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Farmington, MI

Anyone using a bluetooth gateway?

Now that I'm moving into a multi-story house, I realize that I can't just leave my cell phone in one room and know that I'll be able to hear it no matter where I am like I can in a 750 sq ft. apartment. Since I have no interest in getting a land line, I've been looking into bluetooth gateways which allow a cell phone to be used with standard home phones using existing phone wiring.

The basic idea (for those unaware) is that all one has to do when they return home from work is leave their cellphone(s) within rage of the bluetooth gateway, and the gateway connects to the phone and forwards everything through the home phone wiring system. When the cell phone rings, the house phones ring, caller-ID is forwarded (ideally), etc.

There are a lot of different options and price-points available depending on what you need. I only have one cell phone and have no land line to share with the phones, so I shouldn't need anything fancy. That said, I know some brands work better than others (especially where CID forwarding is concerned) so I'm wondering if anyone has experience with these.

Searching around on Amazon, I've found one popular model:

Panasonic KX-TG7745S - »www.amazon.com/Panasonic-KX-TG77 ··· focom-20

This set seems to have a mix of reviews ranging from "it's the best money I've ever spent" to "useless garbage". That said, there's a lot of people out there who couldn't flip on a light switch to save their life.

So, does anyone here have experience with these devices?

... of ideas
Ottawa, ON
Newer android and ios phones are using BT 4.0 chipsets which may cause problems with older BT gateways.

I have seen Sparkfun bluetooth rotary phone working with some phones but not others.

Two years ago, I tried to build one like that but using an old Nortel touch-tone phone. Sadly it did not connect to my Samsung m300 flip phone and I gave up.

·NorthWest Tel
reply to TheSMJ
said by TheSMJ:

Since I have no interest in getting a land line

Have you considered VoIP? It's pretty cheap (I've never spent more than $10 in a month, voip.ms) and almost limitless what you can do with it. Very easy to get a VoIP gateway and use existing house wiring and phones.


reply to TheSMJ
I have been interested in these as well. I think it's a great idea for those that have ditched the traditional landline and gone all cellular.

Bah Humbug
The Boro
·Comcast Business..
·Cingular Wireless
reply to TheSMJ
The GE Cell Fusion™ products are possibly overkill for your needs since they will accommodate two cell phones and an optional land line service. I have been using their Cell Fusion™ Cell Manager DECT 6.0 system for several years. Their Cell Fusion™ Gateway box might be more what you are looking for since it uses your in-house telco wiring and standard telephones instead of wireless DECT phones.

I use it for two cell phones and a Vonage VoIP connection and the only "problem" I have had with it was that its automatic bluetooth association did not work reliably with the Samsung cell phones that I use. In theory you can associate your cell phones with the Cell Fusion™ controller, and the cell phones will automatically connect anytime they are within range, but I have found that I usually needed to manually remake the bluetooth connection anytime I come home (which I prefer to do anyway, so I have simply disabled the auto connect feature for consistency).

The only other "problem" I had was getting used to the idea of answering my cell phone with the DECT handset instead of the cell phone. The confusion factor was that (at least with the Samsung cell phones I use) both the cell phone and the DECT phones ring at the same time, but the cell phones can't actually be used to answer a call when their bluetooth radios are connected to the Cell Fusion™controller. Possibly other cell phone models might either disable ringing, or also allow local answering to minimize that confusion factor.
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

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Farmington, MI
I ended up getting the Panasonic phones I linked to in the OP. I received them today and got them all set up in the new house.

After I got the base station linked to my cell phone, and set it for "Cell Only Mode*", it was smooth sailing. Everyone I called said they could hear me crystal clear, and I had no trouble hearing them. While I've only had the phones for less than a day and made maybe 3 calls on it total, I can say I'm very satisfied so far.

* Using cell only mode means you lose features like the phone's built in answering machine. Since your cell phone more than likely has voicemail capabilities already, its no great loss.


Chicago, IL
reply to TheSMJ
The OP's post got me to looking. His solution wouldn't work for me: I have an excellent 2-line Dect 6.0 home phone set-up and want to keep it. But I found 2 reasonably priced devices on Amazon that allegedly do what the Panasonic phone set can do, connected to existing phones:

»www.amazon.com/Cobra-PhoneLynx-C ··· -to-cell

»www.amazon.com/Xtreme-Technologi ··· -to-cell

(The second unit connects to multiple cellphones)
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