Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Switching => VOIP, Asterisk, C*NET, XLink, etc => Topic started by: winkydink on January 01, 2012, 09:10:00 PM

Title: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: winkydink on January 01, 2012, 09:10:00 PM
I am helping a friend trying to hook up their "new" rotary phone (a WE 302) at their home.  They have Comcast Digital Voice.

This friend doesn't know anything about rotary phones and very little about how their Comcast hookup was installed.

From what I can determine, The digital modem is hooked up to a wireless phone base unit, and they have wireless remote units throughout the house.  I do not believe that Comcast hooked up the wiring in the house.  I found an article about how to hook up the rest of the house to use the Comcast service

http://www.ehow.com/how_2197109_house-work-comcast-digital-voice.html


I think the situation in the article describes the situation I am walking into.  The only problem I have is that this is an older house and does not have an "outside box" to disconnect the service from the outside.

Does anyone know if this is important.  And if it is, how can I do this from the interior ?

I also want to verify that the phone works with the Digital voice.  So my initial plan was to connect this to "Line 1" of the digital phone modem and see if the phone works.  Does this sound like a reasonable approach (They tried this on Xmas day and the phone worked but they brought down the internet).

If anyone has experience starting from square 1 with Comcast Digital Voice and would like to give some advice, I would appreciate it.

thank you.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: bingster on January 01, 2012, 09:17:28 PM
I ran into this exact situation when I moved in July.  The solution is super easy.  When the installation tech arrived at my house, I happened to have an old rotary 500 with a modular adapter on the end of the line cord sitting on a stack of boxes.  The tech must have assumed that was the phone I wanted hooked up, so he plugged it directly into the line out jack on the edge of the comcast box.  It worked perfectly.  But I needed the whole house wired, so I unplugged the phone and plugged in a simple modular line cord (with clips on each end), and plugged in the other end to a nearby phone jack, which wound up energizing the entire system.

I wasn't happy with such a jury rigged system, so I've since replaced all the phone wiring and jacks in the house, and ran the wire from the comcast box into the basement where it's connected to Bell System Equipment.  But that's a story for another day.

You can do this easily, and the phones should definitely work.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: winkydink on January 01, 2012, 09:30:30 PM
I ran into this exact situation when I moved in July.  The solution is super easy.  When the installation tech arrived at my house, I happened to have an old rotary 500 with a modular adapter on the end of the line cord sitting on a stack of boxes.  The tech must have assumed that was the phone I wanted hooked up, so he plugged it directly into the line out jack on the edge of the comcast box.  It worked perfectly.  But I needed the whole house wired, so I unplugged the phone and plugged in a simple modular line cord (with clips on each end), and plugged in the other end to a nearby phone jack, which wound up energizing the entire system.

I wasn't happy with such a jury rigged system, so I've since replaced all the phone wiring and jacks in the house, and ran the wire from the comcast box into the basement where it's connected to Bell System Equipment.  But that's a story for another day.

You can do this easily, and the phones should definitely work.

So are you saying that it is OK to just connect Line 1  from the modem to a modular wire and the other end of the wire to the nearest modular outlet ?

(In my case I will need to change the outlet to a modular one from a 4 prong one, but thtat too is a story for another day.)
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Adam on January 01, 2012, 09:30:51 PM
The only problem I have is that this is an older house and does not have an "outside box" to disconnect the service from the outside.

Does anyone know if this is important.  And if it is, how can I do this from the interior ?

It's like, really important. If left connected to the telephone company central office wires, voltages on the phone line and voltages coming from your local VOIP equipment could interfere with each other, and very likely cause damage, most likely to your VOIP equipment.  I don't want to scare you or anything, but in an extreme circumstance, a fire could result.

Every house has an "outside box to disconnect the service", although it may be somewhere inside the house, not outside, like in a garage, or a basement.  It can't be someplace terribly hard to access (like an inaccessible attic) because don't forget, phone men need easy access to this to fix your phone when it goes out of order.

Does the service coming into your house come in via wires on a pole?  If so, you should be able to see where the wire "drop" connects to your house, and follow it from there to find your disconnect point.

If your wires come in from underground, it makes it a bit harder, but like I said, your incoming service connection has to be somewhere, like a garage, basement, the back of a closet, etc.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: bingster on January 01, 2012, 09:36:23 PM
Quite right.  I didn't have to worry about mine, because the tech disconnected the drop wire from the basement protector (the house doesn't have an outside demarc point).
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Adam on January 01, 2012, 09:39:09 PM
Well, they're one and the same thing.  The protector is the demarc point, so if the drop wire is totally disconnected from the house wiring by removing it at the protector, then it's OK to connect VOIP to the house wiring.

P.S.: It's a really good idea to put a tag on the disconnected, hanging drop wire that says "IMPORTANT! TELEPHONE COMPANY: DO NOT RECONNECT!"  Seriously.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: winkydink on January 01, 2012, 09:50:29 PM
Does anyone have a picture of what this might look like.  So I know what to look for ?

Again this house is from the 30's or 40's and still has many original 4 prong plugs in the house. 
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: dencins on January 01, 2012, 09:59:00 PM
I have Comcast Digital Voice.  The telephone modem is an Arris Touchstone and the way it is  connected is RJ11 "line 1" to an existing phone jack.  That way you can use any phone jack in the house for a telephone.  Also all phones ring on incomimg calls.  I have a 354 in the kitchen, a 302 in my workroom and a wireless telephone base station in the office with wireless phones in the office and bedroom.  All work fine including rotary dialing.

If you connect the modem to the wireless base station, the rest of the jacks in the house will not be connected.

Originally the Arris Touchstone was also my internet connection.  Cable wire to Arris Touchstone then RJ41 connection to Cicso wireless router and RJ11 "line 1" to phone jack.

Since then Comcast increased internet speed and provided a Ubee Doc 3.0 modem for the internet.  All this took was a splitter on the cable wire with one side going to the Ubee for the internet and the other to the Arris for Digital Voice.  Obviously I had to move the RJ41 going to the router from the Arris to the Ubee.

Dennis Hallworth
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: winkydink on January 01, 2012, 10:00:33 PM
Here is a photo of a phone connector in my house (not the location that I am working on tomorrow).  Is this the disconnect point I am looking for.

If so, what exactly should I disconnect ?
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Adam on January 01, 2012, 10:17:50 PM
Yep, you got it!  That's the protector!  When you find it at the other house, remove the wires coming from big fat black cable, that's the drop wire from the outside.  Leave everything else connected together as it is, those are all the wires to the jacks in the house, which you want to remain to be interconnected.

Also do NOT remove the grey ground wire in the middle, that remains important to the house wiring.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: winkydink on January 01, 2012, 11:04:52 PM
thanks !

So to review.

1)  disconnect the line from the outside Bell/Verizon service (Thick black wire)

2)  Attach a modular line to "input 1" of the digital voice modem

3)  Attach the other end (modular connector) to a modular phone jack nearby

4)  Test a phone on a different jack with-in the house

5)  Hope for the best.

thanks
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Adam on January 01, 2012, 11:28:46 PM
Yes, that sounds right!
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: bingster on January 02, 2012, 12:51:10 AM
If the protector is older, it may look like the one below (it may also be white porcelain in the exact same design).  Same deal though... remove the heavy black cable coming in from outside, if it's still connected.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: winkydink on January 03, 2012, 08:46:40 AM
Well my story has a happy ending.

I found where the protector was at my friend's house.  In fact They had 2, located about 1 foot from each other.  The original one for the house was made slightly inaccessable because somewhere in the past someone "framed" a panel to hide the electric panel/phone input.  The newer one was located inside the framed area.  It was the newer one (inside the framed area) which the outside (fat black) wire was attached to.  There were no wires attached to the newer protector except for the line from outside and one set of wires (red/green) which attached to the older less accessable protector.

I made sure that that the jumper set of wires going between the two protectors were disconnected so that phone wiring of the house was isolated from the outside connection.

I then made a wire with a modular plug on one side and wires on the other, connected the red/green to red/green on one of the accessable phone jacks and plugged the modular connector into "phone 1" of the Comcast Modem.  Presto !  All the phone jacks in the house worked.

We plugged in the rotary 302 upstairs and it too worked.  Initially I thought that the dialing part was not working because I did not get immediately connected to the number I dialed.  I later found out that there is a 10 or 15 second delay to connect, so dialing also works.

Do other people with Comcast Digital Voice also experience this type of delay ?

In anycase, it rings, it has a dial tone, it dials poperly and the send/recieve voice quality is very good.  A happy ending !
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Adam on January 03, 2012, 09:54:48 AM
Great news!  Good way to start off 2012!  :)
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: bingster on January 03, 2012, 01:29:00 PM
Congratulations, on the working system!  With my comcast service, I get an instantaneous dial tone, but I don't know enough about the various service levels/types/areas to know if that applies to everybody or not.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: winkydink on January 03, 2012, 02:02:57 PM
For this particular set up, the dial tone give 2 or 3 short dial tones, before you get a steady dial tone. 

The question that I had, is that between dialing the phone number and getting a ringing tone (i.e. the other side is ringing) takes about 10 seconds or more, much longer than I have ever experienced with a land line.  So much time, that after my initial setup, I thought that I would need to get a pulse to tone converter.

It so happens that my friends children were playing with the phone, dialing out to their cell phones, when they found that the dialing out portion worked.  I was just wondering if this is normal for a VOIP type setup ?
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: bingster on January 03, 2012, 02:10:16 PM
Ohhhh, the stuttering dial tone is a signal that there's a message waiting on the subscriber's internal voice mail feature.  It can be cleared by checking the message via phone or internet.

I just checked, and my connection time is around four seconds, but I honestly don't pay attention to it, so I'm not sure if that's the norm for me, or if it takes longer at other times.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Owain on January 03, 2012, 06:30:34 PM

The question that I had, is that between dialing the phone number and getting a ringing tone (i.e. the other side is ringing) takes about 10 seconds or more, much longer than I have ever experienced with a land line. 

There's often a time-out on VoIP systems. Bear in mind that the PSTN has a fairly fixed dial plan, but with VoIP you could be dialling an extension number, a SIP number, a local or national PSTN number, or a service code - all of which could have the same initial digits.

Usually pressing # at the end of the dial string tells the VoIP to process the number and not wait for any more digits to match.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: winkydink on January 03, 2012, 06:47:39 PM

Usually pressing # at the end of the dial string tells the VoIP to process the number and not wait for any more digits to match.


Yes but unfortunately a rotary phone doesn't have a #, and I would like to avoid having to purchase a pulse to tone unit if at at possible.

However, your point is well taken that VoIP is a more complicated process.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: dencins on January 03, 2012, 07:28:21 PM
I have Comcast Digital Phone.  I just tried my 354 and the ring was almost instant after the last number was dialed.  I called one in state number and one out of state and no delay at all on either.  Do you get the same delay on their wireless phone? 

As far as I know the analog-to-digital converter chip is in the telephone modem so it must be converting the dial pulse to digital so I do not see how another will help.

Dennis Hallworth
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Owain on January 03, 2012, 07:42:32 PM

Usually pressing # at the end of the dial string tells the VoIP to process the number and not wait for any more digits to match.


Yes but unfortunately a rotary phone doesn't have a #, and I would like to avoid having to purchase a pulse to tone unit if at at possible.

However, your point is well taken that VoIP is a more complicated process.

You might be able to alter the timeout period or change the dial plan. My VoIP provider supports shortcode dialling for 100 numbers, just dial 2 digits and the provider makes the connection. It means that aunty in Australia can be on 'extn 23'
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: twocvbloke on January 03, 2012, 11:22:45 PM
Yes but unfortunately a rotary phone doesn't have a #, and I would like to avoid having to purchase a pulse to tone unit if at at possible.

However, your point is well taken that VoIP is a more complicated process.

I don't know if these devices were popular in the US or not, but here in the UK, these DTMF tone generators were used either to control answering machines, or to use those annoying "press 1 for a long wait, 2 for annoying music, 3 to be cut off, etc." services with older rotary or pulse-dial push-button phones, I have one myself, somewhere, must dig it out cos I need it...  :D

They just sat over the mouthpiece and you pressed the buttons, you can even dial whole numbers with it...  ;D
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: GG on January 04, 2012, 12:17:34 AM


Winkydink, you can also try dialing 1+ area code + 7 digit number, and see if that goes through quickly.

That time delay also occurs on PRI (ISDN) circuits.  The default setting is 10 seconds.  On Panasonic PBXs, we change it to 4 seconds, which in my experience is acceptable.  The tradeoff is between a) giving callers enough time to dial the intended number, since they often pause to glance at the number again while dialing, and b) not delaying the call excessively.  (And of course, pressing # makes the call go through immediately.)

The reason 4 seconds works (in the US) is that it's the pause between rings, so it sounds "natural" to hear a 4-second pause and then a ringback tone.   However I've had a couple of clients who reported problems with 4 seconds being too short, and for them I've changed it to 5 seconds without causing annoyance to other people in their offices. 

This interacts with a disability access issue.  I have a client who apparently has some kind of muscular disability that causes hand tremors (I didn't ask when I observed this), who was reporting dialing problems (calls attempting to complete before they were done dialing).  I showed them that they could enter the entire number on their Panasonic digital phone keypad, taking as long as needed to dial, and then press a Line button or lift the receiver, and the entire number would be dialed quickly.

So I'm willing to believe that the default 10 second setting is used as a "safe" setting by some telcos for accessibility reasons.  In which case you could contact Comcast or whoever, and ask them to shorten that time to e.g. 4 seconds. 

There's a terrible irony here: first we have rotary dials, then people start preferring DTMF because it's "faster."  Then we get "smart phone" keyboards that are so ergonomically bad that it takes just as long to key in a number as to dial it on a rotary phone.  And we also get VOIP lines that produce a pause after dialing, making the dialing process no different than using a "decadic pulse" pushbutton phone (or taking as long as a rotary dial).   

One step "forward," two steps back.

BTW if anyone around here knows Asterisk programming, I have a project for later this year: add back in the program lines for rotary dialing on an Asterisk device with a more "compact" set of programming that does not presently support rotary. 
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Owain on January 04, 2012, 06:03:36 AM
There's a terrible irony here: first we have rotary dials,

To be pedantic, first we had four push buttons (units, tens, hundreds, thousands) on the subscriber telephone box each controlled a wire to the central office, while the fifth wire was for talking.

The rotary dial came a bit later.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: old_stuff_hound on January 04, 2012, 07:19:41 PM
I don't know if these devices were popular in the US or not, but here in the UK, these DTMF tone generators were used either to control answering machines, or to use those annoying "press 1 for a long wait, 2 for annoying music, 3 to be cut off, etc." services with older rotary or pulse-dial push-button phones, I have one myself, somewhere, must dig it out cos I need it...  :D

They just sat over the mouthpiece and you pressed the buttons, you can even dial whole numbers with it...  ;D

I've got a couple of DTMF apps for my iPod touch. Haven't had much success with them though. I think the volume is too low to trip the phone co's eqpt...
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: twocvbloke on January 04, 2012, 08:02:25 PM
I found that older mobile phones made good DTMF generators, especially motorolas that played DTMF tones whatever you did on the keypad, they're loud enough to work telephone exchange equipment when at full volume... :)
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: TheGBC on December 14, 2012, 10:21:04 AM
At  the risk of thread necromancy, I thought I'd mention that the Arris TM602G cable modem that Comcast issued to me works fine with every phone I've tried on it, including rotary - indistinguishable from a landline.
Though you can't change anything, you can look at the configuration/hardware info on these modems by pointing a web browser at http://192.168.100.1 (http://192.168.100.1) from inside the LAN.
Is there already a thread here somewhere to post which cable/DSL modems/VOIP adapters work with rotary? (I searched, but didn't see anything)
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: George Knighton on December 14, 2012, 11:46:09 AM
There's a lot of good information in here that gives me hope that my burgeoning collection of rotary phones might be used on Comcast Digital Voice.  Comcast is my home county broadband provider out here in the country and it would be quite a bit cheaper to use their service instead of the franchise wired service.

But...there's kind of an odd situation that has always kept me from going to VOIP, even before the advent of my new rotary phone hobby.

One of my jobs is a little strange.  It involves having the access to a number of machines that are located in remote areas.  For a number of reasons, one of these servers might "panic" and remove itself from all connectivity with the outside world.

In that case, it's up to me to *dial into* that machine using a conventional analogue modem and figure out what's wrong and restart connectivity.

What's always kept me from getting any kind of VOIP in the past is that it seemed a waste of time and money because they'd always told me that it would be completely unreliable for communications via old fashioned analogue modem.

But looking at what I'm reading here, that situation might've mitigated.

Has anybody had occasion, recently, to try to use an old fashioned analogue modem via Comcast Digital Voice?

Thanks very much for any help you can provide.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Owain on December 14, 2012, 12:08:11 PM
In that case, it's up to me to *dial into* that machine using a conventional analogue modem and figure out what's wrong and restart connectivity.

What's always kept me from getting any kind of VOIP in the past is that it seemed a waste of time and money because they'd always told me that it would be completely unreliable for communications via old fashioned analogue modem.

Very probably.

If you need serial terminal access for network management, then assuming your underlying IP is reliable or you have a separate network for management purposes, you use serial-to-IP converters which pass your serial data over IP.

http://intrl.startech.com/Networking-IO/Serial-over-IP

You can also get power control over IP if you need to power-cycle a device remotely.

Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Doug Rose on December 14, 2012, 06:43:16 PM
I hang Comcast digital Voice off my Panasonic 616. Works like a champ. A Panasonic 616 is  a great investment. A great investment     ;) ....Doug
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: George Knighton on December 14, 2012, 09:14:40 PM
Very probably.

If you need serial terminal access for network management, then assuming your underlying IP is reliable or you have a separate network for management purposes, you use serial-to-IP converters which pass your serial data over IP.

http://intrl.startech.com/Networking-IO/Serial-over-IP

You can also get power control over IP if you need to power-cycle a device remotely.

I hang Comcast digital Voice off my Panasonic 616. Works like a champ. A Panasonic 616 is  a great investment. A great investment     ;) ....Doug

Will research this.  Thanks very much for your help.

Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: TheGBC on December 15, 2012, 06:27:56 AM
...I should also mention that Comcast is a nightmare in every other way. For example, the modem itself has a backup battery that'll keep it alive for 8 hours (and an optional one that can go for 24) if the power goes out.
However, none of the upstream equipment has backup (It's supposed to, but they either don't maintain it, or, if you believe one story, someone went around and stole the batteries to sell for scrap, and Comcast never replaced them) so when the power goes out, so does the phone. I won't say any more, you guys probably know about all the worst-company-of-the-year awards they've got. (If they didn't have a monopoly here, I'd be using someone else.)
But the modem is great, you can get them off of ebay for a song, and they'll work with other ISPs.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: TheGBC on December 15, 2012, 06:31:46 AM
Has anybody had occasion, recently, to try to use an old fashioned analogue modem via Comcast Digital Voice?
I just tried it with a California-based free dialup service. Couldn't connect at faster than 33.6 (on a 56k modem) but if all you're doing is remote terminal that should be enough. Go with anyone but Comcast if you have the option. Charter and Time Warner, in particular, are better than they used to be.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Doug Rose on December 15, 2012, 08:08:20 AM
I have had Comcast for the past five years. No issues whatsoever with cable, voice or high speed internet. I had RCN before Comcast and they were a nightmare.  One of the big three was always down.  I am very pleased with Comcast....Doug
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: George Knighton on December 15, 2012, 08:40:27 AM
I asked about some of this yesterday when I was messaging with somebody up north.

Got shut down pretty hard.  He wouldn't go into details as to why, but I'm pretty much ordered to maintain a copper land line for doing this.

I am an administrator who just happens to be assigned certain functions in this particular little job.  I'm not any kind of technician who would be able to argue with people about workability or the merits of this or that security.



Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Doug Rose on December 15, 2012, 09:00:01 AM
George...I have been in the Telephone Industry for 35 years. Copper used to be a staple. Even when T1s first came, we always kept copper as a backup. As the years go by the insulation on the copper wears away. Static, radio stations, other peoples conversation are common. Hard to get a clean copper line. Hanging in the waether 24/7 is a recipe for disaster.  In this digital age, there will be no new copper run.  I work for the largest Private Bank in the world. We are global and are just a click away from any voice or video system around the world. ISDN is dying and IP is the way of the future. Digital World.

Only benefit of copper is it will stay alive if you lose you power. Copper is expensive. With most cable companies you can get a a package with free LD.

Your job description is a little vague, but your argument should be copper is a dinosaur that is destined to die. I see zero benefit in investing in copper.

Just my humble opinion...Doug
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: George Knighton on December 15, 2012, 09:07:03 AM
I'll enlist allies from inside and ask the question again at some point in the future.

I live near what used to be Mt Pony and is now the Library of Congress, and the quasi-official Swift installation.  There ought to be enough people around to help educate me enough to make a presentable, viable argument.

I appreciate your help.

Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: poplar1 on December 15, 2012, 09:13:39 AM
Is it possible that your employer would pay the cost of a copper line since it is required for your job? If not, then you should at least be able to deduct the cost on your income tax. (Only second lines, not primary line, in a residence are tax deductible.)

I for one am happy that by the early 1900s common battery sets were used in my neighborhood. (When we steamed off the calcimine paint at my grandmother's house, which was built in 1904, we found the outline of an 85A common battery fiddleback phone.) The batteries are at the central office and if the power fails, they have a diesel generator about the size of a school bus.

I have two 5ESS lines and recently purchased a MagicJack plus. Even with 6.0 DSL, the sound on the MagicJack connection is not as good as the landline. I don't own a cell phone, though I admit they can be useful when you are not at home. But there is no sidetone, which makes  some people shout into their phones.

So, I guess my question is: do people (including a lot of collectors) really prefer VOIP over a POTS line, or is it just the cost?

And if AT&T does pull the plug on their CO phone switches 4 years from now, will any of us who like old phones regret that we can no longer order dial tone? I'm holding out as long as I can. (They tried to get me to switch to Uverse but I turned them down. Uverse does not support rotary phones according to the AT&T website.)
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Owain on December 15, 2012, 09:22:26 AM
I asked about some of this yesterday when I was messaging with somebody up north.

Got shut down pretty hard.  He wouldn't go into details as to why, but I'm pretty much ordered to maintain a copper land line for doing this.

Fairy nuff. In that case perhaps the employer should be paying for you to have a copper land line at home if you need end-to-end modem.

Otherwise you could telnet into a terminal server at the employer's location and modem out from the TS on the employer's copper if it's just the remote points that must be copper.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: George Knighton on December 15, 2012, 10:38:14 AM
Is it possible that your employer would pay the cost of a copper line since it is required for your job?
I'm adequately compensated.  :-)  I just want to be adequately compensated and have my country house full of old timey phones.

Quote
(When we steamed off the calcimine paint at my grandmother's house, which was built in 1904, we found the outline of an 85A common battery fiddleback phone.)
Don't you just love things like that?

Quote
So, I guess my question is: do people (including a lot of collectors) really prefer VOIP over a POTS line, or is it just the cost?
I don't prefer it.  It's just easier...easier to have one bill, and easier to no longer have to worry about wiring (unless like us it's about keeping wired phones working).

What's really awful is people trying to use an extremely cheap VOIP service that's camping onto a franchised broadband that's not optimised for streaming voice. 

Quote
And if AT&T does pull the plug on their CO phone switches 4 years from now, will any of us who like old phones regret that we can no longer order dial tone?
I suspect we'll find a way to work it out.  Why'd you say 4 years?  Is this something on the horizon?

Quote
(They tried to get me to switch to Uverse but I turned them down. Uverse does not support rotary phones according to the AT&T website.)
Comcast Digital Voice also says that it will not support rotary.  But it sounds like lots of people have found a way to get it to work, although sometimes at the moderate expense of an old fashioned PBX kind of thing.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: twocvbloke on December 15, 2012, 11:05:48 AM
The way I see it, Analogue copper lines are reliable, when we had one heck of a storm (by UK standards of course) earlier this year, our phoneline had issues with crackling and the ADSL dropping out, but it kept on working... :)

Had it been a digital setup where the phone service was over a VOIP system, it wouldn't have worked for a few weeks while the lines dried out, as it works on the digital principle of being either On or Off, whereas analogue can work within On and Off, even under fault conditions... :)

I can understand that there are advantages to digital systems for anything, such as multiplexing say 10 lines into one copper line (dunno if you can or not, it's just an example!!), which means there is more space for more people to use and is cheaper to run for the provider, but when it comes to backups and emergencies, it's not always a reliable option, as one flaw knocks out anything digital... :-\
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: Brinybay on December 16, 2012, 12:06:08 AM
I went to POTS land line because I got tired of losing phone service every time I lost power or the internet went down.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: George Knighton on January 05, 2013, 09:30:18 PM
I don't know if these devices were popular in the US or not, but here in the UK, these DTMF tone generators were used either to control answering machines, or to use those annoying "press 1 for a long wait, 2 for annoying music, 3 to be cut off, etc." services with older rotary or pulse-dial push-button phones, I have one myself, somewhere, must dig it out cos I need it...  :D

They just sat over the mouthpiece and you pressed the buttons, you can even dial whole numbers with it...  ;D

I've got a couple of DTMF apps for my iPod touch. Haven't had much success with them though. I think the volume is too low to trip the phone co's eqpt...

There's an iPhone application called Tone Dial, by River Rock Logic.  It is free.

It works well for me.

The biggest problem I had was changing my Contacts from the format "+1 (703) 555-1212, 0" to the format "17035551212,,0" in order for Verizon land line service to comprehend.  You can't have a "+" with domestic land line dialing, evidently.

You also want ",," instead of "," if you need a pause.  Most numbers won't need a pause.

:-)

You also have to put the iPhone's speaker right on the transmitter cover for it to work 100% of the time.

I don't do it all of the time, but if I'm having to dial a bunch of numbers that I don't know by heart, I will use it.

I'm on a kick these days, using the rotary phones as much as possible.

I guess...it really is a sickness.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: George Knighton on January 05, 2013, 09:34:43 PM
Why'd you say 4 years?  Is this something on the horizon?

Having been here a little while longer now, I realize that there's a possibility that in 2018 the mandatory land line service might disappear.

But I think we're still arguing about it and whether it would be a safe and good thing to do.
Title: Comcast Digital Voice Rotary Problem
Post by: JimH on November 17, 2013, 02:48:00 PM
I have Comcast Digital Voice, and it has worked with my rotary phones for a year now.  I was trying to setup my wireless printer on the internet connection, and a website recommended pushing the "reset" button on the modem box.  The phones are also plugged into this.  I had to get a paperclip to push the reset button, as it was recessed in the back.  The lights flashed on the modem box, and ever since, my rotary phones will not break the dialtone.  I've called Comcast, they tried "resetting" the box from there, it did not work.  I tried other phones, unplugging modem box, etc, my rotary phone will still not break the dialtone.  Any suggestions?
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: G-Man on November 17, 2013, 05:38:44 PM
I suspect the only one that can help you is Comcast but the cable companies do not seem to be too willing to assist with rotary dialing.

According to the technical documentation I have read in the past, rotary (pulse) dialing and its parameters are provisioned within the modem.

However, I would doubt that they would provide you with passwords or necessary information to access the programming.

Some of the manuals are available on-line and if you find one then you may be able to find enough information to clue-in the person at the tech center as to what is involved with re-activating it and the pulsing tolerances that need to be configured. If so, you will most likely have to provide the brand and model number of your modem.

So unless someone else on this forum has a resolution, I would suggest you keep calling and hammering away at them until they finally come up with a solution.

For some time I have felt that it would be a good idea to start a list of modems that members on this forum use that either support or do not support rotary dialing. Then, armed with this information, research through the manufactures the needed information to get the cable companies to program them correctly. 
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: G-Man on November 17, 2013, 05:50:56 PM
Quote
For some time I have felt that it would be a good idea to start a list of modems the members on this forum use that either support or do not support rotary dialing. Then, armed with this information, research through the manufactures the needed information to get the cable companies to program them correctly.

Iíll go one further, if enough members of the clubs and this forum can band together, they could petition the FCC and Cable Industry groups to find a solution to the spotty provisioning of rotary dialing. Also, to set a technical standard for those who do provide it. Of course, rarely can everyone get on board without some sort of bickering taking place.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: G-Man on November 17, 2013, 06:00:43 PM
Further checking reveals that Comcast will allow you to provide your own eMTA instead of leasing it from them. If so, you should be able to find one that is compatible with pulse-dialing that you can program yourself.

Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: George Knighton on November 17, 2013, 06:45:05 PM
I have a Technicolor TC8305C from Comcast (Xfinity) and it is working fine with the rotary phones around the house.

If that helps any.

I used to power the house in the country with a cell signal and an Xlink router, but it turned out there was a price advantage to getting the VOIP service from them once we got the Blast! service out here. 

Crystal clear, too.  Much better than the Xlink and cell service was.

They do not supply the Technicolor modem with a backup battery, but they'll give you one if you want.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: George Knighton on November 17, 2013, 06:47:04 PM
The only thing that was annoying setting this all up was that the one 302 that I have with a Rotatone could not dial one of the "#" required by the Comcast/Xfinity Voice system and I could not finish setting up the voice mail service until I came home from work with one of the old 2500 from storage.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: JimH on November 18, 2013, 01:15:00 AM
Further checking reveals that Comcast will allow you to provide your own eMTA instead of leasing it from them. If so, you should be able to find one that is compatible with pulse-dialing that you can program yourself.


Thanks, guys for the info....I've got a tech person coming tomorrow.  If he installs a new modem, I'm never touching it again!  As for a petition, where do I sign!  I think there are enough people who still use rotary.  The guy at customer service didn't know what I was talking about when I said "rotary phone".  I explained that there is this little wheel that you stick your finger in and spin it around to dial a number.  He finally said...oh...I think I know what you mean now.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: GusHerb on April 15, 2014, 11:36:42 PM
Is everyone with Comcast voice still doing well with it?

As much as I hate to say it, I just put in an order for it and will be axing the POTS line here at home. The promo's ran out and the bill was gonna be around 60 a month. We hardly ever use the line anymore. I personally wanted to cancel the number all together but my Dad wouldn't go for that (even though the only calls it ever gets are his bill collectors, and now bill collectors of other relatives...)

Despite my own desire to drop the landline all together, I'm still happy we're keeping something that works with pulse dialing, so I can continue to use my rotary phones, and won't have to purchase a pulse to tone converter!

Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: GusHerb on July 29, 2014, 12:48:19 AM
I just moved our last remaining POTS line to Comcast Voice and discovered the Arris TG862 they gave us isn't setup to accept pulse dialing. Other then that it seems to work fine, I got an OEM backup battery on ebay for less then 7 bucks. Looks like I'll be ordering a Dialgizmo...
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: poplar1 on July 29, 2014, 09:45:13 AM
A happy Comcast Digital Voice customer:

The amazing thing: my rotary phone still works -- I call it ROIP -- Rotary over IP.

Some nice engineer at the modem company had to go to a lot of extra trouble to interpret the rotary pulses. I imagine it was either a very senior or very junior person!


http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/granitegeek/1033433-468/can-a-rotary-phone-work-over-a.html

By the same author:

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/1033317-469/dial-n-for-nostalgia--but-rotary.html
(If you go back and click on the link in the first article, rather than clicking on this link, you can read the entire article.)
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: kdpezz on March 24, 2017, 12:50:24 PM
I've been working to get my old rotary phone up and running on my comcast system.  I had my phone refurbished with new network and internal pulse to tone converter.  We are able to dial out and receive a call once, after that its takes almost an hour for the system to "reset".  First you hear nothing (but you can tell its "on"), then fast busy, and eventually a regular dial tone again.  Also, if i test it by calling my cell phone, i get my voicemail...hang up the rotary and give it a minute...pick up again my cell phone voicemail is still going like it never disconnected.  Any ideas?  We have tried swapping the wires (red/green) doesnt make a difference.  My husband took it to work where they have verizon and it still does it but the delay is only a few minutes.  i have called comcast and had them open up something that had to do with pulse/tone...makes no difference.  This is a wall phone, i didnt want an external converter I had to mount outside the unit on the wall.  I dont know if it will even make a difference though someone told me the dialgizmo will work with comcast.  Imhave an Arris modem which i checked after reading some of the threads on here.  I am not very electronically inclined but with all the time and money invested i am determined to get this thing functioning.  Any help would be greatly appreciated....thank you!
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: 19and41 on March 24, 2017, 02:43:45 PM
Have you been in touch with the folks who did the conversion of your phone yet?  If not, they may have had to deal with the specific problems you are having and could also help to correct it.  I'm sure they would not want to have it not perform as it should.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: kdpezz on March 24, 2017, 08:13:35 PM
i did and he is great...but he is at a loss as it worked fine at his shop (he is in canada)...he is still willing to take it back and look at it but its expensive to ship (yet again) and i really think it has to do,with my comcast system....someone suggested dialgizmo and i might try that....
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: 19and41 on March 24, 2017, 09:23:06 PM
If you were to get a dialgizmo, remember it needs the input of your pulse dial to function, as opposed to the DTMF tones that would be generated by your phones' internal conversion.
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: kdpezz on March 24, 2017, 09:56:52 PM
meaning it wont work bc the internal converter is now installed on the phone? 
Title: Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
Post by: 19and41 on March 24, 2017, 11:14:00 PM
I believe so.  The phone would have to function as it originally did.  In that light, It may be more cost effective sending it back.  I Would imagine he could do something to have it function.  If he had access to a similar system to your Comcast system, he could get a better idea.  Let him know just what you are using with the phone.