AT&T and Ooma Phone Problems

I have two AT&T phones, a 1070 and a 1040, which are connected to Ooma. The 1070 is connected to the base unit and the 1040 is connected via Linx. The two phones are not communicating which AT&T told me was a result of not having the same phone number. Countless phone calls to Ooma support later, I have both phones listed as having the same two numbers because I have two lines, and the phones still are not communicating. I’m really at a loss as to what to do at this point, and was wondering if any of you might be able to help or have any experience using AT&T phones with Ooma. Thanks!

Please explain what you mean by not communicating.
Are both phones set for touchtone dialing? Ooma does not support pulse dialing.

By not communicating, I mean that neither phone recognizes that there is another phone connected to Ooma. Due to this, if I put a call on hold, the other phone can’t pick it up and I can’t transfer calls to the other phone since it doesn’t recognize that the other phone exists. Both phones are touchtone phones.

The base and the Linx are separate lines even if they have the same phone number. With Premier you can place a call on each phone to different phone numbers. That is the instant second line feature.

Your question appears short and simple but the components of the answers are neither short or simple. If your are technically proficient then you may be able to complete this installation successfully. If you aren’t technically proficient then you may need some help from a knowledgeable person to successfully complete this installation.

Let’s get started! You’ll probably need to have the installation manual for your AT&T 1070 phone system to properly connect the OOMA components and setup these phones.

You haven’t provided any configuration information, so I’m going to assume that you want both Telephone Line-1 and Line-2 to appear on both phones and that either phone can be used to answer calls or originate calls on either telephone line. The connection needs to allow the AT&T 1070 and 1040 phones to recognize the two phone lines so they can communicate to each other. If you want to use the Intercom functionality of the 1070 and 1040 phones, then both phones need to have the same Line-1 phone number connected and configured.

If you don’t have the installation manual for the AT&T 1070, you can find a free copy here:

http://phone.manualsonline.com/manuals/mfg/att/1070_1.html?idRes=14900278

Some of my following comments will refer to pages in this installation manual for the 1070.

To setup your two AT&T phones, 1070 and 1040, to work with the OOMA Telo and the OOMA Linx you need to take the following general steps.

  1. Make sure that your residential phone wiring is no longer connected to a TELCO or CABLE Company phone service. There are many topics and discussions in this forum which provide information to help you accomplish this task, so I won’t repeat it here. If you are using DSL for your internet service, some special considerations are required. Please respond to this message and let us know how you are receiving your internet service, especially if you are using DSL.

In general, you shouldn’t connect the OOMA Telo to your residential phone wiring until you’ve verified the TELCO or CABLE Company phone service is disconnected because there are potentially electrical voltage and current levels in the TELCO wiring which could damage the OOMA Telo.

  1. You’ve indicated that you want to use two telephone numbers with your OOMA VOIP system. This second task is intended to help you connect your OOMA Telo and Linx systems and also your AT&T 1070 and 1040 phones to your residential telephone wiring. First, you need to properly connect the OOMA Telo’s “Phone” port to the “LIne-1” wire pair of your residential phone wiring. Second, you need to properly connect your OOMA Linx system to the “Line-2” wire pair of your residential phone wiring. If you do this properly, you should simply be able to plug your AT&T 1070 and 1040 systems into any residential phone jacks within your residence using the handset cords which came with the phones and have the phones operate correctly.

On page eleven (11) of the above installation manual, a “two-line adapter” for telephone lines is described. You can usually purchase these adapters at any local hardware store or at Lowe’s or Home Depot. The “male Plug” end of this adapter has four electrical connectors and it is designed to be plugged directly into a telephone wall jack. Of these four electrical connectors, the middle two will be Line-1 of your telephone service and the outer two will be Line-2 of your telephone service. Of the two “female” ports on the adapter, one will be labeled “Line-1” and the other will be labeled “Line-2”. Internal to this adapter, the middle two wires of the Line-1 Female port are connected to the middle two wires of the Male Plug and the middle two wires of the Line-2 Female Port are connected to the “outer” two wires of the Male Plug. This adapter allows the two sources for telephone Line-1 and Line-2 to be connected to the proper wall plug wiring using standard telephone handset cords.

In your configuration, the OOMA Telo will probably be providing the Line-1 telephone service. You need to connect your OOMA Telo device’s Phone port to a residential wiring wall jack using a standard telephone handset cord. A standard telephone handset cord will connect the Telo’s phone service to Line-1 of the residential wiring without any adapter. You won’t need an adapter at the OOMA Telo location unless you are also co-locating one of your phones with the OOMA Telo. If you are co-locating a phone with the Telo, then you need a slightly different “special” two-line telephone adapter which has a third “female” port. So, this special adapter has the “Male Plug”, the two female ports labeled Line-1 and Line-2 and a third female port is labeled “Line-1 plus Line-2”. For the configuration of an OOMA Telo co-located with a phone, you connect the Telo’s Phone port to the Line-1 port and the Phone to the “Line-1 plus Line-2” port. The adapter is then plugged into the telephone wall jack which causes the Line-1 signals from the Telo to be distributed throughout the residential wiring.

The OOMA Linx device is configured similarly in that an adapter is used but the Linx Phone line is plugged into the Line-2 Female port of the Adapter and the adapter is plugged into a telephone wall jack. If a Phone is co-located with the Linx device, then you use the special adapter and the Phone is plugged into the “Line-1 plus Line-2” port of the adapter.

So, what is happening here is that the OOMA Telo is feeding the Line-1 telephone service into the residential wall jack via either a handset cord or through an adapter depending on your configuration. The same holds true for the Linx device except that it is feeding the Line-2 telephone service into the residential wall jack.

The above information should be close to what you need to get your AT&T phones working with two phone lines from the OOMA devices.

However, there may be some surprises in store depending on the age of your residence. Most residences will have at least four wires interconnecting their telephone wall jacks. Older homes used something called “quad” wiring which was straight wiring which was not twisted pairs. This older wiring has the potential of picking up noise signals from all sorts of electrical and electronic equipment and may not work well with VOIP services like OOMA. Newer residences used “twisted pair” wiring which is much less susceptible to noise. Also, newer residences may have two, three or four-pairs of wires. A little bit of insight into phone wiring variations an be found here:

http://www.ask-the-electrician.com/telephone-wiring-diagram-1.html

In spite of the house wiring variations, there’s a good chance that you can get your system working with the above information. If you have problems, let us know. Also, if your have DSL internet service from your local telephone company then its important that you interact with this forum “BEFORE” you attempt the above steps. This is because if you have DSL service then one pair of your residential phone wiring may already be committed to the DSL service. If this is the case, then the above instructions won’t work as written and the number of wires within your residential phone service will become more important.