I wasn’t going to write about the Meridian I adopted way back again because I planned on cleaning it up and selling the system. It turns out I have had better things to do. One night recently I decided to reward myself for being productive by dicking around with it for a bit and managed to get it working on a VoIP line by way of an ATA. I was so impressed with the quality of the audio I decided to keep the system for personal use. There is a subtle irony to having a three metre analogue bridge between two perfectly digital systems and all this fire-retardant 1990s-beige/grey plastic is getting to my head.
The POTS interface is generally terminated with a 25-pair BIX (Building Industry Cross-connect) block. These require a punch-down tool. My only punch-down tool at the moment has automatic snippers on one end which is useless as the position of the terminal teeth alternates from top to bottom.
I jammed the pairs in with the attached blade tool which is strongly discouraged as you invariably weaken the teeth and risk cracking the (especially ancient) plastic.
The KSU had been unplugged some time and defaulted. Interestingly, the dialing mode defaults to pulse which, intuitively enough, doesn’t work with my ATA. It turns out you have to go in and set each line to tone dialing individually.
It took me forever to find out how to do this so pay close attention, I’m only going to remember this once:
- Punch FEATURE **CONFIG
- **CONFIG is **266344
- The password should be CONFIG, if lost will have to be reset.
- Press the top-rightmost indicated meta key, the display will read:
- 1. Trk/Line Data
- Press the top-rightmost indicated meta key again. The display will read:
- Show line: _
- This prompt expects three digits. To configure line one, press 001. The display will read:
- Trunk data
- Press the top-rightmost indicated meta key once then the bottom-rightmost twice. The display will read:
- Dial Mode: Pulse
- The rightmost display key will read
- Press the CHANGE display key and it will toggle between Pulse and Tone.
- Press Rls to exit the menu
Above you can see the data and software cartridges for the M8x24; one fits into the other which fits into the cabinet. If your KSU loses all of its settings when the power goes out you need to replace the backup capacitors mounted on the data board. They are 1 farad and 5.5 volts each.
These appear to be a very common capacitor configuration for data backup and shouldn’t be hard to find at a reasonable price.
Something neat I learned in my travels is that when these 24V phones are subjected to the ring voltage on a POTS line (90V in NA?) they tend to blow. What they may lack in ruggedness they more than make up for in ease of installation however, as their all-digital signalling makes their ports polarity agnostic.