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Extra digit

Add a trailing digit to phone number to route call at home
 
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My phone company charges more arms and legs than I have for extra lines. I can't even keep one line really busy, so multiple use of the same line would be nice, but my different devices keep getting into each others way. The suggested solution is to add another trailing digit to the phone number (e.g. 555-1212-0 instead of your plain phone number 555-1212). The extra digit tells a router box in the house which outlet to route the call to (10 different possible). The routing is done before(!) any device picks up, so there is no cost for the connection until something picks up. The phone company can obviously do that for caller ID. Examples for use of extra digit:

none or 0: standard outlet

1: privacy (legal assignment), if you are a telemarketer don't ever use this number (penalty: life in prison)

2: phone or answering machine (if nobody answers)

3: phone, guaranteed no answering machine (because you already left 99 messages)

4: fax machine (no more whistling into the callers ear because some setting was wrong)

5: computer dial-in (so it doesn't fight the beeping fax machine any more)

6: home alarm system

7: the brats phone

?: 2 more spare digits to bake

Older houses are easy to retrofit, no extra wiring, just add the box with its 10 numbered outlets and plug in as desired. Nothing to program via "user friendly" menus, even grandma can do it. I wouldn't have to learn 10 different new phone numbers after each move to a new place because the assignment of the trailing digit is under my control.

kbecker, Jun 18 2003

Call Router... http://www.oaisys.com/pr-CallRouter.cfm
"...uses caller information (such as Caller ID) and schedules to automatically route calls to a particular person, call group, or automated application." [phoenix, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Emerson Switchboard... http://www.tigerdir...s.asp?sku=E126-1000
"...works like a phone service "switchboard" to share one phone line for phone calls, fax and the Internet." [phoenix]

Versa-Link© ATX-250 http://faxswitch.com/atx250.html
Fax/Modem/Voice/Data Switch [phoenix, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Versa-Link© ATX-250 http://faxswitch.com/atx250.html
Fax/Modem/Voice/Data Switch [phoenix, Oct 05 2004]

SR-2 and SR-3 http://faxswitch.com/sr.html
These devices can sense distinctive ringing tones and direct the calls to various devices based on them. [krelnik, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       Where I live they don't even have cable TV, and cell phones don't work. I have two lines, one is $23/month the other $34. The next line would require extra street wiring and install would cost $800. I can get caller ID though so they must be able to send some digits before the connection is made.
kbecker, Jun 18 2003
  

       Many phone companies in the US have a service called "Distinctive Ringing" that can direct multiple phone numbers to the same physical line, and give each a special ring pattern. I think the limit is usually 2 to 4 numbers per physical line.   

       Some modern devices can sense these rings and behave differently based on them. I own a modem that has this feature. You can also buy electronic devices that are specifically designed to sense them and route calls to devices based on them. (See SR2/SR3 link).   

       So the form you describe in the last paragraph is incredibly baked.
krelnik, Jun 18 2003
  

       Not more claws to worry about then.
The Kat, Jun 18 2003
  

       I know all all those devices described in the links. None meets requirements because:   

       1. Two devices is not enough these days.   

       2. Every call still rings all over the place unless I take special precautions. I just don't need the bedroom phone to ring at 2am if someone sends me a fax from another continent.   

       3. Telemarketers and begging organizations are not filtered by caller ID because I don't know all those phone numbers.   

       4. I already have problems to memorize one phone # for for my home. Memorizing half a dozen others that the phone company randomly selected for me is impossible.   

       I have tried caller ID and distinctive ring. It was a waste of money.
kbecker, Jun 18 2003
  

       //Every call still rings all over the place unless I take special precautions.//
Not so with the SR-2 / SR-3 devices I linked to, read more carefully. They sense the distinctive ring, and only pass it through the selected line. So if you put one of these in your wiring closet, you can achieve exactly what you want.
  

       But yes, they are limited to 3 outputs, which might be a pain in some situations.
krelnik, Jun 19 2003
  

       I thought I was getting an extra finger, which would have been handy...
saker, Jun 19 2003
  

       me2, [saker].
k_sra, Jun 19 2003
  

       Ditto that [saker]. Mind you it's easy enough to add the finger, though I don't know how you'd get an independantly operating one.   

       As has been said, get a PABX.
Freelancer, Jun 22 2003
  

       This is a brilliant idea. I have long thought so. Currently my home has 5 phone numbers with 4 lines. I would rather have just one number for my home with the option of a user directing his call to my other phones, including cell phones. This idea occurred to me when they added multiple area codes to Minneapolis-St. Paul. We could theoretically replace 10 10-digit phone numbers with one 7 digit number plus one or more digits. House could have a simple one digit system. Businesses could have several add on digits. As the population ages, every scheme to simply life will be well appreciated.
elallred, Jun 16 2004
  

       Actually, this would also make knowing someone's cell phone simpler. Just make 8 and 9 cell phones, or however the hell you want to do it, and the cellular phone company could program your cell phone to overlay your landline's existing number.   

       So a call to 555-1814-0 goes to the private landline, but 555-1814-8 goes to the cell. This would also help ease the current load on the 10-digit numbers that the US, Canada, Virgin Islands, PR, Guam, and other NorthAm protectorates use.   

       I happen to think this is disturbingly ingenious.
shapu, Aug 05 2004
  
      
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