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Phones - John C. Kirk

Jan. 12th, 2007

07:32 pm - Phones

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Here's a question for anyone who knows more about phones than I do: which adapters should I use to connect a "normal" (landline) phone to the BT master socket via structured cabling?

At the moment, I have solid Cat6 cable running through the walls/floor of my flat to various wall sockets, all terminating in a patch panel (in a rack) in my lounge. This patch panel is conveniently located next to the BT master socket, so I have my phone and ADSL router plugged into that via a micro-filter. I also have a second phone, which I'm not currently using, and I'd like to set this up in my bedroom, but I'd prefer not to have a long extension lead trailing down the hallway. (I normally use my mobile phone if I need to call someone while I'm in front of my PC, but I'm about to switch over from contract to PAYG, so I'll lose my free minutes, and I think that the cost of extra cables/adapters will be outweighed by the savings on calls.)

My basic idea is that the phone will plug into an adapter (BT->RJ45), and then the adapter will plug into the RJ45 wall socket. From there, the solid cable runs to the patch panel, then I'll have a patch cable (RJ45<->RJ45) going into another adapter (RJ45->BT), and that adapter will plug into the BT socket. (To be more precise, the second adapter will go into an N-way splitter, then the splitter will go into the micro-filter, and the micro-filter will go into the master socket, but that leg of the journey is all operational already, so I'm not worried about that.)

I've been looking at the adapters at Reveal, and they seem as if they'll do the job, but I don't want to waste money by ordering the wrong one. I'm not using a PABX, so I'm guessing that I'll want a "PSTN Full Master" adapter at the phone end (AA1193) and AA1824 at the master socket end. I am surprised that the latter is so much more expensive than the rest, but I assume that there's a valid reason for that; all of their prices seem significantly cheaper than Maplin, so I'm not too bothered.

The confusing bit comes when I read through their FAQ pages, since they seem to suggest different approaches. The FAQ for AA1193 (2nd question) says that you should use AA1193 and AA1824 together, as per my plan above. However, the FAQ for AA1824 says that if you're using a patch panel then you should use a secondary adapter (AA1192) at the other end. Mind you, it also says that you can use this product (AA1824) with a master adapter, but it doesn't specify whether that's a PABX or PSTN master.

Anyway, I can try contacting their sales team for advice, but if anyone else can offer suggestions then I'd be happy to hear them.

In the long run, I will probably look at some kind of VOIP solution, and I've been reading up on Cisco IP phones (for work), but for now I'll just stick with the equipment I've got.

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From:susannahf
Date:January 12th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
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My immediate response to this is "do you really need this?" - it seems like an unnecessarily complicated (and possibly expensive) solution to the problem. How thick is the wall between your lounge and your bedroom - could you just drill a hole through it for the extension cable (or use one of the current holes and run it next to the cat6)? Or properly mount the cable going through the hallway - if you run it along the top of the skirting or the top of the wall it won't be visible.
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From:johnckirk
Date:January 12th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
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It shouldn't be too expensive to do it this way (those two adaptors I mentioned cost £13.58 altogether, including VAT/delivery), and if I bought a sufficiently long phone extension lead (I'd probably need 10m) then I'd have to pay for that.

Digging through Usenet, I saw one person who suggested getting a short phone extension lead, chopping it in half, then wiring RJ45 jacks onto the two severed ends - this would be a bit cheaper (if I could borrow the relevant tools from someone), but it would also be a bit more fiddly to make sure that all the pins match up properly.

The wall between bedroom/lounge is about 1 foot thick (with an air gap in the middle). The existing cables run under the floorboards, then come up in the middle of the wall and go into the wall box that was put there (by making a hole in the wall), so it wouldn't be easy to run an extra one through there. Beyond that, it would bother me on an aesthetic level to have dedicated cabling as a permanent installation, so I'd rather just leave something trailing on the floor and sort it out later :)
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[User Picture]
From:elvum
Date:January 13th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC)
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Having paid to have dedicated voice/data cabling installed throughout your flat, it does seem a *trifle* silly to then run a separate extension cable for the phone. Unless that would be significantly cheaper, of course. :-)
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From:sammoore
Date:January 12th, 2007 08:22 pm (UTC)
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A cheap cordless digital phone?
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From:johnckirk
Date:January 12th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
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If I bought the two adapters I'm thinking about from that company, it would cost me £13.58 altogether (including VAT and delivery). I'd be surprised if I could get a cordless phone for any cheaper than that, but I'd certainly consider it as an option if you know of any.
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[User Picture]
From:sammoore
Date:January 12th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
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Ebay?
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From:susannahf
Date:January 12th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
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Argos

We have this one, which is quite adequate and costs £12.07.
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From:elvum
Date:January 13th, 2007 02:02 pm (UTC)
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Is it DECT? If not, I wouldn't call your bank from it...
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From:susannahf
Date:January 13th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
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yes
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