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#55320 by sfhub
Tue May 11, 2010 4:14 pm
Assuming your wall ethernet outlet runs directly to the closet that contains your cable modem, you can actually just use it as a phone line instead of ethernet. Then you won't need to run the phone cable on the wall/floors and you can leave Ooma in your closet. The polarity could get reversed but that isn't important for 99% of analog phone apps.

Just keep in mind if you plug in the phone RJ11 male plug into the female RJ45 receptacle, sometimes it' can bend pins 1 and 8. They usually just unbend themselves when you pull the plug, but sometimes they get stuck. It shouldn't be an issue but I figure I should warn you. The way to avoid this issue is either by a modular RJ45 adapter where you don't care if the pins get stuck or crimp your own phone cables with RJ11 male plugs on one end and RJ45 male plugs on the other.

A modular adapter looks like this
http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?c ... &sku=01937

You would attach an ethernet cable to the wall, then to the adapter, then attach your phone cable to the adapter, then to your device. That way if any pins are bent, it is on the cheap modular adapter that you don't care about.

Just make sure if you decide to do this, only use that wall outlet for phone, don't try to share ethernet and phone on it (that can be done, but you might need to do some rewiring in the wall outlet) because the pins could conflict with each other.
#55371 by jacque
Wed May 12, 2010 11:57 am
Whoa! I didn't know you could run a phone off an ethernet line. The Ooma has remained solid blue since yesterday, so my wall connection does appear to be the issue. What I want to do today is swap out a cable from the wall outlet by my desk and see if that works. If so, I can keep the Telo on the desk. If not, your phone idea is pretty amazing and that would be the next thing to try. I know the type of adapter you mean, I have several of those for phone cords, but I'll have to pick up one for ethernet.

By the way, ntoy did reply yesterday. He could see my connection going on an off repeatedly, and mentioned there were lots of dropped packets from an "external ip". Does that mean a server somewhere between me and ooma.com, or does it refer to the rotten connection from my wall? What's an "external ip" in this case?
#55372 by sfhub
Wed May 12, 2010 12:19 pm
jacque wrote:By the way, ntoy did reply yesterday. He could see my connection going on an off repeatedly, and mentioned there were lots of dropped packets from an "external ip". Does that mean a server somewhere between me and ooma.com, or does it refer to the rotten connection from my wall? What's an "external ip" in this case?

I'm not sure if it is 100% determined the wall outlet is the problem but it is a possibility. Everytime you've used your wall outlet, you've also used your router, so either or both could be involved. You could isolate whether the wall outlet/wiring is the problem by using a long ethernet cable from your router in your closet to the Ooma on your desk, bypassing the wall outlet. I think that is what you meant by "swapping out" but wasn't sure.

Which "external IP" address was dropping the packets? If it is something along your route, then it is the ISP connection or something along the path. If the external IP address is your router's external IP address, then that could either be the router, or your Ooma, or the connection between your router and the Ooma.

BTW you should remember to get rid of the DMZ rule for 192.168.0.199 if you have no need for it. If you are going to test Ooma connected to your router, then you can leave it in there during testing. I don't think it is necessary for regular operation, but best not to change too many parameters when you are testing.

Regarding using ethernet for phone, ethernet wiring as 8 wires (4 pairs of 2 wires) 100baseT uses 2 pairs (4 wires) Phone uses 1 pair (2 wires) and for 2-line phone 2 pairs (4 wires) You could use the other wires for something else like phone as long as you make sure none of the pairs are used twice. Line 1 one phones will not conflict with ethernet. Line 2 will conflict with ethernet unless you rewire. Gigabit 1000baseT uses all 8 wires so in that case you couldn't use a single ethernet wire to carry both.

I was suggesting you could use the wall ethernet wiring for phone and avoid all possible conflict by not trying to use it for ethernet at the same time.

If the wall ethernet was the problem, you could also just open it up, re-punchdown the wires to the connectors. You probably will need to get a punch-down tool unless your wall connectors are the hand punch-down type. If the problem with the wiring was somewhere other than the wall outlets, then you'd have to probably pull and replace the cable.

If you didn't have any need for that ethernet port other than for Ooma, and Ooma is working fine in its current location connected directly to the modem, then the least amount of effort might be to just repurpose the ethernet wiring for phone since it can be done without any tools.
#55393 by jacque
Wed May 12, 2010 5:58 pm
You could isolate whether the wall outlet/wiring is the problem by using a long ethernet cable from your router in your closet to the Ooma on your desk, bypassing the wall outlet. I think that is what you meant by "swapping out" but wasn't sure.


Actually, I'm pretty sure a long ethernet cable would work, but that isn't what I did today. What I did was put the Ooma back on my desk, removed the existing cable from the closet outlet to the router, as well as the one from the wall to the Ooma. That only left the in-wall wiring in place. Then I put a brand new patch cable in the closet going to the router, and a known good patch cable from my desk wall to the Ooma. I didn't use the cable Ooma supplied because I wasn't sure of it, though it's probably okay. At any rate, things have got so bad now that the router won't even see the Ooma. The connection is no longer just bad, it's dead. The router port didn't even light up. Multiple reboots of everything later, I gave up.

So now Ooma is back in the closet again, happy and blue, connected by a short, new patch cable.
Which "external IP" address was dropping the packets? If it is something along your route, then it is the ISP connection or something along the path. If the external IP address is your router's external IP address, then that could either be the router, or your Ooma, or the connection between your router and the Ooma.


He didn't say, so I don't know. He said he only had time to take a quick look. When I did the ping/traceroute tests I saw two servers that were delaying the data a lot, so maybe that's the reason. Or else my wall connection was so terrible only part of the traffic got through.

BTW you should remember to get rid of the DMZ rule for 192.168.0.199 if you have no need for it. If you are going to test Ooma connected to your router, then you can leave it in there during testing. I don't think it is necessary for regular operation, but best not to change too many parameters when you are testing.


Thanks, I was going to ask you about that. I'd like to put the port forwarding back in, since it looks like the Ooma is living in the closet from now on. I knew I should remove the DMZ but wasn't sure when, and it's still on right now. I'll make sure it's off before I put the port forward back.

If you didn't have any need for that ethernet port other than for Ooma, and Ooma is working fine in its current location connected directly to the modem, then the least amount of effort might be to just repurpose the ethernet wiring for phone since it can be done without any tools.


Yeah, I think that's the best plan. BTW, the Telo is still behind the router, it's modem -> router -> Ooma now, with nothing in the Home port. The wall ethernet by the desk is not easily reached, I can barely get my arm behind the desk to plug stuff in. To work on the outlet would mean moving the desk, and it's a monster, I'd need to find a football team to help me move it. I don't need that connection for ethernet, so using it for phone would be fine. I suppose the next thing that will happen is that one of the bad wires is one the phone needs.

I'm not kidding, hardware hates me.
#55396 by sfhub
Wed May 12, 2010 7:20 pm
jacque wrote:Thanks, I was going to ask you about that. I'd like to put the port forwarding back in, since it looks like the Ooma is living in the closet from now on. I knew I should remove the DMZ but wasn't sure when, and it's still on right now. I'll make sure it's off before I put the port forward back.

You shouldn't use the port forwarding rule in Ooma config if you plan on putting Ooma in front of your router (directly connected to modem), otherwise everyone on the Internet will have access to your Ooma setup pages.

When Ooma is directly connected to your modem, remove the Ooma port forwarding rule. Access the Ooma setup pages using

http://172.27.35.1

or

http://setup.ooma.com

The latter should work unless you have some funky DNS setup and is easier to remember. The first one will always work as long as the network is configured correctly.

jacque wrote:I suppose the next thing that will happen is that one of the bad wires is one the phone needs.


As far as Vegas oddsmakers go, you have a leg up on that one because pins 4,5 (the line Ooma puts out dialtone on) isn't used by your ethernet (pins 1,2,3,6), so the ethernet not working doesn't automatically mean your phone won't work over the same wall outlet/wiring.

jacque wrote:He didn't say, so I don't know. He said he only had time to take a quick look. When I did the ping/traceroute tests I saw two servers that were delaying the data a lot, so maybe that's the reason. Or else my wall connection was so terrible only part of the traffic got through.

If there is something on the path that takes long time to respond, but the next thing on the path responds quickly, that just means the one taking a long time probably is configured to be resistant to denial of service attacks by not responding quickly to pings.

What matters is the ping to the destination server. Slow pings in between are only relevant if, after that point, it is consistently slow.
#55550 by jacque
Fri May 14, 2010 11:33 am
I'm about to go buy 2 RJ45 couplers so I can set up the ethernet wiring in the walls as a phone line. Something just occured to me. My 2-line phone requires line 2 to use a 4-wire phone cord. The Telo is set up to only use one line, and I assume it won't use the line 2 wires. Is this going to work? I think I need to put the Telo on phone line 2 because when I discontinue the Qwest service, my wall phone jack will only service line 1.

The setup, if I understand right, has to be like this:

Telo -> phone cord -> coupler -> cat5 cable -> closet RJ45 wall jack -> desk RJ45 wall jack -> cat5 cable -> coupler -> line 2 phone cord (4-wire)

My phone requires the 4-wire phone cord to go into its line 2 jack. Is this still do-able?
#55556 by sfhub
Fri May 14, 2010 12:13 pm
I think before you buy anything it would be best if you just plugged in a phone cable (and the Telo on the other end) into the wall ethernet outlet and see if pins 4,5 and associated wire pair are damaged or not by making a few phone calls, then unplug and you can buy the couplers for a more semi-permanent solution.

Regarding your other question, just buy something like this and connect to the back of your phone possibly using a short phone cable with modular coupler if you need clearance. Plug whichever (Telo or Qwest) into L1 or L2 breakout ports as appropriate.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... Id=3900035

If you have a crimp tool, RJ45/RJ11 plugs, and are handy with wiring, you could also just make a few custom cables instead of buying couplers and splitters to use with standard cables.
#55557 by jacque
Fri May 14, 2010 12:27 pm
Cool, I already have one of those phone line splitters. Didn't think of it. I'm unsure about just plugging the phone cord into the ethernet jacks because of your warning about bent wires. I have this fantasy that some day I can fix the ethernet wiring. Radio shack has couplers for about seven bucks so I think that's cheap enough for a potentially failed experiment.

Stay tuned.
#55559 by sfhub
Fri May 14, 2010 12:38 pm
Even if they got bent, 95% of the time they unbend when you remove the plug. Even if they got stuck, you just take some small watch screwdrivers or small tweezers and move them around until they get unstuck.

The worry (for me) would be if you left the plug in a long time, then those bent pins would start to retain the position they were bent in, in which case, you'd probably have to replace the plug (which isn't a huge deal either, except your table is quite heavy)

Personally I think $7 for a coupler is robbery. These things are probably 25 cents in quantity from China but for the convenience of buying locally I might pay $1.50-$2.00. $7 is too much (assuming that's for one unit)

If you have a Fry's nearby, you can get them for $2.19

http://www.frys.com/product/1771987?sit ... IN_RSLT_PG
#55897 by jacque
Tue May 18, 2010 10:23 am
For closure, I'm updating this. I had a clever person fix the wiring in the wall, which turned out to be at the closet access jack. We got a cable tester and the wiring checked out 100% fine on all 8 wires, so I plugged in the Telo over the weekend and it has run solid blue for days without a hiccup. I can now keep the Telo on my desk, and when my number port is done, I'll plug it into my 2-line phone. I tried that as a test last night and had someone call me on my temporary number, and it worked great -- the caller ID came through, the phone rang normally, and the call appeared on the correct line on my phone.

By the way, I've made several calls since fixing the wiring and the quality is excellent -- just like my old landline. There is no noticeable lag and conversations seem normal. I'm pretty happy with this now, because I'll be saving almost $50 a month in phone bills, and I can't wait to tell Qwest to go away and leave me alone.

I can't thank you guys enough, especially sfhub. I could never have done this without you. Just the fact that there are people here willing to hold your hand makes all the difference in the world.

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