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Home PBX Recommendation Discussion

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When we started restoring our 100-year-old house I ran two CAT-6 wires (one for phones and one for Ethernet) into a single gang horizontally on the baseboard.  It's discreet, but gives me numerous options (not to mention better resale when I end up in assisted living someday!).  So now I have a structured media enclosure in the laundry room with all the phone lines running there and a perfect place for a PBX.

I've searched and read the various posts regarding PBXs, but would appreciate any suggestions for the most compact and modern PBX that would allow me to use my dial phones regardless of what the VoIP provider decides to do in the future.  The house has eight phone lines terminating in the closet.

It would be best it the PBX would fit inside the 14x28 enclosure or I could upsize to a 14x42 if needed.

Anyone with strong feelings for any particular model?  The more compact and recent the better.  Thanks!


A Panasonic 308 or 616 would work.  Either one measures about 14x18.  They are a hybrid system which will take your standard 500/2500 type phones, or their own proprietary digital phones.  They are good for collectors because they will take rotary phones, and they send out DTMF to the outside world which is nice if hooking into a VoIP "dial-tone provider".

They are usually good to go right out of the box with the default program, and they are really plug and play.

They are, however built on '80's technology, so they don't have caller ID or voicemail.

They usually sell for pretty cheap on E-Bay around $50 to $75 bucks. 

I am currently using a 616 and it has Vonage and MagicJack feeding it for dial tone, and I have it so that I can dial into my step-by-step switch and outpulse through the Panasonic to the step switch, since you can program a CO line to send pulses instead of DTMF.

You do need at least one proprietary phone to do the programming.

For regular 500/2500 phones, you only need tip and ring running to the extensions.  For the digital proprietary phones, you need four wires running to each extension.

I am pretty pleased with mine.  I have not used any other PBX's, so I can't tell you what to expect from others.  It may be that others won't support the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) phones like the 500/2500's

And just because I say 500/2500 does not mean to say that older phones like candlesticks and 102's, 202's and 302's won't work on them, because they will.  Also plug and play.

-Bill Geurts


Another interesting fact of these Panasonic boxes is that each extension has enough drive for 4 standard 500 phones. So theoretically, a 16 extension box can ring 64 phones.

Have you ever tried more than one phone on one extension?

I have tried  3 PBX's
Sun-Moon-Star: may understand pulse or tone, does not convert.
Erifox II understands both, (my converts to pulse, or don't convert) New versions converts to tone, ringingfrequency: 50 / 60Hz.
And the last: Panasonic 616, described earlier in this thread, and makes the 2 others almost useless  in a comparison.


Thank you for the recommendations.  I assume that when you mention a 308 or 616 that you're referring to a KX-T30810 or KX-T61610 and NOT the newer KX-TA308 or KX-TA616?


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