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Hi all,

We've had VoIP (with iTalkBB) in our house for a number of years now. They provided an SPA2102-R which has the "Phone 1" port connected to a phone jack in the house, and the Ethernet port connected to our router.
Some time ago we had it set up so that all the phone jacks in the house use the same phone number.

Someone is moving into our basement suite and they would like to have a landline phone. Is it possible to get a second phone number from our VoIP provider, and have it so that it corresponds only to the phone jack in the basement? We may also choose to keep our current VoIP unchanged and add a new landline from Telus.

I'm trying to understand how our current setup works (I'm a complete noob), so I took a couple pictures of our Network Interface Device:

https://i.imgur.com/mJSpTlh.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/xDWQ5kE.jpg

In the first pic, the top 2 devices have no wires on its other side. The 3rd one has a blue/white pair going into its other side. In the second pic, there's 4 pairs of blue/white (same color as the wires on the other side of 3rd device) going into its other side, but no wires in the "front".

1. Can someone explain how this wiring works?

2. What are my options for adding a separate phone line for the basement suite, whether it's another number from our VoIP provider/Telus, and what needs to be done with the wiring if this is possible?

Thanks very much!
 

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The SPA2102 supports two telephone numbers. Whether the current VoIP provider supports that is up to them. Note that it is not necessary to use the same adapter. It should be possible to add a second VoIP adapter from any VoIP provider.

It's difficult to tell anything from those pictures. The wiring must be traced to see where each cable leads and how they are used. Internal wiring typically consists of a 4 conductor cable to each phone plug. Usually, only two conductors are used. The other two are usually spares.

Adding a separate line would involve identifying and isolating the conductors going to the basement suite. They would then be connected to the second line on the SPA2102 or another ATA.
 

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Internal wiring typically consists of a 4 conductor cable to each phone plug.
Judging from those pictures, he's got 3 pair CAT 3 cable and not the old 4 wire CAT nuthin cable. The phone is usually on the blue/white pair.
 

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its absolutely possible to get the line 2 of your ATA onto the second pair which would then require ALL the phone jacks in your basement to be re-wired so the bumble bee or orange/orange stripe pair is terminated to the main terminals of each jack, this is very easy to do btw, but also depends if the second pair is used to carry internet signals, do u have dsl or cable internet? this is important to ask first.
 

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FYI: Usually your PHONES plug into either RJ11 (only 1 pair connected) or more likely RJ14 (both pairs connected) Phone Jack Boxes...or similar wall sockets. If NOT, let us know:
https://www.easy-do-it-yourself-home-improvements.com/home-telephone-wiring.html
Difference Between RJ11 and RJ14 | Difference Between

IF your VOIP Box can be configured so that BOTH numbers appear on the (shared) PHONE1 port, then number1 would be on the primary pair and number2 on the secondary pair with no further action needed to (hopefully) distribute throughout your house. In the Basement, the Phone Jack Box would need to be rewired to reverse the pairs, so his phone connects to number2 on the secondary pair.

IF your VOIP Box can NOT be configured to share PHONE1 port, then fol. Combiner Adapter Cable can be used, connecting both PHONE1 and PHONE2 ports to 4-wire house wiring. In the Basement, the Phone Jack Box would need to be rewired to reverse the pairs, so his phone connects to number2 on the secondary pair:
https://www.amazon.com/C2G-Single-37133-Splitter-Combiner/dp/B000Q5UMEI?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-exp-c-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B000Q5UMEI

PS: Who is mfr of your VOIP Box....Cisco & Linksys use same Model Number.....
 

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^^^^
FWIW, both my Rogers Home Phone box and my desk phone have 2 connectors, one for lines 1 & 2 and the other line 2 only.
 

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In the old days, 4 wires came into the home and each colour wire was connected to each jack. The inner 2 wires (red, green) were LINE1 and the outer 2 (black, yellow) were LINE2. Each connected phone became another parallel connection across either red/green or black/yellow. Most homes just used red/green, but the 4 wires from the phone company support 2 separate lines.

With VOIP, the 4 wires from the phone company should be disconnected from the street at the electrical panel, but I think most people don’t bother checking this. Instead, they just plug in their adaptor to a phone jack, which turns the adapter into the equivalent of what previously came in from the street (2 pair).

The OP needs to isolate the basement LINE1/LINE2 wires from the rest of the house, at which point there are lots of options for giving the tenant a separate line, but this is what I would look at doing first.
 

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Do you have any concrete examples of those or did you make them up?
Way back in the dark ages, many people had party lines, where the ringer and hook switch were connected between one side of the red/green and connected to ground with the black (might have been yellow wire). This meant the signaling was done between one side of the phone pair and ground, with the voice over the red/green pair. Back in those days, it was possible to pick up the receiver and hear the other party on the line talking.
 

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IF OP wants more security than simply disconnecting HIS pair at basement Phone Jack [a 2-line phone could monitor if tenant hooked it back up], then he COULD figure out WHERE the SOURCE of the basement cable originates and disconnect HIS pair at that point....
It sounds like the tenant just needs a working jack/phone number for an answering machine/cordless phone. I agree that the landlord should just locate the basement jack (CAT-6?) cable and disconnect it from the rest of the house. The landlord can then offer to let the tenant hook up a VOIP adapter for the apartment to the main router and then connect LINE1 from the apartment jack to the RJ-11 port of the adapter.

This allows the renter to manage his/her own VOIP service, thanks to a bit of free internet provided by the landlord.
 

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Many rural areas had party lines into the late 1960s and early 1970s. We had a party line at that time. You could hear others on the line and it was inconvenient to not be able to make a call. Maybe the OP should just leave the lines as is and tell the basement tenant that it's a party line. :D
 

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The OP wants separate lines for the basement and the rest of the house, not shared lines or wiring for two lines.
The way most older houses were wired is that the phone signal is present on the wire at the jack, for both line 1 and line 2 if present even though the wire may not be physically terminated to the jack. My cousin is renting a basement apartment, and has his own phone line in the basement connected to the bumble bee pair, if he really wanted to, he could open the jack, and connect the christmas tree pair to another rj11 jack and have access to the upstairs landlord's phone line or he could leave it alone and not care and do nothing and move on in life. if someone wants a Secure phone line in their basement so the wires are NOT shared with the wires for the upstairs phone line, the only true way to do it is to rip up the old wires and RUN NEW WIRES YOURSELF. The basic wiring that the builder puts in is very basic and is daisy chained, newer construction usually has direct runs from each phone (or data) jack to a central closet and yes its more secure and technology has advanced from 20-40 years ago so it makes more sense.
 

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I agree. If the wiring is daisy chained then simply use another pair and join the pair used for upstairs so the chain is not broken. If the wiring from each plug goes back to the main panel or the basement plugs are daisy chained on separate wiring then it would be possible to isolate the basement plugs.
 
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