Introduction: Payphone in the Home
This project probably started due to my odd obsession with quarters and coin operated devices.
I guess that the legends of the golden days of hacking and phreaking helped too. Added to the
fact that my cordless phones were never to be found when needed. So the decision was made I
needed a corded phone. After running a across a few look a like phones, I thought they looked
cheap. Then it hit me, why not buy a real one. I discovered that AT&T was removing a lot of these
phones, since it was not cost effective to maintain them. Once i learned this, off to ebay I ran.
With this being said
The legend begins....
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Step 1: Obtaining the Payphone
After a few minutes searching I came across someone selling a large quantity of phones for well
under market value. A few transactions later, my treasure was on its way. I suppose that there
are other ways although I won't recommend riping one off the wall of your local quicky-mart.
Step 2: The Guts
Like I said mine was used so of course it suffered many hours of use and abuse. Luckily mine
survived with only cosmetic damages such as chips in the powder coat. Once armed with my
trusty can of spray paint, and screwdriver I set off to work. This pay phone is consisted of only
a few major parts, such as the Smart board, cash box, the keypad, and the coin verification and
relay circuits. The seller had included keys to all three locks, the faceplate and the cash box.
Step 3: The Shell
Once I striped the poor soul of any shred of dignity and scrubbed it clean from the years of grime ,
it was time to paint. Personally I kinda misted the entire peice blending it with the areas that
really needed it. On coin doors and such that are powder coated like this, I recommend a flat
black metal spray paint it blends nicely. Be careful to not puddle the paint up and by the way
remember to mask up threaded screw holes. I used the screws that went in the holes. Also
remove any chrome and clean it up. One more thing be careful with the screws I still can't find
where one goes.
Step 4: The Smart Board
The Smart board basicly decides how much calls cost and controllers coin verification relays.
There are 3 main maker of these board and they vary accordingly
Mines a Intellicall (aka. ultratel)
It requires a 24v@ 1.6A transformer, majority of them run off line voltage and a two pair phone
line for voice data. Programing can be done for Intellicall via Inet board or the phone line from the
company. The Protel board can be programed by pushing a button and a series of numbers
for each type of call.
Step 5: Reassembly
Reassembly isn't too bad as long as you remember where everything goes. There is really not
that many pieces. If you want there are a couple of cards attached to the back of the chrome face
plate that you could change out for your own if you desired. You will need to use the keys to lock
the phone back. There are a couple of switches that check to see if it is locked on boot up. I
suppose that you could just short them out.
Step 6: The Booth
Typical pay phones either require a backing plate or a enclosure due to the fact that they weigh at
least 45 lbs. This weight would destroy wallboard. I found and chose a simple indoor enclosure
and built it on top of a shelf versus hanging on a wall, I replicated it myself. I chose to use 3/4"
mdf which I found to be rather sound material. But I would recommend using mdf screws they
grind through and prevent splitting when drilled in slow. As far as paint, flat black paint as always
and I attached the phone with bolts. Add power and phone line, program the smart board and
presto you have dial tone.