For your convenience in reading: Subject lines are printed in RED and Moderator replies when issued appear in BROWN.
Previous Issue (just one)
TD Extra News

TELECOM Digest     Sun, 10 Apr 2005 17:30:00 EDT    Volume 24 : Issue 154

Inside This Issue:                             Editor: Patrick A. Townson

    Question About SKYPE and Using Lingo; Will There be a Problem? (KOS)
    Wierd Telephone Problems (Gladiator)
    Fraud Work at Home Offers From Nigeria (NOTvalid@surplus4actors.INFO)
    Re: Experts Please Help (Robert Bonomi)
    Re: Touch Tone Blocking (William Warren)
    Re: Touch Tone Blocking (Robert Bonomi)
    Re: Touch Tone Blocking (
    Re: Touch Tone Blocking (Gordon S. Hlavenka)
    Re: VOIP Adapter With High REN (Robert Bonomi)
    Re: Administrivia: A Temporary Outage (
    Re: Packet8 Number Portability (John Harper)
    Warning! Virus Has Attacked Me! (Fred Atkinson)

Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the
Internet.  All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson and
the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other
journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are
included in the fair use quote.  By using -any name or email address-
included herein for -any- reason other than responding to an article
herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to the recipients of the


Addresses herein are not to be added to any mailing list, nor to be
sold or given away without explicit written consent.  Chain letters,
viruses, porn, spam, and miscellaneous junk are definitely unwelcome.

We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we
are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because
we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands
against crime.   Geoffrey Welsh


See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details
and the name of our lawyer; other stuff of interest.  


From: KOS <>
Subject: Question About SKYPE and Using Lingo; Will There be a Problem?
Date: 10 Apr 2005 11:21:48 -0700

Hi, I currently use Lingo; was wondering if I download Skype, will I
still be able to use Lingo or will this cause some type of corruption?




From: Gladiator <>
Subject: Wierd Telephone Problems
Date: 9 Apr 2005 13:47:04 -0700

Hello: I have this problem with my telephone at home.  For incoming
calls, sometimes, it would ring once then disconnect the caller. I
thought it was my phone, but I bought a new one, and it was the same

I called my telephone company, and the technician came and said that
this could be due to wiring inside the building. So, the telephone
company thinks it's not their responsibility.

The strangest thing is, outgoing calls seem to be fine.  I can dial
outside w/o problems.

Anyone seen this before?


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I've seen it lots of times. And as
often as not, it is in the wiring somewhere (either 'your' wiring or
possibly telco's.) Chances are there is some _tiny_ bare spot where
the two wires touch, or nearly so. The amount of current in the line
when the phone rings is sufficient to 'bridge the gap' and complete 
the connection for a half second or so. What does the calling party
receive under those circumstances? Usually they will hear one or two
ringing signals, then it will change to busy, or maybe it will sound
like the line went dead. When you place a call -- as opposed to
receive a call -- there is much less voltage on the line because the
phone is not ringing. Its the increase in voltage which causes this
to occur. That is why you experience no problems when _you_ place a
call; the 'current bridge' is not present. 

How do you prove it is telco's problem and not yours, or vice-versa?
Take your telephone out to the demarc, or place where the telco says
your wiring begins. Disconnect where they say yours starts. Use a 
cell phone (or some other third-party line) to dial into _your_
number.  If you have your phone plugged directly into the demarc, and
the problem is present, you should hear your phone ring once (a half
ring, maybe) and then go dead. Note on the phone you are using to
call in what happens, i.e. busy signal, fast busy, the line goes dead,
or whatever. If this happens *and you have 'your' wires pulled or
disconnected at the demarc, then the problem is telco's. If it rings
through normally, and you can talk to yourself (or any confederate who
is assisting you), then it is NOT telco's problem.

Then, reattach the wires you took down at the demarc and try the test
again. Does it occur this time?  If the problem occurs when your wires
are connected, but _not_ when you are connected direct to the demarc,
then it is indeed your problem. Try this much first, then get back to
us with the results. If it is indeed in your length of wire and not
telco's, then we will discuss how you go about correcting it. You'll
basically have two choices in that case: fix it yourself or with your
own electrician hired, _or_ pay telco (or bribe the technician) and
they will fix it for you. Typically it costs less to fix it yourself,
but depending on the complexity of the wiring (and distance involved
and the size of your complex) it may be faster and less grief to let
telco handle it. We will discuss both approaches when you get back to
us with your findings. Hoping to hear again from you soon.   PAT] 


From: NOTvalid@surplus4actors.INFO
Subject: Fraud Work at Home Offers From Nigeria
Date: 9 Apr 2005 15:20:10 -0700

"Many American retailers don't ship online products overseas because
of fraud. So organized crime groups overseas came up with a clever
ruse.  They order online goods using stolen or fake credit
cards. Then, they have the packages sent to unwitting citizens in this
country, who then rewrap and reship the items overseas."


FBI Agent Talks About His Travels to Distant Shores to Stop Internet

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: We talked about this the other day
with the 'employment opportunity' I presented here which came to
us from St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. Maybe it was a legitimate
offer, or maybe not. 

I can't help but wonder though, what if the Russian crooks happened to 
unwittingly wind up doing business with some American crooks?  The
Russian (or Nigerian) crooks 'lured someone in' on their scheme to
use fraud credit cards to drop ship to them via your 'company'. But
the only thing is, the Americans don't actually do the drop shipping
expected. The Russians/Nigerians do 'all the work' of stealing/abusing
a credit card, talk to you to get the merchandise shipped to them, but
then you don't actually ship. You abscond with the merchandise
yourself, leaving the Russians/Nigerians holding an even bigger bag
than before. Oooh, I bet that would really tick them off! I mean, what
are _they_ going to do, call the FBI?  You might call this routine
'when one con artist does business with another con artist by accident'. 


From: (Robert Bonomi)
Subject: Re: Experts Please Help
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 19:42:52 -0000
Organization: Widgets, Inc.

In article <>,
sffdsff  <> wrote:

> Hi Guys,

> I am trying to develop an application which will connect to the
> telephone line and when I get an incoming line it shall send a voice
> data on the phone line and then look for key entries from the other
> side ... similar to a voice mail system. I have figured out that I
> would need a DAA to interface to the phone line (of course a one that
> would have a DTMF decoder so that I can get the key entries). Now my
> question is how do I send the voice data out (this voice will be
> pre-recorded on a flash). All the places I have looked say that I
> would need PCM data interfaced to a DSP.

> I do not want to complicate the matter -- I want to make it simple by
> using a PIC Microcontroller.

> So basically this is what I plan it would look like:

> RJ11 <---> DAA <---> Serial Interface <---> PIC Micro <-->Flash

> This should take care of both voice and key entries.

> I have looked into tons of options but cannot figure out a "simple" way
> to do this.

The 'simple' way is to buy it 'off the shelf'.  It's called "IVR", aka
"Interactive Voice Response".  Inexpensive (even _free_) software to
do this on a PC-type box is readily available.  It may require a
"voice/data" modem, or a dedicated phone-line interface card.

If you insist on DIY, the answer to "how do i send the voice data out"
is 'generate the analog wave-form and impress it on the phone line.
If that isn't sufficient 'clue', you don't have the requisite skills
to attempt such a project -- use the "simple" way, mentioned in the
previous paragraph.

For 'digitalized voice' stored anywhere, you have to have "something"
to take that digital data, and convert it back to an _analog_
waveform, to send over the POTS circuit.  DSP chips greatly simplify
the process.


Date: Sat, 09 Apr 2005 21:57:50 -0400
From: William Warren <>
Subject: Re: Touch Tone Blocking

Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department wrote:

> I need to devise a way to keep users from playing touch tones over the
> paging system.  If you can suggest a way to prevent users from
> sounding touch tones over the paging amplifier circuit post it here or
> E-mail direct.  Be advised that my ISP's anti Spam software will
> generate a service message to which you will have to respond in order
> for me to receive your e-mail.

> Tom H

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: At least on the older Bell
> switchboards, there was a certain contact on the network (inside the
> switchboard) to mute your earpiece from the audio on touch tones while
> still playing them out over the phone. It was generally only done for
> switchboard operators to prevent them having to listen to the tones
> all the time as they placed calls. PAT] 


I think he's asking how to keep people from _deliberately_ playing 
touch-tones over the paging system when they dial the PA access code 
from their phone. In other words, they've probably got some pranksters 
in the fire station who like to pretend they're the organist for Deep 
Purple, using the PA as their amplifier and the Touch Tone keypad as 
ntheir organ.

A ham radio operator would be the best guy to ask, since hams have been 
using Touch Tone on FM repeaters for a while now. The only question 
would be if Tom H is trying to hang up on any PA access call that has 
Touch Tone in it, or if he wants to just mute the tone and keep the call 


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Maybe you are right. I used to see (or
actually hear) this happen a lot in Chicago at the Transit Atrocity
stations. The overhead loud speaker would come on, which was
_supposed_ to be for an announcement from either one of the control
tower operators, or some other employee. When the loud speaker came
on, all you would hear was 'dee, dee, dee, doop' and then a hang up.
Obviously someone had pressed the wrong key on his multiline phone 
or had started dialing without looking to see which line key was
pressed down.  PAT]


From: (Robert Bonomi)
Subject: Re: Touch Tone Blocking
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 19:31:59 -0000
Organization: Widgets, Inc.

In article <>,
Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department  <> wrote:

> I need to devise a way to keep users from playing touch tones over the
> paging system.  If you can suggest a way to prevent users from
> sounding touch tones over the paging amplifier circuit post it here or
> E-mail direct.  Be advised that my ISP's anti Spam software will
> generate a service message to which you will have to respond in order
> for me to receive your e-mail.

Please be advised that having been *spammed* too many times by said
ISP's 'anti-spam' software, because my address was *forged* as the
sender of messages being 'challenged', *ALL* such 'challenges' are
blocked at time of transmission.

You ask for a favor, and then expect people to jump through hoops to
tell you about it.  "Sorry, Charlie", that dog doesn't hunt.

As for your 'problem', the real solution is "training".  It is a
'personnel' problem, not a 'technical' one.

Technology cannot _prevent_ the problem, although it can "ameliorate"
it.  a DTMF decoder chip, wired to interrupt the PA leads when tones
are detected is about as close as you can come.  Put the decoder
_in_front_ of a 50-100ms 'delay line', and you can cut the PA off
_before_ the tones propagate through the delay line.


Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2005 20:29:33 EDT
Subject: Re: Touch Tone Blocking

Pat wrote:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: At least on the older Bell
> switchboards, there was a certain contact on the network (inside the
> switchboard) to mute your earpiece from the audio on touch tones while
> still playing them out over the phone. It was generally only done for
> switchboard operators to prevent them having to listen to the tones
> all the time as they placed calls. PAT] 

Are you sure that wasn't MF tones rather than Touch-Tone?  Operators
ordinarily used MF signaling, not Touch-Tome.

Wes Leatherock

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The *only time* I experienced this was
when I filled in overnight two or three times for the regular switch-
board operator at the 14 East Delaware Apartments in Chicago. A large
building (20 stories, with about 150 apartments), they had a
switchboard for tenants; that was about 1965 or so. Unlike most of
those older high-rise buildings which had switchboards for the
tenants with _rotary dials_ on them, this one had a little box built
in with a touchtone pad. The tenants could hear the touch tones, but
the operator could _not_. I have no idea how they wired it to do that.


Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 11:06:18 -0500
From: Gordon S. Hlavenka <>
Organization: Crash Electronics
Subject: Re: Touch Tone Blocking

Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department wrote:

> I need to devise a way to keep users from playing touch tones over the
> paging system.  If you can suggest a way to prevent users from
> sounding touch tones over the paging amplifier circuit post it here or
> E-mail direct.

Use a DTMF receiver chip to detect the tones.  Feed the PA audio input
into the chip and connect the DV output to the PA Mute input.
Probably a $5 investment in parts, or a minimal drain on your junkbox

You'll still get a brief burst of tone (20-50msec) at the beginning
but the rest of the tone will be muted.

Gordon S. Hlavenka 
        Tragically, as many as 9625 out of every 10,000
                individuals may be neurotypical


From: (Robert Bonomi)
Subject: Re: VoIP Adapter With High REN?
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 20:03:21 -0000
Organization: Widgets, Inc.

In article <>, Thor Lancelot Simon
<> wrote:

> I am trying to switch two of three phone lines in a very large, very
> old house over to VoIP.  The house has quite literally twenty
> extensions split between the three lines -- I think I need at least 4
> or 5 REN per line, plus the ability to drive all the wire leading to
> those handsets (over 100' in some cases) without exploding the audio
> output circuit in the ATA.

> Does anyone make equipment meant for this that I can use with a
> mainstream VoIP provider?  It's been suggested to me that Packet8
> might be my best chance since they build their own gear but I don't
> see anything suitable on their web site.

> I am basically looking for a Cisco ATA-186 (including the 2-line
> capability) on steroids.

Two possible solutions:

  1) put in a small analog PBX.  You can probably significantly reduce
     the number of sets, if each set can access all  the lines.  This
     also takes care of the issue of 'wire length'.

     Additional benefits:  "intercom" calling between phones, as well as
     'conference' capabilities (internal and external), without losing 
     audio level.

  2) Use a supplemental ring generator / ring extender.  Viking Electronics
     is one of the better-known sources for such.

Option 1 _is_ more expensive, but you get a *lot* more for the money.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Option 1 is exactly what I did here
with my little 'TotalCom' PBX thing. And tiny little PBX/Line Sharing
devices are not all that expensive these days. Two or three hundred
dollars gets you a light-weight, all electronic device you mount on a
wall somewhere and forget about it. Example   PAT]


Subject: Re: Administrivia: A Temporary Outage
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 07:01:41 -0700
Organization: Cox Communications

ptownson wrote:

> Sometime late Friday afternoon, the _alias name_ ''
> went out of order. This alias is routed through John Levine's computer
> in New York. It came back on line Saturday late morning or early
> afternoon. When this happens, any netter who requests the URL
> simply draws a blank. But, anyone who uses
> the real name does get
> through (unless massis also happens to go down). Although we would
> _prefer_ to be known as '' to the internet world,
> we can go by '' as needed. If you tried to reach
> this site Friday afternoon/evening/overnight into Saturday morning
> and kept 'drawing blanks', please remember this and use our alternate
> (but original) URL, and you should get through that way.

> Patrick

Since you have the domain name you are already incurring that expense.

For $19.95 a year you can have shared hosting at  It's not
the most reliable host in the world, but for the bucks it is value
received.  I have two of my domains hosted there, that I can accept having
some outages.  For my more demanding domain I have it hosted at Verio for
$12 a month (used to be $24).

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Thank you for the offer, but I do not
pay for any of my domain names. Either I get them as a gift from
readers (as is the case with or I otherwise find
them around for free. If I had to pay for them, I probably would just
quit doing this totally.   PAT]


From: John Harper <>
Subject: Re: Packet8 Number Portability
Date: 10 Apr 2005 10:27:43 -0700

kwyet wrote:

> Packet8 has been ok for me. Just one thing thats been irritating. The
> claims on their website at times don't jive with reality.  For one,
> they claimed that virtual numbers were available for Canadian area
> codes. That was simply a lie. They were aware of this contradiction but
> chose to ignore it for a very long time. Finally they removed the
> claim.

> Secondly, they claim that it takes up to six weeks to have your number
> ported. That may be true for some, but it hasn't been true for me. It
> has been 9 weeks for me and still no "status updates" on my account.
> Their standard reply when called on this matter is, "I'll pass this to
> the LNP department".

> On one call to support, I was led to believe it was stalled because of
> my phone company. I entered a complaint with my States's PSC only to
> receive a call from my phone company saying all they need is a PON and
> that Packet8 would know exactly what that is.  Well ... I called
> support again. Same response as quoted above. Oh ...  and he also said
> that the website is incorrect ... that it hasn't been updated yet to
> reflect that they are backed up and the time is actually more than 6
> weeks. Support told me that 10 days ago.  Does it take 10 days to
> update a sentence on a website? Naw it dutton.

I live in McAllen, Texas, USA.  Vonage and Lingo cannot yet offer a
local toll free number, so it was important that my SBC number be
ported.  Packet8 could not only port my SBC number, but they offered a
local temparary number that could be called from the McAllen area toll
free. I ruled out RoadRunner (Time Warner Cable) by price alone

I signed up with Packet8 on March 7, 2005 at $19.95/month. I faxed my
application to have my SBC number ported to my Packet8 account on March
8, 2005. I received my Packet8 device, hooked it up, and activated it
on March 17, 2005. My old SBC phone number was ported on April 8, 2005.
The transfer was almost seamless (a phone call to Packet8) when my SBC
service was terminated.

So far, everything seems to be working as advertised. Call forwarding,
Call waiting, Caller ID, Voicemail, Etc. Also, my use history is
available on the Packet8 site and is impacted within 10 seconds of my
hanging up the phone.

Quality of the voice is as good as my experience with SBC. I wear
hearing aids and voice quality is important.

So far, so good.  Time will tell.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Have you yet started receiving the
'we miss you and want you back' letters and promotions from SBC?
They'll start out sort of modest at first (a few free services for
a couple months; then one or two offers of a $50 VISA gift card and
the freebies), then some perfectly outrageous offers for DSL at
a very reduced price, etc ... They may place you with a collection
agency claiming you left them still owing 20-25 dollars at some
point; they have a bunch of tricks designed to get you back.   PAT]


From: Fred Atkinson <>
Subject: Warning! A Virus Attacked my System!
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 14:24:30 -0400

Hello, everyone,

A worm came through my PC.  If you get any attachments that appear to
be from me, don't open them.  From my research, it appears to be a
work called Netsky.  I haven't found a way to get it off yet, but I'm
working on it.




TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly but not
exclusively to telecommunications topics. It is circulated anywhere
there is email, in addition to various telecom forums on a variety of
networks such as Compuserve and America On Line, Yahoo Groups, and
other forums.  It is also gatewayed to Usenet where it appears as the
moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'.

TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational
service offered to the Internet by Patrick Townson. All the contents
of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in
some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work
and that of the original author.

Contact information:    Patrick Townson/TELECOM Digest
                        Post Office Box 50
                        Independence, KS 67301
                        Phone: 620-402-0134
                        Fax 1: 775-255-9970
                        Fax 2: 530-309-7234
                        Fax 3: 208-692-5145         


This Digest is the oldest continuing e-journal about telecomm-
unications on the Internet, having been founded in August, 1981 and
published continuously since then.  Our archives are available for
your review/research. We believe we are the oldest e-zine/mailing list
on the internet in any category!

URL information:

Anonymous FTP:
  (or use our mirror site:

Email <==> FTP: 

      Send a simple, one line note to that automated address for
      a help file on how to use the automatic retrieval system
      for archives files. You can get desired files in email.

*   TELECOM Digest is partially funded by a grant from                  *
*   Judith Oppenheimer, President of ICB Inc. and purveyor of accurate  *
*   800 & Dot Com News, Intelligence, Analysis, and Consulting.         *
*,                    *
*   Views expressed herein should not be construed as representing      *
*   views of Judith Oppenheimer or ICB Inc.                             *

ICB Toll Free News.  Contact information is not sold, rented or leased.

One click a day feeds a person a meal.  Go to

Copyright 2004 ICB, Inc. and TELECOM Digest. All rights reserved.
Our attorney is Bill Levant, of Blue Bell, PA.




Visit and take the next step in your
career with a Master of Science in Telecommunications Management
(MSTM) degree from Oklahoma State University (OSU). This 35
credit-hour interdisciplinary program is designed to give you the
skills necessary to manage telecommunications networks, including
data, video, and voice networks.

The MSTM degree draws on the expertise of the OSU's College
of Business Administration; the College of Arts and Sciences; and the
College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. The program has
state-of-the-art lab facilities on the Stillwater and Tulsa campus
offering hands-on learning to enhance the program curriculum.  Classes
are available in Stillwater, Tulsa, or through distance learning.

Please contact Jay Boyington for additional information at
405-744-9000,, or visit the MSTM web site at



Finally, the Digest is funded by gifts from generous readers such as
yourself who provide funding in amounts deemed appropriate. Your help
is important and appreciated. A suggested donation of fifty dollars
per year per reader is considered appropriate. See our address above.
Please make at least a single donation to cover the cost of processing
your name to the mailing list. 

All opinions expressed herein are deemed to be those of the
author. Any organizations listed are for identification purposes only
and messages should not be considered any official expression by the

End of TELECOM Digest V24 #154

Return to Archives**Older Issues