I’ve had this AE LPB-86-55 rotary payphone (Automatic Electric) sitting in the garage collecting dust for over a year now. I picked it up online rather inexpensively so I don’t even know if it works. We’re going to take it apart and see what’s inside, evaluate the condition of the internal parts and determine whether or not we’re missing anything. If it has the essentials we need I’d like to convert it into a home-office phone.
I started by trying to open the most important compartment – the coin vault! The lock was stiff and wouldn’t turn with the key so I added a bit of WD-40 and let it soak in while we moved on to the main housing.
I was surprised at how good the wiring looked! It seemed like it had been worked on somewhat recently – probably within the last 10 years. The rotary dial turned smoothly and with a little oil on the moving parts it should be good to go. The only components missing were the coin relay that normally sits in front of the hopper and the relay magnet on the coin chute. Even if you convert many of these payphones for home use, you still need to use the coin mechanism unless you by-pass/disable it. Since these 2 relays were missing, it’s highly suggestive that this phone had already been converted for home use without the need for coins.
After our housing inspection I went back to the coin vault, and this time …with some Diva persuasion …it opened! I’m happy to report that I’m $1.60 richer!
The next step is to get a pulse-to-tone converter so the phone can work with your digital system.
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