How to convert pay phones for home use

Written by keith ruckus
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How to convert pay phones for home use
Converting a pay phone requires bypassing the pay mechanism. (payphones image by Albert Lozano from

Whether the reason be thriftiness or decoration, a pay phone may eventually need to be converted into a normal home phone. By accessing the inner electronics of the pay phone and bypassing the coin operations, you can use the phone with a standard land line. It is crucial to have the key and the T bar (the bar that opens the coin area of the pay phone) to the pay phone before attempting this kind of project, since no locksmith can fabricate them.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Key to the pay phone
  • T bar to the pay phone
  • Flathead screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Use the T bar to open the coin-holding area of the pay phone and empty out any coins. Use the pay phone key in the pay phone keyhole inside the coin-holding area to open the housing of the pay phone. Open up the housing of the pay phone and set the key and T bar off to the side.

  2. 2

    Locate the phone line connection site. This has eight screws in two lines of four with phone lines coming out of it. Locate the main phone line (the yellow or red wire thicker than the others running from the coin collectors). Use the screwdriver to release the wire from the coin collector.

  3. 3

    Locate the ground wire (this is the thinner black wire) connected to the line running from the main line leaving the phone. Use the screwdriver to loosen the screw of the ground. Wrap the larger main line around the ground wire's screw and retighten it.

  4. 4

    Shut the casing of the pay phone. Lock the casing closed with the pay phone key by way of the coin carrier. Close the coin-holding area and lock it with the T bar. Plug the com telephone line into a house land line and use the phone normally.

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