Unusual telephone install

S > I have two phone lines, identified as Line 1 and Line 2. Line 1 is S > the main house line; Line 2 is a "hunter" line: if Line 1 is in use, S > any incoming call will automatically jump to Line 2. My installation S > requires two separate jacks since Line 1 also accommodates my S > answering machine. I use the red & green wires for Line 1, black & S > yellow for Line 2. S > S > Problem: I had to remove both jacks from the wall and disconnect all S > wiring in order to re-do the room (sheetrock, etc.) and don't recall S > which wires were connected to which terminals on which jack to S > duplicate the above installation. I did make a schematic before S > disconnecting but it got lost in the shuffle of reconstruction. S > S > Can anyone out there with knowledge of telephone wiring help me? S > Thanks a bunch.
Doesn't sound terribly 'unusual". Line 1 is usually the red/green pair, and Line 2 is black/yellow, as you said. The red/green pair is the center two conductors and the outer conductors (if four positions) are the black/yellow pair. Frequently one will see the terminals marked "R", "G", etc., or just match the red lead to the red wire....
I'm trying to find the 'complicated' part of the hook up (coffee must have worn off!). What you might want to do to get things going is wire the jacks as you think they might be and use a "line switcher". Not sure what it's really called but it's a small adapater about 2" long that plugs into the (2-line) RJ11 and has three RJ11's in the front, one marked "Line1", one "Line2" and the third "Line1+2". Plugging in your answering machine (presumably a single line device rather than a two-line device) into "Line1" will connect it to the center pair. Plugging the answering machine into "Line2" will allow it to be connected to the outer pair.
..Maybe that's the answer: a single line device (telephone, answering machine, cordless phone, etc.) will always use the center pair, traditionally the red/green pair. If you want to make a single-line device connect to Line2 you need to move the black/yellow pair to the red/green pair position, IOW instead of connecting B/Y to the outer connectors you need to connect to the center connectors.
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
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