Solved

Music On Hold Wiring

Posted on 2013-12-19
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Last Modified: 2014-01-02
I have a customer that has a phone system with Music On Hold connected to a radio.  The MOH wasn't sounding as clear as they liked so they purchased a digital radio hoping it would help.  The radio sounds great, but when it is attached to the phone system, it still sounds bad.  

I don't know too much about phone systems, but most of the MOH systems I've dealt with just had a headphone jack on the system you plug a radio or player into.....this one is different.

Instead, it looks like they split the headphone cable from the player and connected to an Ethernet cable which goes to the phone system.

If you look at the attached picture, the black cable is what goes to the new digital radio, and the grey cable gets plugged into the phone system in what looks to be an Ethernet Port.  There is nothing that gets plugged into the actual phone port on that jack.

To me, it seems like the black and yellow cables connected to the actual RJ11 port should be removed, or better yet, bypass that jack and use an IDC connector like this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools-UR-IDC-Connector-for-UR-19-26-AWG-VDV826-605/203579185#
photo.JPG
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Question by:pmitllc
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 500 total points
ID: 39730494
The picture looks like both the shield from the black cable and a white wire from the gray cable are attached to the same screw terminal.  And a blue wire from the gray cable is attached to the screw terminal with the clear wire from the black cable.  That doesn't look right to me.  On a 6-pin / RJ11 connector, the red/grn pair are normally the center pair (3/4) and the yel/blk are the pins outside of those (2/5).  This page shows what I would expect: http://www.lanshack.com/wire_phone_jack.aspx
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by:pmitllc
ID: 39730542
I believe the jack is a 4pin RJ11 and that is why the red/green and yellow/black pairs are where they are at.  The red/green is in the center of the RJ11 port and the yellow/black is on the outside.

However, since there is nothing plugged into the RJ11 port on this jack, shouldn't I remove the yellow/black pair from the terminals?  To me it doesn't seem to be serving a purpose and it appears they only used a jack like this to make the connection.

The connection on the phone system for Music On Hold is Ethernet.

Could it be that the cable coming from the player (black) is a mono cable, and the phone system is expecting stereo?  If so, should I get a stereo cable, splice it open and connect the two wires from it, leaving the ground unconnected?

Or if the phone system is mono, but the output of the MOH player is stereo, should I get a stereo to mono adapter?
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Dave Baldwin earned 500 total points
ID: 39730583
If nothing is plugged into the jack, then the yellow and black wires don't matter and the terminals are probably just used as s connection point.  It seems unlikely the MOH is expecting stereo.  Even when it is a stereo plug, it gets mixed to mono because the phone system won't support stereo.  Although... if it is a mono plug that is plugged into a stereo jack, it could be shorting out one channel and causing distortion.

I would try to get the wiring or hookup diagram for the system to see what is supposed to be going on.
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by:pmitllc
ID: 39732253
OK, the phone system is a WIN 440ct and I have attached another picture where the MOH cable plugs into (6 pin RJ45?).  I tried searching online for a Wiring manual for this system to see what it is expecting in that port, but couldn't find one.
photo.JPG
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39732384
When you disconnect the cable from the music source, can you measure any DC voltage on the cable?
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by:pmitllc
ID: 39732431
oh boy....it's been a while since I've used a multimeter and not sure if I still have one lying around, nor do I really remember how to use it.  

anyway...to do what you are asking, are you saying to unplug the audio cable from the player, then place the leads from the multimeter on two terminals on the jack.  If so does it matter which lead I use on each terminal?

Do you know what readings I should expect to see?
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 500 total points
ID: 39732460
That's the right idea.  You should expect to see essentially 0 volts.  If there is voltage on the line it could be causing distortion.

Apparently the WIN 440ct is an older system from about 15 years ago.  Do you know if it ever sounded good?  Some of the chips that sound good for voice sound terrible with music.
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by:pmitllc
ID: 39740521
I have a stereo to mono adapter I will try, and if that doesn't work, I will have them get their phone vendor out there so they can get it tested.  

I don't think they ever had "great" music on hold quality.  It is just one of those things that bugs them.

I was just trying to help them out and avoid a service call from their phone vendor because they are out of contract and can get expensive, but this isn't part of my included services.

I will close this once I actually go on site early next week.
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 500 total points
ID: 39740531
Stereo to mono isn't a good idea on the output side because you will then have the output power amps driving each other.  You need at least a resistor in each output to isolate them from each other.
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by:pmitllc
ID: 39752286
If they want it to be better, they will need to get their phone vendor out to look at it.  I do not want to be responsible for breaking their equipment.
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39752367
Thanks for the points.
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