Long story....Better half works from home and has acquired a BT FeatureLine & Embark phone, principally so that she can take live telephone dictation and type it up in real time in some level of privacy via a headset. Phone was a refurbished model and has been supplied without a line cord. This shouldn't be a problem she, and I thought. Plenty of cabling with just about any connectors you could wish for out there and quite cheap.....Wrong!
The female end on the phone body is what appears to be a RJ11 connection (fair enough, it could also either be a RJ14 or RJ45 as both use the same physical male body, but RJ11 is the usual for phones), and the other end in to the female wall socket, obviously a 431A male.
Firstly I wired it up using a generic RJ11 male to 431A male extension cord, you hear a low power hum on the line, but no dial tone. Secondly wired it using the RJ11 male to 431A male line wire from the Binatone phone she has been using till now, same result, just a low power hum but no dial tone. The line wire from the Binatone is known to be working as its in use on the Binatone every day, the generic I cannot guarantee as while it was working when last used, thats a bit of time ago.
Thirdly, I have a BT Freelance XB2500 on a second line, so I borrowed the RJ11 male to 431A male line wire from it and firstly tried it with the FeatureLine phone on my line, then on her business line. In both cases the FeatureLine phone had a dial tone and worked perfectly.
Out of curiosity I then tried the RJ11 male to 431A male line wire from the Binatone on my Freelance on my line, same result as using it on FeatureLine, just a low power hum and no dial tone.
From this I have concluded (rightly or wrongly) that while BT phones (or the FeatureLine and Freelance anyway) may have what appears to be a "normal" RJ11 female line wire connection socket, it isn't a RJ11, so my question is, what is it?
In a perfect world we'd just buy a 3m line wire that is advertised as compatible with either a FeatureLine or Freelance (of which there are plenty out there). However, the current distance from our phone socket to her office desk really needs an at least 7m-8m cable, of which length the only ones we can find are simply described as "RJ11" and it's already proven that they will not necessarily be compatible. I'd really rather not go to the hassle of wiring up a full blown permanent phone extension socket, nor rearrange her office furniture (which in itself would just cause cabling issues for other equipment) so that a 3m could suffice, when a 7m-8m long line wire could be laid very easily and quickly instead, if only I could ascertain what type it is that is compatible with the FeatureLine.
Thanks in advance for any advice or help on this.
Featurelines are supplied as either an analogue or digital presentation. From what you describe, the phones that you have acquired are digital, and will not therefore work on normal phone lines, hence the dull hum that you get, and no dial-tone.
The business line could be presented as digital.
You may find more help on the business forum BT Business Support Forum as this forum is for domestic customers.
Thanks for the link, I'll try over there.
It actually is both a domestic and business issue though. My own line is a private domestic one, and the better half's line is business. Both phones behave in exactly the same way on both lines. Both will work on either line if connected to it with a male RJ11 to male 431A line wire that was supplied with a BT phone, but neither will work on either line with a generic male RJ11 to male 431A line wire, or with a male RJ11 to male 431A line wire borrowed from a Binatone phone, which is a digital unit.