Is there an adapter to create a phone jack far from voip modem?
November 1, 2022 8:45 AM   Subscribe

If I wanted to use a phone that plugged into a jack (not a handsfree with just charger and I wanted to put that in a place where it is not practical to string a phone cord from VOIP model to the phone, is there an adapter that can do this? I'm assuming a transmitter plugged in that the VOIP modem and a receiver with an "out" jack by the phone? Handsfree phones basically do this with the receiver in the handset, but I'd like to adapt a regular pre-handsfree phone. Can I?
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Technology (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have ethernet wiring in your walls? This is backwards compatible with telephone lines, you can plug directly into it with the telephone cord, although connecting the ethernet to the voip may need an ethernet-to-ethernet adapter to make a plug-in end.

Otherwise, my suggestion would be to get a wireless telephone with a separate/additional base charger. This allows you to have the handset on a charger wherever you want, while the base station lives near your VOIP station.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:00 AM on November 1, 2022

Back before I ditched a "landline" completely, what I did was to first locate the service panel on the outside of the house for the phone service, and disconnect it from the rest of the carrier's telephone network, and label the box as to why it was done. I then sort of "backwired" the VOIP modem (first Vonage, and later Comcast) into one of the existing phone jacks on the house, which made all of the phone jacks in the house active on the VOIP service. I could plug in any standard telephone to any jack and be good to go.

If your VOIP modem doesn't natively support wifi, and if there is a wireless network available, you could use a device called a wireless bridge, which would sort of adapt that wifi signal into a a physical, active Ethernet connection. You could then connect your VOIP modem to that bridged Ethernet connection. You'll see some performance loss this way, but for voice it shouldn't matter too much.
posted by xedrik at 9:09 AM on November 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

+1 AzraelBrown. You can even buy a 2-pack or 3-pack of cordless phones that all talk to the same base station fairly cheaply; the satellites use separate charging bases.
posted by adamrice at 9:21 AM on November 1, 2022

Response by poster: Otherwise, my suggestion would be to get a wireless telephone with a separate/additional base charger. This allows you to have the handset on a charger wherever you want, while the base station lives near your VOIP station.

This is what I currently have. However I would like to get a specific phone that only takes "jack" input. So basically I want that wireless transmitter and receiver without the handset and with a jack "out" port instead.

I believe my old wiring of jacks was cut at some point in the past (I rember them doing this to allow both fibe internet and our old buzzer system to work at the same time for some reason. So yes there are wall Jack's but they don't hook up to each other and most especially not to the one near the internet or void modems.

I do not have access to boxes/wiring etc. Outside my unit.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:22 AM on November 1, 2022

So you do NOT have access to the Fiber router directly, where there is likely a port already present.

You can create a separate VOIP port, but you have to sign up for new VOIP service. Those aren't free. And setting one up can be a bit frustrating. You need something that's called ATA (telephone adapters).

The standard recommendation is an Obihai 200. They used to be like $60 a couple years ago, but as more and more service providers include VOIP ports on their modems they got discontinued, so now they're going for $160 or even $260 on Amazon and eBay.

There are Chinese clones for about $50, but again, you need to get your own VOIP service.

Or you can get integrated VOIP / device package like Ooma .

REPEAT: these ATAs (telephone adapters) expect to be connected via ethernet RJ45 to the router. You will need a range extender that also provides an RJ-45 jack, setup the range extender properly, THEN connect that to this device.
posted by kschang at 10:11 AM on November 1, 2022

Response by poster: kschang: I'm not sure i understand what you're saying. I already have voip service (so I am not looking for voip service). My voip (Which I already have, so I'm not looking for a voip router) router sits next to my internet router and is plugged into the internet router with an ethernet cable. The voip router has output phone jacks. Currently plugged into one of those jacks is the base station for a handsfree phone. Scattered throughout my home are additional handsfree phones that receive signal from that base unit (so I have phones everywhere. I'm not looking for a way to get phones everywhere).

I would like to add a specific phone (so I am not looking for recommended phones, I have a phone in mind) which is not a handsfree phone and that receives signal by connecting into a jack. I would like a device to send signal wirelessly from my VOIP router to device with an output jack which I would then use to plug in the phone. This seems like a thing that should exist, but I don't know what it's called or where I find it.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:17 AM on November 1, 2022

There is a different way to do it... IF your fiber modem already has VOIP phone jacks on it. Plug in something called "wireless phone jack" which uses the electrical system as a carrier, similar to Ethernet over power. Assuming the modem is not TOO far from you, plug the other station in your place and hope you get a signal to use the old phone.
posted by kschang at 10:19 AM on November 1, 2022

Response by poster: Those are exactly what i want and what I was picturing. But they cost more than I want to invest in the project, so nevermind, I guess. Thanks for finding, though.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:29 AM on November 1, 2022

Not really sure what you mean by "old phone jacks disconnected someway". But that's the easy answer. Find where the outside line comes in the home to the first jack that it comes into. Take those wires off and put everything back. RJ-11 (the phone plug) is all shared media and has 4 wires, the two center ones are for one-line, the two outer ones are for a second-line (or buzzer system). If you can detach your home from the outside and the jacks are still connected, you'd just need maybe a couple of cheap "line1 to line2" adapters to go from the VOIP modem into the phone wiring and back out another jack.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:37 AM on November 1, 2022

Response by poster: OK, I don't fully understand that comment...but I think the disconnection happened somewhere between where it comes into the house and the other jacks. And the disconnection was somehow necessary to hook up the internet, so I assume reconnecting it would leave me without internet.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:46 AM on November 1, 2022

OK, maybe they brought fiber in and co-opted the old phone wiring to get to the modem...

I expect a fiber connection to be fiber to the modem and not have anything at all to do with the phone jacks. But I could also see something like fiber coming in and getting turned into ethernet and then ripping out one phone jack and pulling in Cat-5 and putting the ethernet that feeds the modem in the same place.

If they just disconnected your house from the outside old phone company.... and didn't use the phone wires themselves for connecting the modem.... that's what I would have done because it would mean I could plug the VOIP of the modem into a phone jack and put the phone anywhere else there's a jack.

You could probably get an electrician or handyman to take a look at things, they just need a tiny bit of phone wiring know how (that's much easier than electrical wiring.

What's this buzzer system? See, the two lines of the bog standard phone jack wiring.... is often used weirdly. Like the second line goes to your home security provider. Is it like an apartment with a front door buzzer/intercom thing? I could see them pulling that back to the wiring closet and using the second line to the units to run a different system over them. Then the phone company people just wouldn't be able to connect up a second line and they only connect the first line wires.

(sorry, I spent too much time running cables and working in wiring closets in a past life. it's just not that easy to explain or deal with remotely.)
posted by zengargoyle at 11:22 AM on November 1, 2022

The jacks in your house are all daisy chained together, a little like electrical sockets (the same wires to every outlet).

I am guessing they broke the connection at the first jack (the one that still works), because that would have been the easiest thing to do. That would mean the first jack is connected to whatever it's connected to, and all the others are just connected to each other and completely cut off from anything else.

If that's what they did, the wires from there to the rest of the chain may well be taped up in the electrical box behind that phone jack. If you can put a second jack there, leaving the two jacks entirely disconnected from each other, then you can wire that new outlet to your VOIP modem and all your jacks should now connect to your VOIP line.

An alternative option: if there is one of these 'dead' jacks near your VOIP device and another one near where you want your phone to be, you could try plugging them both in and seeing if things work. If no one has shorted out anything when they cut the cable off from the original circuit, it might be all functional. You should be able to try this with your existing phone, of course.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 9:27 PM on November 1, 2022

FWIW, the Amazon prices are ridiculous. You can find the items on Ebay for about half that (60s) , even lower if you can take used (30s).
posted by kschang at 10:34 PM on November 1, 2022

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