How to Access the Secret Circuit to Existing Home Phone Lines

Accessing the secret circuit in your home phone lines. Connect to your home phone wiring to pipe music, rig an intercom, or connect electronic devices to existing phone lines.


| December 1995/January 1996



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It will all work if ... you remember to keep each color wire's polarity and its connections consistent throughout. 


ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Connect to your home phone wiring to pipe music, rig an intercom, or connect electronic devices to existing phone lines. (See the phone wiring diagrams in the image gallery.)

How to Access the Secret Circuit to Existing Home Phone Lines

As long as a half-century ago MaBell anticipated today's Information Age, and when she self-destructed into seven regional "Baby Bells" in the early '80s, she bequeathed you house wiring that can handle at least twice as much electronic information as you'd expect it to.

Today's digital phone transmission systems have confused things with their satellites, microwaves, and optical fibers that can handle a thousand phone calls at once. But back in the analog Dark Ages (a little more than a decade ago), all phone messages traveled from caller to caller—around the globe and back if need be—over a parallel pair of copper wires. Inside your home and throughout most rural and small-town phone systems, they still do.

The signal travels from the telephone pole hi-lines to your home via a heavy, weatherproof, guyed cable called a "drop line." Inside the cable are two wires, termed Lines A and B (or four wires the added pair called C and D-if you have two separate numbers), which lead down the house wall to a small grey box called the "network interface." Inside, the phone lines are stripped to bare copper and bound to brass wiring posts. There, they connect to your permanent, fixed house wiring, called station wire. This is a miniature cable-a sheath of white or grey plastic insulation holding four top-quality, 24- gauge, well insulated, solid copper wires.

But, most home phone systems use only two of the four wires—normally the green and red pair. Unless you have two different phone numbers or an especially wired feature-phone network, the black and yellow wires are unused—just languishing inside the station wire that's tacked with special little U-shaped staples around your baseboards and over the door frames to all your phone locations past and present—and perhaps out to a barn phone—thanks to MaBell's foresight.

That unused wire-pair offers a potential electronic link between every room that is now, ever has been, or ever will be wired for a telephone: living room to kitchen; kitchen upstairs to the bedroom or hall phone; your daughter's room to the rec room in the cellar; kitchen to barn or workshop ...anywhere or everywhere the phone lines run. In some older homes you'll find abandoned, but still perfectly good phone wiring painted into the woodwork and running through the walls and along the cellar-ceiling beams to nearly every room in the house. In newer homes you may want to extend the network yourself. It's easy.

azraa
9/13/2007 5:01:21 PM

it was ok. but you did not answer what the quistion was. i am only in year three. and i am eight years old so i can not understand this






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