Author Topic: Looking for my Central Office.  (Read 3312 times)

Offline GusHerb

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Looking for my Central Office.
« on: December 08, 2011, 09:18:10 PM »
Been kinda hunting for the CO that serves my part of town and house for a few years now, never really found it. The bug bit me again today and I went on a cruise looking for it again, the best thing I could come up with was this unmarked, windowless rather short and small single story building. It has on the back of it some cooling equipment and that's about it.
 This building best matches the profile: http://g.co/maps/thksp

I looked and looked in the part of town that I've been told many times that it's at, talked to line techs many times before and they all gave me a vague description pointing to the same general area.  Only thing is, does this building seem a bit small for a CO that has 3 exchanges?

Another CO on another end of town has 7 exchanges and it's a rather large two story building.

I know I could never call AT&T and just ask them an exact address hahahaha, they consider that a security risk. (which is ridiculous considering many of their larger CO's have AT&T plastered all over them and are clearly visible)
Jonathan

Online LarryInMichigan

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 09:47:11 PM »
According to what google maps shows, the building belongs to "Direc Sat TV" and used to belong to AT&T.

Larry

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 09:53:59 PM »
It certainly looks as though it could be a CO but could be other things as well. I would say that building could house 3 excahnges worth of modern switching equipment. Many older buildings were much larger due to the room that the old equipment (especially Strowger) took up.

Terry
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 07:47:57 PM by AE_collector »

Offline GusHerb

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 10:12:52 PM »
According to what google maps shows, the building belongs to "Direc Sat TV" and used to belong to AT&T.

Larry

I usually don't trust the tags Google Maps puts on locations, most of the time the place they label "such and such thing" is really down the block on the other side of the street.....where do you see "used to belong to AT&T"?
Jonathan

Online LarryInMichigan

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011, 10:15:45 PM »
I type "AT&T" into the search field, and it showed that location with a note that it was permanently closed, so I guessed that AT&T sold the property.  The city or Lake County may have property information which can be freely searched.  Many cities, townships, counties, etc. do.

Larry

Offline GusHerb

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 10:16:17 PM »
It certainly looks as though it could be a CO but could be other things as well. I would say that building could house 3 excahnges worth of modern swithcing equipment. Many older buildings were much larger due to the room that the old equipment (especially Strowger) took up.

Terry

It could easily be some sort of data center or something but so far I have not found ANY other building in that part of town yet that even closely resembles a CO. I highly doubt it ever held anything but the earliest generations of electronic switching equipment, the entire part of the area it serves didn't begin developing until the late 1960s. Before that the little bit that was here was served by a CO quite a bit further away. (one I described earlier with 7 exchanges)
Jonathan

Offline GusHerb

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2011, 10:21:22 PM »
I type "AT&T" into the search field, and it showed that location with a note that it was permanently closed, so I guessed that AT&T sold the property.  The city or Lake County may have property information which can be freely searched.  Many cities, townships, counties, etc. do.

Larry

Actually your suggestion is helping quite a bit, I just went to the Lake country assessor's website property search engine and typed in "Indiana Bell" and tons of hits came up. Will post back if I find what I'm looking for.
As a sidenote that other CO that I've been referring to appears to have been built in 1955.
Jonathan

Offline GusHerb

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 10:56:28 PM »
Just searched a bunch of those addresses. the location I'm talking about and thinking is my CO appears to be built in 1977, and as of current is owned by AT&T/Indiana Bell/SBC. That to me makes sense, I always guessed the late 70s for those 3 exchange prefixes to have been born.

Oldest dates for CO's I found were 1955, two in the town of Hammond (if anyone is familiar), I'm guessing Ma Bell rebuilt/added newer/more CO locations around here during that time in preparation for the automated switching equipment?
My neighbor tells me about how his dad worked for the phone company back in the day and around 1961-2 they had one of the trial touchtone phones in use at their home, which was located in a territory served by one of those CO's I mention.
Jonathan

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2011, 11:10:29 PM »
Exchanges didn't usually move very far when upgrade from manual to automtic happened. The cable all still came to that area and it was lots of work to move it elsewhere. Frequently new buildings went up next to the old manual exchange or at least within a block or two. 1955 could easily have been when the area converted to automatic.

Then your neighbourhood sprang up in the 60's and they ran it off of the original exchange if possible. As your neighbourhood grew AND digital electronic swithcing developed it became cost effective to install a complete new exchange in your neighbourhood or maybe it is a remote off of the original exchange.

Terry

Offline GusHerb

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2011, 12:20:15 AM »
Exchanges didn't usually move very far when upgrade from manual to automtic happened. The cable all still came to that area and it was lots of work to move it elsewhere. Frequently new buildings went up next to the old manual exchange or at least within a block or two. 1955 could easily have been when the area converted to automatic.

Then your neighbourhood sprang up in the 60's and they ran it off of the original exchange if possible. As your neighbourhood grew AND digital electronic swithcing developed it became cost effective to install a complete new exchange in your neighbourhood or maybe it is a remote off of the original exchange.

Terry

Right that's pretty much what I was thinking. I said my part of town developed alot in the 1960's, but there was even more mass development in the 70s-90s then any other decade, in the part of town that my CO serves. It makes perfect sense to at some point just build a new CO then keep running more infrastructure several miles all the way to a far away one,  that's probably running out of physical room for any more lines/switching equipment anyway.
Now in my neighborhood, that started being built in 1990 they probably ran T1's (or maybe I just mean pair gain) for it to the cabinet that is down the block from the neighborhood itself, and in 2004 they ran fiber and switched it all over to that I'm guessing (they also brought DSL into my neighborhood in 2004 as well, we had a complete neighborhood wide phone outage when they did that due to a digger cutting an underground cable). I'm about 2.5 miles from the CO where I am.

If 1955 were the date around when all was switched to automatic dialing that would make sense as well, my dad who was born in 1952 remembers using the operator, and my mom born in 1959 remembers nothing but automated dialing as a young kid.


Thanks to whoevers listening to my ramblings, and I appreciate the input very much. I've kinda been trying to put together for some time some sort of (at least semi) precise timeline of when things were done around here, and how.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 12:37:39 AM by GusHerb »
Jonathan

Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2011, 01:03:32 AM »
Find someone that has access to C.O. Finder. It is a software program widely used in the industry for calculating airline miles for charges, but it contains address and prefix information for all COs.

Chuck

Offline warpwr

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2011, 02:29:09 AM »
I googled CO finder and came up with this website http://www.dslreports.com/coinfo
It took me right to my CO and gave the address by inserting my phone number.

Vaughn

Offline GusHerb

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2011, 03:13:27 AM »
I've been using this CO lookup tool from Sandman.com: http://www.sandman.com/colookup.asp   I've been quite pleased with the accuracy of the results from his tool, it tells you what equipment the specific CO is using. I just tried the one on DSL reports and that one helps quite a bit too, as when I clicked the "google map the location" link it took me almost right to where the CO is, most accurate of any other attempted pinpoint I tried to do in the past. 

Does anyone notice that the different types of modern switching equipment have slight variations to the standard ringback tone? I notice that the WECO 5ESS usually has a slow oscillation to the standard ringback tone, the northern telecom DMS 100 has a fast oscillation to it, and the Siemens equipment has no oscillating sound at all. (our CO has Siemens DE4 EWSD RCU switching equipment according to sandman.com CO lookup)......I wonder how old that stuff is, I researched it a little and read they came out with the first versions in 1976, that CO was built in 1977...hmmmm....
Jonathan

Offline Babybearjs

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Re: Looking for my Central Office.
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2014, 01:58:46 AM »
I too have used the link on www.sandman.com and found it useful except the test numbers aren't listed... does anyone know if there are even any test numbers to be used?? I'm in area code 208. are test numbers universal in the US? or exclusive by region...
John