Having trouble placing or receiving calls or using your voicemail system on Ooma Telo VoIP Phones? Post your questions here.
#59515 by Zindar
Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:13 pm
Hello, I have the original ooma core/hub model (not telo), and according to this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3351&start=0

(see 15th through 17th posts of that thread)

I should be able to hook up an external answering machine, and set it to answer in less rings than the ooma does, and effectively get call screening to work that way, even I don't have premier. I have the same panasonic phone system as is mentioned in that thread, and I've tried that, as well as a standalone answering machine I have, and I have the same problem.

The answering machine does pick up the call, and the caller does hear the greeting, and they can leave a message, and all that works fine, but if I pick up the phone after the machine has already answered, I am not connected to the caller, despite what the above linked thread claims.

Does this sound like something easy to troubleshoot and fix? By the way, I had the panasonic phone/answering system plugged into the main ooma core, but currently I turned off the answering machine, and instead plugged a standalone digital answering machine to my scout, and either way I get the same problem.
#59595 by ajw522
Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:48 am
Zindar wrote:Hello, I have the original ooma core/hub model (not telo), and according to this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3351&start=0

(see 15th through 17th posts of that thread)

I should be able to hook up an external answering machine, and set it to answer in less rings than the ooma does, and effectively get call screening to work that way, even I don't have premier. I have the same panasonic phone system as is mentioned in that thread, and I've tried that, as well as a standalone answering machine I have, and I have the same problem.

The answering machine does pick up the call, and the caller does hear the greeting, and they can leave a message, and all that works fine, but if I pick up the phone after the machine has already answered, I am not connected to the caller, despite what the above linked thread claims.

Does this sound like something easy to troubleshoot and fix? By the way, I had the panasonic phone/answering system plugged into the main ooma core, but currently I turned off the answering machine, and instead plugged a standalone digital answering machine to my scout, and either way I get the same problem.


I believe if you have your Panasonic phone+answering system plugged into the Hub's PHONE port, and the Panasonic picks up the call on the answering machine, you should be able to interrupt the call using the same panasonic phone that's attached to the answering machine. After the answering machine picks up, Ooma is out of the picture - to Ooma, it looks like someone picked up the call - that's why Ooma's Answering Machine won't kick in. Are you using the same phone thats on your answering machine?
#59598 by Zindar
Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:18 am
ajw522 wrote:I believe if you have your Panasonic phone+answering system plugged into the Hub's PHONE port, and the Panasonic picks up the call on the answering machine, you should be able to interrupt the call using the same panasonic phone that's attached to the answering machine. After the answering machine picks up, Ooma is out of the picture - to Ooma, it looks like someone picked up the call - that's why Ooma's Answering Machine won't kick in. Are you using the same phone thats on your answering machine?


No actually, my wife and I tried to answer using a phone plugged into the scout, while the panasonic phone+answer system was plugged into the hub. So I guess that's not going to work then, is it? I suppose a solution is to put the phone my wife mostly uses (the kitchen phone) as one of the panasonic handsets, and move the scout and other phone to the living room.

But to tell the truth, I think we prefer the stand alone answering machine, because the buttons to operate it are less confusing (as is the LED readout). Can I not set it up so that the standalone answering machine is what takes the message and still have call screening work? They way I have it set up is scout->standalone answering machine->non panasonic phone, and I also have ooma hub->panasonic phone system.
#59599 by virgusa
Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:21 am
ajw522 wrote:
Zindar wrote:Hello, I have the original ooma core/hub model (not telo), and according to this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3351&start=0

(see 15th through 17th posts of that thread)

I should be able to hook up an external answering machine, and set it to answer in less rings than the ooma does, and effectively get call screening to work that way, even I don't have premier. I have the same panasonic phone system as is mentioned in that thread, and I've tried that, as well as a standalone answering machine I have, and I have the same problem.

The answering machine does pick up the call, and the caller does hear the greeting, and they can leave a message, and all that works fine, but if I pick up the phone after the machine has already answered, I am not connected to the caller, despite what the above linked thread claims.

Does this sound like something easy to troubleshoot and fix? By the way, I had the panasonic phone/answering system plugged into the main ooma core, but currently I turned off the answering machine, and instead plugged a standalone digital answering machine to my scout, and either way I get the same problem.


I believe if you have your Panasonic phone+answering system plugged into the Hub's PHONE port, and the Panasonic picks up the call on the answering machine, you should be able to interrupt the call using the same panasonic phone that's attached to the answering machine. After the answering machine picks up, Ooma is out of the picture - to Ooma, it looks like someone picked up the call - that's why Ooma's Answering Machine won't kick in. Are you using the same phone thats on your answering machine?


Thanks for posting this. Worked great for me. I much prefer using my answering machine on my cordless phone so I can see that I have a message without going to another room that the Ooma Hub is in.
#59603 by ajw522
Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:56 am
Zindar wrote:
ajw522 wrote:I believe if you have your Panasonic phone+answering system plugged into the Hub's PHONE port, and the Panasonic picks up the call on the answering machine, you should be able to interrupt the call using the same panasonic phone that's attached to the answering machine. After the answering machine picks up, Ooma is out of the picture - to Ooma, it looks like someone picked up the call - that's why Ooma's Answering Machine won't kick in. Are you using the same phone thats on your answering machine?


No actually, my wife and I tried to answer using a phone plugged into the scout, while the panasonic phone+answer system was plugged into the hub. So I guess that's not going to work then, is it? I suppose a solution is to put the phone my wife mostly uses (the kitchen phone) as one of the panasonic handsets, and move the scout and other phone to the living room.

But to tell the truth, I think we prefer the stand alone answering machine, because the buttons to operate it are less confusing (as is the LED readout). Can I not set it up so that the standalone answering machine is what takes the message and still have call screening work? They way I have it set up is scout->standalone answering machine->non panasonic phone, and I also have ooma hub->panasonic phone system.


You could use the Ooma Splitter that came with the Hub and plug that into the PHONE port - plug one line into your standalone answering system, and plug the other line into your Panasonic Phone System. Now, it IS possible to answer a call picked up on the machine at the hub with the scout. But it required an additional step when answering if you have Premier or Premier Trial. If you have premier, when the answering system kicks in, and you pick up the phone on the scout, you will be using the instant second line. Then, you simply have to push FLASH on your phone to be connected to the first line. If you don't have Premier, I believe you will automatically be connected to Line 1.
#59605 by Zindar
Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:48 pm
ajw522 wrote:You could use the Ooma Splitter that came with the Hub and plug that into the PHONE port - plug one line into your standalone answering system, and plug the other line into your Panasonic Phone System. Now, it IS possible to answer a call picked up on the machine at the hub with the scout. But it required an additional step when answering if you have Premier or Premier Trial. If you have premier, when the answering system kicks in, and you pick up the phone on the scout, you will be using the instant second line. Then, you simply have to push FLASH on your phone to be connected to the first line. If you don't have Premier, I believe you will automatically be connected to Line 1.


I don't have premier, by the way, which is why I'm looking for a free alternate to call screening. :D

I was really hoping for my answering machine to not be on the Hub. My Hub needs to be upstairs, because it needs to be in a room with an ethernet port, and 4 of my 5 ethernet ports are in rooms upstairs. Well there is one room downstairs that has an ethernet port, but it's not a room we want a phone in. We have a need for 4 handsets, and the panasonic system provides 3 of these, and my other nonpanasonic phone connected to the scout is the 4th.

Most preferably, I wanted the answering machine in the kitchen, because that's where my wife will mostly see it. I suppose I could put it in the living room instead, but neither the kitchen nor the living room have an ethernet port. They both have phone ports, so they are both candidates for where I could put the scout, so that's why I wanted the answering machine hooked to the scout.

Why wouldn't this work? Once the answering machine picks up the call via the scout, why couldn't a phone plugged into that answering machine intercept the call?
#59637 by ajw522
Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:17 pm
OK, I just realized something. If you have your answering machine plugged into the scout, you cannot intercept from any Hub connected phones. It won't work. You must have a phone connected behind the Answering Machine for this to work. Now, here is a solution that may work for you.

This solution will also allow you to eliminate the need for a scout. Many people on these forums, including myself, have experienced static while using the scout on the receiver's side, not the Ooma side. From what it sounds like - you don't really need the scout. Please be aware, however, that his fix will only allow the Panasonic phones to intercept calls. Here's a fix:

Do not connect your Panasonic system to your hub. Instead, plug the PHONE port of your Ooma Hub into the phone jack in the wall. By doing this, you are distributing the Ooma Hub's dialtone to all of the phone jacks in your home. Now, wherever you currently have you Scout plugged in - unplug it, and instead, plug your standalone answering machine directly into the phone jack in the wall. Then, plug your Panasonic phone systen behind the answering system. Now, for that one non-Panasonic phone, you can plug it in anywhere else that there is a phone jack. Keep in mind, however, that you will not be able to intercept an answering machine call with this other phone. By doing all of this, you should be able to intercept answering machine calls from any Panasonic phone. This is all assuming that your answering machine has the intercept ability.

Why wouldn't this work? Once the answering machine picks up the call via the scout, why couldn't a phone plugged into that answering machine intercept the call?


It should. This is why this fix should work. If there is a problem with the answering machine, however, then this fix will not work.
#59682 by Zindar
Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:52 pm
Your solution is acceptable to us, if it works, because I could locate that other one phone in the living room, which my wife rarely uses for call screening purposes anyway. I'd locate it upstairs but this other phone has the feature of having different ringing tunes it plays depending on who's calling, so we want it downstairs where we can hear these musical tunes it plays.

But one thing I worry about is that I have DSL for my internet service. Would this setup (routing the hub into our phone network) conflict with our DSL signal? One good thing is, even if it does, I have plans this September on shopping around for internet service, and I'm open to the possibility of switching to cable-based internet, in which case, my question would be moot.
#59695 by Davesworld
Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:55 am
virgusa wrote:Thanks for posting this. Worked great for me. I much prefer using my answering machine on my cordless phone so I can see that I have a message without going to another room that the Ooma Hub is in.


Any modern cordless phone should show a message waiting indicator on the LCD with voicemail that does NOT come from the answering machine. I have yet to plug any cordless system less than five years old into either a telo or hub that does not show a voicemail indicator on the handset LCD regardless of whether the system came with a built in answering machine or not.

Wherever possible I buy cordless systems with no answering machine but when I am forced to have it I turn it off. With all the features of voicemail on most VOIP providers these days I just can't fathom having an answering machine sitting at home collecting messages (IF the phone service is even working all the time). If you get used to using your provider's voicemail, you will always get messages from ONE place, even if your internet was out when someone called. I lament the fact that these phones for the US market more often than not come with an answering machine as if we are the last refuge of those who just don't quite get the concept of voicemail.
#60032 by Zindar
Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:08 pm
Here's the latest on my strange symptoms. If I answer the panasonic phone that's plugged into the ooma hub, and press the #1 button on that ooma hub, I can connect to the caller, even while he's leaving a message on my answering machine.

But If I answer any of the other pansonic handsets, it doesn't work, regardless of if I'm pressing the #1 on the scout while I do it or not. Also, answering the nonpanasonic phone that's directly plugged into my external answering machine will not intercept the call.

I don't like this situation, because the ooma hub is upstairs, and I'd like for call screening on at least one downstairs phone to work.

Editted to add: Wait, I haven't tried ajw's suggestion yet... I should try that and see how it work. But like I said, I don't know if this will interfere with my DSL signal or not, which shares the same phone lines.

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