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June 06, 2013

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This article sparked my first experiments in phone phreaking. I ran across the article in the public library while trying to find a copy of the 1971 Esquire article. The reference librarian told me she had kept it on the shelf, even after the recall order, in the name of freedom of information! I thought that was cool.

I built up the circuit in an old tape cassette box. Unknown to me, my area was just upgraded to a #1 ESS switch, rendering the device quite useless for free calls. It did allow listening on the line without drawing dial tone. This was quite useful, as I heard technicians monitoring my line after a long series of experiments with 2600 Hz generated by the BFO and time station WWV from my shortwave receiver!

Ironically, the first clue I had about the Esquire article was from an article in the "Telebriefs" newsletter that Illinois Bell sent in their monthly bills!

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