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#101 by johnboy
Wed May 14, 2008 4:46 am
USING A LANDLINE AS A BACKUP

I have a landline. I have not asked OOMA to use it in the sense that my land line is not my OOMA phone number. As you know, Ooma can use a landline as the primary number, but I ported mine and have no need for a landline. But I have one. I have one for my fax. I also have a scout. And I thought... IF the internet goes down, wouldn’t it be nice to have OOMA pick up the landline (regular dial tone) as a backup? But the problem is that there are only two ‘jacks’ on the back of the hub. The hub uses the PHONE jack to connect a phone and uses the WALL jack as an OUTPUT to the house wiring to activate the scouts which are plugged in. Without a Scout, the WALL jack would be the INPUT for the backup landline (that works perfectly).

After clearing this with tech support (to make sure I wasn’t going to break something). Here’s the answer:

1. I was using my house wiring for the phone output from the Hub. I went to the ATT box at the outside of the house and removed their wiring from my house wiring.

2. With my house wiring isolated, I plugged the PHONE jack into my house wiring. Keep in mind that on any RJ-11 jack, there may be up to 6 contacts. The center 2 are line 1, the next pair are line 2 and the outside pair are line 3. The 2 and 3 are meaningless if you don’t have 2 or three landlines.

3. This gave me phone plug in capacity WITHOUT a scout at any jack in the house.

4. With the scout wanting to use the house wiring though, I had to remove this. I plugged the PHONE jack of OOMA’s hub into a portable phone system.

5. I plugged the WALL jack into the house wiring. (This will feed the scouts).

6. I plugged the scouts into other areas of the house and they work fine.

7. On my house wall jack, I used a line splitter which gave me LINE 1, LINE 2 and LINE 1 and 2 on three separate jacks. (Available at Radioshack). I removed the plug from the wall, plugged this splitter into the wall jack and plugged the OOMA WALL jack back into LINE 1. It still fed the scouts no problem.

8. I took a wire and plugged it into line 2 of this splitter. So now LINE 2 (my wired landline at home which was still active) was on the CENTER wires of this cord.

9. I hooked up an ordinary splitter (not the one noted above - just a one into two splitter) into the WALL jack of the OOMA. (I think one of these came with OOMA). I plugged the LINE 2 wire into that, and also the wire that fed the wall jack which was now plugged into LINE 1.

10. So, phone to a phone. Wall with line 1 (disconnected and dead) and line 2 hot, - plug in line 1-2 splitter. Take both of the ends of these and plug them into an ordinary splitter (not a line splitter) and plug that into the WALL jack of the HUB.

It works great.

11. Oh, the fax machine? Just one more thing. Another ordinary splitter into the LINE 2 jack of the wall splitter. One to feed the OOMA hub and the other to the fax machine. Again - works great. I was told to and did also hook up a DSL filter on the fax line. I was told that when calls come in and there is a signal to the scout, it may interfere with an ongoing fax without it.

All works well with a TEENY exception.

To test the system, I disconnected my internet.... It took a good 120 seconds for the BLUE to turn RED and for it to switch to my landline. Not sure why. Without the Scouts hooked up, the switch was almost immediate!

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