cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Phone Brain needed! Equipment compatabillity issue with Caller Display unit

moonson
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎14-11-2009

Phone Brain needed! Equipment compatabillity issue with Caller Display unit

This isn't a problem with the Plusnet service, I'm just hoping someone on the forum knows about phones or has had the same problem
I have a phone (an old BT phone/answer machine called a Response 510) and it doesn't have caller display, which i like 'cos i'm vaguely nosy about people who call and don't leave messages, or do leave messages and don't leave their number 'cos they're used to that being automatic. It's not a big deal but it has been useful.,
So I had a separate caller display unit
Recently this died (or at least stopped working, it just might have been a service change thing but more likely it just died)
So I bought another one: a little white box called Caller ID 2008E, they're all over EBay
after confusing myself with connecting it up, I got it working, or so I thought:
• phone rings, number is displayed, all fine
• except the answer machine doesn't work any more (and it still does if i take the CallerDisplay box and associated leads out of the circuit again)
hmmm...
2 points which might be relevant
• I had a fine old time trying to connect it all up to start with, a selection of leads from my bag of phone & computer leads not working, which i have interpreted as demonstrating that not all phone leads that look the same actually are the same, maybe not all pins connected up, or connected to the same place. The CallerDisplay unit has those small phone plugs (don't know what they're called, irritatingly they have several uses across telecomms), while the phone itself and the socket are the standard British phone plug type. Success finally achieved by way of an adapter from Maplins (female Brit style phone plug to male small size): but perhaps i should go find an actual male-male Brit pattern/small size lead, perhaps something's going adrift in the adapter or that's not delivering all the signals.
More significantly, i think, when i listen to the phone when it's being called (i have the ringer turned right off but can still hear it's ringing) it's much louder (yes even at zero ringer volume if you follow me) when the CallerDisplay unit isn't in the circuit, which suggest either that the CallerDisplay unit is draining the call so much that it doesn't activate the answer machine any more (I am now showing my ignorance of telephony, because that's not how i thought it worked); OR if the CallerDisplay unit is passing on the call rather than just eavesdropping, then it's doing so in a format/system that the old phone/answer machine doesn't read fully; OR some part of what comes through the phone s0cket isn't getting though to the phone via the CallerDisplay box and the leads plugs and adapter that connect it up .
I know US & UK phone systems work differently, and as my experience already shows and wikipedia confirms, plugs can be wired in different combinations. I think that's where the problems are coming from but my brain is running dry at this point and i hope it's a problem that sounds familiar to one of those smart people who understands phone circuits. There may even be a logic to how to troubleshoot it further, but i've hit the buffers myself.
It might be that i need to go buy some more leads, it might be that the two systems are incompatible. There are BT caller display boxes around but they only show the last number, limited usefulness, i could get that from 1471
Supplementary points just in case they're relevant
I have a +Net fibre broadband + homephone package, under which everything worked fine with the old CallerDisplay unit
The CallerDisplay unit does contain batteries, which i think are just for the display, so don't see why it needs to use any power from the call: anyway i thought ringing and other phone switching things had more to do with the resistance of devices.
I do have another phone on the number (in another room) but not on that same circuit, it's split at the socket. Unplugging it makes no difference, tho'
The CallerDisplay unit that used to work was called Betacom Preview 2 and that came with a Brit-style plug input so was compatible from the start.
9 REPLIES 9
Jaggies
Rising Star
Posts: 1,668
Thanks: 25
Registered: ‎29-06-2010

Re: Phone Brain needed! Equipment compatabillity issue with Caller Display unit

May not help you much, but there are two different BT plug socket to RJ11 adaptors, as I found out when connecting a BT phone to my VoIP adaptor, which also uses an RJ11 socket. One type works, the other doesn't. They both look the same and I can no longer remember which is which, but I know I tried both types, and Maplins sold them both.
HPsauce
Rising Star
Posts: 6,788
Thanks: 24
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: Phone Brain needed! Equipment compatabillity issue with Caller Display unit

Get a proper BT approved & compatible one and bin that.
moonson
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎14-11-2009

Re: Phone Brain needed! Equipment compatabillity issue with Caller Display unit

'z I say, the BT one only shows one number. not much good
BenTrimble
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 2,106
Registered: ‎06-02-2008

Re: Phone Brain needed! Equipment compatabillity issue with Caller Display unit

Have you exceeded the REN rating on your line?
Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 20,119
Thanks: 8,207
Fixes: 104
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Phone Brain needed! Equipment compatabillity issue with Caller Display unit

REN = Ring equivalence Number
Every bit of kit you connect to the phone line 'consumes' REN units, usually in whole numbers.  An answer machine might be rated at "2 REN".  IIRC the standard BT line REN 'capacity' is 4 REN.  If you put kit having a sum of REN greater than 4, then things are not going to work properly.  All approved kit should specify their REN value.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: ‎08-12-2013

Re: Phone Brain needed! Equipment compatabillity issue with Caller Display unit

Hi Ben
How would one know, or test to seen if they have exceeded REN ?Huh
A bit more info is required here
picbits
Rising Star
Posts: 3,428
Thanks: 22
Registered: ‎18-01-2013

Re: Phone Brain needed! Equipment compatabillity issue with Caller Display unit

Normally a phone or telecommunications device has a REN number printed on the bottom of it. You need to add the REN numbers on all the devices on the line (Fax / Phone / CLID unit / Answerphone etc and the total must be <= 4 which is the standard maximum REN defined by a phone line (and has been for the last 30 years +)
*edit - on some devices you'd have to look in the manual for the REN.
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: ‎08-12-2013

Re: Phone Brain needed! Equipment compatabillity issue with Caller Display unit

Cheers DomS Smiley
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎07-04-2007

Re: Phone Brain needed! Equipment compatabillity issue with Caller Display unit

CLID devices normally have a REN value of 0 so should not be a problem
Quote from: moonson

2 points which might be relevant
• I had a fine old time trying to connect it all up to start with, a selection of leads from my bag of phone & computer leads not working, which i have interpreted as demonstrating that not all phone leads that look the same actually are the same, maybe not all pins connected up, or connected to the same place. The CallerDisplay unit has those small phone plugs (don't know what they're called, irritatingly they have several uses across telecomms), while the phone itself and the socket are the standard British phone plug type. Success finally achieved by way of an adapter from Maplins (female Brit style phone plug to male small size): but perhaps i should go find an actual male-male Brit pattern/small size lead, perhaps something's going adrift in the adapter or that's not delivering all the signals.

From your description of the adaptor that you brought I can't work out how and where you are plugging the Caller display in. Could you explain further.