I run across this situation a lot. A business has a shop, warehouse, outbuilding, hard of hearing area where they want some sort of alert device that will alert a person or people in the area that the telephone is ringing.
This is all easy enough done but there are some considerations before you plunk down a few dollars for the hardware.
Essentially you have a few pieces of hardware involved. The alert device itself, a controller, your phone system and your phone lines.
Alert devices come in an assorted variety. You could use a paging horn, an alert horn, a strobe light, an alert horn with a strobe light on it or a loud bell. All of these devices are intended for strictly alerting except for the paging horn. The main difference is the paging horn is designed to accept an audio feed, no matter what it is (voice, tone for alert, whatever) and main stream alert devices such as an “alert horn” usually have their own built in tone generator to create the tone of a phone ringing or a warble. Some have one sounds some have 15.
The point is, if you think you are going to want to dual purpose your device in your shop as both a paging horn for voice and an alert device for ringing you will need a ring generator somewhere in the mix. If not, no bother.
The next consideration is how many phone lines do you need the alert to ring for and what type are they? If you have 6 analog phone lines or less, the answer is very easy. Both Viking and Valcom make a unit that is to be bridged in between your phone lines and your phone system with 6 inputs and one output. That output applies voltage to the alert device anytime any of the six phone lines ring. To boot, the viking unit actually ships with a horn for the alerting as well.
The Valcom V-9936a has 6 inputs for phone lines and one output that provides 90 VAC ring or a dry contact closure activation. Also, this unit has a built in tone generator that will create a warble tone if you are using traditional paging speakers or horns for your alert device.
You can daisy chain up to 4 units in order to cover a total of 24 phone lines.
And of course it will work with any alert device that can take dry contact closure and it will need a separate power supply, which should be evaluated by a professional (me 281-894-6606).
Costs around $125.00
The Viking PA-2A is a competing device that essentially does the same thing at the Valcom unit above. This unit however actually ships with a small 5 watt alert horn that can also be used for paging and is less than $160.00
The PA-2A also has 6 inputs and one output and also provides two watts of power. The tone generator in the PA-2A has actually 4 different sounds opposed to one. A Warble, Double Gong, Quad Chime and door chime.
Did I say Door chime? OMG yes I did! Well in case you are wondering why, the PA-2A actually has more than the 6 line inputs and can accept an input from a dry contact, which you fit to a door and when the door opens, the speaker chimes.
And of course you can attach mulitple PA-2A’s together to cover more phone lines.
If you have a PRI or a T-1 for your voice connectivity welllll then you have a whole different story. The method there is to use an analog station port from your phone system and assign it to the ringing group and then to a controller and then to the alert device. Some phone systems have a dry contact port built in, and you can go straight to the alert device from there. Again, just call me and I’ll help you. 281-894-6606
As to alert devices, well the word is your oyster isn’t it?
Here’s a couple that seem I know for a fact seem to work really well.
The Valcom V-9925A.
Simple ringer horn with warble tone built in. This can be hung directly off a phone line or an analog station port. ( if you are attaching it to a phone line and need more than one line, put the 6 line ringer in the middle)
inexpensive at under $120.00
Cooper Wheelock MTH24
This unit is LOUD at 117dba (that’s louder than the loudest rock concert you ever lost your hearing too!)
10 Watts, weatherproof, ships with power supply and takes any activation you can throw at it.
Silent but… bright!
Cooper Wheelock series of Strobe lights.
These take any activation and are just really bright lights. No noise bu attention getting.
Cooper Wheelock UTA’s
These devices are an electronic alert device with multiple sounds and a volume control.
One version even has a strobe light too.
There are very popular and great for indoor alert. Example would be a large sales room or bullpen.
$125 – $200
Simple and cheap.
The Cooper Wheelock AT1 is cheap and effeicent.
It’s not super loud but the price of around $60 dollars is quite nice.
Loud and effective
The Cooper Wheelock Tel Bells come in a few varieties . Mostly deals with how how the thing is powered.
Any questions about your particular setup, phone me (Jay Harper) at 281-894-6606
I As a side note, in Houston we can install these devices.