Pay Station

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Pay Station


a public telephone that requires separate payment for each call. Connection with the number called is established when a special token or one or more coins of a certain denomination are deposited in the telephone. A distinction is made between pay stations for local (urban and rural) calls, for intercity calls, and for both local and intercity calls. Only the first two types are used in the USSR. Pay stations are manufactured in wall-mounted, tabletop, and combination wall-and-tabletop models.

The principal components of any pay station are a coin-handling device with an electric network unit and a collection box. The electric network unit contains a switching and signaling mechanism, which connects and disconnects the pay station and the central office, thus eliminating the possibility of placing a free call; telephone circuitry for transmitting and receiving speech; a coin-handling device that receives the deposited coins, checks them for size, weight, and magnetic properties, and collects them; and a switch for the receiver and transmitter of the telephone handset.

Local pay stations are connected directly to automatic telephone stations in local telephone exchanges. The stations reverse the polarity of the battery voltage in the wires of a subscriber’s line when the subscriber answers an incoming call. In the USSR calls from pay stations are paid for with one or two coins; free calls are provided to special services having numbers of not more than three digits, for example, the fire department (01), ambulance service (03), and time service (100). Local pay stations collect the coins deposited automatically or manually when the called subscriber answers, check the coins, and return the coins if the called subscriber does not answer. Provision is made for the actuation of an external signaling device for incoming calls and free conversation and an external alarm that signals tampering.

Intercity pay stations are connected directly to an intercity exchange office or through the automatic telephone stations in the local exchange. They are usually designed so that calls can be paid for with coins of several denominations. They can place calls, paid for according to the distance and duration of the conversation, to anywhere within the limits of the country’s telephone system. Such pay stations collect the deposited coins automatically after the called subscriber answers, check the denomination and validity of the coins, determine the permissible duration of calls according to the value of the coins collected and the exchange areas, signal the caller during the call if additional payment is required, and disconnect when the time paid for expires.

Combination local and intercity pay stations perform the functions of both individual types.


Gubrenko, I. M., and E. V. Kuchumov. Telefony-avtomaty ATS (taksofony). Moscow, 1967.
Gubrenko, I. M., and E. V. Kuchumov. “Novyi taksofon ATS dlia mestnoi telefonnoi sviazi.” Elektrosviaz’, 1972, no. 6.


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