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kgg69
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Joined: Jan 28, 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:58 am    Post subject: Multi-port phone adapters? Reply with quote Back to top

I'm thinking of Vonage, but want to make it as practical and easy as possible. Here's what I'm considering in planning a rewiring of my house (replacing old wiring and putting in Cat 5 or 6 to each room):

I have two options:

Option 1
(In hub location)
Cable modem --> Router
Router --> Cat 5 or 6 lines to each room (internet)
Router --> Phone adapter --> Cat 5 or 6 line to each room (phone)

This would entail about nine total phone line connections. Is there a phone adapter supported by Vonage I could use which supports nine connections? I could conceivably go with two of them if there's a six port model.

Option 2

(In hub location)
Cable modem --> Router
Router --> Two Cat 5 or 6 lines to each room
(In each room)
Internet line --> Phone adapter --> Phone

This would entail buying at least three phone adapters if I wanted to use three phones in the house, but would reduce wiring requirements.

Option 2 is cheaper, but option 1 more scalable if there exists a phone adapter which supports the system.

Also I can connect option 1 to a UPS and keep the phone working in the event of a power outage.

Thanks and I'm looking forward to feedback if anybody has any.
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tglea
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Honestly, you are over complicating things a bit. Vonage only offers adapters with 2 ports maximum. However, those are to be used with two different lines if you would want 2 lines. So, basically you need to connect a line from port 1 of your phone adapter to the rest of your house wiring. The best way is your option 1 and using a punch down block for all of your phone lines. Also, if you will already have cat5 in the rooms for internet, you can run cat3 for your phone lines. That would save you some cost. Another option would be to only run one or two phone lines to locations in your house and then buy a good expandable cordless system.

The following is taken directly from the Vonage website and it describes the recommendations for whole house wiring. I'm sure they are on the conservative side but because of voltage, there are limitations to the amount of hard wired phones you can use with your adapter. So it may be better to go with expandable phone systems rather than hard wiring 9 phones.

FAQ - Number of Phones Supported and Vonage Range per Line
The number of phones a Vonage customer can have in their home is based on a factor called Ring Equivalence Number (REN). Technically speaking, REN denotes the amount of load a telephone ringer has on the line.

Most telephones have a REN number based on their design. This number can usually be found on the bottom of the phone. Vonage supports 5 REN per line. The total sum of the individual phone REN numbers must add up to 5 or less per line.

When using home wiring, Vonage supports up to 1000 feet of wiring per line.

Let me know if you have more specific questions. Hope this helped.

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Vonage: V-Portal
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kgg69
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Excellent advice!

Okay, here's a revised option:

(In hub location)
Cable modem --> Router
Router --> Cat 5 or 6 lines to each room (internet)
Router --> Phone adapter --> Punch down box --> Cat 5 or 6 line to each FLOOR (phone) (three total)

I like the Vonage adapter and it's portable feature, so I might connect it to one of the ethernet ports in the house and also use it for travel while keeping a stationary one in the hub.

I still like running Cat 5 if practical for the better fidelity / less electrical interference. How well does Voip work over Cat 3? Any appreciable difference?

Now, here's a question: are there any caveats to the punch down box system? It's a reasonably low-tech device but are there any particular gotchas or will standard wiring do the trick?
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tglea
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Joined: Nov 22, 2006
Posts: 433
Location: Nebraska

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

kgg69 wrote:
Okay, here's a revised option:

(In hub location)
Cable modem --> Router
Router --> Cat 5 or 6 lines to each room (internet)
Router --> Phone adapter --> Punch down box --> Cat 5 or 6 line to each FLOOR (phone) (three total)

That looks like a good plan! Then I assume you would use a expandable cordless system.

kgg69 wrote:
I like the Vonage adapter and it's portable feature, so I might connect it to one of the ethernet ports in the house and also use it for travel while keeping a stationary one in the hub.

If I understand you correctly, you want to have two adapters. One that is permanent in your house and the other to travel with. Keep in mind though that you can only have a line active on one adapter at a time. You can easily switch back and forth to different adapters via the online account but you can't have both active with the same number at the same time. So if you still need phone service at your house while you are travelling, you will be in a bind. Unless you pay for two lines and have one line active on each device but I don't think that is what your were aiming for.

kgg69 wrote:
I still like running Cat 5 if practical for the better fidelity / less electrical interference. How well does Voip work over Cat 3? Any appreciable difference?

With the popularity of Cat5 these days, you may find the price difference isn't much so maybe you should just run the Cat5. The difference is that cat3 has 2 pairs of wires, whereas Cat5 has 4 pairs of wires. However the actual single wires inside the sheathing are the same. They both use 24 gauge wires. A phone line only uses 1 pair of wire per line so with cat5 you would have 3 pairs not doing anything unless you wanted to have multiple lines at a jack. Although, if you have the cat5 at a location, you have the option in the future to change it to a 100Mbps ethernet jack.

kgg69 wrote:
Now, here's a question: are there any caveats to the punch down box system? It's a reasonably low-tech device but are there any particular gotchas or will standard wiring do the trick?

The punchdown block, although the most professional and reliable option, may be a little overboard for 3 phone lines. You could get by with using crimp connectors or simply twisting the wires and taping them. You do need a special punch down tool to seat the wires into the block. You can buy it wherever you buy the block. There are two styles though, 66 and 110. Some tools come with only one of the tips and not both. Make sure you get a tool with the proper tip to use with the block that you buy. Personally, I prefer the 110 style block. You can buy them specifically for phone use and it's like a little circuit board with all of the wire locations labeled and color coded. If you are a novice, the best advice is to leave enough extra wire at both ends in case you have to rewire something a couple times to get it right.

Maybe this is too much info, but I'm just trying to get you off on the right foot. Also, you asked about a UPS in your original post and yeah its a good idea to use one. Specially if you are in a place that is prone to power outages.

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Router: D-Link DI-624
Vonage: V-Portal
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Steve48
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Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 4777

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

One thing to be aware of is that there appears to be an issue with the new V-portal adapter and home wiring. Check out the hard wiring forum to see that discussion. http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic21722.html

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Orlando, FL
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kgg69
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Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The V-portal problem is an interesting one, and applies to my situation. I'm going to monitor his problem and adjust accordingly.

Here's another question: how does Vonage do with plug-in telephone line splitters? The standard plug-into-one-jack-and-make-it-two type?

A possible escape clause I could do would be to have multiple drops for different rooms present at the phone adapter and only plug in a couple of them for the particular places I want phones working. It's more expensive but more scalable, flexible and potentially a better resale feature.

Thank you for your time and trouble. I'll continue to monitor the V-portal issue.
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Steve48
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Line splitters work fine.

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Steve Gray
Orlando, FL
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