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TUCoPS :: Phreaking General Information :: nzfones.txt

Phreaking in New Zealand

Unauthorised Access UK  0636-708063  10pm-7am  12oo/24oo

Author  : The Defecator
BBS     : The Banana Republic BBS


                  PHREAKING IN NZ -- by The Defecator

       A Banana Republic Production complete with piped-in music
              Update 0.9 -- Not for general distribution!


There are many files floating around the place informing you on the various
aspects of the fone system and other assorted activities. Unfortunately,
most of these files are from the US and consequently a few of the details
given only apply to the US fone system.  This document intends to provide
some details on the NZ fone system.  Please note that this file is for
informative purposes only, and since it is only version 0.9 there may be some
incorrect information!


NZ uses the same plugs and jacks as British Telecom uses.  The jacks are
known as BT jacks.  These support 6-wire wiring systems. The wires are
designated as follows:

    Wire   Colour    Purpose

      1    Orange    Unused
      2    Red       B-leg
      3    Blue      Anti-Tinkle
      4    Green     Ground
      5    White     A-leg
      6    Black     Unused

These numbers are with respect to the terminals inside a BT jack. On a BT
plug, however, the numbering is reversed.

On the US fone system, the two important wires are known as the tip and ring,
coloured green and red respectively.  These are the wires that come from the
exchange.  The equivalent wires for the BT system are the A-leg and B-leg,
coloured white and red respectively.  To remember which is which, just note
that the red wires are the same for both fone systems.  For each line there is
what is called a "master socket".  There is only one per line and the purpose
of this is to generate the anti-tinkle wire (green).  The ground wire is not
normally used.


When your fone is hung up, there is about 60V or so potential across the A-leg
and B-leg.  When you lift up the fone, this drops to about 12V.  This is
similar to the US system but knowing Telecom the voltages will vary a lot
from place to place.  The ringing frequency from exchanges applies may be
either 25Hz or 16.67Hz, according to Telecom.


This is the dialling method used on old rotary fones. US fones use different
numbers of pulses than NZ fones.  US fones use 1 pulse to dial 1, 2 pulses
to dial 2, etc. plus 10 pulses to dial 0.  For NZ fones, the number of pulses
for digits 1-9 are reversed, as shown:

           Digit:   0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

   # Pulses (US):  10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
   # Pulses (NZ):  10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

A pulse is generated by cutting the line for a very short time.  Pulse
dialling in NZ requires 9-11 pulses per second, and a gap of more than 750ms
but not less than 1.5 seconds between digits (this is according to Telecom,
so you could probably push these figures a bit).

Some files mention flashing switchhooks to get around locked fones. This is
fairly well-known and is commonly used on fortress fones around NZ to obtain
free fone calls, but remember that the pulses are reversed, and dialing 0
won't get you to an operator unless you are connected to an old exchange
that doesn't have STD facilities.


This is the dialling method used on the newer pushbutton (touch-tone) fones.
For each digit dialled, the fone transmits two tones of different frequencies
simultaneously.  Both the US and NZ fone system have this in common, and in
fact use the same tones.  The following table shows the two frequencies
required for each signal:

               1209 Hz   1336 Hz   1477 Hz   1633 Hz

      697 Hz      1         2         3         A

      770 Hz      4         5         6         B

      852 Hz      7         8         9         C

      941 Hz      *         0         #         D

So in order to dial 6 you need to transmit tones of 770Hz and 1477Hz simul-
taneously.  As you should know, NZ fones have digits 0-9 plus the * and
# keys, but do not have the A-D keys.

According to Telecom, each signal has to be at least 70ms (milliseconds)
long, and the gap between each digit must be at least 70ms.  The frequencies
must be within +/- 1.5% of the given value.  Again, these are Telecom's
figures which are normally conservative so you could probably push 60ms at


There are many other tones used on exchanges for various purposes.  In
general, Telecom doesn't like people to transmit frequencies outside the
range 300Hz - 3400Hz onto the fone system.  Telecom apparently transmits
various tones outside normal audio range on fone lines "from time to time".

Within the 300 - 3400Hz range, there are a few "supervisory" tones Telecom
use for various purposes.  They are provided for your information here:

          Dial tone:  400Hz continuous
          Busy tone:  400Hz interrupted
     # unobtainable:  400Hz interrupted
       Ringing tone:  400Hz+450Hz or 400Hz
    Disconnect tone:  400Hz or 900Hz interrupt unbalanced
     AC1 signalling:  600Hz, 750Hz
     AC2 signalling:  2280Hz

The first five tones are normally encountered on the NZ system.  The dial
tone is the most common, and the busy tone and ringing tones should be
familiar to all.  The # unobtainable tones is the signal you hear when the
number you have dialed does not exist, has been disconnected or is otherwise
unobtainable.  The sound can be described as four short bips repeated:
bip-bip-bip-bip...bip-bip-bip-bip...bip-bip-bip-bip...etc.  The disconnect
tone is somewhat rarer, but you hear it when the an exchange is overloaded
and the system has disconnected you.  It sounds similar to the busy tone.

The last two tones, as I understand it, are present on the line to tell what
state it is in: AC1 if the line is in use, and AC2 when it is free.  When
you are using a line, AC1 is present, but you can't hear it due to filters
at the exchanges, but it is nevertheless there and Telecom can tell it's

Another frequency, commonly mentioned in US files, is 2600Hz.  As far as I
know, this tone does nothing in the NZ fone system and the equivalent tone
is 2280Hz.  Also another set of tones known as the inter-office signalling
tones appear, normally along with 2600Hz (these DTMF tones are made up from
700Hz, 900Hz, 1100Hz, 1300Hz, 1500Hz and 1700Hz).  Because the override tone
is different for the NZ system, the inter-office signalling tones could quite
easily be different as well, in which case US blue boxes are useless in the
NZ fone system and would have to be recalibrated.  This file will be updated
as new information comes to light, so watch out for updates!

Finally, Telecom doesn't like frequencies in the range 2250 - 2700Hz on
international calls (note that this range includes the US's 2600Hz).  So
feel free to experiment with these tones.

AUTHOR: The Defecator
Brought to the WORLD by The Banana Republic BBS, Auckland, New Zealand.

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