Need extra help installing your Ooma Hub or Telo system? Let us know.
#109234 by Sounge
Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:24 pm
Hello,

I recently purchased the Ooma Telo and wanted to figure out if/how I can connect my alarm system. I did a lot of research and had an idea:

1) Purchase the Linx and hook the alarm unit straight into the Linx

However, the issue is that my alarm unit has an RJ31x coming out of it, so I can't plug the alarm unit directly into the Linx. I have a "hub" of sorts in my garage where all my house cables are centralized at. In the current configuration (when I had a landline), the Alarm RJ31x cable is going into this 'hub', into the soocket labeled RJ31x. There is another socket for Telco In, and then there are a bunch of Telephone OUT sockets that are going to different points in the house.

All the non-RJ31x sockets in this 'hub' are Ethernet/RJ45 sockets, not RJ11. My idea was to keep the Alarm plugged in the RJ31x socket of this hub, disconnect the Telco In line (which is Ethernet/RJ45 type) and have a wire going from the Linx's phone connection (RJ11) into one of the Telephone OUT sockets in the hub. The problem is that the Telephone OUT sockets are all RJ45/Ethernet as well.

What would you recommend I do in this situation? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
#109238 by EX Bell
Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:38 pm
Try plugging a standard RJ11 into the middle of the RJ45 and see if you get a dial tone. They do fit and you will get continuity on all four connectors. I have done this with an ethernet tester to check continuity of custom wiring I did for a phone line of one of my Ooma customers in a condo. If you happen to have a two line phone for testing, that's better because the alarm system is probably connected to what would normally be a second line. You may not get a dial tone with a single line phone.

On an RJ11 the Red and Green used by the telco for the line 1 will be the two center pins. This corresponds to pins 4 & 5 in an RJ45 jack. The two outer pins of an RJ11 used by the telco for line 2 are the Black and Yellow wires. They correspond to pins 3 & 6 in an RJ45 jack.

Once you determine which pins of the RJ45 from the telco are in use by alarm system, then you can make a simple adapter with an ethernet patch cable and an RJ11 surface mount jack. Cut off one end of the ethernet patch cable and wire the appropriate pins in the RJ45 plug to the Red and Green pins of the RJ11 jack. The Ooma Telo and Linx adapter only support single line phones and devices, so you must connect the alarm to the Red and Green of the RJ11 wall jack to get it to work. Then use a standard phone cable to connect the RJ11 wall jack to the Ooma Linx adapter.

Alternately, if you can rewire things in the junction box, then it will be Pins 4&5 of the RJ45 jack that will correspond with the two center pins (2&3) of the RJ11 plug when it's inserted.

Test your alarm system to see if it worked.
#109240 by murphy
Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:51 am
The Linx must be connected directly to the alarm panel's input terminals and no place else. The output terminals of the alarm panel can be connected to whatever you want. If the Linx is only for the alarm panel, leave the panel's output terminals unconnected. The alarm panel must be able to disconnect all phones that are connected to it so it can dial independent of the state of the phones in the house.
#109250 by EX Bell
Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:12 am
murphy wrote:The Linx must be connected directly to the alarm panel's input terminals and no place else. The output terminals of the alarm panel can be connected to whatever you want. If the Linx is only for the alarm panel, leave the panel's output terminals unconnected. The alarm panel must be able to disconnect all phones that are connected to it so it can dial independent of the state of the phones in the house.


Thank for the insight Murphy. In light of this, then I would suggest that you do not need a Linx adapter if the "Hub" as you call it is compatible with a VoIP system. However, I would caution before you connect the Telo to it in any way, that you contact the "Hub" manufacturer or the alarm system company and make sure it is compatible with VoIP systems and will not send a damaging voltage back to the Telo.

If it is compatible, then I would suggest deciding on where in the house you will be putting the Telo permanently. Then determine which phone jack in the house corresponds to which RJ45 OUT jack. When you find it, put a label on it. Unplug the Telco IN RJ45 and plug the RJ45 you labelled into the RJ45 IN socket where the Telco was previously plugged in. Lastly, connect the phone port on the back of the Telo to the phone jack in the house. If you need a phone where the Telo is connected and you don't have cordless phones, then you can use a splitter at the phone jack.

As long as the alarm system "Hub" is compatible with VoIP systems, this should send a dial tone to all jacks in the house and the alarm system. When the Alarm system needs to dial out, it should disconnect all phones in the house as Murphy stated and call out. There should be a way to test this on the alarm system.

If the alarm system "Hub" is not compatible with VoIP systems, then you can just get one of these RJ45 straight through couplers. The RJ31x jacks use the two center pins 4&5 for the Telco line and use the same RJ45 plug, so it will work perfect. Plug the connection from the alarm system into one side of the RJ45 coupler and plug in a standard RJ11 phone line into the other side. Then connect that to the Ooma Linx adapter. Your done. Test the alarm system.
#109283 by Sounge
Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:04 am
Thanks for the replies, I greatly appreciate it.

If the alarm system "Hub" is not compatible with VoIP systems, then you can just get one of these RJ45 straight through couplers. The RJ31x jacks use the two center pins 4&5 for the Telco line and use the same RJ45 plug, so it will work perfect. Plug the connection from the alarm system into one side of the RJ45 coupler and plug in a standard RJ11 phone line into the other side. Then connect that to the Ooma Linx adapter. Your done. Test the alarm system.


Can't I do just what you described above and be done with it? Meaning, get a straight-through coupler, on one side, plug in the RJ31x coming out from the alarm box, and on the other side plug in an RJ11 cable going to the Linx, and voila.

Can it be as simple as that? My alarm system is a GE Concord Express which was installed in early 2005, so I highly doubt it is natively VOIP-compatible.

My wireless phone system's master base is connected directly to the Ooma, so I am not using any phone jacks in the house anymore. So I am hoping that the Linx will help solve the connectivity issue with connecting the alarm system unit directly to the Ooma via the Linx.

It can work that way, right? Meaning, if the Alarm is connected directly to the Linx (via RJ31x through the straight-through coupler) and the Linx is obviously connected directly to the Ooma, can the alarm system be able to disconnect any active phone connections and dial out?
#109289 by EX Bell
Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:22 pm
Absolutely. Either way should work, but the first will save you the cost of a Linx. Just requires you do some research to make sure the "Hub" is compatible. What's nice about this method (if compatible) is it also would keep all of the jacks in your house accesible to plug a phone into.

If you don't want to be bothered, then you can just use the coupler with a Linx adapter you purchase, but none of the phone jacks in your house will work anymore, so you'll need a multi-handset cordless phone base connected to the Ooma Telo.
#109290 by Sounge
Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:28 pm
Great, thanks. I've already ordered the Linx so I will give it a test in about a week once it arrives.

Another question- once I set up and connect the Linx, is there anything else I need to do from an Alarm system configuration or Ooma standpoint?
#109291 by EX Bell
Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:39 pm
I'm no expert on alarm systems, so maybe someone else can comment on specific requirements of the alarm system itself. I would say, just test its connection to ensure it can dial out. There should be a procedure to do this in the alarm system manual. Probably can find it online if you don't have a manual.

Once Linx is properly configured, it's just like having a remote phone jack, except that it can access Ooma's Instant Second Line, so it wouldn't matter if the main handsets were in use, it would still be able to dial out.
#109293 by EX Bell
Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:18 pm
If you're a an Ooma Premier subscriber than you have access to "Instant Second Line", but it can only be accessed with a Linx or and Ooma handset. This is not the second number, that has nothing to do with a second line unless you specifically assigned the Linx or an Ooma handset to a Private Account and assigned a second number to that private account. Even then, it's not your typical second line like POTS, but in that scenario it would behave similar.

If you just connect a Linx to the Telo and you have Premier, then it will pickup whatever line is free. For example, if the Linx connects first, the 1 on the Telo will light up. If one of the main handsets were then off hook at the same time, the 2 on the Telo would light. This will reverse if one of the main handsets are picked up first. It's almost better named "Virtual Second Line", since it's dynamic depending on which connection is established first, the handset or other device connected to the Telo or a handset or device connected to the Linx. However, "Instant Second Line" does require a Premier subscription to work.

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