Author Topic: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's  (Read 15628 times)

Offline bingster

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #15 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.
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Offline winkydink

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #16 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 ?

Offline bingster

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #17 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.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 02:13:27 PM by bingster »
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Offline Owain

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #18 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.

Offline winkydink

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #19 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.

Offline dencins

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #20 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.

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Offline Owain

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #21 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'

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #22 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

Offline GG

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #23 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. 

Offline Owain

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #24 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.

Offline old_stuff_hound

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #25 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...

Offline twocvbloke

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #26 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... :)

Offline TheGBC

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #27 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 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)
I don't always fix 50 year old telephone dials, but when I do, I prefer Automatic Electric.

Offline George Knighton

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #28 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.
Annoying new poster.

Offline Owain

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Re: Comcast Digital Voice - Rotary Phones - General Q's
« Reply #29 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.