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Old 19th May 2020, 6:44 am   #1
Ryan_1993
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Default VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

Hello all,

I wondered if someone could help me here. We upgraded our broadband package in February to the latest sky Q Package with three Sky Q Boxes, the new Sky Hub etc. However, one thing I was extremely disappointed about is that they got rid of our standard phone line, If you plug a phone into the BT socket that service is just now dead.

The only way we can receive landline calls now is with our modern cordless phone hooked into the back of the Sky Hub router in the living room.

This is a bit of a pain for me as without a working telephone line I am not really able to convert or test the functionality of the vintage telephones I buy. I have tried plugging in my Bakelite phone into the back of the router and again absolutely nothing. I guess the router isn't providing any kind of power to the phone BT socket on the rear of the router.

Anyways I just wondered how I could adapt my bakelite telephones in my bedroom to work. I do have a standard phone socket in my room, but that is obviously now dead as sky expect us to use VOIP.

A wireless solution would be best, but I am completely new to VOIP systems and linking old phones to them so don't really know where to start.

Picture of my two desk phones for reference
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Old 19th May 2020, 1:37 pm   #2
Pellseinydd
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

It is quite possible to use old Bakelite telephones with VoIP - all you need is an Analogue Terminal Adapter that accepts pulse dialling telephones. The Grandstream HT502/504, HT701,702,704 and the current range of HT8XX work with pulse dialling as do the harder to find GXW4004/4008 ones. However they are designed for use with American pulse dialling telephone which have a 40% make/ 60% break ratio for each pulse working at a speed of 10 impulses per second. The UK ratio is 33.3%make/66.6% break but still with 10 IPS. Sometimes if the pulse phone is not perfectly adjusted, it may be nearer the US spec. It is easy to get around it by 'tweaking' the dial by moving the pulsing contacts very slightly closer together to achieve the 40% make ratio. I've got numerous GPO Bakelite and 700 types working with Grandstream ATAs on both public phone lines and on CNet, our own VoIP phone network that we've built up over the last 15 years using the old GPO dialling codes of many years ago - still old GPO exchanges connected to it. Must be a good network as even BT now have lines off it!
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Old 19th May 2020, 2:10 pm   #3
Dave Moll
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

I do find it odd that a modern cordless telephone works from the Sky hub but an older 'phone doesn't - assuming the cordless 'phone is a standard one rather than designed specifically to run from the hub.

What presumably won't work with the hub is loop-disconnect (pulse) dialling - though there are work-arounds for this (such as a Rotatone fitted in the 'phone or a Dialgizmo interposed between the 'phone and the hub) if the problem of older 'phones not working with the hub can be solved.
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Old 19th May 2020, 2:17 pm   #4
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

I have an old Grandstream HT286 ATA, it is end of life and I no longer use it, trouble is I can not tell if it supported pulse dialling or not? documents seem hard for me to find in what it can do.

If any use let me know and I post it to you.

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Old 19th May 2020, 2:34 pm   #5
Dave Moll
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

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I can not tell if it supported pulse dialling or not?
Even looking through the manual, I can find nothing to say one way or the other.
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Old 19th May 2020, 2:39 pm   #6
duncanlowe
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

One thing to be aware of with the grandstream boxes. Many of them are tied to a particular service provider, so resetting to defaults doesn't let you back into the user interface to set them up. So be careful if you buy one online that it is not one of these. Guess how I know?
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Old 19th May 2020, 2:46 pm   #7
AdrianH
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianH View Post
I can not tell if it supported pulse dialling or not?
Even looking through the manual, I can find nothing to say one way or the other.
You did a lot better then I did going to the grandstream site, It looks as thought it is pure touch tone, so will not support 10IPS.

I have recently been resurrecting a very small Astlinux system at home run on an old HP thin client T5700, looks like I still have a working account with Sipgate! Sorry digressing.

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Old 19th May 2020, 3:06 pm   #8
duncanlowe
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

So here is a part of the menu in my HT802:

EDIT: just changed it to accept pulse dialling, and plugged in my backup phone (in case we have a powercut) which is a BT Vanguard 4001AR that is old enough to be able to select LD dialling. And it worked. I'd forgotten how long it took for pulse dialling to complete a number until I heard it clicking away in the background.
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Old 19th May 2020, 3:09 pm   #9
Pellseinydd
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianH View Post
I have an old Grandstream HT286 ATA, it is end of life and I no longer use it, trouble is I can not tell if it supported pulse dialling or not? documents seem hard for me to find in what it can do.

If any use let me know and I post it to you.

Adrian
Doesn't support pulse dialling - only the ones I've mentioned support Pulse dialling
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Old 19th May 2020, 3:17 pm   #10
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

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One thing to be aware of with the grandstream boxes. Many of them are tied to a particular service provider, so resetting to defaults doesn't let you back into the user interface to set them up. So be careful if you buy one online that it is not one of these. Guess how I know?
That applies to any make. If it is not being bought from original supplier, it is always wise to ask 'is it unlocked?' The ones with 'Vonage' logo on them are the worst but some folk have managed with difficulty to unlock them. I've bought Grandstreams recently - a couple of HT701's unlocked for 14.99 each. So is still possible to pick them up. They had been set up for ACN but been reset and I just updated them to latest firmware. The latest firmware for the HT8XX series has a setting 'Pulse Dialling Yes/No' and another setting 'Pulse Dialling - Standard/Swedish' But can I get Grandstream to understand there is the 2:1 make/break pulse ratio that half the worlds still uses. There is quite a market for ATAs with pulse dialling - or will be once Openreach are over to VoIP only before too long! It isn't only telephone collectors who want a pulse phone!
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Old 19th May 2020, 4:03 pm   #11
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

Have you tried connecting your bakelite phone to the RJ11 phone socket at the back of the Sky Hub? This worked with my Virgin Media Hub but I had to include a spare BT master socket in the circuit to provide a ring capacitor for the bell.
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Old 19th May 2020, 4:26 pm   #12
OscarFoxtrot
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

Sky should have provided/installed a Voice Reinjection (VRI) faceplate to your existing NTE.

https://helpforum.sky.com/t5/Talk/VO...40559?nobounce

https://helpforum.sky.com/t5/Talk/In...s/td-p/3144754



You can do it yourself (instructions aren't the clearest)

https://support.aa.net.uk/VoIP_How_t...ce_reinjection
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Old 19th May 2020, 5:16 pm   #13
duncanlowe
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

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The ones with 'Vonage' logo on them are the worst but some folk have managed with difficulty to unlock them.
Yep, I didn't realise Vonage was a service provider, thought it was Garndstreams name for them. It seemed like too much hard work to unlock, so I just bought an unlocked one.
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Old 20th May 2020, 12:52 pm   #14
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_1993 View Post
Hello all,

I wondered if someone could help me here. We upgraded our broadband package in February to the latest sky Q Package with three Sky Q Boxes, the new Sky Hub etc. However, one thing I was extremely disappointed about is that they got rid of our standard phone line, If you plug a phone into the BT socket that service is just now dead.

The only way we can receive landline calls now is with our modern cordless phone hooked into the back of the Sky Hub router in the living room.

This is a bit of a pain for me as without a working telephone line I am not really able to convert or test the functionality of the vintage telephones I buy. I have tried plugging in my Bakelite phone into the back of the router and again absolutely nothing. I guess the router isn't providing any kind of power to the phone BT socket on the rear of the router.

Anyways I just wondered how I could adapt my bakelite telephones in my bedroom to work. I do have a standard phone socket in my room, but that is obviously now dead as sky expect us to use VOIP.

A wireless solution would be best, but I am completely new to VOIP systems and linking old phones to them so don't really know where to start.

Picture of my two desk phones for reference
Pretty often you are not alowed to use your own ATA, and just have to plug in where you plug in your cordless phone. Some of those adapters give a weak ring signal and limited power to an old phone. I would suggest to try e wireless phone jack, the remote part rings and powers an old phone, but you need a dialgizmo ore something else to accept rotary dials.

Here in Norway I ended up with porting the number to an international prowider named Zadarma, I may use the ATA I want, and they even offer a PBX service. (I have not tried that)

dsk
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Old 20th May 2020, 3:41 pm   #15
hamid_1
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

That's right. Presumably your cordless phones were previously being used on a normal phone line and that when you changed, you simply unplugged the cordless phone base station from the wall socket and plugged it into a socket on the Sky router instead. As dsk says, unplug the cordless phone base station from the Sky hub. If there is an adaptor or a short wire coming out of the hub with a BT phone socket on the end, leave that in place. Plug your vintage phone into where your cordless phone base was plugged in, or into the adaptor if present. You should at least have a dialtone on your vintage phone, otherwise your cordless phone couldn't have worked. You may not be able to dial any numbers and / or your vintage phone's bell may not ring very loudly or at all. Those issues can be fixed. For example, if you hear a dial tone but it does not stop when you dial a number, it's most likely that Sky's VoIP router does not support pulse dialling. You can use a pulse to tone converter like the DialGizmo to overcome this.

You can connect your own VoIP analogue telephone adaptor (ATA) to your Sky broadband, but I'm pretty sure Sky will not allow you to use it with their Sky Talk VoIP service. You can still use one with another provider. Since 2007 I have been using Sipgate Basic https://sipgatebasic.co.uk
You can buy and use any SIP ATA including the Grandstream ones which support old pulse dialling phones. You can also choose your own UK phone number for free incoming calls. There is no monthly line rental, you only pay for outgoing calls. It's a LOT cheaper than Sky or other landline phone providers, and there's no ridiculous 23p connection charge per call, unlike Sky, BT etc.

If you go down the route of another ATA and a different provider, you will initially have a new additional phone number and a separate bill for it. You won't be able to use any inclusive minutes from your Sky Talk package if it has any. I believe it's possible to 'port' or transfer your existing Sky phone number to another company like Sipgate but I think this will result in your Sky Talk account being closed. You can of course keep both accounts going separately, each with their own phone number and bill. You can even use both at the same time. In the case of Sipgate, you can use it wherever there's an internet connection. It works abroad exactly the same as in the UK, with no roaming charges anywhere in the world. You can even have multiple ATAs at different locations. When an incoming call is received, all the ATAs will ring; you can answer the call on any one of them.

There are other ways to use old rotary dial phones, even without a phone line at all. You could obtain a used PBX which supports pulse dialling, such as Panasonic KX-T30810BE or KX-T61610BE - these sometimes come up for sale quite cheaply. You can connect a number of old phones to it and make free calls between them (handy for testing a phone). You can also connect it to a landline or your VoIP line. The Panasonic KX-T30810BE and KX-T61610BE can both convert pulse to tone, allowing your vintage phones to dial out to a VoIP line without needing an additional converter like the DialGizmo. Note that you need a Panasonic system phone to enable this setting on the PBX.

Another method is the X-Link BTTN http://www.myxlink.com
This box supports old rotary dial phones as well as new ones. It lets you connect the old dial phone to a landline or VoIP line and / or up to 3 mobile phones via Bluetooth. You can use your vintage phone to make or receive calls on any of the phones connected to the X-link box, either landline, VoIP line or mobile. Answer a mobile phone call on a vintage phone, or dial out from a vintage phone using your mobile's inclusive minutes. Great fun!
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Old 20th May 2020, 10:26 pm   #16
Pellseinydd
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

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<SNIP>
Another method is the X-Link BTTN http://www.myxlink.com
This box supports old rotary dial phones as well as new ones. It lets you connect the old dial phone to a landline or VoIP line and / or up to 3 mobile phones via Bluetooth. You can use your vintage phone to make or receive calls on any of the phones connected to the X-link box, either landline, VoIP line or mobile. Answer a mobile phone call on a vintage phone, or dial out from a vintage phone using your mobile's inclusive minutes. Great fun!
X-Link at 74.99

Why not try the liGo Bluewave Link to Mobile Hub at 19.99 !

Same item but a different badge and box. I bought a few a while back when they had UK three pin PSU's - but last two I bought had EU PSU's as UK ones have gone
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Old 21st May 2020, 11:07 am   #17
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamid_1 View Post
<SNIP>
Another method is the X-Link BTTN http://www.myxlink.com
This box supports old rotary dial phones as well as new ones.
Why not try the liGo Bluewave Link to Mobile Hub at 19.99 !
Same item but a different badge and box.
"Please note that some older corded and cordless phones may not be able to make outgoing calls through the Bluewave"

Does this mean they don't support loop disconnect? or is it lack of appriate recall as it appears the procedure is to dial the 'line number' for one of the mobile 'lines', then Recall then the telephone number required.

Last edited by OscarFoxtrot; 21st May 2020 at 11:20 am. Reason: question about Recall
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Old 23rd May 2020, 9:12 pm   #18
hamid_1
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

I saw the warning about older corded and cordless phones not working with the Ligo Bluewave, but decided to order one anyway. It just arrived 2 days after ordering - that's pretty good service! Only afterwards I found that amazon.co.uk were selling them for the same price with free delivery (5 working days) so I could have saved a further 2.95 by ordering it from Amazon instead of directly from Ligo.

Included in the box, I received the Bluewave unit, RJ11 to RJ11 telephone line cable, a mains adaptor with a 2-pin Euro plug and a 2-pin to UK plug adaptor, plus an instruction manual in German. The company were thoughtful enough to e-mail me a copy of the English quick start guide, which I've attached here, but I didn't really need it. The only thing missing was a BT plug to RJ11 adaptor - the Bluewave phone sockets are the American RJ11 type. If you are using a modern non-BT (e.g. Binatone) cordless phone with it, you don't need an adaptor. You can unplug the the RJ11 to BT cable from the base of your Binatone phone, plug the RJ11 end into the Bluewave line socket, then reconnect the Binatone phone to the Bluewave's phone socket using the included RJ11 to RJ11 telephone line cable.

Notice I said Binatone and not BT. Most modern non-BT phones such as the Binatone ones use only 2 wires connected to the inner two pins of the RJ11. On the other hand, most BT branded phones with detachable cables have all 4 pins connected in the RJ11 plug; the outer two pins are the line and one of the inner two pins is the bell wire connected to a capacitor in the BT master socket. Thus, a lead from a BT phone will not work directly with the Bluewave, you'll need an adaptor with a capacitor inside.

Anyway, I tried it with a suitable RJ11 to BT adaptor and it does accept pulse dialling phones. I tested it with a 1980s BT Tribune phone switched to LD. The Ligo Bluewave automatically converts pulse to tone, enabling the old BT Tribune to dial out on my VoIP line which doesn't support pulse dialling or my mobile phone once I had paired it via Bluetooth.

This setup worked perfectly as long as I had either my VoIP phone line OR my mobile phone connected. When both are connected at the same time, the default setting is that all outgoing calls go via the landline (or in my case, a VoIP line pretending to be a landline). The instructions say that you can change this by dialling 1, then pressing Recall, then dialling the required phone number. This will send the call via mobile phone 1. To use the second or third mobile phone, simply dial 2 or 3 instead of 1. It sounds simple, but here's where I hit a problem.

Of course, most vintage phones don't have a recall button. The vintage BT Tribune does, but the phone has to be set to MFT to enable timed-break recall. The LD or MFE modes use earth recall which won't work with the Bluewave since there are only 2 line wires. Unfortunately, the timed-break recall button on the BT Tribune didn't work either. I tried a modern Binatone phone with timed-break recall, but no joy. All calls kept going to the 'landline'.

Then I remembered that the American phones have a recall button which they call 'Flash', but the break delay is longer than the UK. Since the Ligo Bluewave is essentially a clone of the American X-Link, I wondered if it had been left set up for the USA. Indeed it was. To simulate a Flash recall, I tried tapping the hookswitch for slightly longer and got it to work, but only sometimes.

The myxlink.com website has some software to update the Xlink and adjust its settings. This requires a normal USB printer cable (not supplied, but I already had one.) So I downloaded the Xlink software and installed it, despite the warning that it was for Xlink devices only. I connected the Bluewave box. The Xlink program recognised the Bluewave and started searching for firmware updates, then said "Support for this device ended in 2013". I noticed on the back of my Bluewave box that it was manufactured in 2012 even though I only ordered it 2 days ago. Now I know why it was so cheap - the company are clearing out old stock.

Although the Xlink program would not allow me to update the Bluewave firmware, it did allow me to change the Bluewave's settings. I noticed it was set up for North America as I suspected, so I changed the country setting to Uniited Kingdom, thinking it would solve the recall problem. Instead, it no longer accepted pulse dialling!!! Oh no, I've bricked it!! Luckily I changed the setting back to North America and it worked again as before. The recall problem remained, but I found some Advanced Settings in the Xlink program which allowed me to change the default outgoing line from landline to cellphone 1 which is what I wanted. Also I changed the Flash setting to * (star) so that pressing a number followed by the star button on a tone-dialling phone selects which line to dial out from. This worked more reliably than the flash recall, but needs a tone-dialling phone to switch lines.

I can still use a vintage rotary dial phone but outgoing calls will go via mobile phone 1 unless I temporarily disconnect it from Bluetooth which is very easy to do, in which case calls will go via the VoIP line. This setup suits me fine. Whenever a call is received on either the VoIP line or mobile phone, the vintage phone will ring.

You can test the Bluewave setup by pressing button 1 and 2 at the same time for about 3 seconds. This will put the Bluewave into a test mode where it will ring all the phones connected to the Bluewave for about 30 seconds. Handy if you want to test an old phone without having to ring it from another line. If you have a modern phone with caller display, that will show the Bluewave software version.

There are other settings that can be changed, including the flash duration for the line selection, the pulse timing to compensate for old, badly-adjusted dial phones, and a ringing power boost for phones with mechanical bells. I haven't played around with these as yet - it works well enough.

So I conclude that the LiGo Bluewave is worth buying at a bargain price if you have a vintage dial phone and a landline or VoIP line that doesn't support it, or you want to cancel your landline completely and just use a mobile phone as a virtual landline for your vintage (or modern) phones. Getting both landline and mobile phones to work together required a bit of playing around, but all good fun.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 10:24 pm   #19
OscarFoxtrot
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Default Re: VOIP Phone line and my Bakelite telephones

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Then I remembered that the American phones have a recall button which they call 'Flash', but the break delay is longer than the UK.
...
There are other settings that can be changed, including the flash duration for the line selection,
A very useful summary, thank you.

If you can set the "flash duration" down to 75-100 ms that should be compatible with UK TBR.
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Old 26th May 2020, 3:10 am   #20
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Good news - I changed the flash duration using the Xlink Xwizard software and it works! Here's how I did it:

First, download and install the Xlink software, then connect the Bluewave box via USB. It won't let you update, but don't worry. Click 'Configure'. I chose the option 'North America' then clicked 'Reset'. You'll hear a relay click as the box resets itself. I also reset the cellphone volume settings to default as they were originally set to 'loudest' which was a bit too loud.

Note that I initially selected 'Configure' then 'United Kingdom' but the Bluewave did not work with pulse dialling afterwards. I suspect the country options only work properly with newer firmware which is not available for the Bluewave. So I left it on 'North America' - it still works in the UK.

Next, on the configuration page, click 'Advanced', then 'Show'. Some extra tabs appear in the xwizard program. You can scroll by clicking the < and > symbols.

To get the recall to work, scroll to the Telephone tab, then change the flash duration (min) to 90ms. I left the max (ms) unchanged at 1550, then move over to the Land Line tab, change the flash timing (ms) to 90 and press Save.

Now the R button on a BT phone will work to switch lines. If you are using a vintage phone without a recall button you can press the hookswitch and release it within 1.5 seconds (but preferably a bit quicker to be on the safe side) - this will perform a recall. To end a call, hang up for at least 2 seconds.

In the Dialing and DTMF tab, you can change the default 'line' for outgoing calls as well as set the length of your local numbers. By default, it will use the land line first if available. I changed this to use Cell Phone 1 first. To use the land line connection, I can dial 4 then R (recall).
Also it assumes that standard phone numbers are 7,10 or 11 digits long. In the UK, national and mobile numbers are almost always 11 digits so no need to change that. Some cities like Birmingham and Manchester have 7 digit local numbers. If that's where you live, you won't need to change anything. But outside big cities, UK local numbers are usually 6 digits instead of 7, or 8 in some areas like Northern Ireland and London. You can change the figure 7 accordingly for slightly faster connection. If you dial a non-standard length number, the Bluewave waits 5 seconds before connecting in case you haven't finished dialling. You can cancel this delay by pressing # on a tone-dialling phone after dialling the number; the call will connect straightaway.

The bad news is that some of the Xlink features require a firmware update which you can't get for the Bluewave. See here for details of updates and what they do. In particular, I believe the 2012 Bluewave does not support acquiring the caller ID from BT phone lines. BT used a different system from the American one which is called Bellcore. Vintage phones don't have caller display, so this won't matter unless you use a modern caller display phone or box alongside your vintage one. If you do, it may only display incoming callers' numbers from mobile phones and not from BT landlines. In my case, I'm using a VoIP line instead of BT. I can simply change my VoIP ATA to send caller ID using Bellcore instead of BT and it works, at least with a Binatone caller display phone which can recognise both BT and Bellcore signals. Some BT phones do not accept Bellcore and will not display any caller ID. You can test your phone or caller display box to see if it works. Press the [.] and [..] blue buttons together on the Bluewave for a few seconds. It will ring the connected phones and send a caller ID message containing the software version and radio version. Mine shows software 0133 and radio 0117. If these are displayed on your phone or box, it's Bellcore compatible.
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