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#15598 by eyekutr
Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:44 am
Hi folks, I just set up the ooma scout. I connected the alarm system and sure enough it was able to dial out. My question is, if it dials out now, will it be able to do so on a consistent basis? How long should I test it before ditching phonepower ?

Also, does anyone see a problem with using a regular answering machine?
#15607 by StigMX5
Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:44 am
I did 3 or 4 tests before being comfortable about moving the alarm to ooma. Some things to consider:

If someone is on the phone and the alarm goes to call out, will it still work grabbing the second line (assuming you pay for premier)? What I did was I run the Hub's PHONE port line into my punch down block as a way to power the rest of the house with a dial tone. Since most alarms have an RJ31 jack whose function is to cut off the inside house lines when the alarm triggers, I wired the RJ31 to separate punch down block segments, one on the OOMA segment, one on the rest of the house. That way, should the alarm trigger, the alarm will still drop all of the inside phones and trigger a call out through the OOMA Hub.

Do you have UPS on the scout AND the hub in case you lose power and the alarm needs to trigger a call? That's another advantage running the alarm off the hub PHONE port. You only need to have an UPS for the OOMA hub and cablemodem/dslmodem and the alarm will still be able to call out.

Food for thought... hope that helps.
#15625 by eyekutr
Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:38 am
I have premier for the trial period but dont want to keep it longterm.....I guess if necessary, I will. Some thoughts come to mind. If I pay for 2nd line, can the 2nd line be wired to the house and the hub is wired to the alarm so it has the "cleaner" line. My setup is as follows. I have a main room in the house where all the wires come and go to the house phone jacks. The phone company line goes outside to the box and runs into that room and wires the house through a main connection box. So....how do I make sure alarm has its own dedicated dial tone. I am not sure how it normally would kill the phone signal to the rest of the house jacks...

Last thought, my alarm worked without doing any type of dial prefix of pause, I guess it does not mind an ooma tone ??
#15627 by southsound
Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:01 am
eyekutr wrote:If I pay for 2nd line, can the 2nd line be wired to the house and the hub is wired to the alarm so it has the "cleaner" line. My setup is as follows. I have a main room in the house where all the wires come and go to the house phone jacks. The phone company line goes outside to the box and runs into that room and wires the house through a main connection box. So....how do I make sure alarm has its own dedicated dial tone. I am not sure how it normally would kill the phone signal to the rest of the house jacks...

Last thought, my alarm worked without doing any type of dial prefix of pause, I guess it does not mind an ooma tone ??

Actually, a second line would not buy you much unless you wanted to be able to make calls during the short interval when the alarm system was reporting a problem (possibly less than 30 seconds). What is normally happening with a landline and alarm system is that the alarm is wired into an RJ-31X jack that puts it in control of that line. It is able to disconnect a call in progress and gain a new dialtone for it's report to the monitoring company. If you wire the hub's phone port to where the landline fed the alarm it will make sure your alarm is always able to report - just like it did with the landline. If you don't need a second line for other reasons I would not bother just for the alarm.

If you need help with how to connect your ooma to accomplish the above just give a shout and several of us old telco folks can help!

Also, if you want to make sure the alarm reporting is more bulletproof, adding the *99, to the dialout number will give you a cleaner line with less compression. In most cases your alarm company can do this from their monitoring location without need to actually visit the premises.
#15653 by eyekutr
Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:17 am
Thank you soo much for your time and insight. I dont need a second line at all since presumably, I am not home when the alarm is calling anyways. I am just concerned the way the wiring is now, if someone comes in the house and alarm goes off and the intruder simply picks up a phone, the alarm will not be able to dial out since it wont see a dial tone ???? I have a junction box and all the devices there get a common feed from the ooma box....I hope I made that clear and a pair simply runs from there to the alarm box....would the alarm still be able to dial out in this case if the phone was off the hook ??
#15655 by southsound
Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:39 am
eyekutr wrote: I am just concerned the way the wiring is now, if someone comes in the house and alarm goes off and the intruder simply picks up a phone, the alarm will not be able to dial out since it wont see a dial tone ???? I have a junction box and all the devices there get a common feed from the ooma box....I hope I made that clear and a pair simply runs from there to the alarm box....would the alarm still be able to dial out in this case if the phone was off the hook ??

With that setup, no. Picking up a phone could disable the alarm report. All alarm systems I've seen use a common way of dealing with the phone line. The line goes in to the alarm box (via the RJ-31X) and a line comes out of the alarm box (via the same RJ-31X) to feed the house phones. When the alarm is not reporting, the alarm panel connects the in and out lines together. When the alarm senses a problem and needs to dial out, it breaks the pair that goes to the house phones and takes control of the phone line. If your alarm is connected by only one pair, it is subject to a problem if you are either on the line or someone picks up. You should be feeding the house phones with the output pair from the alarm panel. The RJ-31X was most likely installed by the alarm company or the old telco. Did you rewire the system for ooma or did an alarm installer (possibly a new one not familiar with VOIP) and is it possible to find that RJ-31X connection?
#15657 by eyekutr
Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:56 am
southsound wrote:
eyekutr wrote: I am just concerned the way the wiring is now, if someone comes in the house and alarm goes off and the intruder simply picks up a phone, the alarm will not be able to dial out since it wont see a dial tone ???? I have a junction box and all the devices there get a common feed from the ooma box....I hope I made that clear and a pair simply runs from there to the alarm box....would the alarm still be able to dial out in this case if the phone was off the hook ??

With that setup, no. Picking up a phone could disable the alarm report. All alarm systems I've seen use a common way of dealing with the phone line. The line goes in to the alarm box (via the RJ-31X) and a line comes out of the alarm box (via the same RJ-31X) to feed the house phones. When the alarm is not reporting, the alarm panel connects the in and out lines together. When the alarm senses a problem and needs to dial out, it breaks the pair that goes to the house phones and takes control of the phone line. If your alarm is connected by only one pair, it is subject to a problem if you are either on the line or someone picks up. You should be feeding the house phones with the output pair from the alarm panel. The RJ-31X was most likely installed by the alarm company or the old telco. Did you rewire the system for ooma or did an alarm installer (possibly a new one not familiar with VOIP) and is it possible to find that RJ-31X connection?



The alarm company installer will be coming out this week to add a sensor to the outside phone panel so that the intruder can not disable the phone, if they go to disable it, alarm will sound. At the same time, I will let them check to see if an rj-31x was installed. Looking at the wiring it seems that it was installed. But I may have somehow bypassed it since installing ooma (or they did not know how to really work the ooma / or my previous VOIP source)
#15659 by southsound
Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:05 pm
eyekutr wrote: The alarm company installer will be coming out this week to add a sensor to the outside phone panel so that the intruder can not disable the phone, if they go to disable it, alarm will sound. At the same time, I will let them check to see if an rj-31x was installed. Looking at the wiring it seems that it was installed. But I may have somehow bypassed it since installing ooma (or they did not know how to really work the ooma / or my previous VOIP source)

Just have them verify that the ooma is feeding the RJ-31X just like the landline once did and that the output of the RJ-31X feeds the rest of the house. Don't forget to have them add the *99, to insure the best communication with the monitoring company.
#15661 by eyekutr
Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:31 pm
southsound wrote:
eyekutr wrote: The alarm company installer will be coming out this week to add a sensor to the outside phone panel so that the intruder can not disable the phone, if they go to disable it, alarm will sound. At the same time, I will let them check to see if an rj-31x was installed. Looking at the wiring it seems that it was installed. But I may have somehow bypassed it since installing ooma (or they did not know how to really work the ooma / or my previous VOIP source)

Just have them verify that the ooma is feeding the RJ-31X just like the landline once did and that the output of the RJ-31X feeds the rest of the house. Don't forget to have them add the *99, to insure the best communication with the monitoring company.


Thank you so much
#15665 by bluechalk
Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:50 pm
I have an ADT Safewatch Pro 2000 alarm panel, which uses only Contact ID format. I have it set up to dial *99 first. It works 90% of the time. But occasionally the alarm company reports receiving a bogus message in 4x2 format, sends back the kiss-off, and the alarm goes unreported. I suggest that you do extensive testing to make sure that your alarm works.

Since I'm using NextAlarm, I'm switching to their ABN reporting system that sends the alarm directly via the Internet instead of via the phone line.

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