Build a Beige Box/line Mans Handset

For this Instructable you will need:
Wire cutting/stripping abilities
A telephone handset (non wireless) with buttons
2 needles (used for hand sewing)
RJ-11 jack/plug with wire attached
Plug to wire type thing (I got mine from a computer cases hdd led)

The beige box can be used to hijack a telephone landline, if you remove the mic it can be a wire tap.
If your really want to put some effort in, you could add a wireless module for long term surveliance, although, if you do, you are obviously some sort of freak. (pun intended)

Sorry about the pics (webcam)

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Step 1: Snip 'n' Strip

pretty self explanatory.
NOTE: the jack used from the base to the handset is not usually an RJ-11, check and if it is give the jack some wire because you might use it later, but if it isn't, then cut as close to the jack as possible.

Step 2: Ze Needles

Very simple, just attatch the wires to ze needles and you'r good.
if you arent out of solder, it is highly recomended, but if you are, just give it the good ol' twist and tape.

10 bonus points to anyone who can thread the wire through the eye of the needle

Step 3: Optional: RJ-11 Jack

the benefits of having the RJ is that you can use it at any public port and not look anywhere near as suspicious as injecting neddles into wires :P

All you have do to is get the RJ-11 and something which you can attatch to both the needles and the RJ, for this i used the leads from and old computers HDD LED.

Step 4: Using

If you made the adapter in the previous step, you can use it as a normal phone, but where's the fun in that. using is pretty straightforward: Find phoneline, inject green needle into green wire, inject red needle into red wire, YAY! you're an amateur phreak!

you can find phonelines in a box on every house, but (in aus at least) they are secured with a 5point star hole in middle screw, you can find hubs that look sorta like missiles, but they are secured with a key, or you can go into the city, find the telstra(or AT&T whatever) building, but it is secured with a receptionist(idk).

if you have to, you can get into at least the 1st two fairly easily, but it is illegal, so don't.
also it might take you a while to get used to the needles, so be careful or there will be blood.

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    15 Discussions


    3 years ago

    phone lines are -48V when idle, they go up to 90VAC when ringing in north america.


    10 years ago on Step 4

    This has to be the most stupidest thing I have ever read! Apart from being highly illegal to do this it is also extremely dangerous! I don't know what the score is with you folks down under, but here in the UK telephone lines can carry a current of 50 volts, even upto 300 volts + If the line you are poking them needles into receives a call or any information is being passed down it then the person messing around with it could more than likely get a nasty and potentially fatel shock! PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS PROJECT!!!

    3 replies

    anyone stupid enough to phreak a 300 volt telephone cable has it coming to them


    well, in the US, the telephone system will only carry 45-50 volts with no activity, up to 85 when it rings and drops to 35 when a call is connected. Plus the amperage is always low. If your phone lines carry 300+ volys How much do your mains carry, thats whad id like to know!

    In the US (maybe elsewhere, IDK), the nominal voltage on a POTS phone line is 48-52 volts, normally. It's DC, like a battery, not AC, like a home electric outlet. Touching a phone wire with 50 volts is not a problem (not even felt) -- unless you're standing in a puddle of water or standing in the rain or perspiring a lot (and touching a ground source). That's when you get a little poke. (simplified explanation to follow:) Ringing voltage, on the other hand, is twice that -- it swings quickly between +50v and -50v (like AC would) and is approximately equivalent to 100v. That is not pleasant to feel. (you'll "taste your fillings") I don't know that it's ever been fatal, but it's never been fun. (of course there are 'phone wires' that carry more voltage, but they won't have a regular handset connected to them anyway; think T1 lines, for example) PS: this hack won't work on fiberoptic lines. ;-)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I use to Work For a Company that made us call from the custmers house to let them know what was going on.Sometimes the custmers were not home (don't worry it was a 800 number we called) they gave us cell phones but they never word at the corner of BFE and yous gotta perrtie mouth. so i made one of these phones. i used clips for mine. i also have clamps to hook to the wire so i can make a bread box out side. makes it easier to come back and doortag the house


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Its a way to use a phone, from the line itself, without a jack.. Phones are that simple.. You could even use a handset without numbers, and use recordings or a dtmf generator to dial..


    11 years ago on Introduction

    The way phone guys do it is with a hefty clip fitted with fine sharp pins, kind of like fish teeth.. Just clamps onto the insulation and perforates it inevitably.. Hitting the wire with a pin wouldn't be a problem.. The wire is the bulk, but its a thin wire with thin insulation so keeping the needle in contact would be a problem..


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, to be young again. The needle trick is new to me. I bet hitting the wire through opaque insulation is a pain.

    1 reply

    yeah the needles aren't working as well as I thought they would, but the alligator clips only work when you open the box up, I live in australia and the telstra boxes have a torx-like screw with only five points that I cant find anywhere. also I use the beige box in my own (parents) house alot, and the needles work better for that purpouse.

    IDK I'm starting to have second thoughts on the needles idea, I kept on fluking it in the test runs but when i actually tried to use it, there was alot of blood. but yeah, preak forever also, read phrack. used to be alot of issues, now only bout 1 a year, but read the backlog there is some great stuff in there.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Picture's are not good. You most definitely want to avoid using a webcam (I did one Instructable using a webcam, but the pictures were okay...), but it's a good idea anyways.

    Hahaha. Last paragraph. Phreak.

    2 replies