Wireless phone extension

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jimandy
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Wireless phone extension

Post by jimandy » Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:04 am

I am looking for a way to extend existing phone service from my house to a secondary structure on my property. The separating distance at their closest points is less than 30 feet. A cordless handset will connect to the house base station, but not reliably (I have to stand near a window to talk). The WBC (wife's building code) won't let me string a wire but will let me install some unobtrusive antennas. I would like for the extension to have a jack so I can use a dial up modem when I'm working there. Oddly enough, the house and shop are on different power line service so I can't use the through-the-power-line phone jacks units that otherwise work quite well. The Tel. Co. might consider running me an extension from the pole but the thought of explaining this to them (and the cost) makes my head hurt. Is there some simple wireless solution?
"if it's not another it's one thing."

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frhrwa
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by frhrwa » Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:46 am

if the distance is less than 30' to the bldg. why not buy some telephone cable and bury it from the house to the shop?.. you can get direct burial line cheap enough, connect at the NID, install another NID at the shop (with a grd rod driven down), then run some I/W to the jack and your up and running..
JESUS”…… don’t leave EARTH without HIM!

jimandy
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by jimandy » Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:14 pm

Good idea, wayne, and I considered it. But there's lot of rock in the soil and it sounds like work which gives me a rash. ;)

<small>[ December 21, 2005, 01:15 PM: Message edited by: jimandy ]</small>
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Valdhor
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by Valdhor » Wed Dec 21, 2005 9:49 pm

Well, you could use a couple of these with a couple of Wifi hotspots or you could look at this.

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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by jimandy » Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:16 pm

Now we're getting somewhere. Both are a bit overkill for my 30 feet distance. The Carlson product would be the simpler since it is an all-in-one solution but I couldn't find a price. And they claim a 14 mile range in the ISM band !?!? That's pretty amazing for unlicensed product isn't it? The TC product looks good, but again, no price and the wifi will add some more cost.

I was wondering if I could jerry-rig a system using the powerline remote phone jack product, tap it's carrier and send it via some homebrew low power duplexed RF system. For example (don't laugh) cheap 900 mghz baby monitor units. I've picked up their signals from a house half way down the block!
"if it's not another it's one thing."

cato
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by cato » Thu Dec 22, 2005 4:23 am

Where do you have the base station for the cordless phone? Could you move it to an upper floor or add a second base unit located in the attic? Altitude should extend your range. You might also be able to build a beam antenna for a spare base unit and aim it at your secondary structure.

jimandy
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by jimandy » Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:46 am

Actually, cato, I posted a question under a different topic some months ago asking if anyone had experience attaching an external antenna to a base station for increased range. There were no replies. I think to do it right I would have to know about matching the antenna and transmission line, etc. which is an area I'm weak in. If someone has done this with a particular cordless I would be interested in duplicating it, even if I have to buy a specific model that matches up with the type they used.

However, such a solution solves only a part of my problem as I want a provision in my "shack" to plug in a dial up modem. I haven't seen a cordless handset that includes an RJ-11 for that purpose,
"if it's not another it's one thing."

Valdhor
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by Valdhor » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:26 am

For a fully electronic way you may want to look at the CMX649 Wireless Voice Link Demonstration Kit.

jimandy
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by jimandy » Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:41 pm

Thanks Valdhor. It's an interesting product, but way over my head for adding the interface for off-hook signaling, ring detection, etc. In further research on the wireless phone jack I find "The wireless telephone jacks, marketed under GE, RCA/Thompson and Radio Shack brand names, operate on 3.025 and 6.436 MHz." (per an article published by ARRL).

Those frequencies seem low enough that it might easily (cheaply?) be interfaced to modulate a 900 or 2500 MHz RF carrier. So I've just bought a wireless jack off of eBay and I'll tear into it when it gets here to see if the carrier signals are accessible and separable from the components that couple them to the A.C. line. From there, I'm not sure where to go. Perhaps I'll consult with some ham buddies who will probably condemn the project based on the potential for creating interference and running afoul of the FCC.
"if it's not another it's one thing."

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frhrwa
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by frhrwa » Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:50 pm

do you have a sidewalk going to the other bldg? or fence, or any structure?..
JESUS”…… don’t leave EARTH without HIM!

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philba
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by philba » Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:17 pm

As much as I like to build stuff, there are cordless phones that have significantly better range than 30 ft. I have a panasonic kx-td7895 (I think) that can do around 60 ft through 3 walls and a floor. I keep the base station underneath a bed in our guest room (most central location) and the charger phone cradle in the family room. I can go easily 100 ft outside and still get a pretty clear signal. It uses spread spectrum 900 mhz which seems to punch through anything. I don't think the 2.4Ghz and higher phones do as well. It's designed for the digital systems so it won't work with a POTS but there must be POTS cordless phones like this.

jimandy
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by jimandy » Thu Dec 22, 2005 4:25 pm

Wayne - nothing but a short path through woods.
Philba - I agree about good range on cordless phones. The base station for the one in question is in a living room (where the wife wants it) which puts it more like 40 ft or so from the nearest point from the shack. There is a screened in porch enclosing 2 sides of the house and I suspect the screen is attenuating the signal. My son brought over his 5.8 ghz which, he claims, can penetrate hardened krypton, but no go at my place. My 900 Mghz works, barely, his - nada. BTW the subject house and shack are not my primary residence but are a weekend retreat up north. Both are single level and have metal roofs which makes me wonder if it's sucking up the signal.
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cato
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by cato » Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:11 am

I have never tried it, but these folks:

http://www.customphones.com/productCat46070.ctlg

claim to be able to extend the range of cordless phones.

as far as the modem connections go...there are plenty of cordless phones that are associated with hands free type head sets. If you can't find one with the head set connected by an RJ-11 connector, you can probably cut the head phone off and add the RJ-11 connector yourself.

Failing that, in the olden days, modem connections were made via an acoustic coupling. The telephone hand set was snugged into a gasketed cradle that held onto the mouth piece and ear piece into chambers associated with speakers and microphones respectively. Perhaps you could adapt (e.g., Duck Tape (TM)) one of those to your cordless phone of choice.

http://www.cs.unc.edu/Outreach/vr/compu ... pler1.html

<small>[ December 23, 2005, 04:14 AM: Message edited by: cato ]</small>

jimandy
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by jimandy » Fri Dec 23, 2005 7:14 pm

Thanks again, cato. I'm wondering - to gain more range is it more effective to kluge the handset antenna? or the base station antenna? Obviously both would be best but modifing the base station antenna would be the logistically more practical (so I don't carry around a phone with a flag pole on top). I'm willing to invest in some connectors and coax to mount an external antenna out on the porch to shorten the range by 20 ft. And, yes, my age would tell you I am well acquainted with accoustic modems. It is a possibility, but I don't think they connect at much higher than 600-1200 baud as I recall.
"if it's not another it's one thing."

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philba
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Re: Wireless phone extension

Post by philba » Fri Dec 23, 2005 7:37 pm

Originally posted by jimandy:
Wayne - nothing but a short path through woods.
Philba - I agree about good range on cordless phones. The base station for the one in question is in a living room (where the wife wants it) which puts it more like 40 ft or so from the nearest point from the shack. There is a screened in porch enclosing 2 sides of the house and I suspect the screen is attenuating the signal. My son brought over his 5.8 ghz which, he claims, can penetrate hardened krypton, but no go at my place. My 900 Mghz works, barely, his - nada. BTW the subject house and shack are not my primary residence but are a weekend retreat up north. Both are single level and have metal roofs which makes me wonder if it's sucking up the signal.
Some phones (my cordless included) have a charger seperate from the base unit. My guess is your wife wants the handset available and could care less about the transmitter. I'd look for a phone like that and stuff the transmitter in the screened in porch. I bet you'd get good results.

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