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#47435 by jdorin
Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:11 pm
PROBLEM/RESOLUTION TO HAVING OOMA FEED YOUR HOME'S PHONE CIRCUIT

Before Ooma, I had just a plain old POTS AT&T-provided landline dialtone. Accessing the 'net was dialup-painful!

Then I subscribed to AT&T DSL. A tech came to my house and added another circuit to the wires coming in: one pair = dial tone; the other pair = DSL.

Then I purched Ooma, and had my old landline number ported thereto. It took AT&T 4 weeks to release the number to Ooma ("breaking up is hard to do!").

When the porting was done, I went out to the outside-the-house network interface box (NIB) (aka "demarc" or "demarcation box") and unplugged the DSL and the dialtone plugs .. thinking I was completely isolating my home from AT&T.

Then I tried backfeeding Ooma's diatone into my home's phone circuits, but it didn't work. A close listen to the house circuit's line, with Ooma not plugged in, revealed a hum - HUH? Where's that coming from? Could it be -
:?: Crossed wires in the ceiling, picking up an A/C hum?
:?: Mold/condensation/corrosion in one of the phone receptacle boxes somewhere in the house?
I ran down the lines, looking for parallel/adjacent A/C lines, and I opened the receptacle boxes all over the house - NADA!

Then the telltale event occurred: when I picked up one of my non-Ooma phones that has a lighted dial (lighted by some voltage present in the landline circuit) THE DIAL WAS LIGHTED!! WHAT? HUH? I thought I was disconnected from both AT&T and Ooma .. where's the voltage coming from? HUH?

Checking the NIB once again, AHAA! There were still a couple of pairs connected that weren't connected through the jacks I had earlier unplugged! I SNIPPED THEM. Went back in the house, tested the house's phone circuit - DEAD QUIET! OK, now I'm getting somewhere!

Then I connected Ooma's "phone" jack to my wall jack - and VOILA! all my old landline phones now work with Ooma - including Ooma is lighting up my phones' dials.

The takeaway: :!: make certain you disconnect ALL jacks/wires in the NIB from those going into your house IF you're not intending to have a separate phone-company-provided landline, as well.

The question: :?: what's the Scout useful for, anyway? It's still in the box.

A quick note about the NIB: I know there is a variety of them around the country, so yours may be different from mine. My POTS provider was AT&T, and the NIB they originally supplied/installed was a two-chambered box, mounted on the outside of my house. One chamber is designed for the homeowner to access (to disconnect his home, and to plug a test phone into, to test the quality of what Telco (in my case, AT&T) is providing). The other chamber is designed to keep you out, but let Telco's field technician access (this is where the additional active lines I finally found were ). To open the field-technician part, you need a Security Torx driver, but these are hard to come upon. I used a pair of needle-nose pliers to finally prevail in opening that second cover. But, since I was intending to isolate my home completely from AT&T, I coulda/shoulda just snipped the outside cable coming into the box from the telephone pole. :? I second southsound's advice to "...place a note in the box that says, "Do not reconnect. Doing so may damage customer-provided equipment!" "
Last edited by jdorin on Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
#47474 by underpar
Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:44 am
So basically I need to go to the feed outside my home and disconnect the telephone wires coming into the house? I have cable for internet, so that shouldn't present any interference.

I would like to get rid of the Telo handset and be able to use the wired phone jacks into wall port on my Telo for 1 line, and the phone port for the other line.

Ooma customer support keeps telling me the wall port on back of telo is for incoming feed, not outgoing for a ooma line?

Will I be able to get to separate lines in the above scenario?
#47478 by Groundhound
Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:44 am
underpar wrote:So basically I need to go to the feed outside my home and disconnect the telephone wires coming into the house? I have cable for internet, so that shouldn't present any interference.

I would like to get rid of the Telo handset and be able to use the wired phone jacks into wall port on my Telo for 1 line, and the phone port for the other line.

Ooma customer support keeps telling me the wall port on back of telo is for incoming feed, not outgoing for a ooma line?

Will I be able to get to separate lines in the above scenario?

The wall port on the Telo has one purpose - to integrate a Telco-supplied landline with your Telo. Unless you have a landline supplied by another company (like AT&T), the Telo's wall port has no purpose. You can only feed dialtone for one line from your Telo's phone port. You can hang multiple extensions for that one line off of the Telo's phone port using splitters and/or house wiring, but it will only feed one line. If you choose to use house wiring to connect multiple extensions for your one line you should disconnect the Telco's wire at the demarc box outside your home.

If you want to use Ooma's Instant Second Line feature you must have at least one Telo Handset - that way you can have two calls in progress at once with one call being on the Telo Handset and the other being on one of the phones connected to the Telo phone port.

Edit: So to avoid confusion in my description above, Telco (with a "c") means a POTS provider like (AT&T).
#47510 by kayembee
Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:28 pm
Ok, now I am concerned. I understood that once I had my phone company set up the dry loop or standalone option and my number ported, all I would have to do is plug a separate phone into a physical wall jack and all my phone would work through Ooma. Is this not the case? I currently have a phone connected to my Ooma as I await the porting of my phone number.

The other thing that I didn't realize might be an issue is the use of my DirecTV. So I am just curious as to how my Directv will be affected by this set up?

I was truly hoping that making this switch would not be so cumbersome. I am going to check with Amazon who I purchased my Ooma from just in case I need to return it, that I can do so. I wanted a cheap solution to high phone bills, but I did not want all the issues that appear to be part of the Ooma solution. I still need my fax and I would like to not have any disruption with my Directv service. Fortunately my alarm system is wireless...
#47519 by Groundhound
Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:58 pm
kayembee wrote:Ok, now I am concerned. I understood that once I had my phone company set up the dry loop or standalone option and my number ported, all I would have to do is plug a separate phone into a physical wall jack and all my phone would work through Ooma. Is this not the case? I currently have a phone connected to my Ooma as I await the porting of my phone number.

The other thing that I didn't realize might be an issue is the use of my DirecTV. So I am just curious as to how my Directv will be affected by this set up?

I was truly hoping that making this switch would not be so cumbersome. I am going to check with Amazon who I purchased my Ooma from just in case I need to return it, that I can do so. I wanted a cheap solution to high phone bills, but I did not want all the issues that appear to be part of the Ooma solution. I still need my fax and I would like to not have any disruption with my Directv service. Fortunately my alarm system is wireless...

The OP of this thread has cable, you have DSL - so the situation is a bit different. Depending on how the DSL line is run to the room where your modem is, you may not be able to disconnect your other house phone wiring from the telco. You should be able to extend your Ooma dialtone from your Telo's phone port to the other jacks in your home in any case but you may need to use a DSL splitter - again depending on how your DSL wiring is set up. Like the OP, the Telo's wall port will be of no use to you after your number port.

As far as DirecTv is concerned, you may be able to configure it to work with Ooma, but if your DirecTv receiver has an Ethernet connection I recommend you use that via your router. My DirecTv box is connected via Ethernet and as such does not need to "phone home". I do have my Ooma line connected so it will display callerID, which works fine.
#47539 by kayembee
Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:55 pm
Well I am pretty sure my Directv has both an ethernet connection and a phone line. My main TV that has my entertainment system connected to it is in the Family Room on the first floor. My study with the modem and router is upstairs. My cordless phone main station is also on the first floor. I am concerned that having all of this on multiple floors further complicates matters. I have to be honest, all of this is way too confusing to me and I basically have to set this up by myself during the hours I am not working. I am of the opinion that I should just ship it back and find another solution. I do not want to be without a phone if several room, no fax machine that works and no Directv. I have a cell phone and if worse comes to worse, I will just make my cell phone my main phone and be done with it. I was really hoping that this would have been an easy solution, but I am not feeling that way right now.
#47552 by Groundhound
Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:09 pm
Your DirecTv setup is similar to mine, with the DVR on the first floor and my modem & router in my office on the second floor, and no wired Ethernet between the two. I connect the DVR (and an Internet-capable Bluray player) via a wireless Ethernet bridge. The wireless bridge communicates with my wireless router and provides wired Ethernet access to the DVR and Bluray player. Having your DVR connected via Ethernet not only allows it to "phone home" without using the phone, but also gives you access to DirecTv's on-demand movies which are downloaded over the Internet.

Regardless of what you do with the DVR, I wouldn't worry too much about extending the phone to your house jacks. In most cases it's pretty much plug and play with maybe just one splitter involved.

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