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POTS and VOIP line switching/device sharing

 
 
Jeff Kowalski
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      01-02-2005
I'm looking to share a single-line phone automatically across two lines
(a VoIP line and a POTS line), and am looking for devices with this
support.

The most uncomfortable thing I find about VoIP presently is the
limitation of 911 service (http://slate.com/Default.aspx?id=2106424&).
You cannot simply dial and hang up, you must wait to leave your
location (in contrast to landline service which requires only the call
to connect). And of course if the VoIP provider, the internet, or
power are interrupted, 911 on VoIP will be unavailable. With a small
kid, guests in the house while I'm away, etc., I feel more comfortable
with a phone system that doesn't carry caveats and works as one has
come to expect when one has come to expect it to work.
Consequently, I've kept my landline, stripped of features, for the
express purpose of dialing 911.
I'm now looking for a solution which will bind my landline and my VoIP
line into one single line phone. I've got only single line phones in
my house now, and replacing them with two line phones would eliminate
the cost benefits of switching to VoIP in the first place. My second
guiding principle therefore is to not outlay more money than I'm
saving.
Here's my ideal setup: I'd connect both incoming lines to some box
which also has a single output to a telephone. When a call comes in to
either line, the phone will ring, and on pickup it'll be attached to
the active line while the other line is simultaneously placed off hook
to generate a busy signal should someone call on that other line. The
two incoming lines would operate completely symmetrically. When
placing outgoing calls, lifting the receiver should by default attach
to the land line (again busying the other VoIP line). If however, I
dial a prefix (typically something line #0), the outgoing call would
swap to VoIP and busy the landline. Power outages should affect only
the ability to select the VoIP line, although it's permitted that the
"busy the other line" function might be unavailable; in other words,
even during a power failure, I should get a straight connection from my
phone to landline for incoming and outgoing calls.
These features of the solution would permit me to make calls on VoIP
with only a small change in behavior (adding the prefix), and
importantly permit use of the landline with absolutely no change in
behavior, satisfying my initial goal.

I've found a few of these boxes, but none of them are perfect. Here's
what my research has uncovered:
1. http://www.artech.com.tw/html/english/ax520/Ax520.htm
An interesting choice. On the plus side, it approximates what I want
somewhat closely, and could be quite cheap (<$50). However, when the
power goes out, it defaults to the formerly prefixed number. In other
words, if you dial #0 to get VoIP, then when the power goes out, you
get the VoIP line by default with no prefix and can no longer get to
the landline. If you connect it the other way, then you'd get landline
during power outages automatically, but would be required to dial #0 to
get it otherwise. There's no configuration that permits you to get to
911 universally with no extra digits. Perhaps there's some hardware
hacking possible. Unfortunately, the company is in Taiwan with
distributors only in France, from what I can tell:
http://www.cazenave.fr/freebox/
http://www.boxtoo.com/
Interestingly, the French have apparently been doing this for a while.
Most of the sites I've found on this topic are in French, but maybe
because the search terms I'm using are located in the French posts.
There may be German folks, for instance who are active in the area but
using other terms, presumably German.
2.
http://natcomm.com.au/america/index....&product_id=37
Looks good, but appears to be in Australia. AUD 116 translates to
USD$90, a bit steep, and that's before shipping.
3. http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/sk...omacc/as50.htm
Good again, but man it's expensive. $200.
4. http://yellowbox.free.fr/
A build-it-yourself version, but requires a manual switch to select the
alternate line. The device will not be conveniently placed, so I've
got to have one that permits line selection from the handset.

Have any of you looked to solve the same problem? What solutions did
you investigate and what did you finally implement?


jeff

 
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Martin˛
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      01-03-2005
Draytek Vigor 2500V router has VoIP phone socket (2600V has two), which can
connect to the POTS line, and in case of power failure default to the POTS
line.


 
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Jeff Kowalski
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-03-2005
Thanks, Martin. That's a great suggestion for folks who are looking to
start from scratch and have the option to select their router. In my
case, though, I've already got a VoIP router - a Linksys PAP2, which
has only two outbound FXS ports and of course the ethernet port; no
support for incoming POTS. It was free, so I can't complain about the
lack of this specific feature I want.

What I'm looking for is something that I can attach "after" the VoIP
router to automatically switch between the FXS line and a POTS line.
Of course, the source nature of the lines doesn't matter much - I could
equally well be switching between two POTS lines.

BTW, I forgot to clearly mention in the original post: manually
operated devices won't work for me since the idea is to centrally
locate this to serve my whole house. Since the device will be
inaccessible, it's got to be automatic.

I would have thought that this application would be very common, and am
surprised that it's been so hard to find solutions in scouring the web.
Perhaps I'm one of very few out there who are looking to bind two
phone lines into a single device in this manner,

 
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p
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      01-03-2005
In article ID <(E-Mail Removed) .com>, "Jeff
Kowalski" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>I'm looking to share a single-line phone automatically across two lines
>(a VoIP line and a POTS line), and am looking for devices with this
>support.


I realize after reading your posts, that you have a locked device you want to
do this with. I am only aware of a device that does this with a POTS line and
an open BYOD provider, the Sipura 3000. Includes free service too. But, it
appears you've already done your research and came up with some devices that
might fit the bill. AAMOF, this might not even be what you are looking for at
all!

http://store.voxilla.com/customer/pr...44&cat=0&page=



The SPA-3000 features VoIP adapter functionality found in Sipura's wildly
successful SPA-2000 and SPA-1000, with the additional benefit of an integral
connection for legacy telephone network "hop-on, hop-off" applications.


SPA-3000 users will be able to leverage their broadband phone service
connections more than ever by automatically routing local calls from cell
phones and land lines to a VoIP service provider and vice versa.

A typical user calling from a land line or mobile phone can reduce - and even
eliminate - international and long distance telephone charges by first calling
their SPA-3000 via a local phone number or by using a telephone connected
directly to the unit. The advanced authentication and call routing
intelligence programmed into the SPA-3000 connects the caller via the Internet
to the far end destination with security and ease.

At the far end, calls can be answered immediately or further processed as a
local call to any legacy land line or mobile phone allowed by the SPA-3000
dial plan.

The SPA-3000 may also be used for life line applications. For example,
depending on the service provider’s set-up, callers who dial 911 can be
automatically routed via the IP or legacy telephone network.

If power is lost to the unit or the VoIP service is down, calls will still be
sent to a traditional carrier via the FXO interface. Sipura is currently
working with several service providers to further define requirements for life
line support in products such as the SPA-3000.

In addition to the hundreds of programmable features available with VoIP phone
adapter functionality, the SPA-3000 provides specific features to allow calls
to be routed to and from the FXO interface. Some of the features available on
the SPA-3000 include:


Multiple, Configurable Dial Plans Activated for Individual or Groups of Users;
Single and Dual Stage Dialing;
FXO / VoIP Line Sharing.


Bonus:

Sipura SPA-3000s purchased from Voxilla include the following:

One free month, with all activation fees waived, of any Broadvoice's unlimited
plan, including "Unlimited World Plus";

Up to 100 free calling minutes through iConnectHere;

One free month, with activation fee waived, of VoicePulse unlimited US-48
calling (US residents only, see Terms and Conditions );

Access to Voxilla's Sipura user group forums for technical support.
Quantity Discounts:


Price: $ 99.95


 
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Ivor Jones
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-03-2005
Jeff Kowalski wrote:
> I'm looking to share a single-line phone automatically across two
> lines (a VoIP line and a POTS line), and am looking for devices
> with this support.


I'm curious - is there a specific reason why you can't/won't use two
separate phones or a 2-line phone..?

Ivor


 
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Jeff Kowalski
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-03-2005
Ivor,

Good questions.

I'm not interested in buying two line phones to replace the single line
ones I have (5 of them) in the house since that would cost more than
I'm saving on switching to VoIP.

Placing pairs of single line phones around the house is what I'm
presently doing, but it's inconvenient and inelegant. Also, it doesn't
solve my problem of providing 911 emergency service "without thinking".
With separate phones as you suggest, there's a 50% probability of
picking up the wrong phone to dial 911.

Has anyone used any of the hardware devices I mentioned in this
thread's original message?

jeff

 
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Dmitri
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-03-2005
Jeff Kowalski wrote:


> What I'm looking for is something that I can attach "after"
> the VoIP
> router to automatically switch between the FXS line and a POTS line.
> Of course, the source nature of the lines doesn't matter much - I could
> equally well be switching between two POTS lines.


Hi Jeff,

If a 911 call is your concern, then a VoIP router with a fallback POTS
line will not help you much: what if someone broke into your house, but
the power is still ON? The call is still going to go through the VoIP
line.
It looks like what you need is a small PBX that can support least cost
routing, which you can program in such way that if "911" is dialed, it
hits POTS trunk, no matter what the status of the power is.

I can't really come up with a suggestion on equipment that is capable of
least cost routing, but is affordable enough for a residential install
though. Maybe a used Magix?

Good luck!


--
Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD
http://www.cabling-design.com
Cabling Forum, color codes, pinouts and other useful resources for
premises cabling users and pros
http://www.cabling-design.com/homecabling
Residential Cabling Guide
-------------------------------------



##-----------------------------------------------##
Article posted with Cabling-Design.com Newsgroup Archive
http://www.cabling-design.com/forums
no-spam read and post WWW interface to your favorite newsgroup -
comp.dcom.voice-over-ip - 1597 messages and counting!
##-----------------------------------------------##
 
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Marc H.Popek
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-03-2005
There is a <25 dollar solution called combine-a-line. It automatically
connects SINGLE line telephone gear (handset, answering machine etc) too two
lines. it can be two phone line or a phone line and a voip port. This
device will meet your needs at a fraction of two line telephones or other
bridging devices.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...4675&ssPageNam
e=STRK:MESE:IT

Marco


"Jeff Kowalski" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> I'm looking to share a single-line phone automatically across two lines
> (a VoIP line and a POTS line), and am looking for devices with this
> support.
>
> The most uncomfortable thing I find about VoIP presently is the
> limitation of 911 service (http://slate.com/Default.aspx?id=2106424&).
> You cannot simply dial and hang up, you must wait to leave your
> location (in contrast to landline service which requires only the call
> to connect). And of course if the VoIP provider, the internet, or
> power are interrupted, 911 on VoIP will be unavailable. With a small
> kid, guests in the house while I'm away, etc., I feel more comfortable
> with a phone system that doesn't carry caveats and works as one has
> come to expect when one has come to expect it to work.
> Consequently, I've kept my landline, stripped of features, for the
> express purpose of dialing 911.
> I'm now looking for a solution which will bind my landline and my VoIP
> line into one single line phone. I've got only single line phones in
> my house now, and replacing them with two line phones would eliminate
> the cost benefits of switching to VoIP in the first place. My second
> guiding principle therefore is to not outlay more money than I'm
> saving.
> Here's my ideal setup: I'd connect both incoming lines to some box
> which also has a single output to a telephone. When a call comes in to
> either line, the phone will ring, and on pickup it'll be attached to
> the active line while the other line is simultaneously placed off hook
> to generate a busy signal should someone call on that other line. The
> two incoming lines would operate completely symmetrically. When
> placing outgoing calls, lifting the receiver should by default attach
> to the land line (again busying the other VoIP line). If however, I
> dial a prefix (typically something line #0), the outgoing call would
> swap to VoIP and busy the landline. Power outages should affect only
> the ability to select the VoIP line, although it's permitted that the
> "busy the other line" function might be unavailable; in other words,
> even during a power failure, I should get a straight connection from my
> phone to landline for incoming and outgoing calls.
> These features of the solution would permit me to make calls on VoIP
> with only a small change in behavior (adding the prefix), and
> importantly permit use of the landline with absolutely no change in
> behavior, satisfying my initial goal.
>
> I've found a few of these boxes, but none of them are perfect. Here's
> what my research has uncovered:
> 1. http://www.artech.com.tw/html/english/ax520/Ax520.htm
> An interesting choice. On the plus side, it approximates what I want
> somewhat closely, and could be quite cheap (<$50). However, when the
> power goes out, it defaults to the formerly prefixed number. In other
> words, if you dial #0 to get VoIP, then when the power goes out, you
> get the VoIP line by default with no prefix and can no longer get to
> the landline. If you connect it the other way, then you'd get landline
> during power outages automatically, but would be required to dial #0 to
> get it otherwise. There's no configuration that permits you to get to
> 911 universally with no extra digits. Perhaps there's some hardware
> hacking possible. Unfortunately, the company is in Taiwan with
> distributors only in France, from what I can tell:
> http://www.cazenave.fr/freebox/
> http://www.boxtoo.com/
> Interestingly, the French have apparently been doing this for a while.
> Most of the sites I've found on this topic are in French, but maybe
> because the search terms I'm using are located in the French posts.
> There may be German folks, for instance who are active in the area but
> using other terms, presumably German.
> 2.
>

http://natcomm.com.au/america/index....d=37&product_i
d=37
> Looks good, but appears to be in Australia. AUD 116 translates to
> USD$90, a bit steep, and that's before shipping.
> 3. http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/sk...omacc/as50.htm
> Good again, but man it's expensive. $200.
> 4. http://yellowbox.free.fr/
> A build-it-yourself version, but requires a manual switch to select the
> alternate line. The device will not be conveniently placed, so I've
> got to have one that permits line selection from the handset.
>
> Have any of you looked to solve the same problem? What solutions did
> you investigate and what did you finally implement?
>
>
> jeff
>



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Dmitri
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-03-2005
Marc H.Popek wrote:

> There is a <25 dollar solution called combine-a-line. It
> automatically
> connects SINGLE line telephone gear (handset, answering machine etc)
> too two
> lines. it can be two phone line or a phone line and a voip port. This
> device will meet your needs at a fraction of two line telephones or
> other
> bridging devices.


> http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...4675&ssPageNam
> e=STRK:MESE:IT


> Marco


How do you control which line is picked up first? The device isnt' going
to know that 911 call should go to line "2" all the time, is it?


--
Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD
http://www.cabling-design.com
Cabling Forum, color codes, pinouts and other useful resources for
premises cabling users and pros
http://www.cabling-design.com/homecabling
Residential Cabling Guide
-------------------------------------



##-----------------------------------------------##
Article posted with Cabling-Design.com Newsgroup Archive
http://www.cabling-design.com/forums
no-spam read and post WWW interface to your favorite newsgroup -
comp.dcom.voice-over-ip - 1606 messages and counting!
##-----------------------------------------------##
 
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Jeff Kowalski
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      01-04-2005
Thanks for the reply, Marc. In fact, I've seen you've often taken the
opportunity to promote this device you sell. It appears that outgoing
call paths are manually selected, however, which doesn't suit my
purposes at all as you'll see from the original and follow-up posts.
jeff

 
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