POTD: Avaya Red 8410 DCP Telset Attitash Grand Summit Resort | Bartlett, NH


This was taken at the front desk at the Attitash Grand Resort Conference Center in Bartlett, NH. This area in the building is where you can only spot the digital sets. The nearby bar, conference rooms and rooms use analog sets. There is no evidence of any attendant consoles ether.

I’ve frequented this facility during the spring time over the last four years for an annual conference. I no longer attend, and I like the place, so I went for the vacation this week. The people I used to see at the front desk were not working (or is no longer working there) to see if I could see the switch room.

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Central Offices: FairPoint – Keene, NH

DSC_0318This low res and highly compressed JPEG is a Central Office located just north of Downtown Keene, NH. It is operated by the primary LEC, FairPoint.

If that locale rings any bells, this used to be a popular hotspot in early October for the Keene Pumpkin Festival. It also broken several Guinness Book of World Records for the most Jack-o-Lanterns lit up. Keene State College is about a mile away from this Central Office and sadly the punks from KSC destroyed the city and put the public in danger last October to the point the hack Keene City Council denied proposals for what would’ve been their 25th annual. It’s now moving about 100 miles northeast to a secluded rural grounds in the Lakes Region and not in a micro-urban locale like Keene.


FairPoint Employs Linux Fanboys as Craftsmen



The Linux or Open Source world share our state Motto “Live Free or Die.” Well apparently, the driver or the truck operator of this FairPoint truck lives and breathes the same standards as well. As you can tell, that FairPoint truck is the primary Bell Operating Company for New Hampshire Vermont and Maine as Verizon sold them out into bankruptcy in early 2008.

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NH Telephone Museum: Wooden Children’s Telephone


Children weren’t left out of the woods in the fad called the telephone back around the 1940s, a local resident donated this wooden toy telephone to the NH Telephone Museum. This small wonder would pave the way to the Fisher Price plastic telephone made about 20 years later (and should be in every phone collector’s collection!)

NH Telephone Museum – Test/Buttsets

Continuing on the theme from the NH Telephone Museum on a visit there last month, I’m posting pictures of test sets. Sometimes called buttsets, allegedly to “abut” a telephone line, but we aren’t that stupid, it often dangles on a technician’s rear end!

There are many different types, obviously the first generations were rotary dialing, then came touch tones, and then there was innovation like built in speakerphones, and other goodies. The ones I saw there had makes from Western Electric, GTE, Harris (you’ll see the red TS-21), the same model with an AT&T private label.

In a typical setup for a telephone company, a line man would come to the customer’s house, and start troubleshooting at the box outside their residence called the Demarcation point.  If s/he can’t get a dialtone, likely the next event would be the punchdown box near the local telephone pole, if that failed, the its likely something is wrong with that line. I don’t know if buttsets were used in the “last mile” black boxes or what, but these are critical.

In a PBX environment, first off you’d use one that would handle the digital signaling, as you could possibly damage the buttset, your PBX’s circuit boards or telephones. Essentially a telephone jack at the desk or work area would routed to a wiring closet, which depending on the depth of the building go to the satellite switch, a dumb PBX (if it was a large campus) or to the PBX directly in its respective room.

All butsetts typically use modified alligator clips to tack onto the “66 blocks” on the phone company world, and in some on site environments today (now many are moving over to the end to end RJ 45 patch panels known as 110 blocks.) There are adaptors or if you do need to use modular jack, you could take a cord, strip it and clip the positive and negative (tip and ring) and plug it into an RJ 11 or RJ 45 jack.