Frequently Asked Questions

Telephone Line Simulator FAQ


QUESTION: What is a telephone line simulator?
ANSWER: Phone line simulators (also called telco simulators) act like a phone company central office. They can give you flexibility and lower your costs when you are demonstrating or testing phone devices. Voice, fax, answering systems, modems, or video conferencing units recognize simulators as real phone lines, making them ideal for trade shows, customer sites, or the work bench. Our phoneline simulators provide the characteristics of a typical North American analog phone line, fondly referred to as POTS (plain old telephone service) lines.


QUESTION: What is the difference between Party-Line, Ring-it! and LineMan?
ANSWER: All are excellent phone line simulators for test and demonstration purposes and can be used with any analog (POTS) phone equipment. They are used in manufacturing areas for product testing and on the sales floor to demo products. Because of their low cost, they are even used by computer and radio hobbyists (e.g., home computer modems and ham radio telephone patches can be tested with a phoneline simulator). Although Party-line, Ring-It, and Lineman offer authentic North American call progress tones, very high bandwidth talk circuits (hi-speed analog modems are supported), and 20Hz ringing, they differ in features and operation. Here is a product comparison summary (specifications are subject to change):

FEATURE SUMMARY

RING-IT Pro

PARTY-LINE Pro

LINEMAN

 Talk Paths

One

One

One

 Modular Jacks (RJ-11 or RJ-14)

2 (RJ-14)

6 (RJ-11)

2 (RJ-14)

 Station-to-Station Dialing

Bidirectional

Bidirectional (six-way)

Bidirectional

 Dialing Method

DTMF and Pulse

DTMF and Pulse

DTMF and Pulse

 Character Display (dialed digit & mode)

Yes

No

No

 Line In-use Indicators

Yes

Yes

Yes

 Phone Number Dialing Format

Seven and Eleven Digit

Seven and Eleven Digit

Seven and Eleven Digit

 Phone Line Current Limit Protection

Yes

Yes

Yes

 On-Hook Line Voltage

28 VDC

28 VDC

28 VDC

 Off-Hook Voltage (two phones)

7 VDC Typical

7 VDC Typical

7 VDC Typical

 Ring Voltage (Volts AC)

70-90 VAC (1 bell load)

70-90 VAC (1 bell load)

70-90 VAC (1 bell load)

 Ring Voltage Frequency

20 Hertz

20 Hertz

20 Hertz

 Ring Signal Drive (bell load)

>2 Bells

>3 Bells

>2 Bells

 Caller-ID Signaling

Name, Name/Number
{ BellCore / Telcordia / Stentor }
FSK format

Name, Name/Number
{ BellCore / Telcordia / Stentor }
FSK format

None

 E-911 Dialing Support

Yes

Yes

Yes

 Distinctive Ringing

No

Yes

No

 Recall Dial Tone Emulation

Yes

Yes

Yes

 Auto Ring-up/Cycle Feature

Yes

No

Yes

 Auto Off-hook Ring Feature

Yes

No

Yes

 Manual Ring Button

Yes

No

No

 Quick Dial Feature

Yes

Yes

Yes

 External Audio Jack

Yes (Audio In/Out)

No

Yes (Audio Out)

 Overall Unit Size

7"L x 6"W x 2"H

6"L x 8"W x 2.5"H

7"L x 6"W x 2"H

 Power Requirements

13.5-15VAC 50/60Hz, 400mA

13.5-15VAC 50/60Hz, 400mA

13.5-15VAC 50/60Hz, 400mA

 Mains Power Transformer,
 14VAC Output

Wall Adapter (Transformer)
120VAC/60Hz Input

Wall Adapter (Transformer)
120VAC/60Hz Input

Wall Adapter (Transformer)
120VAC/60Hz Input


QUESTION: What is the difference between Ring-it! and Ring-It Pro?
ANSWER: We no longer sell the standard "Ring-It" -- it is now enhanced and is called the "Ring-It Pro." It was redesigned and many new user programmable features were added. You can review the new features by downloading the instruction manual. It still supports all the old features and looks the same, so it can easily work along side the older version. The Ring-It Pro series was introduced mid-2002. It is labeled on the rear panel as a "Pro Series" and will have a serial number that begins with a H (or higher) letter.


QUESTION: What is the difference between Party-Line and Party-Line Pro?
ANSWER: We no longer sell the standard "Party-Line" -- it is now enhanced and is called the "Party-Line Pro." It was redesigned and many new user programmable features were added. You can review the new features by downloading the instruction manual. It still supports all the old features and looks the same, so it can easily work along side the older version. The Pro series was introduced late-2005. It is labeled on the rear panel as a "Pro Series" and will have a serial number that begins with a G (or higher) letter.


QUESTION: I understand that the Party-Line and Ring-It Pro-Series can emulate both the Bellcore/Telcordia and Stentor Caller-ID Formats. What is the difference in the format?
ANSWER: Stentor member companies use a non-standard implementation of MDMF caller-ID messaging. Bellcore/Telcordia MDMF identifies each field with a Parameter Type word, and the DDN field is assigned Parameter Type 02. The Canadian implementation assign the DDN field to 03. This minor difference has been a source of compatibility issues with Caller-ID products marketed in North American, so it is good to test for it. On the telco simulator the DDN field assignment is controlled by the user configured setup and can be freely switched between the two modes. Otherwise, the two formats are the same.


QUESTION: Can your simulators emulate digital phone lines?
ANSWER: No. They do not emulate digital circuits such as ISDN, DSL, or T-1. The standards for digital communication is vastly different from POTS (plain old telephone systems) equipment.  Our telco simulators are designed for use with POTS equipment.


QUESTION: I want to use a telco simulator in a theatrical setting. What would I use to ring a stage phone?
ANSWER: Ring-It! is perfect for use as a stage sound prop. It offers realistic ringing that can be created by simply pushing a button or dialing a number. In addition, its external audio jack easily connects to your stage's sound system. The LineMan product is also a good choice if you do not need the manual ring button.


QUESTION: Can your simulators work with PC modems or fax machines?
ANSWER: Yes.  In fact, you should easily get the highest possible connection speeds (baud rates) because these units provide very high quality talk paths.  Your connection's data rate will depend on the hardware and software that you use.  The authentic call progress tones (dial tone, ringing, busy signal) will also ensure that your modem correctly controls the call during the dial-up process.


QUESTION: I am using a pair of "56K" modems on my telco simulator. The highest connect rate I have seen is only 33.6K.  I have even experimented with the modem's AT commands and software settings.  Why can't I get 56K connections?
ANSWER: PC installed 56Kbps analog modems are essentially 33.6K types that offer a special mode that allows them to receive data from Internet Service Providers (ISP) at very high speeds (up to 53Kbps in the USA).  But there is a catch -- the ISP based modems are specially designed to send "56K" data and they have a digital connection. Unless these conditions are met the connect speed will be limited to 33.6K.  If you want to obtain 56K connections with your telco simulator (or two public switched phone lines) then you will need to install an ISP type modem on your host side and adapt to its specialized digital trunk connection.


QUESTION: What do LineMan, Ring-It! and Party-Line call progress tones sound like?
ANSWER: The call progress tones are industry standard North American type.  Just click on the following to hear an example of them:  DIAL TONE    RING-BACK    BUSY SIGNAL


QUESTION: Can Party-Line, the six extension simulator, connect to my real phone line to use it to direct incoming calls to several different telephones?
ANSWER: NO! Party-Line is NOT an auto-attendant system. Connecting any phoneline simulator to the public switched network will usually damage the unit and upset the phone company as well. Don't try this - your warranty will be voided and your Party-Line will most likely need repairs.


QUESTION: I understand that Party-Line and Ring-It can send Caller-ID data.  Can I choose the phone number and name that is sent?
ANSWER: You can choose the seven or eleven digit directory number that is sent. The directory name that is used is one of six predefined samples that are automatically selected by the station that made the call.  We also allow you to send Private, Out-of-the-Area, and Corrupted Caller-ID messages so that you can simulate all of the popular Caller-ID codes that are used.  For the ultimate home or small business intercom, Party-Line also supports a feature where it broadcasts the calling line's Station Number (i.e., "Station 3").


QUESTION: How can I use Party-Line as a Intercom System?
ANSWER: We recommend that you obtain some low cost two-line phones (Panasonic makes some nice ones). Use the first line on the phone for your normal phone calls.  Plug the phone's second line (up to six phones) into the RJ-11 jacks on Party-Line.  You can now select the phone's second line and dial a three digit number to ring any other Party-Line connected phone.  If you add a Caller-ID display you will also see the intercom station number of the calling party.  You can also do this with several modem equipped PCs for file transferring. Very nifty application!


QUESTION: We would like to teach young students how to use Emergency 911. Do you have a product that would work well in this application?
ANSWER: Yes. Both LineMan and Ring-It! will support E-911 training applications. In practice, you install two standard telephones (desk or headset type). Have your students place the 911 call from one of the phones. The other line will ring with an "urgent" sounding (stuttered) ring signal. Since Ring-It! supports Caller-ID, 911 calls made on it are displayed as "Emergency 911."


QUESTION: Do your phone simulators support 10-digit phone numbers?
ANSWER: No. Our simulators are designed for traditional seven and eleven digit North American phone numbers.


QUESTION: I would like to use Party-Line with several telephone devices. How many different phone conversations or modem connections can I have at the same time?
ANSWER: Up to all six stations can be in-use, but they will all join the same phone call. There is just one talk path, so any telephone device that connects will join in the current phone call. If you absolutely need to simulate several different phone circuits at the same time then you should consider buying several simulators. You could also use a suitable telephone PBX or hybrid phone system that has analog ports and use its station-to-station (intercom) dialing feature. Unfortunately phone systems are expensive, bulky, and data calls on most PBX or hybrid phone systems will only connect at low baud rates (14.4K baud is typical). It usually is more effective to purchase additional telephone line simulators.


QUESTION: I want to use your products outside of the USA. Will they work in my country?
ANSWER: Probably, but not without changes to at least the AC wall transformer. Although our units were designed for North American operation, it generally isn't too difficult to adapt them to work anywhere in the world. You will have to change the "mains" wall transformer to a country compatible plug style and voltage. Before you make your purchase, please e-mail us and provide the product name you wish to use and we can help you select the correct power transformer. If you are using one of our telco simulators you should also be prepared to hear North American sounding call progress tones (sorry, but the tones cannot be changed). Although we have sold units all over the world without any problems, we cannot guarantee that they will work in all applications outside of North America.


QUESTION: What is your return policy? What do I do if I need repairs?
ANSWER: For full details just click on these links   Product Returns     Product Repairs


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Folsom, California 95630 USA

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