR QUARTER

MAGNET AS APPROPRIATE. THESE MAGNETS SET UP AN EDDY CURRENT EFFECT WHICH

CAUSES COINS OF THE APPROPRIATE CHARACTERISTICS TO SLOW DOWN SO THEY

WILL FOLLOW THE CORRECT TRAJECTORY. IF ALL GOES WELL, THE COIN WILL FOLLOW THE

CORRECT PATH (SUCH AS BOUNCING OFF OF THE NICKEL ANVIL) WHERE IT WILL

HOPEFULLY FALL INTO THE NARROW ACCEPTED COIN CHANNEL.

THE RATHER ELABORATE TESTS THAT ARE PERFORMED AS THE COIN TRAVELS DOWN THE

COIN CHUTE WILL STOP MOST SLUGS AND OTHER UNDESIRABLE COINS, SUCH AS

PENNIES, WHICH MUST THEN BE RETRIEVED USING THE COIN RELEASE LEVER.

IF THE SLUG MIRACULOUSLY SURVIVES THE GAMUT, IT WILL THEN STRIKE THE

APPROPRIATE TOTALIZER ARM CAUSING A RATCHET WHEEL TO ROTATE ONCE FOR EVERY

5-CENT INCREMENT (EG, A QUARTER WILL CAUSE IT TO ROTATE 5 TIMES).

THE TOTALIZER THEN CAUSES THE COIN SIGNAL OSCILLATOR TO READOUT A DUAL-

FREQUENCY SIGNAL INDICATING THE VALUE DEPOSITED TO ACTS (A COMPUTER) OR THE

TSPS OPERATOR. THESE ARE THE SAME TONES USED BY PHREAKS IN THE INFAMOUS RED

BOXES. FOR A QUARTER, 5 BEEP TONES ARE

OUTPULSED AT 12-17 PULSES PER SECOND (PPS). A DIME CAUSES 2 BEEP TONES AT

5 - 8.5 PPS WHILE A NICKEL CAUSES ONE BEEP TONE AT 5 - 8.5 PPS. A BEEP

CONSISTS OF 2 TONES: 2200 + 1700 HZ. A RELAY IN THE FORTRESS CALLED THE "B

RELAY" (YES, THERE IS ALSO AN 'A RELAY') PLACES A CAPACITOR ACROSS THE

SPEECH CIRCUIT DURING TOTALIZER READOUT TO PREVENT THE "CUSTOMER" FROM

HEARING THE RED BOX TONES. IN OLDER 3 SLOT PHONES: ONE BELL

(1050-1100 HZ) FOR A NICKEL, TWO BELLS FOR A DIME, AND ONE GONG (800 HZ) FOR A

QUARTER ARE USED INSTEAD OF THE MODERN DUAL-FREQUENCY TONES.

 

=============

=TSPS & ACTS=

=============

 

WHILE FORTRESSES ARE CONNECTED TO THE CO OF THE AREA, ALL TRANSACTIONS ARE

HANDLED VIA THE TRAFFIC SERVICE POSITION SYSTEM (TSPS). IN AREAS THAT

DO NOT HAVE ACTS, ALL CALLS THAT REQUIRE OPERATOR ASSISTANCE, SUCH AS

CALLING CARD AND COLLECT, ARE AUTOMATICALLY ROUTED TO A TSPS OPERATOR

POSITION. IN AN EFFORT TO AUTOMATE FORTRESS

SERVICE, A COMPUTER SYSTEM KNOWN AS AUTOMATED COIN TOLL SERVICE (ACTS) HAS

BEEN IMPLEMENTED IN MANY AREAS. ACTS LISTENS TO THE RED BOX SIGNALS FROM THE

FONES AND TAKES APPROPRIATE ACTION. IT IS ACTS WHICH SAYS, "TWO DOLLARS PLEASE

(PAUSE) PLEASE DEPOSIT TWO DOLLARS FOR THE NEXT TEN SECONDS" (AND OTHER

VARIATIONS). ALSO, IF YOU TALK FOR MORE THAN THREE MINUTES AND THEN HANG-UP,

ACTS WILL CALL BACK AND DEMAND YOUR MONEY. ACTS IS ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR

AUTOMATED CALLING CARD SERVICE. ACTS ALSO PROVIDE TROUBLE DIAGNOSIS FOR

CRAFTSPEOPLE (REPAIRMEN SPECIALIZING IN FORTRESSES). FOR EXAMPLE, THERE IS A

COIN TEST WHICH IS GREAT FOR TUNING UP RED BOXES. IN MANY AREAS THIS TEST CAN

BE ACTIVATED BY DIALING 09591230 AT A FORTRESS (THANKS TO KARL MARX FOR THIS

INFORMATION). ONCE ACTIVATED IT WILL REQUEST THAT YOU DEPOSIT VARIOUS COINS.

IT WILL THEN IDENTIFY THE COIN AND OUTPULSE THE APPROPRIATE RED BOX

SIGNAL. THE COINS ARE USUALLY RETURNED WHEN YOU HANG UP.

TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE IS ACTUALLY MONEY IN THE FONE, THE CO INITIATES A

"GROUND TEST" AT VARIOUS TIMES TO DETERMINE IF A COIN IS ACTUALLY IN THE

FONE. THIS IS WHY YOU MUST DEPOSIT AT LEAST A NICKEL IN ORDER TO USE A RED

BOX!

 

GREEN BOXES:

------------

 

PAYING THE INITIAL RATE IN ORDER TO USE A RED BOX (ON CERTAIN FORTRESSES)

LEFT A SOUR TASTE IN MANY RED BOXER'S MOUTHS THUS THE GREEN BOX WAS INVENTED.

THE GREEN BOX GENERATES USEFUL TONES SUCH AS COIN COLLECT, COIN RETURN, AND

RINGBACK. THESE ARE THE TONES THAT ACTS OR THE TSPS OPERATOR WOULD SEND TO

THE CO WHEN APPROPRIATE. UNFORTUNATELY, THE GREEN BOX CANNOT BE USED AT A

FORTRESS STATION BUT IT MUST BE USED BY THE CALLED PARTY.

 

HERE ARE THE TONES:

COIN COLLECT 700 + 1100 HZ

COIN RETURN 1100 + 1700 HZ

RINGBACK 700 + 1700 HZ

BEFORE THE CALLED PARTY SENDS ANY OF THESE TONES, AN OPERATOR RELEASED

SIGNAL SHOULD BE SENT TO ALERT THE MF DETECTORS AT THE CO. THIS CAN BE

ACCOMPLISHED BY SENDING 900 + 1500 HZ OR A SINGLE 2600 HZ WINK (90 MS)

FOLLOWED BY A 60 MS GAP AND THEN THE APPROPRIATE SIGNAL FOR AT LEAST 900 MS.

ALSO, DO NOT FORGET THAT THE INITIAL RATE IS COLLECTED SHORTLY BEFORE THE 3

MINUTE PERIOD IS UP. INCIDENTALLY, ONCE THE ABOVE MF TONES

FOR COLLECTING AND RETURNING COINS REACH THE CO, THEY ARE CONVERTED INTO

AN APPROPRIATE DC PULSE (-130 VOLTS FOR RETURN & +130 VOLTS FOR COLLECT). THIS

PULSE IS THEN SENT DOWN THE TIP TO THE FORTRESS. THIS CAUSES THE COIN RELAY

TO EITHER RETURN OR COLLECT THE COINS. THE ALLEGED "T-NETWORK" TAKES ADVANTAGE

OF THIS INFORMATION. WHEN A PULSE FOR COIN COLLECT (+130 VDC) IS SENT DOWN

THE LINE, IT MUST BE GROUNDED SOMEWHERE. THIS IS USUALLY EITHER THE

YELLOW OR BLACK WIRE. THUS, IF THE WIRES ARE EXPOSED, THESE WIRES CAN BE

CUT TO PREVENT THE PULSE FROM BEING GROUNDED. WHEN THE THREE MINUTE

INITIAL PERIOD IS ALMOST UP, MAKE SURE THAT THE BLACK & YELLOW WIRES ARE

SEVERED; THEN HANG UP, WAIT ABOUT 15 SECONDS IN CASE OF A SECOND PULSE,

RECONNECT THE WIRES, PICK UP THE FONE, HANG UP AGAIN, AND IF ALL GOES WELL IT

SHOULD BE "JACKPOT" TIME.

 

PHYSICAL ATTACK:

----------------

 

A TYPICAL FORTRESS WEIGHS ROUGHLY 50 LBS. WITH AN EMPTY COIN BOX. MOST OF

THIS IS ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE ARMOR PLATING. WHY ALL THE SECURITY? WELL,

BELL CONTRIBUTES IT TO THE FOLLOWING: "SOCIAL CHANGES DURING THE 1960'S

MADE THE MULTISLOT COIN STATION A PRIME TARGET FOR: VANDALISM, STRONG ARM

ROBBERY, FRAUD, AND THEFT OF SERVICE. THIS BROUGHT ABOUT THE INTRODUCTION OF

THE MORE RUGGED SINGLE SLOT COIN STATION AND A NEW ENVIRONMENT FOR COIN

SERVICE." AS FOR PICKING THE LOCK, I WILL QUOTE MR. PHELPS:

"WE OFTEN FANTASIZE ABOUT 'PICKING THE LOCK' OR 'GETTING A MASTER

KEY.' WELL, YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT IT. I DON'T LIKE TO DISCOURAGE PEOPLE, BUT

IT WILL SAVE YOU FROM WASTING ALOT OF OUR TIME--TIME WHICH CAN BE PUT TO

BETTER USE (HEH, HEH)." AS FOR PHYSICAL ATTACK, THE COIN PLATE

IS SECURED ON ALL FOUR SIDE BY HARDENED STEEL BOLTS WHICH PASS THROUGH TWO

SLOTS EACH. THESE BOLTS ARE IN TURN INTERLOCKED BY THE MAIN LOCK.

ONE PHREAK I KNOW DID MANAGE TO TAKE ONE OF THE 'MOTHERS' HOME (WHICH WAS

ATTACHED TO A PIECE OF PLYWOOD AT A CONSTRUCTION SITE; OTHERWISE, THE

PERMANENT ONES ARE A BITCH TO DETACH FROM THE WALL!). IT TOOK HIM ALMOST

TEN HOURS TO OPEN THE COIN BOX USING A POWER DRILL, SLEDGE HAMMERS, AND CROW

BARS (WHICH WAS EMPTY -- PERHAPS NEXT TIME, HE WILL DEPOSIT A COIN FIRST TO

HEAR IF IT SLUSHES DOWN NICELY OR HITS THE EMPTY BOTTOM WITH A CLUNK.)

TAKING THE FONE OFFERS A HIGHER MARGIN OF SUCCESS. ALTHOUGH THIS MAY BE

DIFFICULT OFTEN REQUIRING BRUTE FORCE AND THERE HAS BEEN SEVERAL CASES OF

BACK AXLES BEING LOST TRYING TO TAKE DOWN A FONE! A QUICK AND DIRTY WAY TO

OPEN THE COIN BOX IS BY USING A SHOTGUN. IN DETROIT, AFTER ECOLOGISTS

CLEANED OUT A MUNICIPAL POND, THEY FOUND 168 COIN PHONE RIFLED.

IN COLDER AREAS, SUCH AS CANADA, SOME SHREWD PEOPLE TAPE UP THE FONES USING

DUCT TAPE, POUR IN WATER, AND COME BACK THE NEXT DAY WHEN THE WATER WILL HAVE

FROZE THUS EXPANDING AND CRACKING THE FONE OPEN.

IN ONE CASE, "UNAUTHORIZED COIN COLLECTORS" WHERE CAUGHT WHEN THEY

BROUGHT $6,000 IN CHANGE TO A BANK AND THE BANK BECAME SUSPICIOUS...

AT ANY RATE, THE MAIN LOCK IS AN EIGHT LEVEL TUMBLER LOCATED ON THE RIGHT SIDE

OF THE COIN BOX. THIS LOCK HAS 390,625 POSSIBLE POSITIONS (5 ^ 8, SINCE THERE

ARE 8 TUMBLERS EACH WITH 5 POSSIBLE POSITIONS) THUS IT IS HIGHLY PICK

RESISTANT! THE LOCK IS HELD IN PLACE BY 4 SCREWS. IF THERE IS SUFFICIENT

CLEARANCE TO THE RIGHT OF THE FONE, IT IS CONCEIVABLE TO PUNCH OUT THE SCREWS

USING THE DRILLING PATTERN BELOW (PROVIDED BY ALEXANDER MUNDY IN TAP #32):

 

====================================

!! ^

!! !

! 1- 3/16 " !! !

!<--- --->!! 1-1/2"

-------------------- !

! ! !! ! !

! (+) (+)-! -----------

---! !! ! ^

! ! !! ! !

! ! (Z) !! ! !

! ! !! ! 2-3/16"

---! !! ! !

! (+) (+) ! !

! !! ! !

-------------------- -----------

!!

!!

(Z) KEYHOLE (+) SCREWS

!!

===================================

 

AFTER THIS IS ACCOMPLISHED, THE LOCK CAN BE PUSHED BACKWARDS DISENGAGING

THE LOCK FROM THE COVER PLATE. THE FOUR BOLTS OF THE COVER PLATE CAN THEN

BE RETRACTED BY TURNING THE BOLTWORKS WITH A SIMPLE KEY IN THE SHAPE OF THE

HOLE ON THE COIN PLATE (SEE DIAGRAM BELOW). OF COURSE, THERE ARE OTHER

METHODS AND DRILLING PATTERNS.

 

:-------------------------------------:

_

! !

( )

!_!

[ROUGHLY]

DIAGRAM OF COVER PLATE KEYHOLE

:-------------------------------------:

 

THE TOP COVER USES A SIMILAR (BUT NOT AS STRONG) LOCKING METHOD WITH THE

KEYHOLE DEPICTED ABOVE ON THE TOP LEFT HIDE AND A REGULAR LOCK (PROBABLY

TUMBLER ALSO) ON THE TOP RIGHT-HAND SIDE. IT IS INTERESTING TO EXPERIMENT

WITH THE COIN SHUTE AND THE FORTRESSES OWN "RED BOX" (WHICH BELL DIDN'T HAVE

THE 'BALLS' TO COLOR RED).

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

--------------

 

IN A FEW AREAS (RURAL & CANADA), POST-PAY SERVICE EXISTS. WITH THIS TYPE OF

SERVICE, THE MOUTHPIECE IS CUT OFF UNTIL THE CALLER DEPOSITS MONEY WHEN

THE CALLED PARTY ANSWERS. THIS ALSO ALLOWS FOR FREE CALLS TO WEATHER AND

OTHER DIAL-IT SERVICES! RECENTLY, 2600 MAGAZINE ANNOUNCED THE CLEAR BOX WHICH

CONSISTS OF A TELEPHONE PICKUP COIL AND A SMALL AMP. IT IS BASED ON THEõ

RINCIPAL THAT THE RECEIVER IS ALSO A WEAK TRANSMITTER AND THAT BY AMPLIFYING

YOUR SIGNAL YOU CAN TALK VIA THE TRANSMITTER THUS AVOIDING COSTLY

TELEPHONE CHARGES! MOST FORTRESSES ARE FOUND IN THE 9XXX

AREA. UNDER FORMER BELL AREAS, THEY USUALLY START AT 98XX (RIGHT BELOW THE

99XX OFFICIAL SERIES) AND MOVE DOWNWARD.

SINCE THE LINE, NOT THE FONE, DETERMINES WHETHER OR NOT A DEPOSIT

MUST BE MADE, DTF & CHARGE-A-CALL FONES MAKE GREAT EXTENSIONS!

FINALLY, FORTRESS FONES ALLOW FOR A NEW HOBBY--INSTRUCTION PLATE COLLECTING.

ALL THAT IS REQUIRED IS A FLAT-HEAD SCREWDRIVER AND A PAIR OF NEEDLE-NOSE

PLIERS. SIMPLY USE THE SCREWDRIVER TO LIFT UNDERNEATH THE PLATE SO THAT YOU

CAN GRAB IT WITH THE PLIERS AND YANK DOWNWARDS. I WOULD SUGGEST COVERING THE

TIPS OF THE PLIERS WITH ELECTRICAL TAPE TO PREVENT SCRATCHING. TEN CENT PLATES

ARE DEFINITELY BECOMING A "RARITY!"

 

FORTRESS SECURITY:

------------------

 

WHILE A LONELY FORTRESS MAY SEEM THE PERFECT TARGET, BEWARE! THE GESTAPO

HAS BEEN KNOWN TO STAKE OUT FORTRESSES FOR AS LONG AS 6 YEARS ACCORDING TO THE

GRASS ROOTS QUARTERLY. TO AVOID ANY PROBLEMS, DO NOT USE THE SAME FONES

REPEATEDLY FOR BOXING, CALLING CARDS, & OTHER EXPERIMENTS. THE TELCO KNOWS HOW

MUCH MONEY SHOULD BE IN THE COIN BOX AND WHEN ITS NOT THERE THEY TEND TO GET

PERTURBED (READ: PISSED OFF).

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

--------Jolly Roger

 

p.s. This was originally written back in my old Apple ][ days,

hence the upper case. I just did not think I should waste the

little time I have to work on this shit converting it to lower-

case. Hell, I thought 80-columns was pretty nice of me.. heh heh.

Well, enjoy this and the rest of this Cookbook! ---------JR

 

From the CookBook 4.. Exodus