New Cordless Phones

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57Bill

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I'm getting ready to replace my 1997 Sony 900Mhz cordless phone. I like the range I get, and would like to replace it with a new one that can get me across the street like the one I currently have. I can still get a new cheap 900 MHz model at RiteAid, and elsewhere, everything in between up to 5.2 or 6.0 GHz. Regardless of analog or digital, or whether the base still outputs on 900 Mhz, which one will give me the longest range (considering all variables equal)?
 

talkpair

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I would stick with the 900 MHz phone myself........if possible, move the charger/base near a window that favors the area you want to cover with the handset...This solution is often overlooked because it's too easy. If you don't have a jack in a favorable room, temporarily use a long cord from your existing jack to that room, to see if you can get the desired coverage before adding a jack to that room permanently.

I've seen a few 2.4 GHz phones that couldn't reach the other end of medium sized house on the same floor.
They also have issues with wifi, which could be overcome with channel selection.
 

kruser

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I agree with talkpair and would stick with the good old 900 MHz phones.
Ever since 2.4 and 5.8 and now 1.6 DECT phones have been on the market I can't say I've ever found one that had quite the range of an old AT&T (most likely v-tech) 9100 900 MHz model I had for years. Of course a bunch of the older 900 units were also not digital so were prone to eavesdropping by us pesky scanner listeners:lol:
You may wish to look for that if privacy is important. In my quest for a better cordless I tried many 2.4 and 5.8 GHz models. The V-Tech models seemed to have choppy digital audio so I favored the Panasonic line the most. That was until I realized the phone was also knocking out my wireless signals from my laptops. I fixed that by swapping to a 802.11A wireless setup as all my laptop had dual band radios. Then I upgraded to 5.8 GHz phones and I was back to interfering with my wireless laptop signals but on the A band.
I found a bunch of old 900 MHz Panasonics for around $5 each at a local goodwill store and bought them all! But the keypads quickly wore out and they became unreliable for dialing out as the numbers quit working when pressed. I soon learned that if the finish on the handheld part was not badly worn then the chance of having a good working membrane keypad was fairly good. The battery life was good on most of the 2.4 and 5.8 phones as they had switched to Lion type. The older 900 MHz stuff all used old Ni-cd technology and battery life suffered. I did try swapping in Lithium packs but the charging circuits in the older phones would often ruin a new pack in short time.
I finally gave up and bought two DECT systems with multiple handsets made by Uniden.
They work well and have great battery life and other nifty features but the range does not compare to the old 900 MHz phones I've had. It is still acceptable for most users however.
I used to be able to walk to a quick shop about 1200 feet away and the old 900 MHz phone worked the entire way. The new DECT phone makes it about 900 feet.
I gave up the walking stuff since so the lesser range is no longer a factor for myself!
So if wireless computer is a concern then go with an older 900 or a DECT type. Some of the early 2.4 and 5.8 models were not truly using the claimed frequency range for at least one direction. I recall one that the base transmitted on 5.8 but received on 2.4 and I think the same was true with 2.4 models in that some still used 900 for one direction.
 

57Bill

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Thanks, guys. I actually took pleasure in throwing a pair of Uniden 2.4's in the garbage after losing reception between the bedroom and living room in my small bungalow. I once used someone's 5.2Ghz and found them to have decent range.
Is there a website somewhere dedicated to cordless phone discussions?
 

iMONITOR

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Thanks, guys. I actually took pleasure in throwing a pair of Uniden 2.4's in the garbage after losing reception between the bedroom and living room in my small bungalow. I once used someone's 5.2Ghz and found them to have decent range.
Is there a website somewhere dedicated to cordless phone discussions?
The 2.4GHz phones run into conflicts with all the WiFi and wireless cameras using the same band.
 

iMONITOR

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I have the Panasonic KX-TG4321B 5.8GHz 89 Channel FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) Digital Phone System.

It's awesome! Works perfect ALL of the time. Crystal clear, loud, no problems. I've actually taken a handset with me and walk down the street a few houses and used it!

Panasonic KX-TG4321B Support and Service Information

I bought it at Target, with two handsets for $45.00.
 

bwhite

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I have the Panasonic KX-TG4321B 5.8GHz 89 Channel FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) Digital Phone System.

It's awesome! Works perfect ALL of the time. Crystal clear, loud, no problems. I've actually taken a handset with me and walk down the street a few houses and used it!

Panasonic KX-TG4321B Support and Service Information

I bought it at Target, with two handsets for $45.00.
How far is a "few houses"?
Like the OP, I've held on to my ancient Sony 900 because it will work at 500'; nothing I've tried once the "new and improved" phones came out came even close (and were thus returned), some didn't even cover our modest home interior.
For awhile Consumer Reports "conveniently" didn't rate cordless phones on range but it is now back BUT it is relative. Today's GOOD or EXCELLENT may be only a fraction of the distance the older units were capable of.
Perhaps a silly question but why did the band change, seems like we
tried to fix something that, other than privacy, wasn't broken but the
same privacy encryption could have been done on the 900 mhz band.
 

iMONITOR

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How far is a "few houses"?
Like the OP, I've held on to my ancient Sony 900 because it will work at 500'; nothing I've tried once the "new and improved" phones came out came even close (and were thus returned), some didn't even cover our modest home interior.
For awhile Consumer Reports "conveniently" didn't rate cordless phones on range but it is now back BUT it is relative. Today's GOOD or EXCELLENT may be only a fraction of the distance the older units were capable of.
Perhaps a silly question but why did the band change, seems like we
tried to fix something that, other than privacy, wasn't broken but the
same privacy encryption could have been done on the 900 mhz band.
Approximately 200 feet.
 

Halfpint

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You might be interested in looking these phones and this site.

Telephones - EnGeniusTelephones.com

We've been using one their older models out on our farm for years now and we cover approximately 100acres without any problems. 'Course before we went with EnGenius phones our old Toshiba 900MHz phone almost did the same but, unlike the EnGenius w/ 4 line ability, w/ only 2 line ability. For *us* adding the extra 2 lines was another major plus. Then we could answer not only the `farm' lines but also our `private' lines, too.

Anyway... Check out the EnGenius phones *and* the rest of the site.

Just an `Olde Fart's' 2¢ worth.
 

James_Bond_007

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get an old sn-920 off ebay. a base with a couple of handsets will cost you 200.00 or do a search on google for engenius using site:craigslist.org i find them on there very often for 50.00 for a base and two handsets. just be patient they pop up occasionally.

whatever you get expect to buy new batteries. you can also add an external outdoor antenna to get a few miles radius range. they are 1 watt in spread spectrum and fall under part 15.247 of the fcc rules.
 

bwhite

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I understand what you are saying and have done that for a number of things. This is just one of those things where progress has seemingly taken us backward.
 

Halfpint

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Get an old sn-920 < --- Text Bobbited --- > just be patient they pop up occasionally.

whatever you get expect to buy new batteries. you can also add an external outdoor antenna to get a few miles radius range. they are 1 watt in spread spectrum and fall under part 15.247 of the fcc rules.

When we first went with EnGenius that was what we started with. However, when we added more lines we `upgraded' to what they now call `the PRO' version and added an external antenna. On `*good*' days we can actually answer the phone `in town'! (`Town' is only 4.5 miles away `as the crow flies', though. However, we are talking answering right from the very edge that is closest to our place. It also helps that it's pretty flat between there and here *and* there are few obstructions.) Generally though we mainly depend upon the `long distant ability' of ours for just being able to answer the phone whenever one of us has to be out doing something like setting up irrigation and the other has had to run of to do something like pick up the children from school or something similar. The rest of the time it is the ability to be able to have `extensions' that can answer any line just about anywhere we may need them around the house.
We would almost be `lost' without them and the freedom they provide and after only a short time the convienence they provide more than offsets the initial `sticker shock'.

Oh, yeah... These things are built like the proverbial `brick outhouse', too. While I *don't* recommend doing this, I had one, one day, when I was moving some irrigation pipe on a `small' trailer behind my Traxter XL ATV pop out of the `cradle' on the handle bars, I'd either forgotten to or hadn't tightened up the `cradle' enough, hit the ground, get run over by the ATV's rear wheel, and then get run over by the trailer before I noticed. Except for a `few' scratches here and there on the case it worked, and has been working since then, beautifully. (I now have a leather `holster' that I can either `clip' onto my belt or `hang' via a `stretchy' strap that I carry mine in these days. The only thing that uses a `cradle' now is the GPS that fits a factory designed cradle designed just for ATV use that locks it in *extremely* tight and even then I keep a close watch on it. {WAN GRIN!})

If one is expecting to use one of these for more than just a few years and wants real reliability through all sorts of use and abuse they are, IMNSHO, *well worth* the initial outlay. And, like James_Bond_007 said one doesn't have to start off by `going whole hog' to check things out. Pick up a good used earlier model to check things out and as you get more comfortable and find more uses start setting aside for one of the newer models and `go for it'. Oh, and if you are worried about being overheard the only people who'll be able to do so will be, as usual, our `wonderful?' `gummit'.

Just an `Olde Fart's' 2¢ worth. {VB GRIN!}
 

UPMan

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In about a month we'll have a multi-handset version out that includes a repeater in the accessory handset bases. IIRC (not my category and that PM is out right now) you can do 3-hops (i.e. a handset can talk through two accessory bases back to the base that is plugged into the phone line).

DECT 6.0 technology (1.9 GHz) so you can guestimate each hop's maximum distance.
 

kruser

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In about a month we'll have a multi-handset version out that includes a repeater in the accessory handset bases. IIRC (not my category and that PM is out right now) you can do 3-hops (i.e. a handset can talk through two accessory bases back to the base that is plugged into the phone line).

DECT 6.0 technology (1.9 GHz) so you can guestimate each hop's maximum distance.
Hey Paul,

That is a really neat idea! I like the DECT technology as it is outside the B/G and A wireless bands so no interference to/from computer wireless connections.
I'll have to keep an eye on this one!
I already have a use for this in mind at work and I bet it will work perfect.
 

UPMan

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We've been using the development samples around the building here with good results (200,000 sqft facility).
 

Halfpint

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In about a month we'll have a multi-handset version out that includes a repeater in the accessory handset bases. IIRC (not my category and that PM is out right now) you can do 3-hops (i.e. a handset can talk through two accessory bases back to the base that is plugged into the phone line).

DECT 6.0 technology (1.9 GHz) so you can guestimate each hop's maximum distance.
How many lines will it handle? (While we aren't in the market for a replacement phone system I know of a couple farms in the area who might be interested but need more than just 1 or 2 line capability.)
 
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