TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Is Your Telephone AC Power Dependent?

Is Your Telephone AC Power Dependent?

Thomas D. Horne, FF EMT (
Sat, 20 Jan 2007 17:04:31 -0500


I don't mean to be insulting with this question so if it is
too obvious please forgive me. Is at least one telephone line
into your home exchange powered copper twisted pair? Do you
have a cell phone in case your line goes down?

-- Tom Horne

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I have a small PBX-type thing. Two
'incoming'/'outgoing' lines. Dial three digits (100-through 105) to
get the various rooms in my house. The 0 operator is aliased to
extension 100.

Dial 9 to get a 'regular' battery-powered CO line on 620-331 from
Sage Telecom (which replaced the late, great Prairie Stream

Dial 8 to get a Vonage VOIP line (620-402-0134).

Dial 70-0 to pick up an incoming call on either outside line, both
of which have a 'common audible' bell which is mounted on the wall
nearby the unit. All incoming calls default to ringing on extension
100 which aliases to extension 0 (or operator).

Dial 108 or 109 to park either or both incoming lines in a 'holding
queue', then pick the call back up from another extension such as
my office or bedroom by redialing 108 or 109.

I have a Cingular cell phone with its own battery of course, and I
can also charge it via a 'Cell Socket' device which ties into
extension 102 on the PBX. That is to say, I can from any internal
phone dial extension 102 and get access to the Cingular phone if it
is in the cell socket device.

The 'PBX-type thing' is powered from AC. There is a central office
bypass socket on the unit which brings either outside line direct to
a phone instrument plugged into it. From that bypass (of the PBX) I
have a caller-ID plugged in and whatever else.

In the event power is out, the first line (Sage, telco landline) feeds
into the bypass switch. The second line, (the VOIP could be plugged in
there, but no matter since the computer is _mostly_ dead.) If the
second line was an actual telco line as well, then I would have it
there also, since the voltage from the ringing phone toggles the
bypass to one side or the other where it would remain until a call on
the other line toggled it back.

The VOIP line is mainly powered by the computer's electricity, but I
do have a small 'battery backup' on my system, mainly to allow for an
orderly shut down of the system as needed. In the process of 'shutting
down' due to power failure, I _could_ make a call through that battery
backup over the computer/VOIP line, and I assume I could unplug
everything but the router and that one computer and stretch out the
battery life a few more minutes.

What I really need to get is a slightly bigger battery backup to
allow me to continue using my one lamp a bit longer, and a crank
radio to allow me to play my radio even when power was out for awhile.
Have you seen those? Crank the radio a half dozen times or so and it
allows the radio to play for about an hour on that cranking. I also
have a (seldom used) CB radio which would work from the battery backup
or the crank (if I had one) for a short time. Of course, it would not
help with the refrigerator or the furnace fan, but I do have logs
for my fireplace as needed. PAT]

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