Author Topic: Help, please, with message waiting light  (Read 3427 times)

Offline Ed D

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Help, please, with message waiting light
« on: July 28, 2011, 10:48:12 PM »
Hi folks,

I am now working from home, and I have a business phone line with Caller ID and Voice Messaging.  The phone I am using belongs to my employer, and cannot be modified under penalty of death, or similar.  The voice messaging employs a "stuttering" dial tone to alert me to new messages.  YUK!!!  Here is what I have:

AT&T POTS line
AT&T Voice Messaging
Panasonic KX-TS3282W desk phone which sadly does not have a message waiting light.

I Googled a bit and found a website (sandman.com) that had a nice article about FSK, and Stuttering Dial Tone message alerts.  He mentioned that you can try calling the phone co and ask if they use FSK (which I did) and that the phone co rep probably won't know the answer (which they did not.)   :'(

Now I think I may have FSK because the rep advised me they activated the message waiting signal for me.  But that's only an uneducated guess on my part.

The Sandman site mentions using a butt set in "monitor" mode to listen for the FSK signal while the phone is hung up, and you leave a message for yourself using another phone line.

I have an old butt set or two that I don't know if they work, old WE rotary set and another newer set.  I would not even know if either has a "monitor" mode, let alone know how to set that up in monitor mode and hook it up so it works.

I hate lifting the handset to check for the stutter after I hang up from a call.  Believe it or not, I accidentally timed it once to where I picked up apparently just as someone called and they got my voice mail.

Any help is greatly appreciated here!!!!

Thanks,
Ed
 ???

Offline Robert C

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Re: Help, please, with message waiting light
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 11:28:48 PM »
Hi Ed & everyone,

I'm new to the forum... so please bear with me <grin>.

Follows is what little that I know about message waiting lights...

I believe that the signal to light the lights is 90vac (same as ringing voltage), but it is at a different frequency than ringing signal... so as not to engage the ringer (ringers are frequency selective).  I'm not sure what frequency it is at... but the message waiting light is not frequency selective... it will light on the 90vac signal whether it is a message waiting signal or a ring.

I believe that you should be able to see the 90vac message waiting signal with an old VOM (analog volt meter)... it may only sound like a click with a buttset... not sure.

I am not familiar with FSK or what services AT&T provides or offers.  My experience is from PBX's.

Good luck,

Robert

Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Help, please, with message waiting light
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 12:24:10 AM »
PBX message waiting is typically the 90vac that Robert merntions. With a butt-in you should be able to hear the 90vac when on monitor.

Central Office is FSK and/or stutter dial tone. If monitoring the line you would hear a little data burst to both turn the message light on and another to turn it off once you clear the message. With Nortel DMS CO switches you can have one or the other OR both activated. (stutter dial tone and/or FSK.

So they may not have FSK activated and/or your phone might not do FSK, especially if it is an older phone designed primarily for PBX use.

EDIT: I just re-read your post and you indicate that your phone doesn't have a message waiting light. So Stutter dial tone is your only option until you get a phone with a message waiting light.

Terry
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 12:27:04 AM by AE_collector »

Offline Ed D

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Re: Help, please, with message waiting light
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 12:32:15 AM »
Hi Robert,

Welcome to the forum!  I'm relatively new to the forum as well, and quite new to phones as a hobby.

(Here's a tidbit from the sandman.com site.) 
"If you have a Butt-Set, you can check to see if FSK will work on your line. Listen to the line while it's hung up, in Monitor mode. Leave a message in the box. Within a few seconds you should hear a burst of tone followed by a buzz, which would be the 1200 baud FSK data being sent to turn on the light. If you don't get the burst within 30 seconds, go off hook to see it there is stutter dial tone on the line. If there is a stutter dial tone, and you didn't hear the burst, you don't have FSK. You should also be able to hear the burst of data with a Butt-Set after you pick up all the messages in your box (when the line is idle), which is the signal to turn the light off."

(And another tidbit from the description of the free-standing message light they sell...)
"Line Powered. No power cube needed!
Works on phone lines and analog station ports with 24 to 48 volt talk battery and FSK Message Waiting. It's NOT triggered by stutter dial tone... only by FSK."

So this signal apparently acts as a toggle to either activate the light when you have a message waiting to be checked, and after you check the message, they send the same signal again which will toggle the light off.  Better than having to pick-up the handset and listen for the stuttering dial tone.  Meanwhile, I would love to find out how to properly hook up a butt set to listen for this signal.

But I'm still lost, as usual.   ;D

Regards,
Ed


Offline AE_Collector

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Re: Help, please, with message waiting light
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 01:08:38 AM »
FSK probably has a "turn light on" and a "turn light off" signal. FSK is "Frequency Shift Keying" which is how a modem works to send data AT least the old 300 and 1200 baud modems. Call Display info is delivered by FSK as well.

Terry
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 01:13:24 AM by AE_collector »

Offline paul-f

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Re: Help, please, with message waiting light
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 07:35:01 AM »
Since you seem to want to avoid the "penalty of death or similar," Your choices seem to be limited to adding a device which understands the message waiting signals.

If there's no similar penalty for not using your employer's phone, you could replace it with one that supports a message waiting light.

Or, you could put said phone in parallel with the employer's phone on the line.

For example, we have an older VTech cordless phone system (free at a yard sale) that we harldy ever talk on, but have left connected for the occasional speakerphone conversation and because it has a handy flashing blue light whenever there's a message waiting.
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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