I agree. The voip line is a bit of a crap shoot with data over it. The one thing that may help is that the alarm modems are downright ancient and only transmit a few bytes of data. Compared to faxes or modern v.92 modems, I'd give the alarms a lot higher probability of making it out.
Of course, there are many more things to go wrong in a voip system.
(My objection to the 2-line -> 1-line Radio-Shack device was that it didn't solve the stated problem. Mixing the two lines doesn't help in getting the alarm signal out. Personally I'd just keep the pots line but go for the cheapest pay-by-the-minute billing plan and hook the alarm to that.)
I read an interesting blurb about a similar problem IBM had with respect to their big-iron customers when PC's started eating into their profits. The former IBM big-wig explained that they were essentially trapped by their customers. If they had too compelling of a low-price offering, they'd risk turning lucrative high-paying customers into lower-paying customers. They basically decided to ride the price-curve down by reluctantly following gross pricing trends, but always careful that they didn't accidently offer too good of a low-price item or service. I wonder if the Bell's aren't in the same boat with respect to the upstarts with their voip offerings.
Hmm. The fact that it effectively selects a random line for the outgoing call sounds like a serious flaw. The one I have is an old Radio Shack unit with three buttons on the top. Two of them are "radio" type buttons. When you push one the other pops up. This selects the line that is used for outgoing calls. The third button is a toggle that allow one to turn the unit on and off. If off, only the line selected by the radio buttons is connected. When on whichever line rings is routed to the phone. The bottom says it is a "Duofone two-line auto controller, Radio Shack cat no. 43-381." This thing is now 20 years old, but perhaps some digging onGoogle or ebay can turn up one of these.) Hmm. There seem to be a few hits for it. This shop has two of them:
I wish the phone company would offer a rally cheap "life line" service for a few dollars a month. Unfortunately it is an all-or-nothing situation here. They were nasty when I wanted to port my number to the VOIP provider, but they offered no competitive alternative. All things considered, they should offer some minimal service to try to retain customers. I think that Time Warner is really snatching their customers, both for VOIP and internet, even though TW's VOIP price is insanely expensive.
As for the combine-a-line device, it has its problems. I guess I didn't fully understand how it worked when I bought one from Ebay. I does route the call for either port on my ATA to my common phone line which rings all the phones in my house. The problem is that the default line becomes which ever line someone last called in on. I had my local line ported to one service and bought an out-of-town DID from another provider so relatives in another city could call me without paying long distance fees. Each is set-up on a different port on the ATA. I hadn't intended to dial out on the out-of-town line, but I had to buy minutes from both companies because I never know which line will be selected. The switch is in the basement so it isn't convenient to run up and down steps to change the switch to the line I prefer to call out on.
the reliability of the PSTN ( plain ole phone crap) is higher and surer than voip by eons. the pstn is battery powered by a huge organization, eager to keep the pstn running and billing.. to get voip, you need :
power for computer a booted computer a voip modem telephone handset.
for pots pstn phone you need to pat $$ each month for a live independent set of wires and a switch in town. but for security, for real, if you want response you need a pstn.....first not voip,, an a back up plan "B"... after that you need C D & E all at once.. best regards,
I would like to see a default setting and the ability to select a line remotely. For instance, it would be nice to be able to press the * or # button and change from one line to the other. The device did allow me to use all my single line phones with both ports on my ATA, it just didn't function the way I assumed it would.
Ever wish you could use your favorite single-line telephone, answering machine, or PC Modem on TWO phone lines??. Automatically?
How about joining your VOIP port and the plain old (PSTN) telephone jack into a single handset?
How about joining TWO VOIP ports into a single handset, answering machine, or PC Modem?
USE a CLT to join a card card acceptor and your single line telephone as well!
see if anybody picks-up, on another line trunk, after you are already in a call??? A visual real-time security feedback feature!
Combine-A-Line (CLT) allows two separate calls from two different lines to be directed to your single line telephone equipment or PC. Centralizing and PROTECTING (SURGE PROTECTION INSIDE) your communication equipment for your home office or for the family