Corporate Solution? 160 phones 2 campuses linked with fibre?

OK here I go again. I started to look into this last summer but I got burried under other projects.

What I have is we are a remote ski area. We have two lodges aobut 5 miles apart. We have around 160 phones currently all is running through an old Vodavi POTS phone system.

This summer we are running Fibre between the two lodges. The big thing here is that I’ll need to use the existing copper for some of the phones which shouldn’t be a problem using the right cards that can send out a line over copper. But the problem that I forsee is that some of the lines are going up the lifts over big ol copper com lines, some as far as 8000 feet. There is no power at the top of the lift thus no network either.

So the question is will these cards that send out the regular old phone signal over a pair of copper send the signal that far? or are they designed as just a little “ad a fax” thing that will only push the dail tone 30 feet?

Thanks for any help!

I could be wrong but I don’t think that you can push a little signal that far without a little help. If you have a pair of copper going to each ski lift I would recommend an ethernet extender to push it over and boost the signal - you will also get your network up there if you need it. … tegory=146

Says it will do over 5 miles on copper - oops, no power not a good solution

  • something to keep in mind.

That sounds like the biggest hurdle. What is your current equipment using to transmit the signal that far down the line. You might be able to tap into the existing equipment to boost the signal down that far.

With 2 asterisk servers in each lodge and using IAX2 between them, you should have no real problems once you get over your distance hurdle.

Brad Rose

I think you are asking if you can use existing ‘twisted pair copper’ up the lifts to put phone extensions up there and connect them to the server at the base into an FXS port of some type? (ATA, pci card, channel bank, etc.)? Is that what you are asking?


Yes that is correct.

I’m not looking to send ethernet up the lifts because there’s no power. What I am looking to do is what P describes. Use the FXS cards to send out analog signal and use plain old telephones on the remote ends.

Like I said I know that you can do this in the office. It’s mostly used so that people using VOIP can still use a plain old fax machine etc. But it’s the same technology. I’m just not sure about the distance that the signal would be good for. And I’m not really sure who to ask.

Thanks for you responses and any help would be appreciated.

well I’m sorry I can’t be of more help then to say - check the specs on the various fxs options, wether digium cards or other commercial grade channel banks, to see what their distances are. These will be much further than ethernet can travel and I suspect there are solutions that can go the distance you require, 8000ft.


I would bet that since the phone company can do it you can too. Just get yourself a good channel bank and you’ll be fine.


Hmmm maybe it’s not clear yet. I won’t be using a channel bank. I’ve got no power on the far end.

Like I said before the example is that you plug a phone into an FXS card. Just a regular old phone. Now imagine that the telephone wire that you use to plug in the phone with, is a mile long. hehe… Our current Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) does it just fine. But I have a hunch that the signal is stronger coming out of that thing then it would be coming out of the Digium FXS cards.

I’ll try Digium support but I thought I’d try here first.

that is what I mean, either a pci card with the fxs ports (if they can handle the distance) or a channel bank connected to your asterisk server that can handle those phones 1 mile away. It’s going to be a factor of the specs of the fxs ports in conjunction with the specific wiring characteristics that run up those lift lines.

I’d suggest maybe starting a nother thread asking about fxs ports and/or channel banks that can handle VERY long wiring runs to the equipment on the far end as there are probably people on this forum who would know what you need but may not be reading this specific thread.

I’m sure there is equipment that can handle what you want, it’s going to come down to what the cost is. How many phone extensions do you need up the lifts?


No, I know what you meant. I don’t think you’ll have a problem with an FXS connection that far away. If the phone company can do it…

I agree with twyant with the following preclaimer. Find out whay type of wire you have and then confirm on the specs of the channel bank that it will work. I scanned some of them and they vary, but there is clearly equipment that can handle that distance and more.