How to get free calls from the engineer's test     A tale of phreaking!
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                 Brought to you by The TiMeLOrD on 28/07/91

1. Introduction

Yo! I'm The TiMeLOrD and I've a little story to tell ya all! Here in Hull, our telephone network is not run under the great British Telecom, but under a small but expanding company called Kingston Communications (from here on referred to as 'KC'). Although being a small company they're certainly not behind with the times, in fact they're at the forefront of modern telephone technology it seems...we have a digital network, all the star services, etc.

Another good thing about being under KC is that local phone calls only cost us 5p for the connection and then we can chat, modem, or whatever for as long as we like! But out-of-town calls unfortunately are the same as BT's cha rges, so you can imagine my delight when I received my pocket tone dialler for my birthday! Hehehe...B^) So off I went down to the nearest phone box and did the old trick of dialling the number then the two nines on the end.

Amazing, I could chat for hours on end to all my contacts free of charge! We all did it. Phreaked out free phone calls all over the world via the infamous pocket tone dialler. Our Amiga contacts, 0898 chat lines, American porn numbers, or even just random places all over the world; you name it, we'd most probably rang it!

However, KC soon cottoned onto the fact that theie bills from BT were a few thousand poundz bigger than they normally were - they put a stop to the old '99' could still ring people up with the tone dialler, put your call would only last around two seconds!

2. The Discovery

Most of my matez took their tone diallers to bits, or took out the batteries and used them for summat else...but me, no, I always car ried mine around with me, you never know when it'll come in handy, I thought to myself. Well anyway one day on the way home I passed a phone box and I thought to myself, well maybe there's some other way of getting free callz!

Well in the area of Hull that I live (Hessle), all numbers begin with 64. So I decided on ringing the number 640000. To my surprise I got some sort of engineer's test. It said "You are connected to 0482 643466" - which was the number of the phone box I was ringing from. The line then went dead, and even putting the phone down and picking it back up didn't bring back the dial tone. So I put the phone back down and walked my surprise the phone rang about twenty secondz later! On answering it I got the message "Line testing OK...line testing OK...DIAL NEXT TEST..." then I heard a dial tone going on and off continually. Strange, it appeared that by dialling various numbers at this 'dial tone' I would engage various engineer's tests.

Well that's not important, I'll explain them at the end of these dox if anyone's interested, but meanwhile here's how to get a free call:

When you hear this 'engineer's test dial tone', if you do not dial anything and just wait around for around two minutes or so, they'll be a clicking noise and -->>>> A PROPER DIAL TONE COMES ON! <<<<--!

That's your link, using a tone dialler ring the number that you want and hey presto - you can chat for as long as u like! I've been using this method for quite a bit now and the procedure's been exactly the same every time. Remember only to do this at a phone box though!!! I think this only works from Hessle though, so may not be of much use to some of u guyz...BUT I believe that there are a few towns that have engineer's test numbers, it's just a case of finding them out. Once you have found them, just follow these instructions and you're rocking...

3. So Here's A Re-cap On The Instructions

i) Find a phone box.
ii) Using your tone dialler, dial the engineer's test number.
iii) When it answers (may be straight away, or may take around half a minute) it should say "YOU ARE CONNECTED TO..." etc. Hang up now.
iv) Wait for around 20 seconds and when the phone rings answer it. (If after 40 seconds the phone hasn't rung, then pick it up; chances are that the ringer has been turned off on that phone box).
v) You should hear "LINE TESTING OK...DIAL NEXT TEST", and a ENGINEER'S DIAL TONE should come on (just like a normal dial tone going on & off).
vi) Now wait a few minutes until a proper dial tone comes on.
vii) Dial the number you want to reach, using your tone dialler!
viii) When you've finished your call, hang up in the normal way.
ix) To make another call you must repeat the process from step ii).

As you've probably gathered, this isn't much use for modemz, as it looks a bit sus taking all your computer gear down to the phone box with a mega sized power pack on your back, so this is only really useful for talking to your contacts or whatever ANYWHERE in the world!

4. Risks

i) If you follow the above procedure at home, you DO get the dial tone, but I think if you ring any numbers from it they come up on your bill!
ii) I've always been worried about the fact that it tells you the number you're ringing from as soon as you start the test, so that's a risk.
iii) As it is an engineer's test number, you are considered to be an engineer! So I think it's possible that they CAN LISTEN IN IF THEY WANT, and as I say they have the number that you are calling from so it is a very risky way of phreaking, in my opinion!
iv) Once whilst waiting for the dial tone I heard a funny sort of clicking noise, and, being the paranoid person that I am, I put the phone down and left the phone box. Twenty seconds later two KC vans came zooming round a corner and another one came burning down the road in the opposite direction. Both slowed down as they passed the phone box and appeared to be looking inside. But apart from that I haven't had any other 'close encounters'!

If I were you I'd phreak after dark, and always keep someone on lookout... Also make sure that you can get away quickly in an emergency situation, failing that carry some sort of thunderflash equipment about with you, and failing that a gun comes in rather handy.

5. Summary

Well that's it then. I hope that u have fun! And if u have any problems in using the engineer's test line then leave me a message on this BBS! Look out for more text files from myself (The TiMeLOrD). Meanwhile I'll leave you with a list of some of the engineers tests that you can do whilst waiting for the dial tone...

6. List Of Engineers Tests Available

Whilst waiting for the dial tone on the engineer's test line, you may find it more interesting to fiddle about with some of the tests instead of just standing there waiting the full two minutes. When you hear "DIAL NEXT TEST..." followed by the ENGINEER'S DIAL TONE (a dial tone going on and off), you have a choice of tests to dial:

i) Dialling 1 will engage the DIAL TEST. This is simply used for testing the frequencies of the DTMF tones given out by phones. It should say "START TEST" after you have engaged the test and then you should hear a dialling tone. The correct way to complete this test is to dial 123456789*0#...on most phones this simply means starting at the top left and dialling from left to right on each row. If you dial the wrong number then you will get a "DIAL FAULT" message, otherwise you'll get a "TEST COMPLETED MESSAGE" followed by "DIAL NEXT TEST".

ii) Dialling 3 will engage the COIN PULSE TEST. This is a funny one. I never really bothered much with this one, but I think that you complete it by putting ten pence into the phone! Otherwise you'll get an "INCORRECT COIN PULSING" message.

iii) Dialling 4 will engage some sort of voltage test. If you start this test and then put the phone down it bleeps strange noises, sort of like half rings. Wierd city, man!

iv) Dialling A (only available if you have a special tone dialler with A, B, C, and D on it) will start another DIAL TEST similar to the first one, except that to complete this one you must dial A, B, C, then D.

v) The only other test I've found is some other sort of DIAL TEST. To execute this you must dial 11. Yep, you heard me right, 11. How? Well most of you phreakers out there SHOULD know that pulse phones work by sending pulses, so if you quickly click twice on your handset button, it would be the same as dialling a two. Quickly clicking seven times would be like dialling a seven. Clicking ten times would be like dialling a zero. As the buttons on your phone probably only go up to nine, the only way to dial an eleven would be to click eleven times on the handset button. As said, this will start another DIAL TEST...see if you can work this one out!

Well that's all the tests that I've found - so nice of the phone companies to put these little tests up for the phreakers to play with whilst they wait to get their free line! Still, the tests are very strange indeed - say if you select a test by dialling the number using pulse, then from then on it won't work if you try to select a test using tone...and vice versa.

NB: As I mentioned you can play around with these tests whilst you wait for the dial tone, but if, whilst half way through a test, the line suddenly clicks and the dial tone comes on, this simply means that your dial tone has arrived whilst you were in the middle of the may now proceed to dial the telephone number that you wish to reach (using your tone dialler of course)...

That's definately all for now, and all I can say is KC must be thick not to have sorted this problem out by now! Oh well, I'm not gonna phone 'em up and complain!!! Happy phreaking guyz!!!!!!!!!

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Coming soon from The TiMeLOrD:

The VISA story - a tale of fraud.
Zoooom! - Time travelling and how to do it.