Too many devices on telephone line

Awhile back I installed a caller ID program on my computer, IdentaPop, which worked great for awhile. Since then I have added other fax machines and assorted devices to the same phone line, none of which I can do without. Apparently these devices are causing the caller id info to not be read by the software. The other caller id boxes in the house continue to work fine. I understand that there is a limit to the number of devices that a phone line can support.
My question is: Is there anything I can do to increase the number of devices that my phone line can support?
Thanks
Morgan
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Have you checked with the software company that furnishes IdentaPop? The same information is in the data on the phone call, regardless of how many devices are on it. The software should still work. I would suggest trying some experiments such as removing devices one at a time until the software works again. I have a feeling it is not related. I assume you have restarted the IdentaPop, and or rebooted your computer to make sure things are running clean again?
Let us know how it goes.
If per chance you are in the DFW area, I wouldn't mind helping you out on this. I love mysteries.
Maury Wylie, TX

which
fine.
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Some FAX machines may answer the call and only pass through calls to a separate jack on the FAX machine if the call is not a FAX. This depends on the settings on the FAX machine.
Is your computer connected directly to the phone line or to a jack on the FAX machine?
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Well, after posting the first message here, I did some snooping around and found that there is a limit to the amount of REN (Ringer Equivilance Number) that a line can carry. Each phone device lists it's REN on the FCC decal on the back. (I didn't know any of this until today) You just add up all the RENs on your devices and get a total. I think the maximum per line is usually around 4 or 5 REN total for a line but I havent checked with my local phone company yet to see what they recommend/allow. The phone co. may also have a solution for when a line carries more REN than normally allowed. The very interesting response to my first post by TURTLE mentions something like this. I'm going to call them about this too.
I added up the RENs on all my devices and have a total of 3.5 REN plus whatever REN is on my 2 WinModems. (I'm still checking on them.) That puts me pretty close or over the 4 or 5 REN limit. I have disabled some of the higher REN devices and it seemed to help. I also upgraded the software, which also helped. I've also emailed IdentaPop tech support and will probably get a response from them soon. There tech support is pretty quick to respond.
Some of the RENs were much higher than others. And one, on my main speaker phone/ message recorder, a very nice Lucent Tech phone, it says very plainly that it has a REN of 0.0. The two cheapo bedside phones each have a REN of 0.9. The Fax machine, a Brother MFC 8500 (very nice machine too) is 0.2. It seems the cheaper the device, the higher the REN. The only exception to this is the DirecTV receiver, a high end Samsung HD reciever, has a 0.9 REN. I don't think the modems in these Sat receivers do very much so they are probably very cheap.
I may have to ditch the two cheap phones and get some with lower REN numbers. I've become very attached to this caller ID software and become very disturbed when it fails to work. This particular program is very nice in that the name and number pop up on top of the screen in large letters for a few seconds then disappears. It doesn't interfere with anything and requires no action from me. No clicking on anything.
Thanks for your help and interest in this. I am not in the DFW area. I am in the NOBR area. (That would be New Orleans Baton Rouge )
My next move is to ask the phone company if there is anything they can do, like they did for TURTLE, if I have used up all my REN ! ! !
Morgan

by
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wrote:

Turtle may have been on a marginal line. When he complained, they probably either fixed a cable problem or shifted him to a new cable pair.
On a normal dial line, there usually isn't any such device that allows your "power" to be turned up. Sometimes, if you're on the edge of the range of your local switch, the telco will install a range extender, which is another possibility in Turtle's case.
Usually REN only comes into play with ringing voltage. Too many REN, and the phones don't ring. But it can affect caller id as well. You have so many devices, you're probably pulling the level of the caller id burst way down.
Since your other caller id devices continued to work, there is still the possibility that this problem is related to the software, or the modem's ability to read the CID data unless it's at a high level. The stand alone CID displays may be more tolerant of different data levels, unlike the modem.
Let us know what the phone company says.
Barry
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wrote:

SNIP
Also note the sat modem can be disconnected except for an hour or so a month. It is only used to upgrade encription now and then and for order/payment of Pay for view etc. Just put a switch in the phone cord for when needed. Louis
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which
fine.
This is Turtle.
I'm not a phone man worker or nothing but I did have trouble with too many phone on my house one time and call the phone company and they went and done something at the pole and maybe put something on it. They also done something at the box on the side of the house. all my phones got good as gold. It has been some time but i think he said he put something up there and things got real good.
Just a phone user.
TURTLE
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just looked my self on my cordless phone the REN is 0B what does the B stand for or how do I use it to add into the total number. reason this interests me is my parrents have dishnetwork 500 pvr box for there tv. it has a built in caller id feature . the first box they recieved caller id worked fine for about 3 months. then stopped dish network sends out a second box caller id feature doesnt work but maybe evry 20'th call on there fifth box now local dish people have been by ,then people rite from dishnetwork none can get it working they say its a ground problem , so one guy runnes a ground around all tv compnnents and bonds everything to homes main ground still nothing. the main phone in the house has caller id that works all the time and the other tv id works, just the tv with the pvr box .the dish people are out of ideas and say they can break there contract without penelty becouse the system doesnt wor completely.

which
fine.
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Morgan posted for all of us....

Could you try turning the ringers off on some phones? Or temporary unplug the high number phones and testing?
--

Tekkie

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Tekkie wrote:

On advice of some article long ago, we turned off all the ringers except on two phones. Still can hear it ring anywhere in the house. Have full time fax machine, distinctive ring, 4 hard wired phones, two portable base units. No problem. Don't use caller ID so don't know if that would be a problem, but all the combined REN numbers would probably exceed the limit , so cutting off the ringer must be the way to go.
Stoney
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The REN for any POTS line is 5.0; more of a load than this can cause erratic signalling behavior on any device on that line. Add up the RENs for all devices on the same line to check this. Look on the bottom or in the manual, fed law requires the mfr give you this.
I'm guessing you have a multi-tap thing with everything around your PC desk plugged into it. If so, try a Y splitter farther back in the line, and make sure your modem is the only thing on that particular leg of the splitter. If not, ignore.
Alt: Cut your PC area down to a single line port, and then find out what you really need and what you really can't do without on a piece-by-piece basis. You'd be surprised; why have a fax machine when you can have fax software? etc.
Painter (used to be a Phoner)
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