The Telefonzelle is the heraldic figure for the Metalab - a iconic symbol of open infrastructure. Phone booths often have important functions in literature and movies: sometimes they are bigger on the inside like in Dr. Who, letting Trinity exit The Matrix, are used by Superman as changing room and or give shelter in Hitchcock's The Birds.
The sign was created by c3o during an early logo brain storming. Having the Berlin c-base as a role model in mind the founding members thought that sort of a story behind could help to tighten the community spirit.
We tried to get an outdated, original telephone booth from Telekom Austria (successor of the former state-owned, monopolized telco) but TA declined our inquiry at this time. We were told that they had bad experience with selling the old boxes. Competitors bought it and installed it on the streets again. When the alternative telco services made problems their angry customers called the wrongly addressed TA despite the new color and labels. So TA decided to scrap all retired boxes.
Some month later Enki got in contact with TA company spokesman Martin Bredl who kindly made it possible that the Metalab could pick up a donated, quite well-preserved booth that has been used also as a movie prop.
The booth is currently installed at the Metalab main room. Although quite heavy we took it to the LeiwandVille at the Chaos Computer Camp 2007 at Finowfurt near Berlin and to the HAR•2009 camp in the Netherlands.
Inside the ruggedized, coin-operated phone a normal analog telephone set is hidden. It uses only the orignal handset and numeric keypad. A SIP ATA connects it with the VoiP account of the lab that can be reached under +43 720 00 23 23. It can be used to call out as well (thanks to telgo.cc).
A cheap battery operated sensor light has been modified and complemented with a MOSFET and a relay to switch the fluorescent lamps of the booth instead of a LED. Light stops 30 sec after the last detected movement.