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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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clindst
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:57 pm    Post subject: Hard Wiring: What should I disconnect? (PHOTOS) Reply with quote Back to top

I have just moved to a house that was built in 1999. Attached are 2 pics of the telephone box. I want to use my linksys router's telephone adapter to wire my entire house with the existing wiring. Currently when I pick up my phone I get no dial tone but i hear tones when I press buttons. When I open that hinged plastic piece in the phone box my phone no longer has tones when I press buttons. I noticed that there are two CAT3 lines going to that phone terminal in the box. Why are there two attached to the same terminal? What should I do to isolate my house wiring from the phone company other than simply leaving that hinged plastic piece disconnected? I read the tutorial but my box seems to be a little different. Can I just unscrew the two wires and cover them with electrical tape? Thanks!

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Yaztromo
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:13 pm    Post subject: Some things to try. Reply with quote Back to top

First off, I'm not a professional phone equipment installer. I wired up my parents new house when they moved in two years ago (as their phone company has a policy of charging a huge fee for such service -- so much so that they themselves suggest you do the wiring yourself!), and worked for an ISP before the days of rack mounted modems where I worked on several projects in tandem with professional telephone wiring people, and lent a hand here and there while otherwise supervising them. So while I like to think I know what I am doing, I'm hardly an expert. So if in doubt, consult one Smile.

Okay -- that out of the way, I haven't seen a phone box like yours before, however it is very similar to other ones I have worked with. As with other boxes the phone company provides, it has two sides: the phone company side (on the left), which has the wiring coming from their lines to your home, and the customer side, which is on the right. The two screw terminals are where the service comes into your home.

Before you do anything else, note that when you have the wires plugged in you are able to get the touch tone buttons to work. Assuming you're not using a cordless phone, or a phone with its own power (which, as you don't get touch tone when they're unplugged, should be a safe assumption on my part), your phone is getting power from the phone company. This is important, as you don't want this (your Vonage router will provide power to your phones through the lines for you).

Thus, the first thing you want to do is to disconnect these two pairs of wires. This will allow you to close up the plastic box, which you can now ignore.

As for having only two wires, how many phones do you have in your home? My guess is that either a) you have two phones, or b) you have more than two phones, and one (or both) of these lines is set-up in serial (that is, each line might service more than one phone by chaining them together).

Either way, what you probably want to do is get out a soldering iron and solder the wires together (i.e.: blue with blue, and blue-white with blue-white). Then tape them together to ensure you don't short them together by accident.

From there, you should be able to connect your Vonage router as per the directions Vonage provides. You'll be isolated from the phone service, and can just plug the telephone connection in your router to any phone jack in your home. Be sure to test all the phones once you've done this, to ensure they're all working.

There is also an outside possibility that one or both of the wires is going to a secondary home distrubution panel somewhere in your home. It might be worth your while following these wires as far as you can without digging through walls or ceilings just to see if this is the case. If nothing else, you'lll know a bit more about your phone system in this way should you ever need to expand it in the future.

I hope this helps!

Yaz.
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clindst
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You asked how many phones I have... I just moved in. I have no phones connected. Obviously I have a ton of jacks in the house to connect phones. I was thinking that maybe one of the CAT3 lines services one side of the house and the other services the other side of the house in serial. Since they use the same color coding I am assuming the house is only setup for one line right now. So that is the only conclusion i can come to. I can't find my soldering iron right now, is there any other way i can keep those wires bonded together?

Also, can I put a splitter on the jack that I am plugging my phone adapter into so I can have both the router and a fax machine going into the same phone jack? I know i can do this with a normal jack but i was wondering if it mattered for the jack that is supplying the phone service? THANKS!
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Yaztromo
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

clindst wrote:
You asked how many phones I have... I just moved in. I have no phones connected. Obviously I have a ton of jacks in the house to connect phones. I was thinking that maybe one of the CAT3 lines services one side of the house and the other services the other side of the house in serial. Since they use the same color coding I am assuming the house is only setup for one line right now. So that is the only conclusion i can come to.


Yes, it appears that way. If you need to add other lines and have them distributed throughout the house, you can use another wire pair out of the CAT3 cable to connect them up.

clindst wrote:
I can't find my soldering iron right now, is there any other way i can keep those wires bonded together?


Twisting them together into a rat-tail splice and taping them will work in a pinch, but shouldn't be used as a long-term solution. You can also use a rat-tail splice with some really small marrette connectors, if you can find some small enough. I wouldn't use either solution as a long-term solution, as it can introduce noise into your lines (expansion and contraction due to changes in termerature are enough to cause connectivity problems without solder binding the wires together).

Mind you, the best solution would be to get yourself a small phone patch panel, and the tool for plugging in the wires. These use a tight friction hold, and make working with the phone system quite a bit easier, but can be costly, and probably aren't needed in your situation.

clindst wrote:
Also, can I put a splitter on the jack that I am plugging my phone adapter into so I can have both the router and a fax machine going into the same phone jack? I know i can do this with a normal jack but i was wondering if it mattered for the jack that is supplying the phone service? THANKS!


This shouldn't be a problem at all. You can also plug the splitter into the router itself, with one side going to the fax and the other to the distribution jack. Whichever works better for you should work just fine.

HTH!

Yaz.
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Steve48
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Clindst, I agree with the excellent council that you've already gotten. Those two cables almost certainly each service a number of different jacks in your house. I'll just add that you can buy crimp-on fasteners intended to keep wires like your together and also insulate them. Leviton, for example, makes them, and you can get them at places like Lowe's and Home Depot.

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