[Telecom] Majic Jack Go Power Issue

I recently switched my home phone service to Majic Jack. I ordered their newest device called a Magic Jack Go.

With my previous arrangement, I have a separate UPS to power my cable modem, my Cisco 871 router, and my VOIP device. This is so I don't lose phone service in the event of a power outage.

When my Magic Jack Go arrived, I activated it and plugged it into my UPS with my other devices. I connected it to my Cisco Router with an Ethernet cable and I connected it to my phone.

I could not make it work. Finally, I connected to their chat support and asked for help.

After they asked me questions about how I had hooked it up, they told me to unplug it from the UPS and plug it directly into a wall outlet. I did so and it began to work. When I asked them what we needed to do to make it work on the UPS (so I don't lose communications when the power goes off), they told me it could not be made to work on a UPS.

I told them that this was unacceptable and we needed to arrive at an engineering solution. They wouldn't help even when I chatted with the supervisor on duty. I insisted upon talking to a support engineer but I never got to speak to one.

I filed a complaint with the BBB. They responded by telling the BBB about an obscure clause that was in their service agreement and they shipped me a new power supply for the Magic Jack Go (the exact same power supply model that is currently powering my Majic Jack Go). I haven't tried to use it but I didn't really expect it to work.

So if I lose power, I lose communications because of a design flaw in their power supply. If they could find a way to fix this (a third party power supply, for example), I would be OK with that. I tried using a four port USB power supply for it but it didn't work, either.

If anyone has a suggestion as to how I can resolve this issue, I am all ears.


***** Moderator's Note *****

Please tell us what the input voltage is, and if it's "AC" or "DC".

Bill Horne Moderator

Reply to
Fred Atkinson
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The power supply plugs into a standard AC receptacle (110VAC). The Magic Jack Go plugs into the power supply via a USB port.



Reply to
Fred Atkinson

Did they specify the limitation? This makes absolutely no technical sense to me with either a standby UPS (which simply passes through the incoming line voltage until that goes away and there is then a quick change over to UPS power) or an "always on" double-conversion UPS.

In fact, I have two Magicjack devices running just fine on my large APC UPS (the thing powers two skylink radios, three routers and three switches, plus the two magicjacks).

Perhaps there's a lurking fault with your UPS or perhaps the wiring out of the UPS? Perhaps due to a fault condition the UPS is putting out a lot of noise that doesn't quite bite the router but bothers the Magicjacks? (Their power supplies are rather basic, that's for sure, and probably can't deal with dirty power coming in.)

You might try one of those little Line-ac-to-UPS gizmos and plug that into the magicjack's USB port to provide power. In other words, replace the crappy one supplied with the magicjack.

Hope you can resolve the issue.


Reply to
Frank Stearns


Is the UPS a model that is always on producing an approximate Sine Wave output?

Some devices - although it is rare these days with switched mode power supplies - may only work on pure Sine Wave AC which only a top-end UPS will output (or the normal mains input supplies if working in Bypass mode).

Apart from a different UPS, a different PSU for the device with the same output that isn't as fussy might be the solution.

Reply to
David Clayton

That's quite peculiar. If it uses a normal mini- or micro-USB connector, you might try plugging it into a cell phone charger, which is supposed to provide the same voltage on the same connector, and see what happens.

Also, are you sure your cable service will continue to work when the power goes out? Battery backup and UPS on outside cable plant tends to be spotty.

R's, John

Reply to
John Levine

The MagicJack Go uses just your standard 5-volt DC from a USB port or a standard 120 to 5-volt DC USB charger.

What it sounds like is that the UPS being used is sending out a modified sine wave or square wave output when it is running and the small UPS power adapter supplied by MagicJack Go is designed to only work with a true sign wave 120v input.

What I would do is try a couple of other USB charger adapter power supplies and see if one of them will work with your UPS and the MagicJack Go.

I have read that others are using the same hardware supplied with the MagicJack Go with a UPS but I suspect theirs is supplying the real sign wave output on the 120 volt side like from an actual wall outlet.

What brand/model is your UPS?

Reply to

Actually, what they were saying--and should have said explicitly--is that if it works in a regular outlet but not your UPS, you must examine your UPS--and they don't support your UPS. They can't.

How do you know it isn't a flaw in your UPS? Have you tried a different UPS?

If the flaw is in your UPS--and so far evidence strongly points to that--what do you expect them to do? They can't fix your UPS.

Of course, power is power. As long as you meet the specs, you can use any power supply.

***** Moderator's Note *****

Four rechargeable AA cells in series would be about 5 volts: you could probably power the Magic Jack from those, and "float" the input power across them.

Bill Horne Moderator

Reply to
Elmo P. Shagnasty

The waveform output of a generic "consumer" grade UPS is pretty poor. There have been many efforts in the sales literature, especially around APC, that they have the best output waveform, and APC especially makes a point of saying theirs is the best sinesoidal.

Here's one case-study/comparison of UPS power vs. wall power.

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That, combined with just how horrendously designed almost every USB wall-wart power device is, I could easily see there being problems. Apple's design is one of the best. Knock-off of Apple's devices typically being some of the worst. Various other vendors in the middle.

Why do you think there are stories about people being electrocuted by their phones while plugged in and charging? Piss-poor USB power wall warts.

Since the OP states that the device is USB powered, what I would do if I were him would be to get a powered USB hub instead, shouldn't matter what size or capabilities, as long as it is powered, ie. has a power supply to plugin, and then probably plug the USB cable into it. The power design for powered USB hubs are quite a bit better, since it typically has to provide a bunch more power than just barely enough to do the one device thing. That should work better off the UPS.

(Another area of power that is related is in the case of inverters (ie. in RVing when you need to power devices off 12V lead-acid cells) especially consumer grade ones, the output of inverters is also pretty poor overall, and there are numerous reports of problems all around with powering devices off bad inverters, especially electronic type devices.

Reply to
Doug McIntyre

Be aware that newer USB devices - like USB 3 external drives - draw a lot more current than the old USB2 ports can supply to work correctly.

It is quite possible that this device draws a lot more current than the standard USB2 port can supply and requires either an external USB3 spec PSU or a USB3 port that has sufficient grunt.

Reply to
David Clayton

Just to add a bit more context, if you add a USB3 card into a PC you will notice that you have to make a direct connection to the PSU as the PCI motherboard bus that the card plugs into cannot supply sufficient current for the USB3 standard where older USB2 cards did not need this extra connection. People who forget to plug the power cable in have a device that is usually detected by the OS by mysteriously does not work when a USB3 only device is plugged into it.

The newer USB3.1 standard delivers even more current, how they expect the now tiny USB connectors that are becoming common on new devices to handle this high current has me baffled. I fully expect that in the near future a common fault in phones and other USB devices will be burnt out connectors as continually plugging and unplugging something that might have 5A running through it will just eventually kill them. Good business for repairing or replacing the devices, I suppose.

Reply to
David Clayton

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