Author Topic: Very Plastic! Chinese? coin phone  (Read 2099 times)

Offline dsk

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Very Plastic! Chinese? coin phone
« on: November 18, 2011, 02:34:42 AM »
 :D I don't know what it is, looks almost like a toy phone.
I f one of you gets it , please tell us more about this.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2011, 02:59:45 AM by d_s_k »

Offline Willytx

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Re: Very Plastic! Chinese? coin phone
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2011, 03:49:12 AM »
I remember seeing those in the early 90s in Chinese and Mexican restaurants. You dialed the number, placed the call and deposited money when the person answered. They were notorious for not working right and half the time, the party being called would hang up before the money was accepted. I think that was the money making strategy. Salesmen were hitting business that had real payphones pushing these.Withing a couple years they were all gone.

I witnessed quite a few people demanding refunds. The owner would usually no longer understand English and eventually claim the phone wasn't owned by the business.

Offline GG

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Re: Very Plastic! Chinese? coin phone
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2011, 10:37:49 AM »

Nope, these are fully 100% legit.

Their lineage goes back to the Japanese "pink payphones" and "red payphones" that were provided by NTT (the Japanese telco) to shops for use by the shops' customers.  These had rotary dials.  I have a pink one. 

The way it works is:  lift receiver, deposit coin, dial number; and when the called party answers, the telco switch reverses polarity to the phone, which simultaneously collects the coin and enables the transmitter.  Or if busy or no answer, you hang up and the coin is returned through the chute at the front.

After these succeeded in Japan, they spread to other countries in Asia and also to Australia. 

The above setup worked perfectly on Strowger switches since they reverse polarity on answer. However, by the time someone decided to import these into the US, we were using electronic central office switches that did not provide reverse polarity on answer.  Thus a different solution had to be found. 

The logical answer was to make the phones work on a "postpay" basis or in a manner similar to old English "Button A / Button B" payphones.  Thus two versions as follows:

In one version, you lift receiver and dial, and when your party answers, you drop a coin in the slot, which connects the transmitter so you can talk.  This is exactly the same procedure used in a lot of indie telco areas with AE 3-slot payphones.  However, if the person you called was impatient or you were slow in stuffing the quarter in the slot, they'd hang up and you might lose your coin. 

In the more common version, you lift receiver and deposit coin, dial the number, and then when the party answers, you press a button on the phone.  This was the equivalent of the English "Button A" on the old GPO payphones.  Pressing the button collected the coin and enabled the transmitter.

The problem is, a lot of people don't read instructions, and they expect that all payphones work exactly the same way, rather than thinking "hmm, this is a weird looking thing, maybe I should read the instructions."   This is one place where you get "Expletive! phone didn't work, grumble-grumble!" 

The other is with the more conventional-looking customer owned coin telephones (COCOTs) that use a microprocessor to try to determine when the called party answers.   I call this "Answer Supervision by Somewhat Imperfect Software Heuristics" (also known as ASS-ISH, heh).  I personally dislike the idea of microprocessors in payphones trying to perform functions that should be provided by the CO line or by an unambiguous action on the part of the user.  The result is a payphone that "looks normal" but often takes four seconds to determine when the called party has answered, resulting in the called party hanging up before the caller's transmitter is enabled to speak to them.   Thus many lost coins, and more complaints than even with the "pay on answer" and "Button A" versions.

All of these issues as well as others related to the ability of subscribers to obtain accurate call records from PBX SMDR outputs, could be solved by bringing back reverse polarity on answer (RPOA) as a standard feature of analog lines.   That however is unlikely since demand for that feature is likely to be low. 

On the other hand, British Telecom is still offering COCOTs that work by dropping the coin into the slot when the party answers.  The British public are already accustomed to this method, from their famous "Pay On Answer" (POA) phones of the 1950s to the present.  The original version of which worked like this: lift receiver, listen for dial tone, dial number; when party answers, hear "rapid pips" (similar to a very fast busy tone but a single frequency), and then press the coin into the slot to operate the mechanism and enable the transmitter.  I have three different versions of this (the type that used a separate type 741 wall phone, the heavily-armored version, and the bright red portable version). 

The current generation of BT COCOTs have a very clever feature whereby they can "learn" different types of coinage.   You put the phone in "programming" mode (OK, this is one microprocessor/software thing I can live with in a payphone!) and drop eight of a particular denomination of coin through the mechanism.  Thus you can buy these and use them in the US, with US coinage, and they will be fully functional.  I'll be getting one when I can find a seller who will ship to the US. 

Offline McHeath

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Re: Very Plastic! Chinese? coin phone
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2011, 02:27:01 AM »
I've got a friend who works at a newspaper that is always trying to cut costs and shuffle costs onto employees.  So I've joked with him that the owners ought to install these babies on all their desks!  That would certainly save on phone bills, the reporters could either use their cell phones and pay that way, or deposit quarters at their desks and use the payphone. 

Seem to recall seeing one or two of these in the chinese restaurants in the old days. 

Offline buddy

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Re: Very Plastic! Chinese? coin phone
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2012, 04:56:07 PM »
I picked up one of these chinese phones at a garage sale. It's a TY006v. I can receive calls, but I can,t dial out. Is there a manual for these things? I pick up the receiver & get a dial tone & put a quarter in, but it won't dial out. Does any else have one of these? Thank you. Buddy

Offline dsk

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Re: Very Plastic! Chinese? coin phone
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2012, 03:43:01 AM »
Never tested, but the first I would try is to put in a polarity reversal switch on the line.  When the other end answers: 1 change polarity, 2 press the button, (and the telephone takes your coin).
The call should be OK.
The phone may, or may not have programmable restrictions on numbers to just allow local calls.