Name Coin Telephones No. 700, 705, 735 Pay-On-Answer (POA) type
Maker BPO
Date 1950s to 1980s.

The Coin Telephone 700 series was a refinement of the A and B Button Box, the actions of buttons A and B becoming electronic. The Coin Telephone 700 and the later improved versions e.g. 705 was a very successful model and versions of it were used in the UK and Commonwealth into the nineteen eighties.

On the subject of the Coin Telephone 700, a website visitor writes: a sight that has vanished are the "phone feelers" as I called them. This was a band of people who moved from mainline station to station and raced round quickly feeling the returned coin cups on the now vanished public phones... to see if people had forgotten to collect the returned money which often happened, one could recognise them all over the place and competing to get a box before the other.

bcc700.jpg (8786 bytes) 705 Payphone [Courtesy of Andy Harris]
Coin Telephone 700 Coin Telephone 735 BCC 705   A version of it in use in New Zealand in 1994.
1994 - From the streets of Zanzibar. Coin Telephone 1, Australian GPO PUBLIC ARMOURED CCB (later version of BCC 705)
UK-BPO725-2.jpg (27645 bytes)

Post Master General Ernest Marples demonstrates use of a public phone box
Post Master General Ernest Marples demonstrates use of a public phone box

1959: UK's first trunk call from a pay phone

The UK's first trunk dialling system from a public call-box has been inaugurated in Bristol today. It is the start of a countrywide service that will eventually replace the current Button A and Button B pre-payment system. The Deputy Lord Mayor phoned the Lord Mayor of London, dialling the number himself. The new streamlined coin phone boxes have slots for 3d, 6d and 1s pieces. Money cannot be put in until the call is answered. A series of pips indicates when the time paid for is running out and the caller must insert more coins to carry on talking.

Her Majesty The Queen launches trunk dialling

Subscriber Trunk Dialling was introduced in the Bristol area last December which meant 18,000 subscribers are now able to make trunk calls without the aid of the operator.

On the 5th December 1958 during a ceremony in which the Queen made a direct long-distance call from Bristol Central Telephone Exchange to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, more than 300 miles (482km) away. Her Majesty's call lasted two minutes five seconds and cost 10d (four pence).

This latest move to introduce coin boxes is part of Post Master General Ernest Marples' £35m scheme to modernise the phone system in an effort to popularise use of the telephone. Mr Marples described the new system as "quite revolutionary" and "good value for money". However, automatic dialling will inevitably lead to job losses.

The GPO employs 50,000 operators and this number will be halved by 1970, saving an estimated £15m a year.

3 Internal
G 7001
Issue 1, April 1971

Mechanical and electrical operation of Box, Coin Collecting No. 700 & 705 (POA type)

bcc700.jpg (8786 bytes)The Box, Coin-collecting, No. 700 (shown to the right) is used in conjunction with a 700-type telephone on subscribers' installations. The circuit is shown in Dgm. N 1169 and the coin-collecting box associated with a Telephone No. 706 in Dgm. N 2423. The Box, Coin-collecting, No. 705 (shown below) is a combined telephone and coin box, the integral telephone being of the 700 type. The circuit is shown in Dgm. N 805.

bcc705.jpg (4423 bytes)Those coin boxes have been designed to enable users to obtain trunk calls, in addition to local calls, without operator assistance. They are for connection to public exchanges which provide subscriber trunk dialling facilities. In use the wanted subscriber's number is dialled, and it is not until after the called party has answered that coins are inserted. For this reason the system has been designated 'Pay-on-Answer'.

The coin boxes accept 12-sided threepenny pieces, sixpences and shillings and signal the value of the coin(s) inserted to the exchange. The coins, if accepted after passing the coin tests, drop straight through to the cash container and are not held in suspense. There are therefore no 'A' or 'B' buttons but a reject chute is provided to return worn or spurious coins.

Incoming calls
The circuit for the bell is completed via the gravity switch as long as the hand - set is on its cradle, and the instrument functions as a normal telephone for incoming calls. The coin slots remain locked throughout an incoming call.

Outgoing calls - sequence of events
The caller lifts the receiver and dials the wanted number. Until the called subscriber answers the line polarity is such (A-line positive) that relay SU does not operate and the coin slots are locked to prevent premature insertion of coins. When the called subscriber answers the line polarity reverses, and relay SU operates unlocking the coin slots. At this stage there is no speech path but the caller receives pay cone (N.U. tone interrupted at 0.125 second on, 0.125 second off) and should then insert a coin. The insertion of a coin causes coin pulses to be sent to the exchange where they are recorded by the coin and fee checking relay-set, which then opens the speech path, so that conversation can proceed. Further coins can be inserted at any time and corresponding coin pulses are sent to the exchange as above. At each termination of paid for time, pay tone is re-applied to line for three seconds (the speech path is still open during this pay tone). If a com is not inserted within 10 seconds of the commencement of pay tone, a line reversal re-locks the coin slots and two seconds later the call is force released at the exchange and N.U. tone returned to the caller.

Coin value signalling
The coin pulses are signalled by increasing the line loop resistance by 5000 ohms. The coin pulses are sent at approximately 4 pulse/sec. with a signalling resistance/loop resistance timing ratio of 1:1.6. Each coin pulse train terminates with a line disconnection of 60 ms and if this final disconnection is absent the pulse train is not accepted by the exchange equipment, i.e. the call is regarded as a fraudulent operation. The energy for generating the coin signals is obtained by the insertion of' the coin. When the coin is pressed into its slot it operates a pivoted lever, the movement of which raises a bank of cams. When the coin is fully inserted the cam-bank falls under gravity but at a speed regulated by a dial-type governor. As the cams fall various spring-sets are operated to produce the coin pulses, but the pulses are not sent to line unless the coin has successfully passed through the coin tester and tripped the mask operating lever. The number of pulses sent depends upon the coin used, a 3d., 6d. or 1s. coin sending one, two or four pulses respectively. Generation of the correct number of coin pulses for the particular coin inserted is effected by moving a pivoted coin-pulse spring-set to be opposite the appropriate cam on the cam-bank. With reference to Dgms. N 805 and N 2423, the spring-sets produce coin pulses as follows:-

(a) CPON3 makes and prepares a circuit for CP.

(b) The mask contact opens, leaving the telephone loop held via CP and CPON3.

(c) CPON1 makes, and short-circuits the receiver.

(d) CP opens and introduces 5000 ohms into the loop, this being the first coin pulse.

(f) CPON2 makes and prevents operation of the gravity switch interfering with coin pulses.

(g) CP closes and completes the first coin pulse. If the coin inserted is 3d., CP operates once only, if 6d. CP operates twice and if 1s. CP operates four times.

(h) CPON3 opens and gives a line disconnection ('coin train complete' signal).

(j) The mask contact closes and re-establishes the loop.

(k) CPON2 opens, CPON1 opens and the circuit is restored to normal.

Coin slot locking
The slot locking is controlled (a) electromagnetically by the exchange equipment, relay SU being used for this, and (b) mechanically within the coin-operated mechanism itself. The coin slots are normally locked but are unlocked when the distant subscriber answers and, in general remain unlocked for the duration of the call. The full sequence is:-

(i) The slots are locked when there is no line current (handset on its cradle, circuit faulty, etc.) or when the line polarity is normal

(ii) Relay SU unlocks the slots when the called subscriber answers and the line polarity reverses.

(iii) The slots are relocked, momentarily, during the signalling of a coin (a period of approximately two seconds) to prevent the premature insertion of a second coin. They are also interlocked to prevent the simultaneous insertion of two or more coins, or the last-moment substitution of one coin by another (for example by withdrawing a Is. and inserting a 3d. coin, in a fraudulent attempt to obtain ls. worth of time for 3d.).

(iv) Finally, relay SU relocks the slots two seconds before forced release at the end of pay tone to prevent coins being inserted too late during the 12-second pay period to be recorded at the exchange.

Circuit details
(a) 'Emergency service' facility
If the mechanism is removed and taken away, e.g. to a coin-box maintenance centre, the telephone circuit can be retained for emergency service by coupling a 4-point jack to a 4-point plug (connector SJ, see Note 3 Dgms. N 805 and N 2423). A label that the telephone is available for emergency calls only is then fitted over the coin plate aperture. The 4-point jack (jack No. 77D) and the label (label No. 360) used for this purpose are housed in the mechanism compartment of each coin box.

(b) CPON3 contact
This contact is made as soon as the Cam-bank starts to move downwards after a coin has been inserted. It must make before the mask contact opens. If it fails to do so, the telephone line is open-circuited and the call is released. A failure here may occur due to incorrect adjustment of the CPON3 spring-set assembly so that it fails to latch, or incorrect positioning relative to the cam-bank so that the operating mechanism is not prepared on the upward movement of the cam-bank.

(c) The telephone regulator
This is part of the 700 type telephone and is used to reduce the sensitivity of the telephone on short lines. If a regulator fails, and a spare is not to hand, the telephone circuit can be temporarily restored (but without regulation) by withdrawing and reversing the regulator end-for-end in its jack. In the reversed position the contacts on the regulator bridge jack points B, D and C.

(d) Rectifier MR2
This is a selenium double-diode having the purpose of minimising the clicks in the receiver during the progress of a call, especially those arising from the line current reversals used to control slot locking.

(e) SU relay
This is a 3000-type relay used to perform mechanical work only; bias spring-sets are provided to control the armature, but the springs have no electrical contacts. The relay is 'polarised' by the use of a rectifier, so that with the initial conditions (A-line positive), the series element does not conduct and therefore relay SU does not operate. When the line polarity is reversed, e.g. called subscriber answer the series element does conduct and relay SU operates. The shunt element is provided to maintain the line current when the series element is not conducting.

(f ) The mechanism test jack
An 8-way jack, T.J., is provided, at which access to the isolated contacts of the pulser unit can be obtained for maintenance purposes. The strappings required for normal working are provided by a plug which is normally inserted in the jack. The jack enables faulting to be carried out and is used for the setting up of the mechanism in coin-box maintenance centres, in conjunction with a Tester SA 9129.

(g) Earthing of coin-box casing
The earth connected to the appropriate coin-box terminal is extended to the mechanism framework and the metal casing or cover. This is done to ensure that if low insulation conditions arise, shocks will not be experienced by users. In addition, contacts to the frame or casing will show up as definite earth faults instead of giving rise to low insulation or noise faults which may be difficult to trace.

Taken from EI Telephones, Call Offices D1010
Name Coin Telephones No. 735
Maker BPO
Date 1980

The service offered to your customers can be increased, and new ones possibly obtained, by renting this bright-red portable coin-box and encouraging people to use the telephone It can be placed at any convenient point on your premises, where it will soon gain attention The facility can also be publicised with attractive notices, provided free of charge The customers pay for their own calls as they are made, and the renter profits from a rebate on the call charges. The coin-box is normally connected by means of a long cord and plug-and-socket arrangement so that it can be moved
to the most advantageous position during the day and locked up at night, if required

Both local and long-distance directly-dialled calls can be paid for as they are being made.
The coin-box takes sixpences and shillings, which are collected in a locked cash compartment. Only the renter has the key.
The arrangement is simple to use, and full instructions are given on the front of the coin-box. A caller dials first and pays when the call is answered and a pay-tone is heard. The tone is heard again when the time paid for has been used up. To prolong the call, more money can be inserted in the coin-box at any time during the call or as soon as pay tone is heard again.
Directly-dialled calls are charged in 6d units. The time bought for a unit varies with the distance, and extra time is allowed on all calls during the cheap rate periods. Full details of call charges and the times allowed for different distances are provided in a dialling instructions booklet.
The renter gets a rebate on the call units. On the telephone account, a charge of only 4d is made for each unit for which 6d was collected by the coin-box.
Trunk calls which cannot be dialled directly are obtained by dialling the operator who will say when and how much money should be put in the coin-box. For this type of call, time is bought in 3-minute periods and the renter gets the coin-box fee (is a call during the standard rate period and 6d at other times).
Emergency calls to 999 can be made right away, without inserting coins.
Incoming calls are indicated by a bell inside the coin-box. A belt is also provided near the socket so that calls are not missed if the coin-box is unplugged.


The coin-box is normally provided as a free-standing unit for use on a shelf or counter, but it can be fixed by means of screws in the base to a table or trolley if required.
The handset and its rest are lacquer red, and the body is Post-Office red. The coin-box is 19.75in high, 8.5in wide, 6.5in deep, and weighs 34 lb.
The cord between coin-box and plug is 25� long; the socket is fitted where convenient to the renter, except that it
must be indoors. When the coin-box is temporarily positioned outside the plug can be passed through a hole to reach the socket. If the coin-box is in the open, say on a garage forecourt, it should be well protected from the weather.
Additional sockets can be provided by using the equipment in a Plan 4 arrangement. The coin-box can also be used as the main instrument in the Plan 1A described in DLA 100, although certain limitations are imposed on the extensions.

Page last updated: 6th April 2016