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Monday, June 4, 2012

An Extensive Guide to Bell System Man Holes



         
                 An Extensive Guide to Bell System Man Holes
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Underground telephone networking done by Bell is fascinating stuff and fairly

easy to gain access to.  If you know what you're doing, you can accomplish

alot, learn alot, and take home some stuff to play with.



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Getting Underground

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First, you will need to find one of those Bell manholes.  They are VERY heavy

and say "Bell System" on them.  In the country, they are harder to find than

in cities and suburbs.  Look on the paved main roads and you will probably

find some.  They have a little square hole in the middle which is how you

will getting inside.  Stick the hook side of a crowbar in the hole and push

down.  When the lid lifts, grab it and roll it onto the street or sidewalk.

It is best to do this at night because it is obviously *very* easy to get

caught doing this.  Before you stick your feet in, look for the ladder rungs!

The drop is 6-10 feet if you fall, and it can get very damp and slippery down

there!  If you're new at this, leave the lid half-open (never completely!)

and also bring a friend: if one of you gets hurt, they can always run home

and get help.  Also, bring a flash light so you can see what the hell you're

doing until you find the light.  If you can get one of those mining helmets

with the light on it, use it.



What You Should See

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There will be a small room at the bottom which sometimes has tunnels.  There

will be all kinds of telephone equipment down there, and sometimes even a

computer which is connected to a humungous network.  There will also be

pipes on the walls that have cables running through them.  Each one will say

what's going through it, or be color coded.  There is often a chart on the

wall.



Dull Green Boxes: Opening

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

These things are called bridging heads and each one has as many as 1200 cable

pairs inside!  There are many different varieties of these with different

levels of function in the network, but most are made by Western Electric or

GTE, and these are the ones I will be discussing.  The larger Western

Electric ones with the WE logo on the bottom feed the whole area.  The normal

bridging heads, which are smaller and often made by GTE, are usually bridging

for homes and individual buildings.

These things are tons of fun to play with.  If it's locked, stick your crow-

bar in the slot above the top hinge on the right door.  If you pull nice and

hard, the door will rip right off.  If it isn't locked, take a 7/16th inch

hex socket and turn the bolt s-l-o-w-l-y to the left until you hear like a

little pop.  Hold onto the bolt and turn the handle all the way top the right

and pull it out (toward you).



Bridging Heads: Getting Behind the Panel

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Once you've opened a bridging head, look around for the test set.  This is

like the handset to your phone, except it doesn't have a phone attached to

it.  You will see a whole panel of shit (all of the little cable pairs and

lots of little metal screws) which you should push back about an inch.  Then

rotate the latch on the top (which is round with a little shaved-off flat

section) downward.  Then let go of the panel and it will fall forward.  If

you didn't see a test set before, there is probably more than one here!

There will also be lots of extra wire and metal screws (like the ones on the

panel).



What to Take from the Bridging Head

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is what to take from inside the bridging head.  Some of it will be

needed later, and some of it is just good to have around.

   þ Take at least one test set (pick up some for your friends).

   þ Take the 400 foot rolls of #22 wire usually way in the back of the box.

   þ Take lots of insulators, binders, clips, and those little metal screws.

   þ Take the little black box with buttons on it (the line crossover).



Stuff With Your Test Set

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On each door, there is a round metal thing that says "Insert Gently" or

"Clamp Gently" or "Do Not Overtighten" or something like that.  On it are

two terminals which you will use with your test set.  Hook the ring (-) on

your test set to the "R" terminal on the metal thing, and the tip (+) to the

other terminal.  Now lift the terminal board (the thing that fell forward).

There should be about 20 wire pairs (red and white) on each row (the same

thing is on the back).  Behind the metal disc is a coiled up cord with a

special connector on the end of it.  This is very useful: you don't have to

keep on connecting and disconnecting your test set; you just clamp on the

connector.  Now hook the clip onto any terminal pair....



Once You're Connected to a Terminal Pair

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Once you've connected your test set to a terminal pair, you can hear

whatever's going on on that line.  If you get a conversation, you can listen

in on it, but be careful because they can hear you!  A fun thing to do is to

play the operator and tell them that there's an emergency call for someone.

If you get data, there's probably a way to hook it up to any computer that

happens to be down there, however there don't seem to be any provisions for

doing this.  If you get a dial tone, you can have lots of fun.  Call a friend

and tell them what you're doing.  Call someone long distance that you haven't

seen in ten years.  The best thing to do is make harassing calls to the

operator, and when they trace the number and call it back, they'll be calling

the people whose phone you're using!  You can listen in on the whole thing.



Whose Phone Are You On?!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is something called a Bridging Log in the box which you can try to

decipher in order to find out what number you're on.  An easier way is to use

a special test number.  For the 213 NPA, dial 1223; for 213 (GTE areas), dial

114; for 408, dial 760; and for 914, dial 990.  Sorry, those are all that I

have, but you may be able to find a chart in the box.



The Little Black Box (Line Crossover)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This thing is used for testing lines.  Hook your test set up to it and then

dial any local number.  When you have finished dialing, press the button on

the box labeled "ON LINE" and you will hear their conversation.  This is an

even easier way to tap a line.



Tapping from Your Home: Finding the Dude's Line

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Look up the number of the dude whose phone you want to tap.  Have a friend

call him and give him some long poll (have him say he's from Gallup: most

people will stay on the line).  Find out exactly what your friend's going to

say.  Then go to one of the manholes and clip your test set onto every line

and listen for a second.  When you hear your friend, you have the right line.

To find your line, take the phone off the hook and leave some music playing

nice and loud in your room.  Then repeat the above process listening for the

music.  Mark the two sets of contacts (the dude's and yours).



Tapping from Your Home: Connecting His Line to Yours

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Take two lengths of thin wire (one red and one white).  Loosen the screw

holding his red wire and the one holding yours.  Take the red wire you cut

and wire it from his red-wire screw to yours.  Then repeat the process for

the white wires.  Now nip the two wires (one red and one white) that

originally led to your line.  Congratulations!  You are now sharing his line!



Tapping from Your Home: Listening In

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I suggest that you do the above stuff with a seperate line, because it

completely destroys your line.  The best thing is to get a speaker phone with

those little red and green lights that tell you if someone's on the line or

not.  When the red light goes on, he's on the line.  Turn on your speaker

phone or pick up your phone and you can hear him!  Unfortunately, it works

both ways: he can hear you.  The best thing is to get one of those old

external speaker phones with a mute button that STAYS IN when you push it.

You will also be able to make calls with his line.



Hacking Their Computers

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EVERYTHING on the computers they leave down there is password protected.  If

you are able to get in, there is all kinds of stuff in there.  Artman [SiC]

said that he would be releasing his codes for the Bell System computers soon,

however I have never seen this file.  Please let me know if you get any

codes.



The Tunnels

~~~~~~~~~~~

Phucked Agent says that there are sometimes tunnels down there.  I personally

have never come accross any, but if you see some, go into them!  There is

probably some really cool stuff in there and they are probably passage ways

to other rooms.  Tell me what you find if you go through one!



Leaving the Man Hole

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Always put everything back very neatly before you leave.  Also, never take

too much stuff at a time.  If they notice that a great quantity of stuff is

gone, they may be more careful in the future.



Please Let Me Know

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please let me know how successful your hack of Bell has been.  I live in 516

and can be reached on many elite boards there.



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Special Thanks to Phucked Agent and Artman [SiC]



(c) 1992 Vonnegut and PHLiGHT Communications, Inc.

Please feel free to distribute this file anywhere and everywhere, as long as

it is not altered in any way, other than a change in the archive format.  If

you know of or hear of any copies of this doc with someone else's name on it

please contact me and I will have them blacklisted immediately.  Thank you.



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