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crazeemee
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:40 pm    Post subject: Eeep! Plugless NIU + multiple phones + Condo-like Unit Reply with quote Back to top

Hello all,

I am super-excited to break my ties with the overly expensive phone company! Vonage fits my family's communication needs perfectly.

While awaiting the arrival of our shiny new (okay, refurbished) phone adapter, I decided to ascertain an overview of my potential installation situation.

Folks, it does not look good.

Problem #1
The Home Wiring and Installation Guide describes a new kind of Network Interface Unit:

Quote:
This particular Network Interface Unit uses a "Customer Bridge Module" for each line, which has a standard telephone jack for test purposes but no plug!
-snip-
And then there is another problem with the particular modules shown here — on the cover of each module you can read the words, "CONTAINS HALF-RINGER", which means the module contains a "dummy" load equivalent to one half of a standard telephone ringer (this "dummy" load allows the phone company to do a line test even when no telephones are connected to the line).


My house was built only 4 years ago. Take a gander at my NIU:


New NIU


Dreaded Plugless Module with their damnèd half-ringers - Closed


Plugless Module - Open

It's hard to see in the last picture, but only ONE wire is connected to each of the two screw terminals. The rest of those colorful wires have their ends cut. They just dangle there.

I opened each of the three terminals. Only #1 has wires connected to it. The other two just have screw terminals.

Problem #2

We have multiple phones on multiple floors. One of our phones will be on the same floor as the phone adapter & DSL modem. Another phone is an auxiliary of this phone, so that one would also be connected. But the remaining two phones upstairs are plugged into separate jacks in the bedrooms. This is why I wanted to take the NIU-disconnect option. Technically, we could just scrap this system and buy more cordless auxiliary phones , but we're getting Vonage to SAVE money, not spend it! Wink

Problem #3

We live in a condo-like unit. They are technically condominiums, but not in the traditional sense. We own this house. We have our own separate NIU: our wires go through one hole the wall towards our basement; the neighbor's wires from his NIU go through another hole in the opposite direction. Essentially, they are like row homes: physically connected but separate units.

In the Home Wiring Guide, it suggests I do this:

Quote:
So, should you be so unfortunate as to have one of these types of "plugless" Network Interface Units, we recommend that you disconnect the inside wiring from the screw terminals completely. If there is only one wire under each screw, then just snip the bare copper end off each wire (so the wire is completely insulated) and leave the wires hanging in the box, unconnected.


Should I just cut the wires? What do I do if we resell the house?

Should I leave everything alone? Cave in and buy more phones? More phone adapters? Is switching to Voip even worth it?

I would appreciate any and all pointers. Thank you very much.

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Current Provider: Verizon Phone & DSL
PC #1 is hard wired by ethernet
PC #2 has wireless
Both PCs connect through Linksys WRT54G2v1
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DLevenson
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

It depends upon how your broadband enters your premises.

If it's a cable-modem, just snip the blue/white pair of wires where they attach to the screws on your NIU. Cut it as close as possible to the screw terminals, so that you are leaving enough slack to allow someone to re-connect them some day.

If it's DSL delivered over your phone line, snip the blue/white pair of wires as described above, but then connect the orange/white pair to the same terminals. Then, plug your DSL modem into the second pair at one of your jacks. The easiest way to do this is to use the L2 jack of a modular triplex adaptor. A neater-looking but more labor-intensive way is to re-wire the jack, providing access to the second line on the pins normally used by the first pair.

Either way, make sure you leave no bare wire on the snipped ends of the blue/white pair. You then connect the RJ-11 jack on your Vonage device to the first pair in the nearest phone jack. You can use the L1 position of the triplex adaptor, or if you don't use a triplex adaptor, use an ordinary two-jack splitter, so you can use a telephone set at the site of your Vonage device.

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crazeemee
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I have DSL through my phone line.

To clarify, are you are suggesting:
1. Cutting the connected blue & white lines
2. Connect the orange/white pair to the same terminals. Why is this necessary? I just want to better understand everything.
3. "Plug your DSL modem into the second pair at one of your jacks..." Plug the DSL modem where? I think you are telling me to plug the DSL modem in any phone jack in my house, correct? Because upon plugging in the new pair, the DSL modem will get its data through the orange/white ones?


Modular triplex adapter - like this thing? Do these simply "split" the phone line connection for multiple phone devices in the same jack?

Quote:
Either way, make sure you leave no bare wire on the snipped ends of the blue/white pair.


How do I do that? Should I cover it with something like electrical tape?

Final connections:
Phone jack on Vonage Phone Adapter -> Nearest phone jack via Modular triplex adapter - L1

Sorry if this seems redundant or simplistic ... I'm a hopeless newbie at this.

UPDATE: I was told by Vonage to switch to Stand-Alone DSL (disconnect phone service but keep DSL from Verizon). Would this change my wiring configuration?
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DLevenson
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

crazeemee wrote:
I have DSL through my phone line.

To clarify, are you are suggesting:
1. Cutting the connected blue & white lines
2. Connect the orange/white pair to the same terminals. Why is this necessary? I just want to better understand everything.

Your house wiring is normally designed to distribute two telephone lines to each of your indoor jacks. The two lines are designated line 1 and line 2. The blue/white wire pair distributes line 1; the orange/white wire pair distributes line 2. If you have only one incoming line from your telco, it will be connected to blue/white (line 1) leaving the orange/white pair (line 2) disconnected. (If you have two lines, the second one is connected to the orange/white wire pair at the NIU.) Two-line phones are designed to plug into both pairs in your modular jacks. Single-line phones connect only to line 1.

I am recommending that you use the orange/white wire pair, line 2, to distribute the DSL signal from your NIU to your house jacks. You can then use the blue/white pair, line 1, to distribute your Vonage service throughout your house. Disconnecting this pair at the NIU prevents distributing the Vonage service out of your house, through the NIU, to your old telco.

3. "Plug your DSL modem into the second pair at one of your jacks..." Plug the DSL modem where? I think you are telling me to plug the DSL modem in any phone jack in my house, correct? Because upon plugging in the new pair, the DSL modem will get its data through the orange/white ones?

I am recommending that you plug a triplex adapter (exactly like the one pictured in the link you quoted!) into one of your jacks. This adapter separates line 1 and line 2 into two modular jacks. (It also gives you a third jack which carries both lines, for a two-line phone.) Plug your DSL modem into the L2 jack on the adapter. It should then connect with the orange/white pair (which you will have connected to your telco line at the NIU).

Plug a modular cord into the phone 1 jack on your Vonage device. Plug the other end of that modular cord into the L1 jack on the triplex adapter. This will connect the Vonage dial tone to the blue/white pair in your house, making it available to any single-line telephones plugged in to any of your house jacks. If you want to plug a telephone in at the same jack where the Vonage device is plugged in, you can use the third jack on the adapter (labeled L1+l2).

Modular triplex adapter - like this thing? Do these simply "split" the phone line connection for multiple phone devices in the same jack?

Yes (see longer explanation above).

Quote:
Either way, make sure you leave no bare wire on the snipped ends of the blue/white pair.


How do I do that? Should I cover it with something like electrical tape?

If you snip the wire short of the screw-terminals in the NIU, you'll probably leave the ends covered by insulation. Cut off any bare copper wire. That is probably safe, but if you're paranoid, wrapping the ends with electrical tape won't hurt! The intent is to keep the Vonage dial tone on this pair from shorting to anything else in the NIU.

Final connections:
Phone jack on Vonage Phone Adapter -> Nearest phone jack via Modular triplex adapter - L1

Sorry if this seems redundant or simplistic ... I'm a hopeless newbie at this.

UPDATE: I was told by Vonage to switch to Stand-Alone DSL (disconnect phone service but keep DSL from Verizon). Would this change my wiring configuration?


This is exactly what I would expect you to do. Keep the DSL on line (which you will have re-wired to line 2) and have the dial tone removed from this line (having ported the number to Vonage if you want to keep the same number).

Note: If this sounds too complicated, Vonage offers "professional installation" if you ask for it. They will send a technician to your house who will do what I described above. The technician will also afix a sticker to your NIU warning anyone who subsequently opens it to avoid connecting the blue/white pair to the telco line without first disconnecting the Vonage device. I'm not sure what/if they charge for this service.

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crazeemee
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thank you so much, Mr. Levenson. I'll try to heed your suggestions...or break down and get Vonage professionally installed.
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