Weekly Ad: See Best Buy's new Digital Weekly Ad here! See Deals
Forum Thread

Alarm system nowhere near coaxial jack or phone jack -- help with VOIP

6,652 1,862 October 5, 2017 at 08:43 AM
We're hoping to drop our AT&T landline service and just use our Xfinity/Comcast phone service (paying for it, but don't have any equipment for it yet).

I was told I'd need a cable modem that takes advantage of telephony/VOIP, so I'd need to get a new cable modem. But once I install that, how would I get a phone signal to the alarm box? It's in the basement (underneath the stairwell leading down to the basement), and is really nowhere near a phone jack or coaxial jack -- it's pulling a signal from the box outside of the house.

I was told since there isn't a phone line nearby, we could put the cable modem near it, but again, there isn't a coaxial jack nearby. Am I missing something? Any easy way to get a signal to the alarm system?

Our security monitoring company offers a device ($100/fee + $8/month upcharge) that will allow it to hop on our WiFi and go that route. I'm leaning towards that, but if we could take advantage of VOIP it would save us money in the long run.

14 Comments

1

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2005
L9: Master
4,694 Posts
2,014 Reputation
Pro
#2
One way or another you'll need to connect the alarm system to the VOIP device. Whether in the modem or as a separate device, the VOIP gateway will connect to your network with another jack to connect to the phone side. It can be located anywhere that it's connected to both. The alarm system then will need to be tied into the rest of the phone wiring just like another extension. If, for example, you have some central connection for your phone lines or another line in the basement, you could run a line to that.
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Jul 2003
L10: Grand Master
34,147 Posts
6,096 Reputation
#3
Quote from TheEdge
:
We're hoping to drop our AT&T landline service and just use our Xfinity/Comcast phone service (paying for it, but don't have any equipment for it yet).

I was told I'd need a cable modem that takes advantage of telephony/VOIP, so I'd need to get a new cable modem. But once I install that, how would I get a phone signal to the alarm box? It's in the basement (underneath the stairwell leading down to the basement), and is really nowhere near a phone jack or coaxial jack -- it's pulling a signal from the box outside of the house.

I was told since there isn't a phone line nearby, we could put the cable modem near it, but again, there isn't a coaxial jack nearby. Am I missing something? Any easy way to get a signal to the alarm system?

Our security monitoring company offers a device ($100/fee + $8/month upcharge) that will allow it to hop on our WiFi and go that route. I'm leaning towards that, but if we could take advantage of VOIP it would save us money in the long run.
Can you get to the box where it is pulling the signal from?

~~~~
Basically you take your new shiny VoIP modem out and plug it in to the Cable line, then take the Phone Out port on the VoIP modem and connect it to the wall plate "as if" it was a phone. Now your modem is backfeeding telephone to your house via that jack.

You'll need to go out to where your phone service used to enter your house and pull your old provider's cable off, else you 'could' back feed your telephone to someone else.
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 0
worshipTHANK YOU to those whom have fought and are fighting for our FREEDOMworship

Please Support Autism Awareness [autismspeaks.org]
Yahoo!Yahoo! 7/11/2009
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Apr 2006
L10: Grand Master
6,652 Posts
1,862 Reputation
Original Poster
#4
Quote from Mike A.
:
One way or another you'll need to connect the alarm system to the VOIP device. Whether in the modem or as a separate device, the VOIP gateway will connect to your network with another jack to connect to the phone side. It can be located anywhere that it's connected to both. The alarm system then will need to be tied into the rest of the phone wiring just like another extension. If, for example, you have some central connection for your phone lines or another line in the basement, you could run a line to that.
Thanks, but outside of boring holes through walls, I'm not sure how we could even get a phone jack/line near the alarm panel. It's currently running a line through the steps out through or garage and then into the main box outside of the home.

Would it see the new signal if the alarm is connected to the main house box and not a standard phone outlet inside of the house? Because isn't the main box receiving a signal from the street (AT&T)? Or does it push and pull both ways?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2005
L9: Master
4,694 Posts
2,014 Reputation
Pro
#5
Quote from TheEdge
:
Thanks, but outside of boring holes through walls, I'm not sure how we could even get a phone jack/line near the alarm panel. It's currently running a line through the steps out through or garage and then into the main box outside of the home.

Would it see the new signal if the alarm is connected to the main house box and not a standard phone outlet inside of the house? Because isn't the main box receiving a signal from the street (AT&T)? Or does it push and pull both ways?
So there's already a line there? Was it a dedicated phone line for the alarm or was it using the house line?

In either case, if there's already service to it, then you should be good. You can tie into that or cross-connect it somewhere, likely where the phone line terminates inside (or sometimes outside) the house. As DC said, you'll plug in the modem and connect it to your network and plug a phone line into it. If the alarm is on the same physical line, then you'll magically have service to it. If on a separate line, then you'd need to go to where the phone lines all come together into the house and move the alarm line over to be on the same house wiring as the rest.
Reply Helpful Comment? 1 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Apr 2006
L10: Grand Master
6,652 Posts
1,862 Reputation
Original Poster
#6
Quote from Mike A.
:
So there's already a line there? Was it a dedicated phone line for the alarm or was it using the house line?

In either case, if there's already service to it, then you should be good. You can tie into that or cross-connect it somewhere, likely where the phone line terminates inside (or sometimes outside) the house. As DC said, you'll plug in the modem and connect it to your network and plug a phone line into it. If the alarm is on the same physical line, then you'll magically have service to it. If on a separate line, then you'd need to go to where the phone lines all come together into the house and move the alarm line over to be on the same house wiring as the rest.
Thanks -- I'm on a mini vacation now. Will check when I return. Appreciate the help.

The setting up the VOIP portion should be easy... it's just ensuring we can get the alarm "brains" to see a phone signal that is what is boggling me.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Aug 2005
L9: Master
4,694 Posts
2,014 Reputation
Pro
#7
Quote from TheEdge
:
Thanks -- I'm on a mini vacation now. Will check when I return. Appreciate the help.

The setting up the VOIP portion should be easy... it's just ensuring we can get the alarm "brains" to see a phone signal that is what is boggling me.
Probably not going to be as difficult as you're thinking assuming that there's already a line running to it. Just need to figure out what's going where if separate and make the connects. Most always they'll run back to some central spot.

The other thing that you may face is that some things don't play nice with VOIP. I had an all-in-one printer/fax and another dial-in power switch thing that I never could get to work right after moving to VOIP. Both of those were trying to detect incoming calls though. Just outgoing like an alarm and you'll likely be OK. Probably just needs to detect dial tone which the VOIP should present.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2008
L9: Master
5,945 Posts
2,347 Reputation
#8
Alarms that are wired to POTS generally have the ability to "seize" the phone line. Meaning the phone wiring goes first to the alarm panel and then to all the phone jacks in the house. When the alarm wants to dial out it disconnects the rest of the phone jacks seizing the line. This is supposed to be done with an RJ-31X jack that allows you to unplug the alarm easily and not disconnect the rest of your phones.

Getting alarms to work over VOIP isn't always easy or even possible but you've got a better shot with voip from the cable company than most.

Honestly I'd just go cellular with a different monitoring company with more reasonable rates. If you're under contract, then you may want to wait before you consider something like this.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Why do conservative politicians oppose conservation?
Have you ever stopped to think the long-term GOP immigration policy might be to make the United States of America a less desirable place to live than Mexico?

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it" -Joseph Goebbels

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Jun 2005
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
6,318 Posts
2,483 Reputation
#9
well you could sign up for OOMA and use that for the alarm taxes would be less than the fee and you would have a home phone.

There are also other free options that use google voice. You could also check with the alarm company and see about a cell phone 3G option that would give you more security in case someone cuts your cable or power.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2008
L9: Master
5,945 Posts
2,347 Reputation
#10
Quote from komondor
:
well you could sign up for OOMA and use that for the alarm taxes would be less than the fee and you would have a home phone.

There are also other free options that use google voice. You could also check with the alarm company and see about a cell phone 3G option that would give you more security in case someone cuts your cable or power.
The problem with alarms and VOIP is compression. The codecs used by voip are targeted towards voice signals and can filter out or over compress some of the noise that's required for things like faxes and alarms to actually work.

Google Voice in particular would be extremely unreliable. Ooma may work if your alarm is set for CID and not SIA format and you program the alarm to dial *99 or whatever the star code is that uses a more generous codec.

You can get cellular monitoring for around $15-20 / month. This is what I recommend.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Sep 2009
L3: Novice
279 Posts
59 Reputation
#11
Envsalink eyezon...you would need Ethernet...but a wireless bridge is an option.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Apr 2006
L10: Grand Master
6,652 Posts
1,862 Reputation
Original Poster
#12
Sorry that I'm digging up this thread, but... finally ordered my VOIP / telephony modem [amazon.com].

Got it installed and activated. Cancelled our AT&T landline phone service. Verified that the "old" number was dead.

The modem has two phone line outputs. If I run one directly to our handset base, I can receive incoming calls or make outbound calls. However, if I feed the signal from one of the outputs into the nearest wall jack and then take the handset base into the kitchen and connect it to the jack there, it has a problem with seizing the line periodically and/or if I end an outbound call, it doesn't detect that I've ended the call so the other phone (i.e. my cell phone) will keep ringing long after I've hung up. Also, with it configured like this, we can't receive inbound calls -- it goes straight to voicemail as if the line is busy or non-existent.

Since a direct connection between the VOIP modem and the handset base works fine, I'm guessing there is something connected in our phone jack network preventing from the line correctly seizing when I try feeding a VOIP signal into said "network". My guess? Either our alarm system OR the fact that our box on the side of the house still has a physical connection to the street (even though we're not paying for a signal anymore). I did some digging around and people recommended doing that anyway, as did a poster above. Not fully sure which jumper to remove or wire to disconnect, but... I'm familiar where the box is on the side of the house.

Any thoughts on what could be wrong? Regardless of if I go directly to the handset (inbound and outbound calls work fine) or if I just feed into the network (no inbound calls, flaky outbound calls), our alarm monitoring company's HQ doesn't detect any alarm activity. We tested it with them and they monitored it.

For what it's worth, I opened up the case containing the alarm system "brains" and saw it is, in fact, connected to a phone jack adapter of sorts in the case itself before the wires from that -- along with other wires -- head up the stud and out to other sensors and/or, I'm guessing, where the phone line hits the house from the street.

Photo of the box/jack attached.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by TheEdge November 11, 2017 at 06:04 PM.
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Dec 2008
L9: Master
5,945 Posts
2,347 Reputation
#13
Quote from TheEdge
:
Sorry that I'm digging up this thread, but... finally ordered my VOIP / telephony modem [amazon.com].

Got it installed and activated. Cancelled our AT&T landline phone service. Verified that the "old" number was dead.

The modem has two phone line outputs. If I run one directly to our handset base, I can receive incoming calls or make outbound calls. However, if I feed the signal from one of the outputs into the nearest wall jack and then take the handset base into the kitchen and connect it to the jack there, it has a problem with seizing the line periodically and/or if I end an outbound call, it doesn't detect that I've ended the call so the other phone (i.e. my cell phone) will keep ringing long after I've hung up. Also, with it configured like this, we can't receive inbound calls -- it goes straight to voicemail as if the line is busy or non-existent.

Since a direct connection between the VOIP modem and the handset base works fine, I'm guessing there is something connected in our phone jack network preventing from the line correctly seizing when I try feeding a VOIP signal into said "network". My guess? Either our alarm system OR the fact that our box on the side of the house still has a physical connection to the street (even though we're not paying for a signal anymore). I did some digging around and people recommended doing that anyway, as did a poster above. Not fully sure which jumper to remove or wire to disconnect, but... I'm familiar where the box is on the side of the house.

Any thoughts on what could be wrong? Regardless of if I go directly to the handset (inbound and outbound calls work fine) or if I just feed into the network (no inbound calls, flaky outbound calls), our alarm monitoring company's HQ doesn't detect any alarm activity. We tested it with them and they monitored it.

For what it's worth, I opened up the case containing the alarm system "brains" and saw it is, in fact, connected to a phone jack adapter of sorts in the case itself before the wires from that -- along with other wires -- head up the stud and out to other sensors and/or, I'm guessing, where the phone line hits the house from the street.

Photo of the box/jack attached.
You took a picture of an RJ31X jack that's supposed to be wired for line seizure. You can google a diagram. You'll need to chase down how things are currently wired.

It should go like this: "phone line" from gateway to rj31x jack, phone line from rj-31x jack to the rest of the phone jacks in your house. Unplug the test jack in or disconnect the wires that go in to your alarm panel the DEMARC on the side of your house
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Apr 2006
L10: Grand Master
6,652 Posts
1,862 Reputation
Original Poster
#14
Quote from jkee
:
You took a picture of an RJ31X jack that's supposed to be wired for line seizure. You can google a diagram. You'll need to chase down how things are currently wired.

It should go like this: "phone line" from gateway to rj31x jack, phone line from rj-31x jack to the rest of the phone jacks in your house. Unplug the test jack in or disconnect the wires that go in to your alarm panel the DEMARC on the side of your house
Thanks. A Comcast rep just called (an actual knowledgeable former installer) and confirmed that, yes, it needs to be disconnected from the street to get the phone service to consistently work. He also mentioned to me that, although I had two phone jacks on the telephony modem, only Line 1 was provisioned. Long story short, we can now get calls consistently inbound and outbound... and when we hang up the home phone on outbound calls, that it stops ringing the outbound location.

The alarm system still flashes "FC" (failed connection), but the rep said that the security agent coming out Wednesday AM to fix a dead sensor will also be able to wire things up so the alarm system gets a signal (some jumper or re-wiring or the like).

I think we're on the right path. SmilieApplause
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by TheEdge November 12, 2017 at 06:06 PM.
This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Apr 2006
L10: Grand Master
6,652 Posts
1,862 Reputation
Original Poster
#15
Update on this... Ackerman guy spent about two minutes making whatever connection he needed to make... so now our alarm communicates with HQ like it should.

Thanks to everyone who offered input...
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Page 1 of 1
1
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Copyright 1999 - 2018. Slickdeals, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright / Infringement Policy  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms of Service  •  Acceptable Use Policy (Rules)  •  Interest-Based Ads
Link Copied to Clipboard