Posts Tagged ‘twisted pairs’

Adding An Intercom System Has Never Been So Easy

April 18, 2009

As a business grows from a few rooms into a larger suite and even adds a warehouse for storing materials, it comes harder to find employees who are immediately needed for phone calls and meetings. Do people at your office yell at the top of their lungs for someone to answer the phone call that just came in for them? That’s not a very professional way to handle finding a particular person. It’s also quite annoying for the other people not involved.

A VOIP phone system connects throughout your office via the network cabling system. It can easily be extended to cover any part of your office or warehouse by installing additional CAT5e cabling. Once the cabling is connected to an IP phone, your IP-PBX phone server can direct calls, pages and intercom service as you wish.

If you extend your phone to an area without power capability such as a remote part of a warehouse or up in a ceiling for a paging horn, a special type of network switch can be installed to send an electric current through the network cabling. This current is standardized as 48 V DC current and is known as an IEEE 802.3af compliant system or Power Over Ethernet aka POE. CAT5e cables have 8 wires inside in four twisted pairs. The network only uses wires 1, 2, 3 and 6 for transmitting and receiving data. The other wires can carry the DC current between the “injector” at the source and the “picker” at the destination.

The special switch mentioned earlier is called a POE switch. Some or all of the ports are powered with the POE current so that devices at the other end of the cables can use the 48 V DC current. These switches are a bit more expensive than a plain switch but when compared to the cost of having an electrician run a new circuit through conduit across a warehouse, it comes out as a bargain. Since POE is standardized, it works quite well with IP phones, paging horns, entry door security panels with microphones and speakers, surveillance cameras and other devices attuned to IEEE 802.3af. Performance of these POE-powered devices is identical to those plugged directly into a wall outlet for power.

When a POE-powered IP phone is mounted on a wall at eye level where the CAT5e cable comes from inside the wall, it has no visible trailing network or power cables. With some planning on where POE phones are best placed within an office or warehouse, a more professional appearance is achieved and a potential safety hazard is avoided.

Some IP phones have Intercom buttons built into the keypads. Aastra IP phones have them and an intercom/paging system is easily installed by an IP phone vendor. That allows employees to talk to any other extension alone, a particular group of extensions, or to broadcast over the entire phone system if necessary. When the shouting is all over with, you will have improved your office atmosphere and your employees will appreciate the benefits of the new easy to learn intercom and paging system.

Ask for your free phone system audit from Select Phone Solutions by calling 281-501-6464.

“Productivity Through Technology”