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scottieb
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 7:54 pm    Post subject: Setup on Old 4 Prong Phone System Reply with quote Back to top

Hey everyone! I just signed up for Vonage the other day I'm trying to figure how I'm going to setup the so I can use all the phones in the house. My house was build in the '60's and have the old 4 prong system. Is there a way to convert that into an RJ11 where it comes in the house? Please help! Thanks! Scott
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The most important thing is to get your house wiring disconnected from the phone company.

After that, it's just a matter of plugging the Vonage box into one of your existing inside jacks. I'm assuming you have some way of converting between RJ11 and 4-prong, unless all your phones are from the 60's also.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You will need an RJA1X to connect your adapter to the four prong jack. Try Electronics Plus.

If you are using four prong phones you will need to check the models to determine ringer equivalency number (REN). The Bell System Memorial may be of assistance. If they use old mechanical bells you may have a problem and need to replace the ringer mechanism in the phones so that they will all ring. You may also need to make sure that the yellow wire is grounded. The easiest place to do this is in the NID.

By the way, some of the older phones are collectors items, so don't throw them away if you decide to replace them without checking out whether they are worth something.

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scottieb
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

wow, thanks for the fast responses! were not using old phones, though your right ... i bet they are worth something! Very Happy so i do obviously have some 4 prong to RJ11 convertors. i'll try to draw the diagram of my house in words ...
comes in telephone pole (soon to be disconnected physically), then splits into two lines, one of those split again into two. i then have a cable modem, wireless/router/firewall device, and now the linksys Vonage device.. where the phone lines seem to run on a smaller gauge (thicker wire) than a normal RJ11 contains. if these weren't as thick i was thinking i could just turn that into an RJ11 then hook up the linksys there. any suggestions now. i hope i'm not just confusing everyone more. THANKS! scott
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brownizs
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You can replace the old 4-prongs with standard RJ-11 with no problems. The only thing I can think of is that your house may be wired up as a Loop (Line runs room to room), not as a Star like ethernet is wired.

Problem with Loop wiring is if you loose the jack in the middle, you loose all of them after it. At least with star, you loose one jack, the rest work.
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scottieb
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

i'm not sure if it's a loop or not. i really only have 3-4 phone jacks. so if i'm not mistaking, if i want all the phones to be connected i would need to somehow connect the section where they all split into an RJ11 jack so I can then run a phone line from there into the Vonage router. is that right? i wonder if i could just put a 4 prong plug there, put on the RJ11 converter then run my line. would that work?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Your terminology wasn't clear enough in your depiction to fully answer your question.

However, if all the phones worked with the same dial tone before you disconnect from the telco, then they should all work after the disconnection.

The only caveat to this is that if you have an older style NID where you must disconnect wires from screw terminals and you have multiple cables connecting to the telco in the NID, you must splice together the wires you remove from the house side of the telco NID. Typically you would be splicing like colored wires, but in some cases you just have to be careful to splice together the wires that came off the same screws.

With newer style NIDs where you are just disconnecting the RJ-11 cable from the test port this is not an issue.

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scottieb
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

now that i think about it ... if my phones are in a "loop" couldn't i just take one of my RJ11 jacks then put a physical splitter on that and run one of those lines to the linksys and one of those to the phone. that should hook up all of the phones, right?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Yes.

Although I think loop is a bad term.

Phones were formerly connected in serial NID->Phone 1->Phone 2, and to some extent branched, like yours. Since the actual wiring was done in the jacks not having a phone wasn't the problem, the problem occurs if you disconnect wires in the jack or have a wiring problem that takes out multiple phones.

The new structured wiring (what has been called a star topology) is actually wiring in parallel. All of the phones connect to the incoming phone call at one point. A failure of the wiring for any one jack will leave the remaining jacks in service. Of course as you add new jacks into rooms and connect adapters structured wiring can become unstructured.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

This might help Vonage Home Wiring Guide.

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