I want to use my old answering machine

Having trouble placing or receiving calls or using your voicemail system on Ooma Telo VoIP Phones? Post your questions here.
murphy
Posts: 7241
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:49 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: I want to use my old answering machine

Post by murphy » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:17 pm

Unless you physically disconnect the phone company's wires from your house you are still connected to the phone company.
The fact that there is no dial tone means nothing.
You are trying to send the Ooma box output all of the way to the phone company central office.
The Ooma can't drive that load, hence the lack of enough voltage to ring the phones.
If any of those phones are old style phones with real bells, disconnect them.
Customer since January 2009
Telo with 2 Handsets, a Linx, and a Safety Phone
Telo2 with 2 Handsets and a Linx

El Chancho
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:25 pm

Re: I want to use my old answering machine

Post by El Chancho » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:45 pm

I've been told by my DSL provider that I've been physically disconnected.

El Chancho
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:25 pm

Re: I want to use my old answering machine

Post by El Chancho » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:45 pm

I will double check with them.

murphy
Posts: 7241
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:49 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: I want to use my old answering machine

Post by murphy » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:14 pm

The physical disconnection must be at your house. If done at the phone company end your Ooma would still be trying to drive all of that wire.
Customer since January 2009
Telo with 2 Handsets, a Linx, and a Safety Phone
Telo2 with 2 Handsets and a Linx

oom101
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:57 pm

Re: I want to use my old answering machine

Post by oom101 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:19 am

Each connected phone, and other devices including phone company equipment you are not disconnected from, draw down the ringing current on the line connected to the ooma. The wire connected to the ooma must be isolated. Ringing current also can cause shorts or bad wires to act up. Try each phone and in combinations to try to find if one is bad, or too many.

Of course, if you are on an isolated wire for sure (taken completely loose outside the house or in), the ooma might not have enough current to ring the phones (the ooma could be bad if that is less than three, etc.). I don't know how many ringers they say they support, but 4 is probably pushing it. Email support@oomacare.com asking how many ringers the ooma can ring.

murphy
Posts: 7241
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:49 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: I want to use my old answering machine

Post by murphy » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:55 am

Ooma supports 5 REN.
Each phone, unless it's extremely old, should have it's REN number on it's label.
Phones with electronic ringers are usually in the 0.1 REN range.
Customer since January 2009
Telo with 2 Handsets, a Linx, and a Safety Phone
Telo2 with 2 Handsets and a Linx

oom101
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:57 pm

Re: I want to use my old answering machine

Post by oom101 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:33 am

Note: REN is ringer equivalence number. It is based on the current drawn to ring the old bell in a phone.

To make a phone ring, the telephone company (and now Ooma) puts 90 volts ringing current on the line to ring the phones. If you had more than maybe 5 (sometimes less) ringers on the line, the current was insufficient, and phones would not ring.

When a phone is ringing, the instant you pick it up, the ringer is taken out of the circuit, the phone system detects the resistance change, removes the 90 volts, and puts the caller on the line. Note that all the other phones' ringers are still in the circuit, including the answering machine's ring detection..

So, maybe your answering machine won't work with several other phones in the circuit, assuming your pair is isolated from the phone company outside wire as you say, to them, or maybe your Ooma has a marginal tolerance.

By the way, there is an Ooma setting to use a fax machine. Are faxes coming in ok? Have you raised the number of rings for Ooma voice mail to 15, and does it take that many to pick up?

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