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Post new topic   Reply to topic  Vonage® VoIP Forum - Vonage News, Reviews And Discussion » Hard Wiring - Installation
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ZoneIII
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:35 am    Post subject: Can I use my existing hard wiring to distribute signal? Reply with quote Back to top

I ordered Vonage but when I received it I realized that I could not use it with most of the phones in my house. My wife called Vonage and got a confusing reply so we cancelled it before we even had the service up. Vonage refused to give a refund! But they did explain that the installation package that we would receive would include a converter or adapter that would allow us to use all of our existing phones via the existing hard wiring. That was fine by me but we received no such device. I was about to just send the thing back to Vonage and cancel the service but I decided to check this website first. I did not search for more info on this because I am in a hurry. My old phone service will be cut off any minute now.

Where can I get a converter or adapter to use my existing hard wiring if such a thing exists? Do I have to buy it? What is involved in the installation? It would seem to me that it should be able to plug into the hard wiring at any existing phone jack but I see info here that seems to indicate that it should be used at the outside hookup which makes no sense to me.

We have had no luck getting this information from Vonage. My wife was on the phone with them holding for two hours last night and there is no way I am going to sit on hold that long today. Between that and all the manuals I have received (I hate manuals! LOL), I am at the point where I am about to just send all this Vonage stuff back and cancel the service. But, before doing that, I decided to post this question. I would appreciate any advice anyone can provide.



Thanks.
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ZoneIII
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

BTW, I have an old house and I can disconnect from the phone company in the basement at our old-fashioned terminal strip simply by disconnecting two wires.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

ZoneIII wrote:
BTW, I have an old house and I can disconnect from the phone company in the basement at our old-fashioned terminal strip simply by disconnecting two wires.


That's all you really need to do. Just be very sure that you have done it, and the old phone company is completely disconnected from your house wiring. Then plug the Vonage adapter into one of your wall jacks using an ordinary phone cord, and you should be ready to go.

If you want to really get into the details of home wiring, you can read the "sticky" at the top of the forum, but it really isn't necessary. As long as you get the old company disconnected, you shouldn't have any trouble.

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ZoneIII
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks, Steve. I found more information about it after I made the post. There is really nothing to the disconnect, I see.

But the odd thing is that Vonage did not send us an adapter to plug into our existing house wiring and, in fact, there is no mention of such an adapter in any of the literature they sent to us with the router.

Even worse, Vonage insists that I have an ISDN line and they won't turn on service! I have never had an ISDN line and and, even if I had, it wouldn't make any difference because our existing AT&T POT phone service is going to be disconnected when (now IF) I get Vonage. For that matter, I could have both and ISDN line AND Vonage. AT&T is simply baffled by Vonage's claim that we have ISDN and Vonage just can't see to get it straight. It's very frustrating and trying to get an answer from Vonage has proved to be almost impossible. My wife was on hold for over two hours last night!
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navydavy2001
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Woah, I think our terminology here might be confusing. When we or Vonage say adapter, were not talking about a connector that makes something connect to something else. An adapter in this usage is a Phone Adapter, either a RTP-300, RT31P2, VT100, WRTP54G. That's the adapter that goes from it to the house wiring. As for the ISDN, I really stumped as to why they would even care. Are you porting a number over freom AT&T? If so, maybe they have it listed as an ISDN number? That's a wierd one.

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ZoneIII
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks Dave. Now I am really confused about just what Vonage's adapter is. I thought I could assume that it is something that plugs into either the Vonage router or my phone and then into one of my existing hard-wired phone outlets to distribute the signal throughout my house. Does anyone have a link to or a picture of the Vonage adapter. I received nothing with my Vonage installation package unless it is built into the router. But nothing is mentioned about an adapter in any of the installation information that I received.

As for Vonage thinking that I have ISDN, it really is weird. As I said, I simply have a POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) as I have always had in this house for 30 years. I was a telecommunications engineer for 30 years with AT&T / Bell Labs / Lucent Technologies so I think I would know if I had an ISDN line. LOL! But Vonage keeps insisting that I have ISDN and saying that they cannot start my service because of that (???). Not only do I have no idea where they got such an idea, but AT&T has no idea where they are getting that idea either. My line has never been ISDN and I have never been billed for an ISDN number. To make it more frustrating, Vonage won't allow service to start because of this strange idea that they somehow got. And, as you say, what would an ISDN line have to do with Vonage service anyway? It makes no sense There is no reason that I couldn't have both but I don't have ISDN anyway. Even worse, trying to convince Vonage that I don't and never had ISDN is an exercise in futility. It's like trying to talk to a robot! Even AT&T can't convince them! It's really weird. I'm almost expecting Rod Serling to step out of the shadows! LOL On the other hand, if Vonage can get this so screwed up, maybe that's a good sign that I shouldn't use their service anyway.
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ZoneIII
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I re-read your post, Dave, and I am confused. From what I can find on this site, an adapter is just what I thought it was... that is, something that plugs into an existing phone outlet to hook up Vonage to my hard-wired phone lines. I am not sure I see the distinction in your definition. Also, I have run across information on this site that says that I should have received an adapter with my installation kit and, as a matter of fact, the person we talked to when we ordered Vonage said we would get an adapter in with the kit. We didn't. And, oddly, there is no mention of all of any adapter in the installation information that we got with it nor is there any mention of hooking anything up to existing house phone wiring. In no installation drawing do they show anything plugging into an existing phone jack. Can someone link me to a picture of the adapter? Thanks.
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navydavy2001
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Here they are:

http://www.vonage.com/products_compare.php

House wiring instructions, too:

http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic8379.html

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ZoneIII
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

O.K., that make sense. The "adapter" is the Router (I wish Vonage would just say that!) But one last dumb question: Neither the instructions that you linked me to (which I have already read) nor the instructions I received from Vonage say how to hook it up. But I see that I did miss this in the instructions in your link to, "plug your Vonage Voip telephone adapter into any one of the telephone jacks." My question is, then, which jack in the adapter do use to connect to the house wiring from? I think I can assume it's just the spare (green) phone jack but I just want to verify that? In all of the installation drawings I have, there is absolutely nothing showing a telephone wire going to a telephone wall outlet. Vonage really should clean up their instructions. In fact, the Vonage guy that we talked to said that we had to use an "adapter" that plugs into the phone box OUTSIDE to use the existing house wiring. That made no sense to me at all, of coursre, but I think that's where the confusion started because that is not only wrong but it implied that there is a separate "adapter" of some sort. But that's where the confusion started. When he said that, I even asked him why I would plug something into the box outside when I could simply hook into the wiring and any inside jack but he insisted that I had to plug a special "adapter" into someting in the outside box which was really weird.

Thanks Again
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

From Vonage.com, FAQ inside my dashboard:

Home Wiring

Step By Step Home Wiring Setup

One way to use Vonage on multiple phones is to modify the existing telephone wiring in your home to distribute the Vonage service to all of your phone jacks. Then you can plug a regular telephone into any jack and make a call.

This option works best if you own your own single-family home. If you live in an apartment or a multiple-family dwelling, chances are your landlord and neighbors won't want you to mess with your building's telephone lines. It also helps if you are handy around the house and have a basic understanding of telephone wiring. It's not very difficult to modify your home phone wiring, but because you're dealing with lines that carry voltage, there's always a risk of causing a fire or damage to your phone lines and equipment. If you're not comfortable doing the work yourself, you should hire a professional electrician or telephone technician to do the job instead.

It's important to note that by modifying your telephone wiring to distribute Vonage throughout your home, you'll be totally disconnecting yourself from the phone company. But the process is completely reversible. So if you sell your house in the future, for example, you can restore your old phone configuration with minimal difficulty.

INSTRUCTIONS

STEP ONE - ISOLATE YOUR INSIDE WIRING

To re-wire your home for Vonage, you first need to isolate your inside phone wiring from the lines that come into your house from the phone company. This is a step you shouldn't skip, even if you think your phone line is already dead. If you don't isolate your inside wiring, and the phone company decides to send voltage across the line you thought was dead, it could damage the telephone equipment inside your house or worse, cause a fire.
To begin, find the box on the outside of your house where the telephone lines come into your house from the street. This is called the Network Interface Unit (NIU). It's the legal demarcation point where the outside wiring from the street (owned by the telephone company) meets the wiring inside your house (owned by you). When you open the box, which is usually locked or fastened with a screw, you will have access to the side containing the wires going into your home, but not the side with the lines coming from the street. You'll also see a ground wire coming out of the phone company's side of the box. This wire protects you against lightning strikes, so make sure you never disconnect it.
Once you've opened your side of the NIU, you'll see one or more sets of screw terminals inside. Each will have a short piece of telephone wire coming out of it with a phone connector on the end plugged into a corresponding jack. If there's only one line coming into your house, you'll most likely have only one set of screw terminals. To disconnect from the phone company, simply unplug each of the short telephone wires from its corresponding jack.
Next, you need to make it obvious to others that you've unplugged the wires on purpose and they shouldn't undo your modifications without risking damage to your inside equipment. Start by wrapping the end of each of the telephone wires you just unplugged with electrical tape so it can't be plugged back in without unwrapping the tape. Then, clearly label the inside of the box with a message that says something like: "Do not reconnect! May cause damage to inside equipment!" A sign written or printed in waterproof ink and taped inside the box works well. No matter how you choose to label the box, be sure it is obvious, clear, and easy to read.
Once you've clearly labeled the inside of the NIU, close and refasten the box. Then, just to be safe, label the outside of the box as well. To be extra safe, you can also wrap a cord or nylon tie-wrap around the box so it can't be opened without cutting it. Remember, to avoid damage, you want to make it as inconvenient as possible for someone to change what you've done without your knowledge.

STEP TWO - CONFIRM THE LINE IS DISCONNECTED


After you've isolated your wiring from the phone company's, it's important to confirm the line is disconnected before installing Vonage.
Go back into your house and pick up a phone plugged into a jack that previously worked. You should hear absolutely nothing; the line should be totally dead. If the line's not dead, go back and check your work. If your work looks correct and the line's still not dead, it means that voltage is somehow still being carried on the line and it's not safe for you to proceed any further. Consult a professional electrician or telephone technician for help.

STEP THREE - CONNECT YOUR PHONE ADAPTER


If you've successfully isolated your wiring and you've confirmed the line is dead, the hard part's over. It's time to connect to Vonage!
Simply plug your DSL/cable modem into the Vonage phone adapter. Then plug your phone adapter into any telephone jack using a standard telephone cord. Finally, plug regular phones into the other jacks in your house. Telephone jacks are wired in parallel, so when you plug your phone adapter into any working jack, it will spread the signal to the other jacks in your home.
Like any telephone line, there is a limit to the number of phones you can connect to a single Vonage line. If too many phones are connected, the signal will fade, and not all of the phones will ring when a call comes in. Therefore, we recommend you only connect five phones maximum to a single Vonage line.

Congratulations! Your home is now wired with Vonage!

Hey, you came to the right place for help, and we'll get it working. There's enough people here that have seen just about any problem you may face, so just ask when something comes up you're not sure about. As for the ISDN deal, call Vonage and ask to speak to Tier 2 support. Explain the problem to them and they should iron it out. That ISDN deal is really wierd, and I wish we could get some other input on that. Gents?Smile

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