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"Agilon 200" (BT 200) not playing ball

Started by LoganEnglish, June 30, 2022, 07:08:38 AM

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Hi all,

Straight out of the Auckland Unitec storage (Formerly a mental asylum, where one of my Bakelite phones are from) we have this 1990s Telecom payphone in pretty good nick. All the internal components are in perfect condition and I even found a key at home that opens it, provided you jostle it around a little. All seems good, but my alas the circuit board has come to haunt me. I'm not sure if these types of 'modern' electronics are quite appropriate here but we may as well give it a go.

Through testing I have identified three things:

  • There is an 'A' and 'B' Wire which connect in a similar fashion to any other phone
  • When the wires are connected to an external source dial tone can be heard through the receiver
  • In the condition stated above the keypad is inoperable regardless of the insertion of coins (this includes the 1 key which I assume would work to allow for the dialing of 111 (999 equivalent)
  • If ringing current is applied in the condition stated in point 2, the phone does not ring. 

The model is supposedly an "Agilon 200" but for all intents and purposes it's a BT 200. All New Zealand equipment is the UK model with reverse pulse as the case may be. 
I'm not sure if I need some external device, more wires or any other number of things to make it work. I'm rather lost in terms of a way to trouble shoot so if anyone has any ideas at all I'm all ears. 

Collector of vintage New Zealand telephones and related bits and bobs.


When a payphone of similar age was discussed on the German forum recently, the recommendation was to leave it on the line with the handset lifted for an extended period of time. There's either a battery or a Gold Cap capacitor that will require charging.
Some modern office lines, PABX or ATAs will withdraw dial tone (and feed current) after a relatively short time, preventing charging. Your best bet  will be to hook the phone to a regulated (laboratory...) power supply to allow charging then.
Other/later models had a conventional mains power supply.


I'm wondering if this has a battery, charged from the line, to operate the coin mechanism etc. If so it's likely either flat or dead if it's been left out of use for a long time.
Looking at your photos it may be the large yellow item to the left of the keypad.

.... @countryman beat me to it, except I'd leave it on the line on-hook rather than off.


Quote from: tubaman on June 30, 2022, 08:03:25 AMLooking at your photos it may be the large yellow item to the left of the keypad.

You're bang on there. I'll see if its dead or just flat and in need of a charge in the morning and I will report back once I do!
Collector of vintage New Zealand telephones and related bits and bobs.


Good news! The battery was the source of the issue. It had corroded irreparably and so has been replaced by a 9V I had lying around. It does the job! Now the coin mechanism is energized and detecting coins and the screen is illuminated. So many thanks to Countryman and Tubaman.

Alas all is not smooth sailing. It now displays "ERR 3" on the screen (see attached). What is Error 3? I haven't a clue. I can dial free call numbers (0800 xxx xxx) which actives the microphone and allows me to speak freely  . I can also now dial 111. Upon the insertion of coins, regardless of denomination it is spat out automatically to the return slot by the phone even with the phone off hook. It also doesn't dial any numbers contrary to what would be expected according to printed instructions. The only working keys are 0 and 1 (unless 0 is followed by an 8 and double 0 which unlocks the keypad for free calls)

Perhaps anyone knowledgeable with BT may know?
Collector of vintage New Zealand telephones and related bits and bobs.


The Payphone 200 - - used meter pulses from the exchange and requires an earth connection.
I also found this - - which may be of use.


A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'   ...and a Duck!
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble