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I’ve put the cat 5 in for all the data 

6 data points 6 separate cables running to the same point

Am I correct in thinkinking that I can link the phone points together with one in and one out Daisy chain fashion and still use cat 5

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Yep, they dn't need to be radial unless you are thinking of installing an exchange, in which case just use IP phones cos they need their own cable back to the switch / router or can be wireless. I am just, literally, pulling through a number of CAT 6 lines and a traditional phone cable and I am asking myself why?



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My plan was to run IP phones, but I've a gap in my knowledge that's stopped me from ordering the hardware I need.


On the server/exchange side, I want to connect the IP phones to my "standard" BT line, and perhaps add a VOIP Service in the future. The PBX servers I've looked at don't explicitly say they can handle a standard BT line and route the IP phones through it, but I assume they can.


Can anyone confirm that's the case, and if possible recommend a suitable brand for a cost effective domestic set-up. ie. max 2 lines in and say 6 extensions.





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That is what I am doing, why I have 2 data ports to all locations (more for some), The phones will just be plugged into adaptors/converters, and cross connected at the patch panel and then down another Cat6 line to the BT point.  Also the internet will go up to the patch panel and into the switch.  I can convert to a PBX at some point but as people say it is not just simple, and I would need to do the research.  But I know it is possible just not simple and not cheap for an off the shelf solution with support.

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I have a VoIP phone service at home. Primarily because it costs me £2.50/month, and gives me a nice  incoming number with voicemail to email. Really only used for incoming calls, and ringing the mobile when I can't find it. I don't have a copper phone line at all - internet comes from parents in law house by wireless bridge about 100m away.


There are a few  things to think about which I mention as a result of my experience over 10 years of doing this, and working with another 6-phone IP system for a voluntary organisation I'm involved with.

  1. It's of no use whatsoever if you have a power cut, unless you have battery backup for every piece of kit involved.
  2. Don't rely on your mobile for use during power cuts - many cell sites are not backed up.
  3. Cordless VoIP phones are quite difficult to come by, and expensive with relatively limited features.
  4. Corded VoIP phones are available in many styles/designs, but none I've found at a sensible price point have a high enough WAF for domestic use!
  5. Things can end up quite complex, and if it doesn't 'just work' when you go to pick up the phone and make a call, it can get very frustrating for family (and you).
  6. You can end up with a really nice and fully featured system that does exactly what you want really well. I do, and its very economical

I'm sure there are others with skills and knowledge to assist here too. To make it more helpful, we need a bit more info:

  1. What do you have at the moment? copper phone line? what type of broadband and from which provider?
  2. What are you trying to achieve by using VoIP phones / a PBX?
  3. Do you see your needs changing in the future?
  4. Do you need/want cordless phones in the house?
  5. Do you have knowledge / skills to set this stuff up, or are you willing to learn? (It's fun, and there are loads of opportunities to 'improve' things all the time, but if you aren't interested in tinkering a bit, I think you'll get frustrated quite quickly).
  6. What's your budget?
  7. Do you have a place for some hardware, or does all the kit need to be aesthetically pleasing?

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Hi @chrisb


For me:

1. copper line, broadband provided by TalkTalk - 6.5Mb/s download (rural)

2. 2 lines in, 1 domestic, 1 business. Voicemail for each line. Office phone to ring for business calls, all lines ring for domestic calls. Others can "pickup" business calls if I'm not "in the office". Internal calls between extensions.

3. VOIP Service added in future. More handsets as children age.

4. Mixture of wired and wireless handsets

5. yes

6. Hmmm... as long as I perceive it to be good value, then what ever it takes... within reason. I guess I'm expecting to get the PBX for sub £250 and handsets sub £150 each. I'm open to buying used kit from Auction etc.

7. yes, all IT and Automation is in a "Node 0" area, either racked or DIN rail mounted.


Edited to add - PoE kit would be preferred...

Edited by IanR

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Your broadband speed is going to limit some options here, unless you're prepared to set up a router that will do QoS properly to ensure that there is protected bandwidth available for VoIP. 

My first suggestion would have been to port your numbers to a VoIP provider and bring them in over IP, retaining one or two POTS lines as a backup, but I think with only 6.5Mb/s download, and far less upload, this isn't going to work. I'm guessing that you are on ADSL and aren't likely to get VDSL or Virgin for a very long time, if at all?


So you need to convert your two POTS lines to IP using one or more devices with FXO ports. A quick eBay search finds this which looks fine for the job. Either you can connect your IP phones to the SIP trunks produced by the above device, or for more features, you can add a PC of some description  - a Raspberry Pi will be fine. This will need to run Asterisk, and probably FreePBX - a GUI front-end to administer it. This will be essential if you want to be able to transfer calls between phones, and make simple calls between extensions, amongst other things. There are various places offering prebuilt IP PBXs based on Asterisk. I have always rolled my own as then I have control and some reassurance that it's not locked down, or 'dialling home'.


You can then take your pick of VoIP phones. I like Snom, but pretty much any SIP phone will be fine. PoE is very much a feature of most manufacturers products. I much prefer a phone with a decent web interface to manage the settings and phonebook etc, but most are good for that kind of thing these days. Yealink is slightly less well-rounded than Snom, but still perfectly reliable and I know several offices running on them without issue. Beware of routinely using the built-in switch on any phone to routinely plug in a PC etc. Not all of them are gigabit, also, if you reboot the phone for a config change etc, it usually reboots the switch too, which can be annoying.


I've just looked around a little, and it seems that there are some more options for SIP/DECT handsets. I have no experience of these, so can't offer a personal opinion here. Most of them look far more acceptable than the majority of wired phones though, given some at least will be in the domestic setting.

You can connect POTS phones using an ATA to turn the SIP into an FXS port. Useful for a fax machine or Sky box. Also if you already have a phone(s) that you want to keep using.


Alternatively, Draytek make some nice routers which have built-in VoIP capability - the fully fledged IPPBX is pricey, but does keep things simple, and relieves you of several hardware boxes and the complexity of Asterisk. I am not aware of any other manufacturers which do anything similar suitable for home use.


Whatever you do, please make sure that you use strong SIP passwords. A hacked SIP account used to make continuous multiple calls to a Russian premium-rate number can be very costly!


If you need a VoIP (or broadband) supplier, I can highly recommend Andrews & Arnold as a satisfied customer. 


I hope this is of some help, and that I am interpreting your answers above correctly.


  • Thanks 2

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Thanks @chrisb that's a great help.


As you say I need to stick with analogue lines for now due to bandwidth but we may get Superfast in a couple of years so want the option to move to VoIP. 


You've given me the acronyms I needed to get better results on my searches. 


May look to a IP PBX solution so that it works out the box, I've got a few other home projects to straighten out and could do with something that "just works". 

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