Author Topic: Dial-Tone first/Loop Start service free calls  (Read 514 times)

Offline mentalstampede

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Dial-Tone first/Loop Start service free calls
« on: February 15, 2017, 12:45:56 AM »
I was just looking a couple of the original instruction cards that my brother got with his AE three-slot, and I noticed the most recent of the set has a fairly major difference in type of service. Apparently this particular three-slot phone was updated to allow free calls (911, operator, repair, etc.) to be made without use of coins at all near the end of its life in service.

I am familiar enough to know that the AE pre-pay phones generally enforced deposit of the base rate by muting the transmitter and shorting the dial contacts, which means that a coin must be deposited for any call to be made, even free calls. Obviously, updating the phone to allow free calls with no deposit of coin would require an entirely different method of deposit enforcement. How would this have been done? Could the phone have been rewired to where the coin trigger would signal the CO that the local base had been deposited in some other manner, perhaps by briefly shorting tip or ring to ground, or did the central office have a way of detecting the audible signals transmitted from the gongs in the coin chute?

Side info: the phone in question is an LPC-82-55, and it came into my bro's possession with the hopper assy gutted and a ringer installed, so we have no clues how the phone was set up when it was removed from service. Two of the relevant instruction cards are attached; it appears the phone was updated to allow no-coin calls to operator in late 1979.
My name is Kenn, and I like telephones.

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Offline Stan S

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Re: Dial-Tone first/Loop Start service free calls
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 08:35:05 AM »
Kenn
They made a small change in the circuitry of the payphone.
See attached.
This board is for postpay service. The theory for prepay was the same.
The board counted the number of dialed digits.
More than 3 and the initial deposit was required.
Less than 3 and the call was free.
When this technology went into effect AE had already been taken over by GTE.
Stan S.

Offline rdelius

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Re: Dial-Tone first/Loop Start service free calls
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 08:56:10 AM »
That circuit board shown is a Phoneco board.I do not know if it will support 10 digit ialing..Mine  will reset after 7 digits

Offline Stan S

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Re: Dial-Tone first/Loop Start service free calls
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 09:26:26 AM »
Rob
That's interesting. I'm amazed Phoneco was able to produce something like that. I always assumed it was GTE.
Stan S.

Offline Stan S

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Re: Dial-Tone first/Loop Start service free calls
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2017, 09:40:33 AM »
Rob
I gave Phoneco a call yesterday. Spoke with Mary for about an hour. She and Ron are well.
You are 100% correct about that assembly being manufactured by them. It was designed by either her son or her son in law (can't remember which she said). He is a circuit design engineer.

Apparently there were 3 versions of that board manufactured over time. They had programmable options (number of free digits, cost of call and length of call) that were enabled by shorting plugs that went into 2 pin sockets on the board. I complimented her on the quality of the board. In passing she said they really went 'in the hole' to manufacture that product.

I'm assuming there were other similar designs that counted the number of dialed digits allowing for a maximum of 3 without an initial deposit. To conform to the law GTE must have had a similar circuit for newly manufactured 3-slots. Teltronics probably had a similar device for after market customers.

Stan S.