Avaya for SOHO? [Telecom]


For years I've been looking for a phone for home use which has durability, good audio fidelity (talk and listen) plus features like speed dial, full CLID support (including a display legible for "senior citizen" eyes!) and builtin answering machine or voicemail.

Sadly all I seem to find in consumer channels is the "zing-zang" stuff...you know it first goes "zing then quickly goes "zang" into the recycling bin!

I do miss the quality WECo put into their phones back when "Bell's" business model required the best phones which could be mass-produced.

Now as many Telecom Digest readers know, Avaya is the descendent of Western Electric. I think Avaya might still make the best desk type phones. Sadly Avaya's website seems aimed at the corporate telecom types who are going to buy a complete internal VoIP phone system along with 500 or more "voice terminals" .

Does Avaya or anyone else make good desk or wall phones which are POTS-compatible? If so I'd love some pointers.

Cheers......and do hope all the Americans here had a great Labor Day!

Reply to
Herb Oxley
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We are interested also. We are moving and need phones with good CallerID (and CWID) capability. Are there any of the multiset cordless phones that are decent? The abiility to page or intercom would be a plus. We'd want a common phone book (more than 9 numbers) and preferably speaker capability [for when you are on endless hold somewhere:-[

Right now the best phones in the house are older wired panasonics but there's no callerid capability.

Reply to
Julian Thomas

Cortelco, the descendent of Kellogg, Federal Telephone and ITT Telecommunications Apparatus out in Corinth, MS does. They have versions with a flash button and a message waiting light.

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Boy, I'd like to get my hands on a 2554 or three. I know that my local Target store has a bunch of red colored Cortelco 2554s around the store. Some of them are old stock and bear a "ITT Telecommunications" nameplate, others a Cortelco plate above where the telephone number paper strip would go.

Reply to
Curtis R Anderson

Since I've just gotten my first pair of bifocals, I'd like to have a display that's more easily readable too, but "consumer grade" instruments intended for easy reading don't seem that well built to me, so I'm in the market too.

It strikes me that this might be a case where you want something just a step below a pbx: an "intelligent" key system. The lines between pbx and key systems have gotten so blurred that I've lost track of the finer points, but perhaps the readers can fill us in.

There are lots of used commercial units out there, and they can be had for very short money or even for free, but the catch is you'll need to use proprietary instruments, and might even need to rewire.

So, I (we?) am looking for

  1. Common-carrier grade instruments
  3. Speakerphone capability WITH MUTE FEATURE
  4. Local phone book, common to all phones
  5. System must use existing Cat 3 wiring


Reply to
Bill Horne

What is "CWID"?

I've had good luck with Panasonic telephone equipment. I don't know their current offerings, but I would check their website.

I suspect, like all electronics, there are well built consumer phones out there, but they're harder to find since most retail stores focus on the 'mass market'. I would suggest checking the manufacturers' catalogs and website for the model you'd like, then try to find it. Sometimes the mfr can help you find a specialty dealer, though you'll pay a little more. (I've done that for special purchases and it was well worth it).

I believe Graybar* is still in business selling a wide range of products. Check their catalog.

For vintage equipmnet, the Ron Knappen business in Wisconsin has a good reputation and a wide selection. However, tradtional WE 2500 sets have no features that many people desire today, such as redial or caller-ID. There are also 500 and 302 sets out there that will outlast the planet, but their functionality is limited these days being rotary. So many places called today require pressing a button. Indeed, sometimes people call you and you must press a button**.

  • Graybar was one of the last businesses to have a working Enterprise number, though I think it is gone now.
** I use rotary phones as incoming lines, but sometimes I get legitimate automated calls where I need to press a button during my response and I can't with a rotary. Frustrating.
Reply to

Aren't all phones today FCC certified as "common-carrier grade"?

Are there any telephones in which the speakerphone doesn't have that annoying "tunnel effect"? I can't stand talking to people who are using their speakerphone, the sound distortion is very irritating. But speakerphone is useful for when I'm writing down a quantity of information; this way I can put the handset down, put it on speaker, and write away.

As an aside, I bought an excellent Panasonic brand 'generic' headset for my cell phone for $15. It supposed works on most phones (works fine on my cell phone.) I guess it would work on other phones with the appropriate mated jack. By headset has a wire, but it seemed to be a much better value than paying $60 for a fancy earpiece.

Could you explain what this is?

Could you explain what "cat 3" wiring is? Other than newly rewired business that use digital or special phones, I thought every one-line telephone jack in the US is universal and any phone will work on any jack; inside the red and green wires carry the telephone signal. Further, I don't believe polarity matters these days. (On old WE Touch Tone phones polarity had to be correct or the keys wouldn't work).

Reply to

No. They are certified to be constructed in such a way that they do not cause harmful interference to the telephone plant or to other phones: they are NOT certified to meet any particular standard of quality.

The government's job is to protect you from your neighbor's folly, not your own.

There are two types of speakerphone: one is a "switching" device, where the microphone overrides the speaker, which does not sound hollow but which makes the user sound choppy because the switching circuit sometimes cuts off a portion of the first syllable they say.

The other type is a "Balanced" device, where the phasing and gain settings are set to allow the microphone and speaker to be on at the same time. A slight mis-adjustment of the gain brings the circuit close enough to the "singing point", i.e., to oscillation, that the frequency response gets very marginal, so it sounds like a the speaker is in a tunnel. The old WE Speakerphone sets were balanced, but every other unit I've seen is switched.

It is a central store of telephone numbers and names and/or speed dialing codes, which allows any user at any instrument to use the same speed dial code to get the same extension or station. Most consumer-grade phones store the information in the instrument, so that the entries can vary from one instrument to another. A common phone book eliminates the confusion, since it's the same on every phone extension.

Category three wiring is, mostly, the "old stuff" found in houses built before the 1980's. It can be two-pair "JK" wire, with the usual red-green-yellow-black colors, or "triple" wire, a very old kind of home wiring with gutta percha insulation and no color code.


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for more information: the original Ethernet "twisted pair" spec, 10BaseT, is designed for use on Category 3 wire.

It matters if you have an old phone, if you're on a party line or if you have "teen line" service (the same thing, of course). It matters because it's important *some* of the time, and therefore should be done right

*all* of the time. Harumph!

Bill "Ring is Red, Right, and Ridged; Tip Top" Horne

Reply to
Bill Horne

(Much snippage here...)

A minor correction or clarification, please, if you will. Category 3 cable, defined by the Telecommunications Industry Association's standard EIA/TIA568, is a twisted pair cable with four pairs. It has specified characteristics that make it good for certain kinds of circuits, voice grade telephone being one of them. The stuff we used to know as "JK" or "Quad" or Western Electric "D Station Wire" part numbered as AT-8378 in 600 foot boxes isn't paired (as with two conductors twisted together to make pairs) - it's just four conductors running parallel to one another. The colors you specified are, of course, correct. For those who may not have encountered this product the Red and Green conductors are used for the tip and ring of the first telephone line - the Yellow Black are for an "A" lead or a dial light. This cable shouldn't be used for two line service because of the potential for cross-talk between lines as the cable is untwisted.

And we now return you to your normally scheduled discussions...

Reply to
Al Gillis

FALSE TO FACT. "Cat 3" wiring is 'modern' (70s, 80's) twisted-pair wiring rated for 10mbit Ethernet. (100mbit Ethernet needs 'Cat 5' wiring.)

The old gutta-percha insulated stuff doesn't even have, to my knowledge, a 'category {anything}' rating. If you needed 2 phone circuits, you ran two 'cables'. because of the size of the insulation it was really difficult to get two lines close enough together for crosstalk to be a problem. plus the =very= limited frequency response imposed by the high capacitance between the two strands in the cable. Noise immunity from external sources was of the "don't make me laugh, by asking" category.

The old-style 'JK' or 'quad' wiring is rated as "Category _One_" and is

*NOT* suitable for 10mbit Ethernet. JK is essentially 4 straight wires in a _slow_ spiral arrangement. Noise immunity to external sources is miserable, at best, and cross-talk _within_ the cable can be significant even at 'voice' frequencies. The distributed capacitance is also much higher than the cat 3 specification allows.

Cat 3 provides a _much_ better balance , because the pairs _are_ twisted at a moderate rate, _as_pairs_, with different twist rates for each pair, effectively _insuring_ cancellation of signals between pairs within the cable, as well as providing excellent immunity to external noise sources.

Cat 5 wiring has a higher 'twist' than cat 3, and you have to maintain the twist rate much closer to connectors. And, even lower capacitance limits, necessary for the higher signalling rate.

Reply to
Robert Bonomi

"Call-Waiting ID" Caller-ID delivered to the phone for a 'call waiting' call.

Graybar _is_ still around. Alltel(sp?) is also another good source of 'industrial strength' telephone equipment.

Reply to
Robert Bonomi

I am carefully nursing a pair of Nortel M9616's in my residence and about 4 years ago I replaced my Panasonic 7230 set on a TD308 for a

7735 at my desk. The Pana is coupled to a TAW-848/TVS -50 at the moment.

The Nortels had paging, talking CID, CWCID, speakerphone, AND 12 voicet mail boxes :-). Aastra still makes comparable units, but none of them have VM. Probably search for a 9417 on Aastra's web site.

It might be hard to justify, but a Panasonic TA-824 would probably meet all of your residential needs at a street price of less than $700.

Carl Navarro

Reply to
Carl Navarro

I have a set of Vtech DECT 6.0 phones that meet most of your requirements. I got the pair because I didn't need more than that.

They dont' share phonebooks but do share CLID info in common. They have an intercom feature that works pretty well too.

I believe the model number is 6041 or 6042.

Reply to

In our house originally the yellow & black served to light the dial lamps in Trimline phones, from a central transformer in the basement. The Trimlines were removed when we moved in. [I always wanted to take out the transformer for experiments, but never got around to it, it's probably still there, though unplugged.]

When I got a second line the yellow/black were used for that. I never had a crosstalk problem with my parents' line.

As an aside, that house was built in 1970 and in those days Bell would pre-wire the houses while under construction. All rooms had a flush jct box (covered) with the house loop running through it. If an exetension was desired the wiring was already in place and only needed to be spliced to a terminals and a phone connected to it. I suppose back then the cost of copper vs. the cost of custom labor was such that pre-wiring was more efficient.

Later on I switched my line to two-party service since I didn't use it very much and I'd save money. I was grandfathered in as an existing customer. No physical adjustments were made and AFAIK no other party ever shared the line. Eventually I got a letter stating party line service was discontinued.

Later on, after divesture, my mother wanted a phone in the living room which was not wired, and she found it easiest to pay them to run the line and install a jack for her. My father wanted a phone in the basement, but the wires were down there so that was easy for me to hook up.

Reply to

But frequently is anyhow.

Reply to
Julian Thomas

Thanks for all the responses, gang! And I just remembered to check http:/

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... is he still a Telecom Digest supporter?

Reply to
Herb Oxley

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