At this stage, I can't justify the expense of a PABX or hybrid phone
system. It's too much for my simple set up. Maybe I'll install one in
the future, but not right now.
So, if I want to allow intercom calls, I can see 3 possible options:
1. Separate intercom system.
2. Cordless phones with inter-handset paging facility.
3. 2-line corded phones with conference call facility.
Option 1 is very cheap (around $37), simple and reliable but I don't
like it because it's less convenient for guests to have to use a
separate system and it seems less elegant somehow. If possible I'd
like to avoid this option.
I know for sure that option 2 is possible because I used to have that
setup in my house in London. I had 2 DECT phones and could make
intercom calls between handsets. I can't remember for sure, but I
think I could add 4 or more handsets to this group. Trouble is, I need
this to work over 80 metres and through walls. I tried one cordless
phone recently and it started to break up after 50 metres without any
intervening walls. Maybe there's a way to use a cable to cut down this
distance, but I don't know how. Or maybe there's a much better phone
out there that can easily handle such distances. Advice please!
To me, option 3 is the most attractive, but has a few drawbacks. First
of all, I'm not altogether convinced it's possible. More advice
please! If it is possible, I'm concerned I'm gonna be stuck with ugly
office-type handsets. Is there an elegant 2-line handset out there
that's suitable for a villa? I went to a phone shop recently (in
Thailand) and they showed me a (very ugly) phone that can apparently
do this. It accepts 2 lines. I can allegedly set up line 1 for
external calls and line 2 for internal but, as I say, I'm not
convinced. Without a central hub, how am I supposed to wire more than
2 such phones together?
I'd be grateful for any advice.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Actually, the cost on small single or
two (trunk) line PBXs is not all that expensive these days; so many
companies large and small are are going with multi-line phone systems
and centrex. You can get very small PBXs (6 lines and 2 trucks) for
three or four hundred dollars, with a raft of features on them. A unit
like that (2x6) combined with a few cordess phones would get you all
the features you say you looking for, including intercom between
stations at your place. PAT]