Do you use landline telephones still?

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by chap_who_hunts, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. tnmedic

    tnmedic G&G Evangelist

    no land line is available where I live
  2. Well, the telephone jacks in my rented home are in not working order or they are not interconnected. The landlord is only responsible for maintaining one working jack. I'm not going to ask the landlord to make all the jacks in all rooms service so I can interface landline telephones in various rooms via bluetooth smartphone interface. I will just have a landline phone in my home office connected directly to the modular jack on the XLink bluetooth gateway device I just received in the mail today and put the wall phone on the kitchen wall plate as a hanging ornament.

    If the bluetooth gateway device is connected to one wall jack in the house, all wall jacks should be interconnected unless one or more wall jacks were installed as separate lines.

    The bluetooth gateway device works with the modular plug telephone I have connected directly to the device. I just did tests. Since I have designer telephones for home decor, it would be nice to have them actually working but I'm not spending money to fix the inside wiring. I would have single-line working multiple telephone jacks in any home I owned. One for the kitchen, one for the home office and one for the living room and maybe even one for the garage to put a retro pay phone there.

    The bluetooth gateway device interfaces landline phones with my mobile cell service.
    EtherialOne and TXplt like this.

  3. cjleete

    cjleete G&G Evangelist

    When I get relocated I'll only have a landline, and just use my old Iphone as an Ipod and for 911 on the road. To hell with these 80 dollar bills
    rando, neophyte, Ten Man and 2 others like this.
  4. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I put Cat 5 in my house and in every room when I built it. I also put cable in every room. We just disconnected our landline as we were paying for services that we didn’t use. We used the WiFi, but got cheaper rates via an antenna. Saved about $65 per month. Don’t sound like much, but when you’re retired you’ll understand.
    neophyte, Ten Man, Big Dog and 2 others like this.
  5. blue fox

    blue fox G&G Evangelist

    spooker can't get a cell phone with a keypad big enough for his hooves. :p
    We haven't had a landline for quite a few years since the wife replaced all of the baseboards and somehow messed up the lines. We didn't even know the line was malfunctioning for about a year.
    neophyte likes this.
  6. Sounds like a voice over IP line? I know I've had two bundle packages like that, one DSL (AT&T) and another one through the cable company.

    At first the DSL package had a regular land line, which was great, but the DSL modems didn't hold up well, then when I moved they swapped to VOIP and for the money it wasn't worth it and I lost the true old fashioned hard line. The cable company wasn't much better so finally I've settled on just cable for internet and a cellular adapter for the regular house phone that's only $20 a month.

    The way I see it is that if I can't have the old fashioned hard line I might as well go with whatever is cheapest as there are so many VOIP / Skype type apps for free that I'm just as well off for less money since it's all going over the internet anyway. And worse case I still have walkie talkies and a couple of Baofeng handheld ham type radios for close range use if need be.
    shanebrews, neophyte and Ranger4 like this.
  7. BigEd63

    BigEd63 G&G Evangelist

    No land line haven't had one in iirc 10years or so.

    I hated all the **** scam and telemarketing calls.

    I just use this one smart phone now for phone calls and internet.
    neophyte likes this.
  8. My Tello Mobile (which Google) cell service is only $7.85/mo. Includes 1GB data. I had to buy my own phone: Motorola E4 Moto refurbished, $79 after rebate.

    Tello Mobile is the cheap no-contract cellular for America and covers most of the Lower 48 nation except Montana. Caveats: phones bought thru them only have a 30-day warranty new or refurbished. No telephone tech support, only chat and one chat guy I had acted like a punk. I have this service for 8 months now and no issues but I toward the beginning. Something about procedures for answering the phone. There is no nice person to talk to live to explain smartphone issues and talk the customer thru step by step when asking how to do something operation-wise: how to USE your smartphone. I guess it's a YGWYPF kind of proposition. "You Get What You pay For" is a very sad business slogan in the 21st century. The American Dollar was worth something in the 20th Century. Economic sense of value is totally lost today. It's f__ the customer as much as the corrupt law will allow.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
    cjleete likes this.
  9. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    My primary cellphone (Samsung Galaxie S7) is a CDMA phone on Verizon, my backup cellphone (Huawei Y7 2019) is a CSM phone on Cricket - both are "unlimited plans) with a soft limit of 22Gig before possibility of throttling. I have exceeded this limit a couple times (I do a lot of Youtube surfing) but haven't seen any slowdown yet.
    At one time I tried a cheaper Nokia phone as backup, but it was very user-unfriendly. I have several different fast-chargers - one at my livingroom chair with two USB cables, one at my bedside, a couple others as spares. Have four charger brick chargers to get me through extended ower outtages, like after a hurricane. Had no trouble getting calls, texts and online after Hurricane Michael smashed through Florida in 2018. Power was down four days.
    I now have a 100ah AGM battery with two 100w lightweight folding solar panels to keep my small devices charged if power is out longer. Being handicapped and housebound, I am serious about my comms. Works for me.
    neophyte likes this.
  10. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    A true land line will have physical wires, 2 to them connected to the local phone company all the way to jacks in a house. Those two wires will use I think 48 volts DC supplied by the phone company when talking and 90 volts AC to ring your phone. They are critical to disaster planning because as long as your local phone office is up and running the underground cables and local drop line to your house will give you a means of communication with the outside world in the event of a blackout or when cell towers go down.

    In the past we have lost all cell coverage in our area when cell towers either got overloaded by emergency calling or when they were taken down by tornadoes. When commercial power goes off your local phone company is required by law to have adequate batteries to keep the phones working for several days. They also have massive diesel generators to keep those batteries charged forever if need by.

    I live on a dead end power line and lose power ever year due to storms or ice storms. And many times the cell towers are just overloaded. But all I do plug in an old type phone and we have phone coverage. If I want my DSL service to work, which is also supplied on those same 2 wires on what is called side band, then I just turn on my generator and plug in my router and I have internet supplied by the local phone company..

    I actually have 3 cell phone carriers, my wife and I each have one, T Mobile and ATT and we have an additional TracFone. We travel and often find ATT and Tmobile do not work, so the TracFone is just a backup. Problem is they contract to use the same towers, so if a tower goes down, they all go down. Not a problem in big cities but critical in small towns or rural areas.

    The VOIP is fine but just remember it only works if your cell works or you internet provider is up. The product described above I believe is just an offering to make the cool old phones work, I have several of them. But I can just plug mine in to the real land line if I want.

    The concept of dial phones is pretty simple. The dial is simple opening and closing the two wires quickly in one second. For example, I have taught people how to dial 911 by simply pulling out an old phone jack and exposing the two wires, usually there will be 4, red, green, yellow and black. Usually the green and red are the landline ones. You simply hold the 2 wires close and touch them together 9 times as quick as you can. Then wait about 2 seconds and do it again, then wait about 2 second and just do it one time and do nothing. If you have an actual landline in another room and can listen in, the 911 dispatch will answer. If you do not pick up they should send a police officer to your home. For explanation, look at the Function paragraph in Wicki.

    Also, every survivalist should know this but many just do not understand the value or how it is done. Example, say you are stranded on a road it the middle of nowhere. There is a telephone line with pedestals running along the roadway. Those pedestals are providing land lines somewhere down the way. If you open up that pedestal you will find a phone cable with many pairs of wire, all twisted together in pairs. Each of those pairs, unless vacant goes to someones phone. If you peel back a pair of those wires, then simply touch them together quickly as I described above, you can call 911. And when the dispatcher calls that number back they either get someone who says all is fine or they get no answer. So, if it is life or death you may need to do it several times so the dispatcher suspects something is wrong and sends out an officer. Any survivalist should know this, I have taught it to many, much easier to show than describe on a blog.
    Some states actually require the local phone company to keep a link to your landline that allows you to call 911, much like a disconnected cell phone. If you have phone jacks in your home, buying a old style phone for $10-$15 or so could be important if cell service is down. Check your state here.

    Just another prepper trick that you will probably never use like the spare tire on your truck or spare ammo.
    MRT NH 72 likes this.
  11. mitchr

    mitchr G&G Evangelist


    My cell ain't a "smart" phone, but it only cost $19.99 & prepaid card for 60 minutes is about $19 for 3 months. Unused time carries over & I have over 2800 minutes accrued!:p
    neophyte likes this.
  12. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    We finally did away with the copper wire phone when the local cable & internet provider offered us a deal where VOIP was included for an extra dollar a month. I was concerned that if we lost power we'd also lose phone, but the emergency generator solved that problem. If the electricity goes out, we still have the house phones provided the cable line is still up and the cable service is running. We regard the cellphones as backups anyway, not the primary phone for the house.

    We went from spending $60 a month for a phone with the local phone company to spending a dollar a month for the same service. I believe we were among the last people in our neighborhood to drop the landline.
    neophyte likes this.
  13. Junction15

    Junction15 G&G Evangelist

    I can't eliminate my landline phone if I want 'affordable' communications with the outside world.
    My home is in a valley. It is surrounded by cell towers all over the area - except that none of those towers are on the surrounding hill tops. I can get texts if I put the phone in the right window - but no reliable voice or data.

    I could connect my phone service with the cable supplier, but I "fired" them nearly 10 years ago for gouging prices on my bill.
    They forced me to pay for services they did not hook me up to because "it wasn't available in my area", but it was "part of a bundle" and would cost me more for a la carte services. And their "customer service" was pretty nasty about it. I was told "take it or leave it". So I removed every piece of their equipment - even their cables in the house - and I left it on their desk.
    My internet options are DSL through my phone line (which works fine) or satellite. Satellite might be better now, but it was pretty slow back then.
    Cyrano and shanebrews like this.
  14. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    Regarding emergencies, I have had the opposite experience in connectivity. A buddy who lives on a lake had his landline go down during/after a hurricane one year. But we were able to talk on our cellphones.

    I too had my landline go belly-up one year. Seems the phone company hadn't kept up maintenance on the local roadside box. When the tech finally checked it, the junction box was filled with water, connections loose or rusty, animal nests inside it. He had to practically rebuild it.
    Cyrano likes this.
  15. You need a portable generator and fuel as a prepper. Power lines might go down too. Cell phone batteries have to be kept charged. Cell towers might go down. You probably should have Motorola VHS, CB and/or ham radios. Sat phones too.
    Ranger4 likes this.
  16. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    I think that is why I like to be redundant. I am only about 3 miles from a small town ATT phone office. It is unmanned but the line works over 99% of the time. You may have heard the phrase 99.44% in the past. That was the basis of an AT and T slogan back at the time the government broke up Ma Bell, starting in about 1982. At that time Ivory soap had commercials saying the soap was 99.44% pure, so AT and T mounted a campaign to show that residential land line phones were even better than Ivory soap. The phone lines worked 99.6% of the time. So, they said it made no sense to break of the big monopoly. But the government broke it up anyway.

    We are about 15 miles from the nearest electrical substation, so while the phone lines have never gone out during a storm but the power goes out a couple times every year. And when the cell towers lose power they do not work either. Like I said above, in the cities there are lots of towers your signal can connect to, get a little way out of town, you may only have one your cell can reach. So, never rely on a cell if you are out in the boonies. My 2 cents.

    You can also use the landline battery power to charge your cell phone if your house power is out. There are lots of UTube videos showing how to wire the local phone line to do so. I have multiple cars and generators and even solar to charge phones and laptops so I have never rigged one to do so.
  17. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    Not on my limited income. I do what I can with what I have.
  18. Yes, still have a landline as we need it for fax at the present time...
  19. rando

    rando G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Mitch do you know who you bought the phone through or from.?. Not bad as long as you can carry over like you say.
  20. mitchr

    mitchr G&G Evangelist


    I got mine at Walmart & get my refills there, but I think you can buy direct from Tracfone. I get text messages from them about specials on refills, but it's usually higher minute amounts which I obviously don't need.

    They do have better phones available, if you want. Mine is a plain Jane flip phone.
    rando likes this.