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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Configuring "phone station" (ethernet included)

Configuring "phone station" (ethernet included)
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Mac Elite
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Aug 3, 2013, 05:44 AM
 
Hey,

so, I'm in Germany, so I don't know about the US or anywhere else, but we use combined "phone stations" to handle our internal house-networking stuff, so I have this device (speedport w 921 v) which includes ethernet switch, dsl modem, dect base station for cordless phones etc. It's working, generally, so there's a connection to the phone net, that is, I can get a phone to work and my internet connection works perfectly. But...

For the first time, we have had an electrician put actual ethernet and phone connections (RJ-45) into our walls, my english is really lacking here a bit. Anyone understands this? Because I just can't get it to work, really, both the phone and the network.

I also don't really understand how this will work. I thought the "phone station" would now handle both the internal house ethernet network and the internal phone net, so it would just distribute calls and incoming signals to where they belong and that it would just start to receive everything it should. So, basically, I'd just pick an ethernet cable (no patch cable, although I tried) and plugged it into one of the LAN ports, then into the LAN port in the wall. Nothing happened. Well, yesterday, it just worked, then I removed the plugs to do something else, today it doesn't. I did try restarting the computers, the speedport, everything.

The electrician is perfectly sure everything is alright, and he often does stuff like this. So, my parents just moved in and they redid the whole electricity net in the house (cost lots of money, now they tell me it should work ASAP, hmm).

Honestly, maybe I should just wait a while and everything re-initializes? Is that possible?
Greetings,
PeteParker
     
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Aug 3, 2013, 06:21 AM
 
First off: When you have somebody wire up your house with Ethernet, you generally know why they are doing this.

What those wires do depends upon what they were made to do.

What they almost certainly DO NOT do is hook up to the phone/DSL network. That's what the Speedport router is for.

Ethernet wires in walls are USUALLY just for connections within the home, replacing what would usually be done with wi-fi nowadays (cabling is still faster if you need it).
     
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Aug 3, 2013, 06:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
First off: When you have somebody wire up your house with Ethernet, you generally know why they are doing this.

What those wires do depends upon what they were made to do.

What they almost certainly DO NOT do is hook up to the phone/DSL network. That's what the Speedport router is for.

Ethernet wires in walls are USUALLY just for connections within the home, replacing what would usually be done with wi-fi nowadays (cabling is still faster if you need it).
Alright, so I tried to say I don't think now I'm best at explaining this. I'll try.

The idea: My parents have a house with two levels plus ground level. So they wanted two phones, then two iMacs, one of each in the top floor, one in ground floor. They wanted a wired Ethernet network and phones with cords. So the speedport is now in the middle, plugged into an ethernet port in the wall, and I also plugged a ISDN cable into the phone port. However, on the ground floor, for instance, I can't dial with my phone plugged in correctly.

Huh?
     
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Aug 3, 2013, 07:08 AM
 
For all practical purposes, your definition of "plugged in correctly" is probably wrong.

What exactly do you have plugged in where?

Do your parents have an isdn connection in their contract (and do they have any reason for ISDN)? Where do you have the ISDN box? Do you have an ISDN telephone? What is it plugged into?
     
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Aug 3, 2013, 10:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
For all practical purposes, your definition of "plugged in correctly" is probably wrong.

What exactly do you have plugged in where?

Do your parents have an isdn connection in their contract (and do they have any reason for ISDN)? Where do you have the ISDN box? Do you have an ISDN telephone? What is it plugged into?
Huh?

So, they have an IP contract, right? They have had two ISDN phones for many years, so they got used to these phones. The "speedport w 921 v" supports both analogue and ISDN phones, because it has this S0-bus. So, when I plug in one of these ISDN phones into this S0-port, it just works. (The speedport has more features, as I said, a DECT base station, a WLAN base station, a Gigabit switch, a DSL modem etc.)
They had the electrician put new cables into the house, from top level to ground level and he put ISDN ports into the wall so that you could just plug in your ISDN phone into the wall port (in last years, my dad and I had to put actual wires from one level to the next one, putting holes into the floor etc.

So? Do I need a "TK-Anlage"? Can't this work? Anyone told us this would work, and without so much difficulty, too...!?
     
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Aug 3, 2013, 10:23 AM
 
Okay, so they probably still have ISDN.

So: The external line goes into the NTBA, and the ISDN line and the DSL line go from the NTBA into the Speedport, correct?

What are the ISDN ports in the wall connected to? Where are they getting the ISDN signal from?

If the answer is "from nowhere", it needs to come from an NTBA (or from the "intern ISDN" socket on the Speedport)
The ISDN phone system (="Telefonanlage") probably needs to get plugged into the "intern ISDN" socket. Does it have an ISDN-passthrough that can be fed into the wall-socket to send the signal up to the second floor? Do you actually have two separate ISDN telephones? Or did you just have an ISDN "Telefonanlage" that sent the signal to two analog phones with different numbers?

I'll repeat:

What exactly do you have plugged in where?
     
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Aug 3, 2013, 10:37 AM
 
I'll admit to not even hearing about ISDN since the nineties, but IIRC, the point was that it uses regular phone wiring. If so, it uses RJ-11 or RJ-14 ports, while Ethernet uses RJ-45. Now, you can insert an RJ-11 plug into an RJ-45 port, but obviously it will not work for Ethernet. What sort of wires do you have, and how are they connected to the "phone station".
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Aug 3, 2013, 01:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by PeterParker View Post
The electrician is perfectly sure everything is alright, and he often does stuff like this.
The obvious question is:

1) Why did the electrician not help you to make it work ?
2) Can't he answer your questions ?

-t
     
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Aug 3, 2013, 01:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
I'll admit to not even hearing about ISDN since the nineties
That's an interesting side story.

I found that in Germany particular, ISDN was built up as a brand by the German Telekom. It was branded as the better, faster phone service, and marketed directly to end customers.

In many countries, ISDN is used w/o any reference to it as ISDN. Even in the US. But since nobody (other than IT people) know the term and what it refers to, it's rarely being called that.

-t
     
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Aug 3, 2013, 01:56 PM
 
ISDN was a total flop in Germany for many many years, so Telekom bundled it with DSL in the early years.

The only way to get DSL in Germany in the late 90s/early 2000s was to buy it with ISDN, which is why I had ISDN for a few years (which turned out to be marginally practical when I shared a flat, but never worth the technical hassle) before switching back to the future and an analog landline. My current ISP does VoIP, so the (analog) landline phone is plugged into the router.
     
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Aug 4, 2013, 05:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Okay, so they probably still have ISDN.

So: The external line goes into the NTBA, and the ISDN line and the DSL line go from the NTBA into the Speedport, correct?

What are the ISDN ports in the wall connected to? Where are they getting the ISDN signal from?

If the answer is "from nowhere", it needs to come from an NTBA (or from the "intern ISDN" socket on the Speedport)
The ISDN phone system (="Telefonanlage") probably needs to get plugged into the "intern ISDN" socket. Does it have an ISDN-passthrough that can be fed into the wall-socket to send the signal up to the second floor? Do you actually have two separate ISDN telephones? Or did you just have an ISDN "Telefonanlage" that sent the signal to two analog phones with different numbers?

I'll repeat:

What exactly do you have plugged in where?
Alright. (Thanks for all the help already, btw, although I still wonder how this turns out. We just never did it that way. We had a NTBA/Splitter/older speedport with these two ISDN phones for a few years and everything just seemed to work well, but plugged in directly into the speed port/the NTBA/or so, I really don't know. The electrician says the lines are alright, but he really doesn't know so well about configuring this. I also just want to think about this for a while, so at least understand it well enough.)

Let's try in two steps then:
Step 1 [Ethernet]) I basically have the same question for phone and networking stuff, although I do know it works entirely differently. But: The elctrician put wires into the wall from top level to ground level, both networking wires with networking ports in the wall, and then phone wires.
With the ethernet sockets, is it right to just plug in a cable in one ethernet port in the speedport, then put it into an ethernet socket in the wall, being then able to handle two iMacs over ethernet as switch? Does it work that way? I just never tried anything like this. Back in the days, we would just plug in wires into a switch, then put wires on the ground, the walls etc. until it would reach the computer...

Step 2 [Phone]) So, there are three levels (ground level, level one, top level), there are three double phone ports, one double port on each level. The wire-phones (not cordless) are supposed to be on top level and on ground level each and we wanted to plug them into the sockets into the wall directly. The speedport is located in the middle, on level one, and I just plugged an ISDN cable into the "intern ISDN" port (so it says in the manual through which I read for a while), then into an ISDN socket into the wall. The speedport is connected to "amt" - to the phone net - on that level, as that is where that port is.

NTBA, Splitter, no, we threw this all out, it's an IP contract, German Telekom told us they are going to switch all households to be IP-only in the future, so we would need a new speedport anyway at a point in a year or two.

Greetings and good weekend,
PeteParker
     
P
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Aug 4, 2013, 07:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
That's an interesting side story.

I found that in Germany particular, ISDN was built up as a brand by the German Telekom. It was branded as the better, faster phone service, and marketed directly to end customers.

In many countries, ISDN is used w/o any reference to it as ISDN. Even in the US. But since nobody (other than IT people) know the term and what it refers to, it's rarely being called that.

-t
Very much TAN, but... the Swedish telecom monopoly of the time did sell ISDN, but they didn't quite follow the standard, or the standard wasn't solid enough or something, so you couldn't just get any old gear - you had to get your gear from them, which was expensive and not really promoted by anyone. The cheap option back then was dialup, and there really wasn't anything faster available for a long time. When the first DSL solutions arrived, there were multiple players pushing solutions, which effectively killed ISDN.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Aug 4, 2013, 09:51 AM
 
So if I understand correctly, your landline will be switched over to VoIP at some point, but hasn't been yet, which is why you won't be getting a new router until then.

So, if I'm not mistaken, you still need the NTBA to decode the iSDN signal from the phone line.

Wall socket —> splitter.

Splitter out 1 —> NTBA —> phone input on Speedport Router.
Splitter out 2 —> DSL input on Router

Speedport "intern ISDN" out —> Telefonanlage, and from there, the passthrough into the wall to get the ISDN signal upstairs.

     
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Aug 5, 2013, 09:13 AM
 
In the UK, typically a double ethernet wall socket in an office will have one port for data (internet/local server) and the other is for the phone whether its VOIP or connected to a more conventional PBX box located where the phone or ISDN lines come into the building.

If you are using standard phones, you would usually have an RJ-45 to RJ-11 type adaptor for the phone sockets.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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