Need extra help installing your Ooma Hub or Telo system? Let us know.
#5255 by shugrue
Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:05 pm
Once again I love this product. Looking forward to some more "Premier" enhancements.

I have a technical question with regards to the "phone" port on the back of the ooma hub.
How many phones can you piggy back on that port. I have a cordless base with two cordless handsets but would like to add an additional phone to the circuit. The additional phone is an older model wall phone for the kitchen (circa 1980). It may require more power than a modern phone especially for the bell. Yes the bell! Remember those.

I wouldn't want to overload the port with too many phones and burn it out. I know the proper way is to use the "scouts" that are connected to the "wall" port. But I don't want to do that.

Thanks in advance.

#5263 by murphy
Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:52 pm
The question is not how many phones.
The question is what is the sum of the REN numbers for the phones that you want to connect? The REN number should be on the label of the phone.
#5264 by southsound
Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:56 pm
Many folks run a number of phones from the "phone" port as you are wanting to do. The way to figure out how much power the phones use is to add up the REN's listed for each phone. A ringer equivalency number (REN) of 1 represents the loading effect of a single "traditional" telephone ringing circuit, such as that in the Western Electric Model 500 telephone - the desk style version of the one in the kitchen. Most cordless phones use substantially less power. In fact, the REN of my Uniden DECT 6 cordless is 0.0 - and I have several handsets running on it. The difference is that there is no phone line power used to ring the handsets, only to trigger the cordless phone's internal circuitry. So bottom line, you will be fine if the REN of your cordless is fairly low.
#6036 by TonyB
Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:44 pm
I currently have the provided splitter coming-off the ooma phone port two a cordless phone and to corded phone, with no issues at all.

If one wanted to do add more phones, being respectful to the REN (thank you for that info), what device is recommended? The splitter seems to handle two wonderfully, but I want to add one mabye two more...

Thanks much.
#6039 by southsound
Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:44 pm
Some folks use the "phone" port on the hub to feed their home's existing telephone wiring. If you only have oomaa and not a landline, then all you need to do is connect a cord from your splitter to an existing jack and plug the other phones into jacks around the house. If it gives interference or you are using a landline with ooma, then you can use one of the spare pairs of wires in your home wiring. Usually, there are 3 or 4 pairs behind your jack. The white/blue pair is line 1, the white/orange pair line 2, the white/green pair line 3. If your home's wiring is "daisy chained" then the wire goes from jack to jack to jack. Nothing needed except to connect an unused pair to the jack for your phone, using the same pair for all phones. If your house uses a "star" configuration, then you would go to the network interface box on the outside of your house and connect up the ends of the wires together. White/orange goes to white/orange and orange/white goes to orange/white. Make sure to insulate the connections with tape - or better yet, use "scotchlock" connectors or "beanies".
#6040 by TonyB
Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:03 pm
Thanks southsound. Good info.

I'm going to leave the existing phone line infrastructure in place just in case I need or want to return to it someday.

I recall having a hub-like device below a previous house where those various colored wires you mentioned can be stared-out to various location throughout the home. I think I'll do that. So, from the ooma hub, phone port, to this central phone hub...

Is there a max recommended REN?

Thank you for the thoughtful reply.
#6045 by southsound
Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:53 pm
I just called support and talked to a rather new person who didn't quite underastand the question at first, but after explaining it to him, he did a search of their internal knowledgebase and he said that a senior technician (Dante) had written that there was no limit to the REN. I know that this is third-hand information, and there truely must be a limit, but I would say that based on my call, there should not be a problem with 2 or 3 regular phones or even half a dozen or so cordless base stations. Again, I would check the REN of each and as long as you don't have 6 or 7 regular (mechanical bell) phones, then adding them up would not a huge number, so you should be OK.

YMMV - I hate thirdhand information. Bobby, Dennis, or Dante, care to chime in?
Last edited by southsound on Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#6046 by southsound
Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:57 pm

Just a thought - if you currently do not have a landline, just go to the network interface box and unplug the little cable (or it may be a swingout hinge) that is used to test whether a problem is with the phone company or your internal wiring. Then you have totally isolated all the jacks in your home from the telco. You can use them as I discussed and if you ever go back to a landline, all you do is plug in the cord or swing the jack closed. Most of the network boxes that use the swingout jack allow you to close the box with the jack open so no rain will get in.
#6048 by TonyB
Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:25 pm
southsound, you are most helpful, thank you!

I'm a little tight on time at the moment, but all 5 or so phones in our home have lines going to the grey telco box mounted to the exterior of our house.

I still have service from the phone company. I just installed the ooma over the weekend and I figured that I'd give it a go for a few weeks before deciding to finally break-free from the telco. It look promising thus far...

Thanks so much! Tony

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