How To Make a Beige Box

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Author: jeremy_
Date Released: 6/13/2006


My Lineman's Butt-Set


RJ11 Coupler

A beige box allows you to connect a standard phone to a TNI. It can be used to tap a phone line, record calls, or just to test your phone line out. It's a poorman's version of a lineman's headset aka a butt-set. If you look around on the 'net, you'll see a lot of sites telling you to destroy a phone or make some stupid device when it's really not that hard to make a beige box. I consider this design to be the most usable and efficient. The device is simple, and with this little walk through, you should have one constructed and be ready to wiretipe Mary Landrieu's phone line in no time!

First Step: Gather Your Materials

Yep, you'll need some stuff you can find real easy around your house, and if you can't, well, don't worry, you can get all this at your local dollar store.

  • A phone cord coupler (The one in the image)
  • 2 inch phone cord (The kind used when you have a phone mounted on the wall)
  • Two alligator clips (Preferably color coded)
  • Solder/soldering iron (If needed)

Step Two: Construction Time!

Beige Box

Alright, you've got your stuff ready, so pop your knuckes, take a sip of soda, and get ready to build your beige box. First thing you need to do is break the coupler in half. You heard me, BREAK IT! Look at the coupler. It's got a line in the middle, see it? That's what your "breaking". Once you break it, you'll see four wires- red, green, yellow, and black. Now, cut one end of the coupler off, just make sure you cut the wires so that you have as much lenth as possible left on the other half.

So, right now, you've cut through a new coupler hoping I know what I'm talking about, correct? Good. Right on track. Now, you can cut off the yellow and black wires since those are used for a second line that you don't need. After your done doing that, you need to strip the red and green wires back some so that you can attach them to your clips. To do this, I always use a cigerrete lighter because it does the job quick. Just strip a half an inch or so, not too much, though.

If you have some cool alligator clips, you just have to screw in the cord to the clip, but if you don't have these cool clips, then just solder them on. You can even hot glue them on use tape like I have because I'm poor, but this doesn't always last that long, so use solder.

Step Three: Putting It To Use

TNI Terminals

Well my friend, you've done it, you've made a beige box. See, the red and green cords are connected to the TNI can's terminals that just happen to be the same color! Once your clips make contact with the terminals like the one in the image, you have a connection to that line.

But wait, you still don't have a phone hooked up yet, now do you? Well, that's what the two inch cord is for! Just plug one end of the cord into your beige box, and then plug the other into one of those cheap phones like your grandma uses. I use a small phone I bought on eBay from China for $3. It's very tiny and can be used with any 2.5mm headset, I use a Xbox 360 headset. I have a picture here of it in the gallery below. You could also record phone calls this way using a Radio Shack recording control (Part #43-2208).

I like to put my beige box in an Altoids case so I can carry it around without anyone even knowing what it is and I don't have to worry about it being damaged. My beige box design is very light and efficiant considering you don't have to waste a phone on this project.

That's all, no disclaimers here cause this isn't illegal unless you use this handly little device on someone elses line, and you wouldn't do that, now would you?

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