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Started by ka1axy, April 07, 2021, 10:29:04 AM

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Looking for a Panasonic PBX to run my collection, resulted in my ordering a KX-TAW848 off eBay. Tested and working according to the vendor, for $70. A second 4-extension line card was another $15. Should be here next week. There were some 616s for $100 or so, but they were from Russia, so I passed.

So...any other 848 users out there? It seems to support rotary and tone, has 4 CO lines and 4 (now 8) extensions. Just right for my home. Did I do well, or did I mess up?


Update: I've had it up and running now for 6 months, and I must say, it seems to work really well.

The seller supplied me with complete programming console software, so if you have one of these, and no programming software, please let me know. I'll be happy to help. It will run in an XP VirtualBox VM under Linux. Interface to the PBX is USB.

I have added the incoming and extension CID modules(KX-TAW84893 and 84898), a second 4-line full feature "hybrid" card (84870) and an 8-line SLT card (84874)...yeah, it ended up costing a bit more than the 616 I couldn't find :-) but it works SUPER! I've also been able to find two reasonably priced KX-T7736 phones. The trick here is to watch ebay and Amazon, and buy ones that are somehow "less than perfect". You can get the phones for $50 or so if you're willing to wait, same for the cards...keep searching and occasionally you'll find them for less than outrageous prices.

I have manged to find all the manuals, so I can upload those if requested.


Very cool I love it when we get an update.
Can you run this system without any office phones?

post some photos of you setup and collection.

A while back I saved an NEC Electra Elite from the e-waste but did not get anywhere with it yet:


Quote from: ka1axy on October 01, 2021, 09:52:38 AM
...I have manged to find all the manuals, so I can upload those if requested.

That would be helpful, thanks :).   

As above, photos of your installation please.

Description added of it's features (below). Looks like a nice unit.
A collector of  'Monochrome Phones with Sepia Tones'   ...and a Duck!
Vintage Phones - 10% man made, 90% Tribble


Pics attached

Pic 1 is my "phone shelf" with some phones I have accumulated (they all work and can be connected through the quad jack lower right)
Pic 2 is my WFH area with a KX-T7736 and a WE565, both hooked up to the PBX
Pic 3 is the part of my wiring closet where all the jacks in the house terminate, and the patch panel to the jacks in my basement workroom

The 848 is on the left (with its list of connections taped to it), underneath is the FIOS ONT. To the right are two sets of 66 blocks where the wiring from upstairs terminates.  When we built the house, I had two runs of CAT3 pulled to each room. They're still used. Far right is my internet router and above is the patch panel to the jacks in my workroom.

This all got started because I have a granddaughter. She was staying over, and to amuse her, I took her down to the basement and showed her an IBM Selectric I was working on, and a couple of old phones I had hooked up to a line tester. She loved being able to dial them and talk on them. She also developed a liking for LEGOs, so I bought a pair of LEGO (actually Tyco) phones so we could talk on them. Then I started gathering up the phones I had in the attic and at my brother's house, and needed something a bit more sophisticated than the 4-line tester I had bought. So I started looking for a Panasonic 616 but it seemed to be a dry month. I did find an 848 at a reasonable price from a reseller and picked it up. They were good enough to send the programming data as well. thing led to another, and since I had some spare space on the wiring board, it seemed a good way to get the 848 off the worktable.

It came with two cards: a 4-line CO card (POTS lines, not trunks) and a 4 line "hybrid/PT/SLT" card which takes the Panasonic proprietary T77xx series phones or POTS phones (pulse or tone).  You don't need the proprietary phones to make it work, but the features are limited if you're only using POTS phones, so the 77xx phone makes it more fun to use.
If you watch the auction sites and Amazon, you can often find a KX-T77xx for around $50, used and dirty. They seem to be pretty rugged, I've found two that way and they are both working fine.  I also added four more cards: an incoming CID card, an outgoing CID card, another 4 line hybrid extension card and an 8 line POTS extension card. So I have the capability for four incoming POTS lines (one used -- OOMA) and 16 extensions, 8 hybrid with CID and 8 POTS with no CID. There's room for up to 48 extensions and capability to set up some kind of wireless extension network (which I will probably never do unless a complete setup falls into my lap)

Programming information in my next post


I was lucky enough to buy my KX-TAW848 from a reseller ("vistaphones" on eBay) who was also able to supply me with the programming software.

The PBX uses an SD card to store its configuration and firmware. So that's a bit of a weak point. I suggest removing it, write-protecting it and making a duplicate as soon as you get your PBX. That way you have (1) a backup if the card dies and (2) a known configuration you can go back to if you mess up the programming. Don't forget to un-write protect the card before putting it back in the PBX (with the power off, of course)

My PBX came with a default configuration and firmware version 4.090.  I modified it slightly. I needed to put the one CO line on its own group so the outgoing calls didn't try to use the other three unconnected CO lines on the card. I also enabled Music on Hold. The only other change I might make is to ring only one extension on incoming calls. The default is to ring all, and it gets a bit noisy when all the phones are in one room!

Programming is pretty easy. There are some default users and passwords listed in the manuals. I run the software in an XP VirtualBox instance on a Linux Mint 20 system. Any PC running XP should work. You do need a USB interface (there's a serial interface option as well, but I haven't tried that). Everything "just worked", but if you're having trouble, contact me and I'll bring up my console software and try to help. Definitely read the manuals first. Programming is easy, once you get their mindset, but it's not what I would call intuitive.

Anyway,  here's the advice the tech who sent me the programming software gave about installing the three versions:

QuoteHere are the consoles for the 848 make sure you install them in order, Version 2 > 3 > 4, there all basic install with windows.
To make that a bit clearer: there are three install ".exe" files. You should install all three of them, in order, to the same location.  Weird, but that's how it needs to be done so it works.

And here's the (sizeable) ZIP file with all the manuals and software

Well, uploading an 88Mb attachment didn't go so well :-)

So I've put the ZIP file with the programming information up on my GDrive, here:

...and if some admin can move the file to the forum somewhere where it will always be accessible, that would be even better!


Quote from: ka1axy on October 04, 2021, 07:48:33 AMSo I've put the ZIP file with the programming information up on my GDrive, here:

Removed it from my GDrive, but PM me if you need it. Happy to help!