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An Extensive Guide to Bell System Man Holes

An Extensive Guide to Bell System Man Holes - Underground...

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Sheet1 Page 1 Underground Anarchy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An Extensive Guide to Bell System Man Holes (c) 1992 Vonnegut [PHLiGHT] First Edit : May 25th, 1992 ***************************************************************************** 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. ***************************************************************************** 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
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Page 2 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.
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