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Old 16.08.2008, 01:41
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How do I get my US phone to work

Hello, I wonder if someone can help me with this. I brought a cordless phone/answering machine back with me from the US. I plugged it in (power cord for answering machine) and it charged, I can record and play an outgoing msg but that's all I seem to be able to do. When I plug in the phone cable which I use for a regular corded phone I bought here in CH, nothing happens, I don't get a tone and if I try to call my home number with my cell phone nothing happens except it says "Line in use". Well, what line???? A friend of mine says the same things happens on his phone/answering machine. Why won't it work?? Does anyone have an answer for me please?

On another note, has anyone ever used one of these "pre-numbers" to be able to make cheap international calls? One needs to dial 4 or 5 numbers then the actual phone number. Supposedly calls then cost only around 3 Rappen to call the US. I've seen a few online and wonder which, if any, is better and if anyone knows of some hidden charges or what to watch out for.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 16.08.2008, 01:51
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Re: How do I get my US phone to work

I can't help with your hardware problems, but regarding your second question, I use http://www.helvatel.ch/rates.php to call England at 2 raps a minute, which is nice. For the United States, the number (for landlines) is 0840 567 567 and calls cost 4 raps a minute.

Happy dialling!
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Old 16.08.2008, 03:34
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Re: How do I get my US phone to work

Well, my 2cents...
regarding your first problem, you probably need to test a CH phone on ur phone jack. Get a working phone from a friend and try if the phone line works properly. If it does, then your American phone has a problem (hardware). If the you don't get a signal in your friends phone, you probably want to call your provider company.

If you don't mind using your computer, or laptop to call people, then i recommend using Skype to call the U.S. It has this option called SkypeOut which takes ur credit card or PayPal then lets you talk to the U.S. for $0.02/min. I even have a U.S. Internet number on Skype (SkypeIn). That means anyone in the U.S. can call a 214 number, and it rings on my laptop. You pay $18 per 3months, but all the calls your receive are FREE. It works for me!

Good luck!
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Old 16.08.2008, 11:10
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Re: How do I get my US phone to work

Thanks for the input. The phone line is ok as I do have a phone I bought here in CH and and it works just fine so there must be a different problem
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Old 16.08.2008, 12:12
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Re: How do I get my US phone to work

Strange why it doesn't work, I think it should But maybe the pins are different on the US phone? Some phones maybe only use 2 pins while some maybe use 4? (No idea, really, just a shot in the dark)

Anyway, what frequency is your US cordless phone using? In the US different frequencies are allocated for cordless phone use as compared to EU. If your cordless phone operates on 900 or 1900 Mhz get rid of it, because you will be interfereing with the mobile phone networks here

PS- TiefTarife is 1 rap per minute to the USA:
http://www.tieftarife.ch/rates.php#U
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Old 16.08.2008, 17:16
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Re: How do I get my US phone to work

I'm not sure what you mean with the pins but I'm guessing it's an "internal" thing on the cable or so. Thanks for the "Tief Tarif" link, sounds real good.
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Old 16.08.2008, 18:45
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Re: How do I get my US phone to work

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I'm not sure what you mean with the pins but I'm guessing it's an "internal" thing on the cable or so.
Here's an illustration of a RJ-11 phone cable:


Check the pins on the jack of the phone (you can see it without having to open the phone). Some phones use only 2 pins (RJ-11), some use 4 (RJ-14) and some use all 6 pins (RJ-25).

I'm not sure which is used when, but I assume if your phone (or phone cable) is wired differently than what the Swiss jacks provide, it will cause a problem. Have a look at this link for more info, and Google when necessary

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RJ11,_RJ14,_RJ25
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Old 17.08.2008, 11:34
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Re: How do I get my US phone to work

Thanks Esto for your answer.

Here is what happened. The phone cable I used from my CH phone (the one I bought here) has a little plastic clip on one side and this black kinda L-shape plug on the other. That's the one I used to plug into my US phone and it didn't work. Now I tried a phone cable that has a plastic clip on each side and, voila!, it works. Why does something so easy have to be so
difficult???

Again, thanks for all the help.
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Old 17.08.2008, 11:57
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Re: How do I get my US phone to work

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Why does something so easy have to be so
difficult??? .
Yea, it would be easier if every country used the same standards for phone jacks, electric plugs, etc. Hopefully it's heading that way...at least CAT5 ethernet cable is the same in all countries

..anyway, glad you got it working ...and don't forget to check what frequencies the coredless is working on, so you don't interfere with your (and your neighbors) mobile phones
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Old 17.08.2008, 13:02
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Re: How do I get my US phone to work

it is indeed the "pin-out" that is different .. UK and US and continental Europe all use slightly different arrangements of wires. The actual voltage levels are slightly different too but most modern hardware handles those without major issues.
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Old 19.10.2008, 18:11
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Re: Will our UK phones work in CH?

Hello - we would like to join this thread and find out whether anyone from the UK has brought their handsets (landline phone) to CH and whether they found that they worked?
We have a BT brand handset with answerphone and were wondering whether it was worth bringing them over...
Thanks a lot!!!

D&S
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