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Old 2006-02-04, 05:41 AM   #1
Jester2000
old miyata saddles are sexy
 
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Call my Payphone! It's sitting in my dorm room...

My dream has come true. Ever since last summer when I saw the Skype Video Payphone, I wanted to have a payphone hooked up to VOIP. Not long after I saw that article on Makezine, I put a "wanted" ad on Craigslist Sacramento for a Payphone. I said I wanted it for a project, didn't have a lot of money I can spend on it, and it didn't have to be working. I left it alone, never thinking I'd get a response from anyone.

A few days later I got an email from a lady offering a payphone. She had one with a full enclosure that her brother had given her after his Car Repair shop closed in San Francisco. She had a "Pepsi-themed" kitchen, and had the payphone prominently at the end of it. They tried to use it as a regular phone, but they never had it totally working. I said "Sure, I'd love it!" and after a few weeks of waiting for her to get permission from her brother to give it away she proclaimed, "Come give me 2 packs of Pepsi, and it's yours." I was stoked, and the next weekend I borrowed my Dad's truck and with the help of Brian Lundgren drove an hour to Elk Grove. 2 packs of soda and the beauty was mine! I set-up the phone in my room at home, and had it hooked-up to our landline. My dream to connect the payphone to my computer where I would have a free incoming number, and could call around the world for pennies started with Skype.

After being unsuccessful at home, it was time to go to college, and I brought the phone with me (out of the enclosure though). Since then, I've learned more about the different ways to connect the phone to my computer, and finally settled with a Linksys PAP2. I was able to strike a deal again, and got one basically for free. You can hack this device (which is supposed to be used only with Vonage, and use it with any SIP provider (like Stanaphone). After buying a 2nd network card on ebay (total $7) and using internet sharing, I was able to get around my intense dorm network restrictions. Still, I had HUGE difficulty getting this all to work. Luckily, I made friends with one of the guys in my Resnet's technical department, and he helped me fix my final problems. The result, after about 7 months, I have a payphone (named Charles, by the way) that is live! Right now all that's working is the incoming part, but pretty soon I'll add money to my Stanaphone account, and I'll be able to call around the world cheap! (For example: 1.6 cents/minute US and Canada, 2.7 cents/minute France, 3.8 cents/minute Japan, 2.5 cents/minute U.K.)

Finally, after over 7 months of slowly developing the project, I have a payphone wired! I invite you all to call Charles. Who knows who you will get... Maybe me, maybe my big red-headed roommate Kyle, or maybe a random person in my room! Keep in mind, it is a New York number, so it may be long-distance for you.

Call: 1.347.328.1923

Note: It may take a few trys to get it ringing. Keep trying! It's only operating when my computer is on, and I probably won' t have long to talk if I'm studying!

Here's what Charles looks like:







When it was back at home:


Happy Calling,

Jess
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Old 2006-02-04, 12:13 PM   #2
kristine
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wow... that made my morning
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Old 2006-02-04, 12:44 PM   #3
unicycleboy
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haha i like the hat looks like it hasnt been worn!
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Old 2006-02-04, 01:25 PM   #4
habbywall
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i might call it some time, just to let you know, will it charge me anything besides my standard fees and long distance fees?
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Old 2006-02-04, 05:40 PM   #5
Jester2000
old miyata saddles are sexy
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habbywall
will it charge me anything besides my standard fees and long distance fees?
It will act like a regular land-line number. So yes, pretty standard.
In New York though...

I'll be in and out today, but call, call call!

Later,

Jess
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Old 2006-02-04, 07:20 PM   #6
James_Potter
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hahahaha, that is SO cool...seriously, I wish I had a payphone.
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Old 2006-02-04, 07:44 PM   #7
redhead
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Whats you skype name?
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Old 2006-02-04, 07:56 PM   #8
new_unicycler
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haha nice man i'm go to the payphone in couple mins and call ya on main street maybe today,tomarrow in my time its 2:57pm as i speak right now so i'll talk to you some time okie ..TONy..


p.s i'm in canada :P

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Old 2006-02-05, 03:00 AM   #9
chosen
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i tried to call it, no one answered, but i got a wierd beeping noise that went on for like 30 seconds. kinda cool.
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Old 2006-02-05, 04:22 PM   #10
phlegm
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Hey, you're on Makezine!
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Old 2006-02-05, 05:50 PM   #11
unigamer
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Guilty. I wandered if anyone read that.
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Old 2006-02-05, 08:04 PM   #12
phlegm
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Yes, unfortunately. Sites like that make me want to save old junk.
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Old 2006-02-05, 09:10 PM   #13
Sigurd
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Dude, that is so cool. I'll give you a call sometime.
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Old 2006-02-06, 01:51 AM   #14
Jester2000
old miyata saddles are sexy
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unicycleboy
haha i like the hat looks like it hasnt been worn!
Oh, I only wear it on special occasions.




Some photos of working on it at home:








You might have noticed, the usual blue "PHONE" sign on the top of the payphone was missing. I decided to make one out of a piece of plexi-glass. I drew a design on blue tape I had layered over one side. Then I used an exacto knife to cut out the negative space. Finally, I was able to spray-paint the sign green. Here some photos:









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Old 2006-02-06, 01:52 AM   #15
Jester2000
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(Continued)









Later,

Jess
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