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Voice over Internet Protocol (VoiP) phone service and pulse dialing

Started by Konrad, January 07, 2009, 12:48:00 PM

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Short Answer is yes it works with the right bits.  Both can be made to work in a power outage but depending on the outage one or the other or both could be working or not in an emergency.  POTS will work with a no external power required phone as long as the exchange and lines are working.  The techie solutions will run for a short time 24 hours or less before you for need to fire up the generator.

Long technical answer from a former Microsoftie who left the tech world and started a BBQ restaurant 7 years ago.

Comcast does not "officially" support rotary/pulse dialing.  The Comcast Arris TM502G VOIP Router works perfectly with a WE500 and has a built in backup battery.  But if Comcast brings a different black box that does not support pulse you have no right to complain.

Vonage.  Much cheaper than Comcast US, Canada and parts of  Europe are unlimited.  Last time I checked a few years ago Australia was under 4 cents.  Linksys routers had issues including no rotary support.  The new V-Portal VDV21-VD rocks.  The priority routing has been solved for dummies by putting the Vonage V-Portal between the Internet modem and your computer or router.  This means it get first priority for calling.  This could be solved on the Linksys by a techie but caused lots of customer satisfaction issues.  What the V-Portal also does is support rotary dialing  :)  Works perfectly with a WE500.  It also shows the number you are dialing and call logs including missed calls and stuff like the weather.  For power outages you will need to buy an UPS aka Uninterpretable Power Supply and plug the internet modem and V-Portal into the UPS. For the tech ignorant that is not a small light surge protect it's bigger and heavier and when you unplug it from the wall the devices plugged into it keep working.

The V-Portal arrived yesterday and the Comcast months ago at the restaurant.  So this is a real first hand eyewitness account tested with 1950's vintage WE 500's.



PS makes sure if bargain hunting on eBay the V-Portal seller has paid their bill and release the MAC address from their account.  I had an honest seller who did that after I got it.  But if they do not pay off their bill and release it you got nada.



It may be a little known fact, that most VoiP phone modems do not support pulse dialing (rotary). This is something you must keep in mind if you own, or intend to purchase a rotary telephone. Or, if you intend to switch service from your copper wire (POTS) to VoiP. Since many offer VoiP now, and Comcast has recently stolen the No. #3 position for telephone service. This is going to become a well known fact as time goes on. Of course for 99% of the population, they could care less. But for us die-hard phone fanatics, it's going to hurt!

There are of course several long term solutions. A DTMF pulse converter is one. Many vender's sell these ready to plug in. Another option is purchasing an old PBX system. The different types are to numerous to mention. But a simple search of Ebay will show you what's available. Last, some VoiP modems support pulse dialing. They have a built in DTMF converter. Again, listing which modems have this feature is impossible for me to determine. I use Vonage, and their phone modem MOTOROLA model #VT2142-VD does exactly this.

One issue you may run into with a phone modem that supports pulse dialing is the actual speed at which your telephone is dialing, or "pulsing" per second. The industry standard is 10 pulses per second, plus/minus 2. With my modem, it's critical. Mine seems to only work at 12 pulses per second or better. Which means I must speed up my dials. Also, if I speed them up too fast, it causes my modern cordless phones to ring during dialing. Why? Because the speed is getting close to the magic 20/hz ring frequency. I assume my modern sets are probably "broad" in their ability to recognize multiple frequencies, as I'm not turning my dial speeds up to 20 pulses per second. So, it's a balancing game at best.

These are things we as collectors must consider, if it's important for your phone to dial out. Last, phone modems generally don't supply as high a voltage for ringing. While it's close, it's enough that a phone buff like myself might see a difference. Such as uneven clapper operation. Simply take a voltage reading across your ringer circuits when the phone is ringing to see what it is. 90vac is the norm.

If you have questions, or any further info. Email or PM me. I'll add it, or try and answer your question as best I can.


St Clair Shores, MI


if you're running your own asterisk server or using a bring your own device (BYOD) voip provider (eg callwithus, vitelity, .. there are tons of them) you have a few more options and more flexibility in that you can connect several ATAs (phone modems as you call them) at the same time and if you're running your own asterisk box call between them.   specifically the digium iaxy and the ag-188n support pulse dialing and i've used both with WE 202's and AE 40's w/ no issues.  the former supports only the IAX protocol meaning that you're limited to connecting to mostly asterisk servers.  the ag-188n supports SIP which means pretty much anyone.

Dennis Markham

Reuteler, welcome to the forum.

Thank you for this posting, although admittedly I didn't understand much of it. :-[


Dennis, an ATA is a device you hook to a network that converts an analog phone line to ethernet so it will work with VoIP. We use them for FAX machines, postage meters and cordless phones to hook them to the IP phone system. I honestly have never tried a rotary phone with one to see if it works.


I just had a conversation about Voip today.  Luckily, my dad's new store has to have a POTS line, since he sells guns.  So, I will be able to keep my rotaries up and going.  There was a scare since ma likes charter phone service :(
I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main roads. Searchin' in the sun for another overload.  I hear you singin' in the wires, I can hear you through the whine, and the Witchita Lineman is still on the line.


Quote from: Dennis Markham on March 08, 2010, 06:43:36 PM
Thank you for this posting, although admittedly I didn't understand much of it. :-[

;-)  -- if you'd like a little motivation to get in the know, check this site out. - it's a distributed voip network for switchers & phone collectors.  nothing helps learning better than a goal!  they have a pretty decent FAQ and i'm sure there are quite a few asterisk people around here who'd be willing to help (me included).


Can you post some pictures of an Asterisk system in operation so we all can have an idea of what it takes to get one going?


Quote from: JorgeAmely on March 10, 2010, 05:29:58 PM
Can you post some pictures of an Asterisk system in operation so we all can have an idea of what it takes to get one going?

heh.. it's a software pbx that usually runs on unix (mostly linux).  see here  apparently (according to the faq) you can get on w/o your own server and just an ATA, but most people wire the ATA to their asterisk box and connect that in.

Dennis Markham


How did I get through  to the dangerous unknown world of digitalism ???

When the interests is Old telephones, you are almost climbing a fence to start with these modern things, it may be hard :)
When you actually are here, you have come almost safe and sound over the fence ;D
You are not safe yet :P its a lot of things to do wrong; A friend of mine bought a pulse to tone converter at Sandman, but it didn't dial 6. And of course just send it back, and we send you a new one. Great, but the postage was about $30 from here, and would the new one work ??? He stopped there.
I discovered C*NET, and took the chance and got myselves an ATA and a pair of  free telephone numbers. They even helped me  to get a SmartT1 box converting pulse to tone. Not very expensive so far.
8) But dangerous 8)  I was starting to like this.
I bought a pair of Dialgizmo's they converts pulse to tone and may be used on regular and reverse dials, and yes they are working well if your dial shorts the line when turning the dial, you may even dial * and #. :D
Only 2 lines  :-\ and not able to connect to different systems :'(
I need an advanced PABX,  :) I had played with a few simple ones from Ericksson and Sun Moon Star, but it didn't cope with my needs, so I got lucky :D and got mayselves an really old Panasonic 616 PABX at eBay for a little more than the P&P.
This one understands rotary and tone, but converts to tone, I may dial out/receive on my old CO line, 2 free C*NET lines skype via an skypebox, and my mobile via my last hightech box an XLINK BT from EBAY.
(This box may be used as a skype-box too.) It understands rotary dial! :D

Actually I dislike Skype, because I need to have the PC running to receive calls >:(, but so many others uses skype.

The Panasonic PABX's are reliable and solves the most of the problems ;D, gives a real ringing, and my be connected to almost whatever you have of lines.
If you like to use it and keep your bills low, the C*NET may be to worth considering ;). Putting up an Analog Telephone Adapter like Linksys PAP2T with a Dialgizmo you may adjust the ringer frequency to use your old party line telephone.  The Xlink to your mobile and/or Skype may be a step in right direction, bu it is more than expensive  :( if you cant get it to a redused price.

So come on :P, PM me with your skype id and proper time for calling (I'm in Norway), and I may call you from one old telephones, and you may hear the speech quality.
Old telephone - PABX-Skype telbox-PC-(Internet)- and whatever you have in the other end.

Regards :)

(Dag S Karlsen)


My aunt is planning to get connection with it. Thanks for that information.  Like Dennis I will give a look to theat software pbx which you called it as Asterisk system. Business Process Automation


Sorry to keep banging on about them, but the simplest answer is.......

A Pana PBX, plug anything into it, and it converts to tone for your line, easy peasy!

Even works on my darn videophones!
"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"


Welcome to our forum.

Just curious here, If you have a dial up modem for your computer, cann it be ujsed as a POTS line, It has a standard phone jack ?


The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson