Business Phone Systems

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ChrisRR Offline OP
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I've heard you can connect a modem to the admin port of an R8 to avoid having to use the one built into the PCMCIA card that never works. I've been trying to connect a modem but with no success. At first I tried the 355AF adapter like you would use to connect directly to a PC and no love. I figured it would be some kind of Null Modem type of adapter, so I put one together and the modem will answer and try to connect, but never does. It would be impractical to run a dedicated cable from my workshop to my processor for a direct serial connection, so it would be nice to be able to use the existing phone wiring to dial into the partner from time to time to run backups and make occasional changes. I know I can do it all from ext 10, but where's the fun in that? I'm guessing I need a special adapter?

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ChrisRR Offline OP
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I figured out the problem. The internal modem on my PC wasn't up to the task. I swapped it out with one from another PC and it works fine. In the interest of making this easier to anyone who follows, I'm including a link to the Avaya document regarding this procedure. They are specific about using a US Robotics Sportster external modem, a DB25 Null modem adapter and the 355A adapter. Essentially you set up the modem, connect the null modem to the back of it, then the 355A adapter to the null modem and a 8P8C (ethernet) patch cord to the Admin port. (I wanted to have it written in case the link goes dead in the future.)

Avaya Page for Connecting Modem to R7/R8 Processor

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Ha! Where was that information when I was trying to do that years ago. The key is in step 4.1, configuring the modem.

Thing is I can't remember why I was trying to do it though because I never had a problem with a US Robotics Sportster on my end connecting to the ACS built-in modem. That was the recommended way and the only way that worked.

-Hal


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ChrisRR Offline OP
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That's why I originally bought the sportster modem. For the life of me I could never get it to connect to the internal modem. Oddly, when I had my r6 out of the carrier and sitting on the bench, I could plug the modem into a station port and connect reliably over and over, put it in the carrier and it would get nowhere. Same with my R8. I can't connect to the internal modem at all, but with the sportster hanging off the admin port I can connect reliably every time. Paul had a suggestion that I try unseating the other cards and try calling the internal modem. I haven't tried that yet. Maybe I have a bad 308EC putting out some interference? The system otherwise works perfectly and there's no noise on any lines or stations. I wanted to use the modem because the only computer I have that will run the PC Administration software lives in my workshop. It's an old machine running XP pro, and I don't really want to move it around. I don't have 4 spare pairs I can run serial over, but I do have 1 spare pair I can run a modem over. I should have run more cabling when I built my workshop, but hindsight is 20/20. I have 3 ethernet drops, and two extra runs of 4 pair I'm using for the phones. I have an 18D on each bench, so that uses up 4 of the 8 phone pairs. I have a pair used for the modem in my main PC, but it runs Windows 10 so it won't run the administration program. That leaves one spare pair at that bench. The other bench has a drop with an 18D on it and two single line jacks I use for testing old phones I'm working on restoring. I don't need two jacks, so I can use one for the modem in the XP machine. That still leaves me a test jack for whatever old thing I'm repairing. I wish I had run a couple 25 pair drops out here, then I could have all the 4 pair drops for ethernet and the 25 pair cables for phones, serial links, modems and whatever other circuits I feel like dreaming up.

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Isolating the processor may, or may not make a difference. Just threw that suggestion out as a thought.

The internal PCMCIA modem just doesn't work well at all. The built in modem found in Merlin Legend and Magix processors is so much more reliable.


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Quote
Oddly, when I had my r6 out of the carrier and sitting on the bench, I could plug the modem into a station port and connect reliably over and over, put it in the carrier and it would get nowhere.

That's REALLY strange. I know that from time to time there were problems but I regularly connected over long distances with no issues. I'm thinking that as the poor Partner ages weird problems begin to crop up.

-Hal


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ChrisRR Offline OP
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I tried every arrangement I could dream up to connect to that internal modem and I just couldn't make it work. I even tried running a piece of twisted pair across the floor from a station port on the processor out to my shop to the sportster and it just wouldn't connect. It was only after I pulled the R6 to upgrade to the R8 that I had it sitting on the bench and thought I'd give it a try. I had no expectation that I was going to have a different result. I was at least able to save the translation to the hard drive before I pulled the batteries. One of the things I hate doing is setting up an external hot line. It is infinitely easier from a PC. Someone gave me one of those Randix police call box phones and I want to set it up to hotdial my cell phone. This is just a gimmicky thing, but it's in my house so who cares? smile


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