[rescue] Creating/Simulating/Emulating an old 1970s Bell Telephone Network

Matthew Haas wedge at lightlink.com
Mon Aug 15 22:11:12 CDT 2005

Hey everyone,

 I'm wondering if anyone has information or pointers regarding the
above-mentioned topic. I'm teaching a Data/Voice Communications course
this fall, and in my efforts to convey some deeper understanding of
communications (plus expose these students to things like modems, rotary
phones, even have the opportunity to try out classic coloured box phone
phreaking) I was brainstorming in this area.

 I've got access to some equipment (my collection of rescued equipment
continues to find uses in education!)... and looking to implement this
"contained" phone network so that students can also be exposed to the
electronics behind telephony (so we can do things like generate a
dial-tone, ring, and even monitor voice communications over the wire).

 I'm looking at eventually implementing the CO, switches, and end devices
(be it an off-the-shelf phone, mock-up payphone, or whatnot).. and to
intentionally make it operate on frequencies, so it can be manipulated...

 Any recommendations? Web sites, books? I figure this will be as much a
learning experience for me as it will for my students.

 While I'm sure there may be more modern ways of covering such topics, I
have always preferred to take a more classic approach.. allows for
students to get a feel for the history involved and that can help form an
understanding for how modern systems operate, as well as why such
evolutions needed to take place (identification and exploitation of
vulnerabilities, plus the opportunity to put their electronics skills to
use).. having it be its own self-contained environment keeps us notably
separate from interacting with any public network or service, plus basing
it on an older generation of technology will help to effectively separate
the play environment from the real world.

 So any thoughts on this to help steer me in search of this sort of
information will be greatly appreciated.

 Matthew Haas
 Corning/Watkins Glen, NY

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