Author Topic: Millennium Payphones for sale  (Read 13075 times)

Offline wds

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Millennium Payphones for sale
« on: January 15, 2013, 08:18:53 PM »
Every once in a while I venture down to the furniture surplus store at my local university, where they sell off used furniture.  Ohio has this ridiculous law that forbids using used furniture in new buildings, so every time a department moves to a new facility, they sell off the old furniture.  Needless to say I've gotten some pretty good deals on stuff.  This time they had some interesting items for sale, including these pay telephones.  I was in a hurry, so I don't have much info on the phones, other than they were asking $200 each for them.  Does anyone know what these are, and are they worth the $200?
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 09:10:47 PM by DavePEI »
Dave

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Payphones for sale
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 08:33:58 PM »
Every once in a while I venture down to the furniture surplus store at my local university, where they sell off used furniture.  Ohio has this ridiculous law that forbids using used furniture in new buildings, so every time a department moves to a new facility, they sell off the old furniture.  Needless to say I've gotten some pretty good deals on stuff.  This time they had some interesting items for sale, including these pay telephones.  I was in a hurry, so I don't have much info on the phones, other than they were asking $200 each for them.  Does anyone know what these are, and are they worth the $200?
These look to be Nortel Millenniums. I had to look at them twice, since they use an uncommon colour combination. I don't want to call them down, as they are great payphones, but not for a collector who wants to do anything other than display them on a wall. It would be hard to get $200 for them, as they would be hard to display, and impossible to convert for use.

Because of the Millenium's need to "call home" to a Millenium manager, you won't be able to get too much on this phone working, and it won't be able to be connected to a phone line, but it will make a great display piece.

The Millenium is a common site today in much of Canada and the U.S.

This is a so-called BOCOT/COCOT- like "Smart Phone", featuring a digital instruction display, adjustable volume, options accepting credit and calling cards, coins of 5, 10, 25, and dollar. Originally developed by Northern Telecom (Nortel), and typical phones of the series carry the designation, NT5U411BA2011 R11(Just an example of the numbering from a Millenium shipping box I have). Loved by operating companies, and despised by phone phreaks (telephone hackers), the Millenium series are the most advanced payphones in the world.

The Millenium is the most secure payphone on the market and to keep it that way, information on the phone is very hard to find. Only details which are publicly available on the phone will be noted here. Millenium phones call daily to their "hive" and contain internal alarms to monitor activity on the phone. Dial tone heard when the handset is raised is computer generated, and the rate tables are contained within the phone and programmed and updated by the Millenium manager. These cannot be programmed locally. A scrolling advertising line on the phones may also be programmed via the Millenium Manager to show up to 20 advertisements on the display's second line. The Manager can provide constant checks of the phone right down to the number and denominations of coins in the box, credit card verification, self-diagnostics, logging of operational notes such as cleaning and delivery directory dates, and detailed call activity statistics which may be used for planning. Constant alarming of the phone is done, with reporting to the Manager number. Open the coin box, and the manager will be called.

The Millenium is available with or without a smart card reader or a multicard reader option allowing users to use magnetic stripe commercial credit cards, calling cards and smart cards / chip cards, and with an optional jack which allow users with portable computers to connect through the phone. The options are seemingly endless

BUT, they all depend upon a connection to the Millennium Manager, and all call home to their "hive".

Incidentally, if someone does purchase a Millennium for display which didn''t come with keys, you will have no choice but to drill out its locks. As these are high security Medeco locks, this is a truly major job. Medecos have angle cut tumblers, and keys can only be duplicated with the original key code, and only by Medeco approved locksmiths. These tumblers make it impossible to pick (I do know of one person who has picked one who has a video on YouTube). The lock itself has stainless bars through it to resist drilling attempts - be prepared to spend the better part of a day to drill each lock, and even then, I cannot guarantee success! Be prepared to abuse your drill and bits. Afterwards, drilling residue will have to be painstakingly removed from the interior surfaces and boards of the phone.  It took me a day and a half and about 6 titanium bits to drill my lock. Afterwards, the locks were replaced with new Medeco locks.

I have truly learned to appreciate the incredible security built into each and every Millennium by Nortel and QuorTech!

Dave
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 09:09:45 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline paul

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Re: Payphones for sale
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 08:38:30 PM »
Those are Nortel/QuorTech Milleniums, and they are dependent on being able to connect to a manager software to do anything but sit in a demo mode. They also need 110VAC to power up all their electronics. They're probably the "ultimate" payphone ever constructed, collectable for completists, I'd say. I've seen auctions go for under $100.

Offline ESalter

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Re: Payphones for sale
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 08:52:33 PM »
You guys are sure they can't be hooked up and operated like a regular phone like WE singleslots can?  A friend of mine that works on these said they could.  Not trying to say anyone's wrong here, just pointing out a conflicting story and looking for confirmation one way or another so we know.

---Eric

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Payphones for sale
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 08:54:00 PM »
Those are Nortel/QuorTech Milleniums, and they are dependent on being able to connect to a manager software to do anything but sit in a demo mode. They also need 110VAC to power up all their electronics. They're probably the "ultimate" payphone ever constructed, collectable for completists, I'd say. I've seen auctions go for under $100.
One little correction to Paul's statement. Millenniums require 24 VDC at .5 amp from an external power supply. I use a 24 vdc 1 amp Motorola Ethernet supply with the POE end cut off, on mine.  Nortel/Quortech also made a card only desk version as shown below. This photo is followed by the power connections for a Millennium from its troubleshooting guide. Incorrect polarity won't damage the electronics, it simply won't boot up until polarity is correct. This board is highlighted in the interior photo of the open Millennium below. The desk version requires the same supply voltage:

Dave
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 08:12:04 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Payphones for sale
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 08:56:54 PM »
You guys are sure they can't be hooked up and operated like a regular phone like WE singleslots can?  A friend of mine that works on these said they could.  Not trying to say anyone's wrong here, just pointing out a conflicting story and looking for confirmation one way or another so we know.

---Eric
1000% certain. In fact Stan Shreier and I had a conversation about them today and what a shame it is they can't be converted without gutting them. Your friend is absolutely wrong unless he has a secret no-one else knows. I have a wall Millennium and two desk millenniums and have had for several years, but the best one can get them to do without a Manager connection is display "out of service".

Not unless he has discovered some secret about them which can eliminate the calls to the manager. If he has, I'd sure love to hear from him. I'd love to be wrong, but I and many others have been looking for such a secret, even down to viewing the source code of the eproms.

There were a few Millenniums produced for display at industry shows which were produced with demo chips in them, which would allow them to work without a manager connection, but these are very rare. Nortel/Quortech won't even admit demo phones exist, such is the culture of secrecy surrounding Millenniums.

A manual for the Millennium may be downloaded from http://payphone411.com/manuals.html

This manual is 131 megabytes in size. The above site's downloads are a bit flaky - if the download stops, pause the download, then restart it. You may have to do it several times during the download. The manual is a version released by hackers some years ago, but beyond the cover page, is the original manual. Even if you don't own a Millennium, you will find it interesting, as it will give you an idea how truly complex Millenniums are.

Dave
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 08:50:15 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline ESalter

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Re: Millennium Payphones for sale
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 09:55:01 PM »
Thanks for the input Dave.  I'll prod him about this the next time I talk to him.  He told me the next time he gets a chance he'd show me how they work and how to hook them up, etc, etc.  I'm hoping he knows something, but I'm betting he's mistaken.  We will see...

---Eric
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 09:59:38 PM by DavePEI »

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Millennium Payphones for sale
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2013, 09:59:51 PM »
Thanks for the input Dave.  I'll prod him about this the next time I talk to him.  He told me the next time he gets a chance he'd show me how they work and how to hook them up, etc, etc.  I'm hoping he knows something, but I'm betting he's mistaken.  We will see...

---Eric

Hi Eric:

Well, I am hoping he does have a secret and that I am wrong. Collectors with them around the world would be indebted to him. I have always dreamed of being able to get mine working and having, "Welcome to the Telephone Museum of PEI" scrolling on its display instead of "out of service" :).

Dave
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 10:27:56 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Millennium Payphones for sale
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2013, 10:15:59 PM »
I have always wondered if one could be downloaded into a "don't call home mode thus needing an initial download but then it would carry on until it was called by the Millenium manager OR until it was told by a service person (via some input or being opened up) in the field to call in.

Terry

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Re: Millennium Payphones for sale
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 10:29:12 PM »
I have always wondered if one could be downloaded into a "don't call home mode thus needing an initial download but then it would carry on until it was called by the Millenium manager OR until it was told by a service person (via some input or being opened up) in the field to call in.

Terry
Yes, it would be nice if there was some undocumented command!

Dave
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Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Millennium Payphones for sale
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2013, 11:37:51 PM »
The Protels were "the best" for having lots of keypad commands to do things. My favorite was the one to get it to tell you via the handset receiver how much money was in the cash box. If the criminals had found this command they could have saved themselves a lot of work by NOT breaking into phones that had $1.25 in them!

Terry

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Millennium Payphones for sale
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 12:35:54 AM »
For the benefit of those who haven't seen a Millennium open before, here is a photo of mine taken back when I first got it... You can click on it to see it larger...

Shown below the open Millennium is a NE/Nortel Centurion which is sometimes confused with a Millennium. The Centurion is an earlier fortress style phone designed by NE, and which, like AE and WE single slots only required ring and tip to be connected, and the coin relay tied down so any coins inserted will fall beyond the escrow. Remove the brown plastic cover, and inside you will find a very strong orangy-red painted steel inner case. They are a completely different animal from the Millennium.

Dave
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 09:20:32 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline paul

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Re: Payphones for sale
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2013, 11:25:36 AM »
One little correction to Paul's statement. Millenniums require 24 VDC at .5 amp from an external power supply.
Most external power supplies require 110-120 AC to work.  ;D Anyway, the point was they're not just line-powered, or internal battery like the later COCOTS.

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Payphones for sale
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2013, 01:31:19 PM »
One little correction to Paul's statement. Millenniums require 24 VDC at .5 amp from an external power supply.
Most external power supplies require 110-120 AC to work.  ;D Anyway, the point was they're not just line-powered, or internal battery like the later COCOTS.
Hi Paul:

Yes, but my point is, if someone reads your message as it was written literally, and plugs 120 vac into the phone, it will detonate it! Literally :). And the way the phone is built, it would be possible to do so. So I wanted to make sure people understand it has to be run with a proper 24 vdc .5 amp power supply. Incidentally, the supply does need to provide 1/2 amp - with the VFD display and microprocessors, even a 1/2 amp supply runs warm, but that is what Nortel calls for in the manual. A lesser supply won't last.

Dave
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 07:01:03 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Millennium Payphones for sale
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2013, 01:54:17 PM »
Here's a thought, sit a CD player next to it and play Robbie Williams' "Millennium" and see if it submits to the torture and opens itself for local programming... :D