Author Topic: Ernest ETX Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification  (Read 474 times)

Offline kbrenny

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Ernest ETX Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification
« on: February 20, 2018, 02:44:06 PM »
I recently purchased 2 brand new Ernest ETX phones. One for me and another for a friend.
We are going to hang these in our "man caves" but would  like them "functional" with a few changes.
These phones were built and shipped in Feb 1991. They were never removed from the plastic bags they were shipped in.
They even still had the clear protective plastic film over the chrome parts when I open them.
So far I have:
1. Replaced the 18" corded handset with a 54"
2. Built a LCD display with 14 pin IDE cable for programming
3. Programmed the functions manually with the keypad and LCD

I have run into one issue in testing the phone. I only have Ooma VOIP phone service at home, no landline.
The Ooma VOIP box does not seem to have enough power to run the pay phone. If I pick up the handset I hear a dialtone for 1 to 2 seconds then another sound the seems like the power has been cut off and the phone goes dead.
I actually got one "call" dialed and it asked for $2.35. (this was before I programmed it). I have not repeated that result ever again. I am going today to a friends house (with a landline) to try it out).

The Ooma Telo I am trying to use has enough power to ring and run an ITT 2500 desk phone very well, just won't power the pay phone.
If anyone has any ideas for powering the phone and still using my Ooma VOIP box I would appreciate it.
So far the only option I have found is a Viking TBB-1B Talk Battery Booster. It runs $80 and I am still not sure if it will fix my problem. I am hesitant to pull the trigger on the purchase unless I am fairly positive it will work.

I also have the rate override set for local, 7 digit, 10 digit, and 1+ to the rate override as follows:
$0.25 for the initial period and $0.00 for the secondary period, both time periods are set for 10 minutes.

I would also like to have the phone return the money to the coin return every time instead of the coin box.
I could not find anything in the settings to do this, so I am wondering if it is possible electronicaly or mechanically.
My coin relay has two solenoids powered by two wires - one red wire running to each solenoid. There is also a black wire running from one solenoid to the other. I do not know if the solenoids are fired from a 12vdc+ signal or if it is a reversing polarity type circuit. If it is a 12vdc+ signal I should be able to theoretically cut the wire going to the coin box solenoid and tap it into the coin return solenoid with a diode.
Any ideas or help here would also be greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 10:08:24 PM by kbrenny »

Offline Haf

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Re: Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 03:10:51 PM »
kbrenny
welcome to the forum :)

I see you already found the Binary Revolution Forums, wonder if anyone answers this 2007 threat :)
What comes first to my mind- you changed the boards battery, did you? I have the Ernest D3 here (just checked, the ETX too)
http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=8859.msg109313#msg109313 and have similar problems when the battery is low. But if so, the LCD display fades away after a while too, so hard to program if. As you where able to program it I guess you already changed the battery.
Quote
$0.25 for the initial period and $0.00 for the secondary period, both time periods are set for 10 minutes.
I would suggest making an initional period time 3 minutes and then $0.25 for second period. The person beeing called can hear the "please deposit 25 Cents" too, makes it more funny in my eyes.

Haf
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 03:55:05 PM by Haf »
Telephone:
0049-030-55474418
001-415-449-4743

Offline Payphone installer

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Re: Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 03:18:48 PM »
I have never worked with a Ernest but have worked with many other smart sets and many viking products. The problem you are describing sounds to me like it is the lithium battery in the chassis. In a protel of the same era there were two batteries one was the battery pack that fired the relay the second was the lithium battery that keeps the brain of the phone up and running. When you have a new smart set board you often have to turn on this battery by moving a switch or a small bridging clip. It sounds to me like this battery is not on or dead. In 91 I am almost sure there were two batteries. As for the line problem the viking should do the trick if it is a problem. I have used them in the past as well as Line Share Device on payphones. I am not sure that your ATA is not enough to power the phone. As long as you start with charged batteries the phone trickle charges as you talk, the only exception to this is later smart sets that had the ability to charge on hook. I think you have a battery problem. As far as the relay there should be a setting that allows you to set the number of seconds that you can talk before you collect on a hang up. you can also set the phone in the rate file as free calls then you don't have to deposit money to make a call. You DO NOT want to alter any circuit at all as the phone constantly does diagnostic tests on the handset,dial pad ,relay and chassis altering the circuit will result in it failing the tests and causing the phone to go inactive.

Offline Haf

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Re: Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 03:35:44 PM »
Ernest ETX/D3 have one battery on board. DL 2032, 3V if I remember right.

Haf
Telephone:
0049-030-55474418
001-415-449-4743

Offline kbrenny

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Re: Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 12:30:13 AM »
I have good news and bad news.

The bad news is that when I went to my friends house today, with a landline (POTS), the phone did the exact same thing.
If I picked up the receiver I got 1 to 2 seconds of dial tone and a short sound that sounds like the power was cut off.
I even tried plugging it in directly at the phone company box outside where service enters and it made no difference.

The good news (trying to be optimistic) it is probably a problem with the phone and not the ATA from my VOIP provider.
This means I wont have to drive across Dallas every time to test it at my friends house.
It also means there is a good chance the ATA will power it if I get it figured out.

My phone only has one battery, the CR2032 on the PCB, and I replaced it with a brand new one when I started this.
I have spoken to one other Ernest ETX owner and his phone has only the one CR2032 battery and it is working fine.
There is a small 2 pin terminal on the PCB labeled BATT. There are no wires or harness coming from this terminal but according to others the only battery required is the CR2032 to operate.

The setting that allows you to set the number of free seconds before the phone collects the money is referred to in the manual as the grace period. The manual says the maximum value of this setting is 25 seconds (too short) but in reality the longest setting I could get to stick in the programming is 10 seconds (way too short).

As far as I understand the rate file on this model is not manually programmable by keypad, programming it is beyond my capabilities. I would like to have the phone ask for a quarter to begin the call but only fire the coin return relay upon collection to return the quarter. This way I can leave the same quarter in the coin return slot and continue reusing it over and over.
Another option for that would be to mechanically disconnect the coin collection relay from the flapper, then reverse the wires so that the coin return relay fires when the collection relay is supposed to. I would also mechanically block the collection flapper so that only the return flapper will move.

The thing that puzzles me is that I have gotten the phone to ask for money twice in all of this experimenting but can not repeat those results anymore. Both times I got that result I had the payphone connected to a GE wireless phone jack system (in the hopes of increasing talk voltage). It seems the ATA has the same voltage as the GE system. With the ATA by itself when I pick up the handset I get 1 to 2 seconds of dial tone and then a small sound as if the phone looses power and the phone dies. When the phone dies the coin return relay fires. This only happens when hooked directly to the ATA as a power source.

Any help, ideas, or suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

I am not familiar with inserting photos on this forum if someone can direct me to the instructions for this forum I could post some pictures.

Offline Payphone installer

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Re: Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2018, 03:03:15 PM »
You stated that the program does not have a rate file. If the phone is no longer in default mode it may be shutting down when it goes to reference a table  that is not there. The rate file. One of the quickest  ways to solve your problem is to change the chassis to a Protel.  There is a reason why the majority of the Bell Operating Companies picked Protel as there smart set of choice. Elcotel was second the rest were with private companies only. Ernest was one of the least popular. The reason you keep finding them new in the box is because they were used in a payphone scam of owning your own payphone route. They sold it to a ton of customers that bought the lie that you could get rich owning you own payphone route. The phones were sold for as much as 5,000 each when you could by one for a 1,000 bucks. When I worked on smart sets it was always a challenge. It is even a bigger one without all the right tools. It would be helpful to see a picture of the board up close on the front and back. There is still something not right here and I don't think it is the ATA . It would be important to know if the payphone is even attempting to grab the phone line. This is accomplished by putting a butt set on monitor a digit grabber with a speaker on the phone jsck to see if the payphone even attempts to draw dial tone. I would guess it is not as it is not even getting to that point.

Offline kbrenny

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Re: Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2018, 05:56:52 PM »
I would have to guess that the phone has a rate file on it. At the beginning on three occasions I picked up the handset, got a continuous dial tone, dialed a 10 digit number, and the phone asked for $2.35 to complete my call.

All three of these occurrences happened just before:
1. I did manual programming with the keypad and LCD
2. Replaced the 18" handset with a new 54" one. (both were carbon elements)

As of right now I believe that, since only 2 things have changed since I the money request stopped, one of them may be the problem. I could be wrong. I am just trying the most obvious process of elimination.

I should have written down the factory settings in all the options before I changed them, but I did not.
Removing the CR2032 battery and touching the + batt to - batt for 5 seconds does nothing. The settings remain as the settings I have changed them to. I thought they might revert back to default or factory settings but they do not.

According to what I have read on the forums, most pay phones generate their own dial tone until the money is deposited and the phone dials out itself. It is clearly stated in the Ernest ETX manual:

"When the handset is taken Off-Hook, the actual C.O.-generated dial tone is heard in the earpiece. (In other Ernest telecom products, the dial tone is generated by the circuit board.)"

Quoted word for word

I would be glad to post pictures here but I am not quite sure how this forum works in regards to posting pictures.

I used photobucket for years but all the pictures I linked to other post are now dead as photobucket does not support image hosting linked to forums.

If there is a link on how to post pictures here please share it with me. I have looked but not found it.

Offline HarrySmith

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Re: Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2018, 06:01:13 PM »
For posting pictures try this page, lots of topics:

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?board=84.0
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

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

Offline Payphone installer

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Re: Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2018, 08:48:06 PM »
Not sure about the Ernest but leaving the battery out for long enough should cause it to return to default. I used to remove them on problem boards and leave them over night. What happened is attempting to program by the keypad probably did take it out of default.

Offline kbrenny

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Re: Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2018, 10:08:01 PM »
I haven't had the chance to take photos to post but I have extremely good news.

I went through all the settings today and reprogrammed them manually with the keypad and LCD display.

I used some screen shots I got off the internet from another Ernest ETX owner.

I used his settings exactly as he had them and everything works now.

I can use the local, 10 digit, and 1+ rate override settings to set the rates as I wish.

I even enabled the recording that plays every time someone calls in "Operator, this is not a billable phone number"

Everything is also working properly connected directly to my Ooma VOIP ATA.

The ring voltage leaves much to be desired, but other than that (weak bell) everything is great.

Now for my next challenge:

The coin relay has 2 wires, a red one going to the coin return side, and a white one going to the coin collect side.

There is also a black wire going from one side of the relay to the other.

I tested the voltage coming out when the relay is activated and here is what I found:

coin return:
white 5 to 7 VDC negative
red 5 to 7 VDC positive

coin collect:
white 5 to 7 VDC positive
red 5 to 7 VDC negative

Basically the voltage is 5 to 7 VDC and the polarity is reversed depending on the desired relay.

Would there be any way to reconfigure this (possibly with diodes) to cause only the coin return to fire?

I have no desire for the coins to be collected in the coin box and plan on re-using the same quarter all the time.

Offline kbrenny

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Re: Ernest ETX Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2018, 04:07:16 PM »
I think i may have found a solution to making the coin relay only return coins to the return slot.

The relay is operated based on the dc voltage polarity, one direction fires the coin return side, reverse that polarity and the coin collection side fires.

If I use a bridge rectifier diode  and connect the two coin relay wires from the PCB to the AC terminals,
then connect the + and - bridge rectifier diode terminals to the coin relay I should be able to make the signal come out as the same polarity every time.

I will try this next week and post my results.

Offline kbrenny

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Re: Ernest ETX Pay phone on VOIP and coin relay modification
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2018, 05:21:36 PM »
As far as the Bridge Rectifier Diode the only one I could find locally was a 100 volt 2 amp.

I ordered some 100 volt 4 amp ones from ebay but they are not here yet.

I tried the 100 volt 2 amp one I found locally today and it worked perfect.

Every time the PCB asks for the coin relay to fire it always fires to the coin return regardless of the request.

I could easily reverse the output wires on the bridge rectifier diode and make it always fire to the coin box if I wished.

I used crimp on male / female terminals so it can be removed and returned back to original very easily and quickly.