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Q: VoIP House Wiring ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: VoIP House Wiring
Category: Computers
Asked by: mikep2525-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 29 Mar 2004 10:37 PST
Expires: 28 Apr 2004 11:37 PDT
Question ID: 321781
I have VoIP through Vonage.  Right now I have it directly connected to
only my main phone. How do I connect this service to my entire house
phone wiring so that all phones can connect?  Mike P.

Request for Question Clarification by aht-ga on 29 Mar 2004 12:03 PST
What type of broadband service do you have? ie. cable, DSL, EV-DO,
etc. If you have cable, and have disconnected your telephone service,
then there is a solution available. If you still have either local
phone service or DSL from your local telephone company, then this will
be more difficult.

Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by mikep2525-ga on 29 Mar 2004 13:06 PST
I do have cable broadband and I have disconnected local telephone service.
Subject: Re: VoIP House Wiring
Answered By: aht-ga on 29 Mar 2004 18:40 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

To answer your question I will first refer you to this excerpt from Vonage's FAQ:


"Can I use multiple phones with the phone adapter? 

There are four ways to plug multiple extensions into your ATA. Please
note that currently only phone port 1 is used by our service.

You can purchase a multiple jack extension connector, and then connect
it to phone port 1 of the ATA. This will allow you to have multiple
phones on a single Vonage DigitalVoice line.

Some of our customers use cordless phone systems that come with a base
unit and extra handsets. The base station of the cordless telephone
plugs directly into the ATA. Multiple handsets can be placed anywhere
in the house.

You can purchase wireless phone jacks. The base unit connects to the
ATA and the wireless jacks plug into your household electrical
outlets. A telephone connects to the wireless jack. Please note that
only the phone attached to the base unit will display caller id
information. Also, during testing in our lab, we noticed sporadic
dropped calls on the extension phones and an inability to talk on more
than one phone at a time.

Some Vonage DigitalVoice customers have plugged the ATA directly into
the existing telephone wiring in their homes.

The manufacturer (Cisco) of the adapter does not recommend hooking
anything to the adaptor other than a telephone, but you can seek
advice from an electrician or someone who is familiar with internal
telephone wiring on how to best connect it to your current wiring to
take advantage of multiple extensions. We would advice that you
pre-check the wiring on the jacks to make sure you don't have live
PSTN voltage on the jacks before connecting them to the ATA (this can
be easily done by using a line tester such as those that are available
at Radio Shack). Be advised that any damage resulting from practices
contrary to manufacturers recommendations for the ATA will not be
covered by warranty.


(Vonage has recently switched to a Motorola supplied ATA, but the
information is still valid)

Now, please note that unless you are very familiar with residential
telephone wiring techniques, you may wish to get a telecom specialist
to help you with the last option. In this option, it is necessary to
check, double-check, and triple-check that your in-home wiring is
completely separated from the telephone company's wiring that leads to
the junction box/demarcation point for your home, before attempting to
connect the ATA to your home's wiring. Failure to confirm that the
wiring is disconnected *WILL* destroy your ATA.

I should also take this opportunity to remind you to review the Google
Answers disclaimer, and that ultimately you should seek the advice of
a local electrician or telecom specialist before performing any of the
steps below, since neither myself nor Google Answers are liable should
you damage your equipment.

The steps that the electrician or telecom specialist would need to
take (or you, if you feel that you are familiar enough with telephone
wiring techniques) are:

- unplug all telephones and other devices from all telephone jacks in the home
- open up the junction box (often located outside your home)
- disconnect each of the telephone company's lines from the
terminating blocks, wrapping each wire end with electrical tape for
- ensure that all of the wires for each extension line leading into
the home are secured to the terminating blocks
- use indelible ink on a sheet of PVC sheet to write: "DO NOT
and attach the sheet securely inside the box in case a telco
technician comes by unannounced one day
- use a multimeter to check for voltage across any of the four
terminals for the in-home wiring (there shouldn't be anything greater
than 1 VDC. If there is, something else is already pumping power into
your in-home wiring)
- close the junction box, and secure it with wire or cable ties
- back in the home, use a standard telephone patch cable to connect a
telephone to an extension wall jack
- using another standard telephone patch cable, connect the ATA to
another telephone wall jack
- pick up the telephone handset that you plugged into the extension,
listen for a ringtone
- if you hear a ringtone, you may proceed to plug your other phones
back into their respective wall jacks

NOTE: The ATA's telephone jack output power was only designed for one
phone. Using multiple handsets simultaneously (ie. several people
picking up handsets for the same call) may degrade the audio signal;
if this happens, hang up some of the extensions.

I hope this helps,

Google Answers Researcher
mikep2525-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.00
Great! Did the job.  Simple straight forward answer that I've been
searching for on my own for several weeks.

Subject: Re: VoIP House Wiring
From: ericsr-ga on 29 Mar 2004 16:26 PST
You can only have the ATA connected to one phone. Purchase a cordless
phone system that allows for multiple handsets. This is how I have had
mine configured for almost a year.
Subject: Re: VoIP House Wiring
From: iluv2fish-ga on 29 Mar 2004 17:11 PST
It will be the same cable as your TV uses. The newer cable is RG6
where the older one is RG69. Either will work.
When getting VOip it is best to check with you cable company and check
the Up and down. This will often tell what condition your cable is in.
Ideally, you want to have a 42 - up and a 0 - down. The up should be
between 30-50 and the down should be +/- 7 .
When getting voip, the signal is most important. If the cable in the
house can be replaced with new cable (rg6) you will have few problems
for years to come. Also make sure the ground block and the connectors
are changed with new ones too. The wire from the pole to the house
(the drop) should also be replaced. These cables do not need replaced
unless they they have been around for years.
Weather, humidity, heat, and cold can all effect the signal. The newer
the cable and connectors, the fewer problems you will have.
The cable company will not pay for new cables in the house, but may
replace the drop if it is in bad shape.
Cable companies are gearing up for this VOIP and shortly the new rage
will be picture phones using the VOIP technology.
Hope this helps
Subject: Re: VoIP House Wiring
From: occy2004-ga on 30 Mar 2004 15:34 PST
Subject: Re: VoIP House Wiring
From: teddycaddydotcom-ga on 02 Apr 2004 19:13 PST
This is what I did:

I went to the box where the phone line comes into the house.  Every
phone jack in my house is wired to the box where it all connects to
the outside world.  I have no phone service, but we all get 911
service for free.  So I have one analog line coming in my house that
is from the Baby Bell phone provider.  This 911 line is connected to
line two (Green and Red are line one, Black and Yellow are line two). 
Line one has nothing on it, but every jack in the house is still
connected to each other.

I plug my ATA device into any phone jack and every phone jack in the
house works.  Line one is the VoIP line.  Line two is the emergency
911 line.  Pretty simple, unless you cannot access the junction box.

I remember the order of the color of the phones wire (Green, Red,
Black, Yellow) by thinking about the word GRuBbY.  If you deal with
the phone wiring, you will get dirty.  So it is easy to associate the
word grubby with it.

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