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Using the telephony features on the Fritz!Box 7530?

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Using the telephony features on the Fritz!Box 7530?

I've recently switched over to using a Fritz!Box 7530 modem/router on my FTTC connection and am finding it greater in terms of performance and configuration. However, I decided to have a play around with its telephony features today as it has a built-in answerphone, DECT base station, app integration etc. All sounds wonderful, but I can't even get the basics working - plugging a standard analogue phone into the 'FON' port works insofar that picking up the headset illuminates the FON LED on the unit and a dialling tone is heard a fraction of a second later but then when I dial a number I get what sounds like an engaged sound - and this is to numbers that I know aren't engaged (e.g. the 1471 service).

 

Has anyone got a Fritz!Box and have used any of the (basic) telephony functionality? What am I doing wrong?

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Hero
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Re: Using the telephony features on the Fritz!Box 7530?

@MJN 

Maybe I'm wrong but I thought that this port is to allow you to use a standard analogue phone for VOIP calls.

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Re: Using the telephony features on the Fritz!Box 7530?

You might be right - certainly the GUI settings seem very geared up towards configuring VoIP. That said, various online references such as this one talk about landline numbers, but then that link is for the 7360 and maybe the 7530 doesn't (or no longer) supports them?

 

Would be grateful if anyone else has one and can shed any light on whether I am trying to do the impossible here.

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Superuser
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Re: Using the telephony features on the Fritz!Box 7530?

@MJN  I'm not sure the 7530 will work with the uk pstn. Certainly the standard dsl cable wont connect to the pstn. On some other fritzboxs there is a y cable which splits the dsl cable to dsl and pstn plugs.

This https://userbase.be/forum/viewtopic.php?t=57486 is useful ( you'll need to translate from German)

It should be possible to configure a voip (sip) account and use the telephone via that.

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Re: Using the telephony features on the Fritz!Box 7530?

This 7530 came from a Zen Internet customer and so it may be the case they have a 'UK compatible' version made for them. Certainly the VDSL side of things works well, and the firmware has UK in the regional settings section (thinking about it; I updated the firmware and it fetches it direct from AVM so maybe the whole international incompatibility aspect is no longer a thing). Or have I misunderstood?

Perhaps as Baldrick says, and I think you are suggesting also, this is more geared up towards VoIP. Have we heard from Plusnet about what their plans are for VoIP with PSTN cessation on the horizon?
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Superuser
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Re: Using the telephony features on the Fritz!Box 7530?

@MJN,Yes it may well be compatible with the UK PSTN but the basic problem is that you have no connection to the telephone network. AIUI the standard cable that goes to the DSL port doesnt connect to the internal landline in the router. You seem to need he Y cable and have the 2nd connector on that physically connected to a telephone socket.

Although, why that should be necessary in the UK I can't understand, since the DSL and POST comes down the same pair!. My guess is that the DSL socket on the 7530 is a special , or uses both pairs if an RJ11. One pair connects to the DSL modem internally to the 7530 and the other connects to the POTS circuitry.

We used to have a 7490 in our Dutch office, supplied by the ISP. That connected to the landline as well but I'm pretty sure that was ISDN.

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Re: Using the telephony features on the Fritz!Box 7530?

I don't have such a box, but I do use a VOIP ATA.

It sounds like your analog phone is connecting to the box OK, but there is no outbound route selected. In the telephony menu there should be something called dialling rules which define how calls  are routed.

It seems likely that the out of the box default is to route all outbound calls to the first VOIP account - but it's not set up so It fails. To do what you want you will/may need to set things up so that all dialled calls are routed to the PSTN network. I would expect a drop down box which chooses one of the (multiple?) VOIP services configured on the box - one of the options will probably be  PSTN or  some similar acronym.

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Re: Using the telephony features on the Fritz!Box 7530?

Sorry I ran out of edit time - Follow up.

@MisterW  seems to be correct. The PSTN signal needs to be supplied separately to different pins on the DSL port on the back of the fritzbox. See https://www.johandraaisma.nl/pin-out-specification-of-fritzbox-y-cable/

This suggests that on the RJ11 going into the back of the Fritz box the pinouts are

3. orange/white 
4. blue/white
5. blue
6. orange

The blue/white and blue pair need connecting to the DSL plug on the faceplate (middle pair I think), while the Orange/white and orange pair need connecting to the appropriate pins (2 & 5) on the BT 431 phone plug.

If you hace access to a crimp tool you could probably make up the necessary cable. If not ( just as an experiment if you have a spare DSL cable and a spare analogue phone cable you could probably butcher them to haywire a test.

 

This is probably to save them putting the filtering done by the faceplate into the box itself.

 

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Re: Using the telephony features on the Fritz!Box 7530?

Thanks everyone for the thoughts on this.

This quirky dual-use port could well be the issue and whilst it didn't come with a Y-cable I have seen mention of such a thing (possibly on other models?) on the Internet. Perhaps the filtering is different in some countries such that the DSL side is also filtered (to DSL only) and hence the POTS voice signal needs piping in separately. You would think they'd provide two separate ports to avoid the need for a proprietary cable but they must have their reasons. I've got 20 years worth of modem cables in a box so I might try hacking one together with that pinout.

Perhaps the absence of a signal going to the POTS circuitry is the reason why I am only getting VoIP options when attempting to tell the box details about my phone line, and so if I get the cable sorted it'll all magically appear. Of course, back in the real world who knows. Worth a try!

My 'dial tone' might've been a red herring - it could well have been synthesised by the unit itself rather than have been passed through from my actual line. I can make internal calls - between a physical phone plugged into the unit and a smartphone running the Fritz!Fon Android app - so I'm still holding out some hope of success if I can get the external connectivity bit working.

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Re: Using the telephony features on the Fritz!Box 7530?

Update: Actually, it looks like I'm out of luck. I found the Y-cable and it lists the compatible models... where the 7530 isn't shown. Looking at the overview for one that is listed (7590) it says 'Telephone system for IP and analog' where the overview for mine (7530) just says 'Telephone system for IP-based connections'. Looks like I've bought the cheap one, but it was half price though and I'm really pleased with everything else it offers.

 

Oh well, roll on VoIP and this whole thing will be overtaken by events. My desire right now was to possibly ditch the house DECT phones and just have the odd (once a month) landline call routed through to our mobiles via the FritzFon app. When Plusnet move over to VoIP I guess I'd be able to do this, and utilise the answering machine on the Fritzbox too. Perhaps though the Plusnet service offering might make all this redundant too though?