A payphone (alternative spelling: pay phone) is a public telephone, often located in a telephone booth or a privacy hood, with pre-payment by inserting money (usually coins), a credit or debit card, or a telephone card. Payphones are often found in public places, transportation hubs such as airports or train stations, convenience stores, malls, casinos, and on street corners. By agreement with the landlord, either the phone company pays rent for the location and keeps the revenue, or the landlord pays rent for the phone and shares the revenue. Some payphones, particularly at gas stations, are mounted in drive-up structures that can be used without leaving the vehicle. Payphone revenues have sharply declined in many places, largely due to the increased usage of mobile phones. Payphone providers have sometimes tried to reverse the decline in usage by offering additional services such as SMS and Internet access, thus making their phone booths into Internet kiosks. The abandonment of payphones by telephone companies has angered some people who consider them a communication staple for low-income and low-credit consumers. In particular, payphones are useful for foreign or generally non-local travellers who need to place local calls, as well as those who simply don't like or cannot afford mobile phones ... Learn more at Wikipedia
248-682-9955.mp3 You have not deposited the correct amount to place your call Please check the instruction card for rate information and try your call again Thank you - anachron
301-292-9908.mp3 The call you have made requires a coin deposit Please hang up check the instructions on the pay phone for the appropriate rate and dial your call again
409-724-3137.mp3 The call you have made requires an initial deposit Please hang up momentarily listen for dial tone deposit the amount specified on the instruction card and dial your call again - james
412-562-0064.mp3 Excuse me your time is up Please deposit 5 cents if you wish to continue or your call will be disconnected Thank you - JmanA9
435-678-0001.mp3 We are sorry This payphone does not accept coins for long distance calls You may wish to consider using a calling card or contact your operator for assistance - ThoughtPhreaker
478-975-9998.mp3 The number you have reached 478-975-9998 is not in service for incoming calls - ThoughtPhreaker
515-287-8311.mp3 Male The call you have made requires a coin deposit First consult your instruction card deposit the proper amount and dial your call again - The Phonebooth
515-287-8311-2.mp3 This call requires a coin deposit Please hang up momentarily and redial your call by first depositing the local rate posted on the instruction card or dial 0 for the operator - The Phonebooth
610-797-0014.mp3 Excuse me Please deposit 5 cents for the next 3 minutes If 5 cents is not deposited within 25 seconds your call will be automatically terminated
732-946-9913.mp3 Excuse me please deposit 10 cents for the next 4 minutes If 10 cents is not deposited within 25 seconds your call will be automatically terminated
845-268-9922.mp3 2 Please deposit 5 cents for the next 2 minutes or your call will be terminated This is a recording - james
845-735-9927.mp3 Excuse me please deposit 5 cents for the next 10 minutes or your call will be terminated Thank you for using [something] - marks
914-345-9935.mp3 Excuse me Please deposit 5 cents for the next 2 minutes or your call will be terminated Thank you for using NYNEX This is a recording - james
A red box is a phreaking device that generates tones to simulate inserting coins in pay phones, thus fooling the system into completing free calls. In the United States, a nickel is represented by one tone, a dime by two, and a quarter by a set of 5 tones. Any device capable of playing back recorded sounds can potentially be used as a red box. Commonly used devices include modified Radio Shack tone dialers, personal MP3 players, and audio-recording greeting cards.
The tones are made by playing back 1700 Hz and 2200 Hz tones together. One 66 ms tone represents a nickel. A set of 2 66 ms tones separated by 66 ms intervals represent a dime, and a quarter is represented by a set of 5 33 ms tones with 33 ms pauses.
The system that handles these tones is called the Automated Coin Toll Service, or ACTS. However, since ACTS has been phased out of service in much of the United States, combined with the integration of acoustic filters into many payphone handsets, the practice of red boxing is rarely possible anymore.
In the UK, a 1000 Hz tone for 200 ms represents a 10p coin, and 1000 Hz for 350 ms represents a 50p coin. Prior to this system, the earliest UK pay-on-answer payphones used a resistance, inserted into the loop for one or several short periods, to signal units of money inserted. Phreaks simulated these signals by unscrewing the microphone cover of the handset and inserting into the microphone circuit a resistor in parallel with a press-to-open push-button ... Learn more at Wikipedia
Description from The Fixers Box Review @ ArtofHacking.com.mp3
Generates ACTS coin tones
As much as the Blue Box was talked about in the 1970s and 1980s, the Red Box is the topic of discussion in the 1990s. The Red Box makes the same tones that ACTS payphones use to signal the phone company that coins have been deposited.
If you saw the movie Hackers you saw a crude approximation of how red box tones could once have been gathered straight from a payphone. This really doesn't work; you'll find the tones are muted if you try it. The best way is to make them yourself with one of zillions of computer box tone generator programs out there.
In order for red box tones to work, the payphone you are calling from has to be an ACTS payphone - it has to use Red Box tones itself. The audio quality of the tones has to be good, not because of any anti-fraud devices the telco has set up but simply because the coin tone detectors have a narrow tolerance to avoid false detection of speech and background noise as coin tones.
If an operator comes on and accuses you of boxing, it's because she was already listening. The phone mutes the mic while playing its red box tones, she knows this and knows that there shouldn't be any street noise, bumping of a tape recorder into the handset, breathing, and other sounds while the tones play. She also knows that the tones should be loud, clear and undistorted. The system doesn't make those judgments; a human does and she does so only when the boxer's other messing around with the phone has triggered an exception alarm. Or if you were calling long distance and your three minutes are up...
The red box does still work and is still widely used; those who say it doesn't either don't have access to ACTS phones or played really bad tones. It won't work at all on any phone where the party you're calling complains about really bad speech quality - those phones are likely to be marked "modified to prevent fraud" and the distortion from the mouthpiece is the means used to prevent red boxing on those phones.
There are many, many text files on red box tones; the best method involves the use of a tape recorder and an acoustically-sealed (like an acoustic coupler modem) speaker for best sound quality and elimination of suspicious noise. The worst methods involve "ingenious" means - whistles, recordable hallmark cards, modified pocket dialers, yada yada. None of those things really work well and all involve the phreak spending extra money on junk, when the whole idea behind phreaking is to not spend money.
Most of those who have written about the Red Box and different ways of generating the ACTS tones have stuck to the name "Red Box" faithfully, but the one exception that I have encountered is Napalmoliv's variation, called the Disc Box. The Disc Box is simply the tones of a Red Box recorded to a recordable audio CD and played back through a Discman CD player. As Napalmoliv claims, this will undoubtedly give the best quality red box tones possible as its output is high-fidelity digital audio, but once those tones leave the CD player and travel through the air and into the phone's mouthpiece, all the problems that complicate redboxing are still there. Background noise, suspicious operators, electronic countermeasures, physical bumps, and the like will still foil red boxers no matter how crystal clear the tone source is. But at least it does remove one bottleneck, where so many other pea-brained red box schemes add them.
Plausibility : 100 percent fact, and well documented.
Obsolescence : Doesn't work everywhere, and rapidly decreasing in availability. Forget it on COCOTs, cardphones, Nortel Millennium Payphones and any payphone not using the ACTS system. In November, 2002, AT&T has discontinued coin-op long distance altogether!
Skill: Very little. It's almost as easy as Razor and Blade demonstrated in Hackers. That's probably why it gets so much discussion.
Risks : Few if you are careful. Don't mess with the phone and no operators will come on. Play good tones and it will work. And remember, any kind of payphone phreaking that involves gadgets looks suspicious, so there is always the risk that someone might see you and call the police.
red-box-nickel-tone.mp3 Red Box Nickel Tone
red-box-dime-tone.mp3 Red Box Dime Tone
red-box-quarter-tone.mp3 Red Box Nickel Tone
Low Quality Sound Files25-cents.mp3 The call you have made requires a 25 cent deposit Please hang up momentarily listen for dial tone deposit 25 cents then dial your call again
301-292-9908.mp3 Male A 25 cent deposit is required to make this call Please hang up deposit 25 cents and make your call again
610-797-0014.mp3 Male Excuse me Please deposit 5 cents for the next 3 minutes If 5 cents is not deposited within 25 seconds your call will be automatically terminated