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av-geek 09-23-2012 08:22 PM

telephone switch in a box
I have no need for a telephone land line, but I have a handful of old Western Electric phones I would like to use. What I want to do is set up in the house it's own telephone switch. Sort of like those office telephone systems where one can call within the buildings with at 3 digit extension or something...only, I have no need to dial 9 to get an outside line, and I want to use ordinary phones. Does anyone know of anybody that makes a small telephone switch, with maybe 3 or 4 lines that will work for this task?

gregzoll 09-23-2012 08:46 PM

Yes, but they are not call switches. The going method is Digital Phone or VoIP. A couple of companies make the Operating system with software, and there are a few companies that make the PC components & shelf type hardware. Linksys used to make hardware for VoIP, but they stopped after it was deemed a Loss Leader.

joed 09-24-2012 07:52 AM

I doubt a VOIP system would work with old phones. I think they require special phones. At least the system in our office does.

What you want is your own PBX, private branch exchange.

Here is a link I found using google.

av-geek 09-24-2012 09:27 AM

VOIP is nice, but I don't really need an outside line. I am just looking at say making calls from the bedroom to the basement, or call from the kitchen to the garage (Honey, dinner's ready!) Part of this too is that I have some old Western electric phones that I want to "show off" to know, the kind with real bells in them :)

I've found many old office PBX boxes out there of various types...The AT&T merlin systems can be had a dime a dozen, along with many others, as offices move to VOIP, but the problem with using one of them is that they require proprietary phones. That looks like a fun little project that he's put together there, and it works with regular phones too!

I'm just real surprised nobody builds, or at least I have never found one, a telephone box that allows one to put together a small private telephone network.

Years ago, I remember a family friend had two old crank telephones connected together. One was at his grandmother's house on the other side of the farm, and he had the other one. It had a big battery that sat on the floor. If you wanted to call grandma, you picked up the earpiece and turned the crank. Her phone would ring when you turned the crank and she would answer :) It was their own "hotline". The cable was strung along the fence around the field...about 800 feet of wire or so between the two houses!

gregzoll 09-24-2012 12:03 PM

What happened to yelling across the house, or actually getting up to find the person. Easier to just go old school.

As for older phones not working with VoIP, they are used all of the time joed.

joed 09-24-2012 12:50 PM

They might be used in a home with a VoIP router connected to the cable system. The router or what ever they call the box does the conversion to POTS. But they are not used in full VOIP system were each phone has its own number unless you add some sort of adapter box to connect to the VOIP system. The phone has to have a MAC address to assign it an IP address.

gregzoll 09-24-2012 02:59 PM

jord, I know how VoIp works. It can actually work both ways. You can use desksrts that receive a IP, or use a PC card interface to allow concentional desksets to be used.

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