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Help with AE/GTE 120A single-slot payphone line termination

Started by WEbster9, April 22, 2022, 09:39:09 AM

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   I'm hoping someone may be able to help me. I recently acquired what I believe to be an AE/GTE 120A payphone. I'm 99.9% positive on the model because it shares most (if not all) references within the 476-201-100-I5 practice document I found on the web.

So far I successfully managed to remove the upper housing and extract the broken key from the lock plus drill out and replace the lower housing lock since it didn't come with a key. My initial thoughts (and I'm definitely no expert) is that the internal inventory appears to be relatively intact other than the fact it's missing a line cord.

My initial problem  (let's hope there won't be many) is that I can't work out where the line terminal block for L1, L2 and Ground is located. I know that ground may not be needed to connect to the POTS but I eventually hope to connect a suitable DC voltage to the coin relay system after I get the line tested and attached.

Reviewing a picture or diagram won't help me as I'm totally blind and use a Screen Reader which mostly only reads text so if someone would be kind enough to provide a word-based description of the block location and associated terminals that would be helpful. Maybe there's a better resorce than the 476-201-100 as well?

Attached is a picture I took with my phone (taking pictures is obviously not my strong-point) and I've since realized it's likely side-ways. The picture is what I believe to be the network area  - it's mounted on top of the ringer and feels like it includes a coil-transformer, 3 capacitors (surrounding said transformer) and what I assume to be an important column (or row depending on orientation) of 7 screw terminals. My guess is that L1, L2 and ground are within this strip but I obviously could very easily be mistaken.

With my talking multimeter I was able to determine that  (orienting horizontal screw terminal strip from left to right with the phone/chassis vertical)terminals  1, 3 and 6 are connected together and have connectivity with the lowest right-hand pin within the 16-foot floating ribbon-connector and 4 has connectivity with the upper left-hand pin in the 16-foot floating ribbon connector. So, perhaps what I'm calling terminal 4 is either l1 or l2 and terminals 1/3/6 are ground? For all I know this may not even be the correct terminal block for the line but it's really the only logical screw-terminal block I found. What I'm calling the 16-foot ribbon connector is the connection between the chassis and dial-housing.

My first go-to was to compare  my functioning 120B payphone which has a nice terminal block affixed to the top-side of the coin vault which would be extremely obvious even if the line cord wasn't attached; this 120A unfortunately does not share this asset. The Practice manual suggests this terminal block  may have been a later retrofit.

I appreciate  any guidance anyone can provide and of course I'll be happy to take more (what are probably bad) pictures to help. I must also add that I'm a hobbyist with an intermediate knowledge level so I've likely used incorrect component terminology but I hope I made enough sense for someone to point me in the right direction.




Hi  Monty,
Welcome to the forum. I am not a payphone expert so I can't help you with connecting it. I can tell you the terminals on that block are numbered left to right 5 6 1 4 2 21 11. Hope that helps.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"


Thanks Harry. Your label reading helped me think that it's not likely the line termination block with numeric labels like that. So, with time away from the phone and fresh hands, I located a more likely 3-terminal block on the right-side middle of the chassis (mounted on the side). Maybe a resistance test on various combinations of two of these terminals will solve the mystery. The difficult part of course is accessing the terminal block when the dial-housing is connected.