Commonly Asked Questions

How does the SR Series Call Processor work?

The SR Series Call Processor recognizes the ring pattern of incoming calls by counting the number of bursts in the pattern. Your original phone number has one long burst, your 2nd and 3rd numbers have 2 and 3 bursts, respectively. After counting the bursts, the call is routed to the phone device you have designated for answering that telephone number without ringing other phones in your home. Operation is invisible to the caller and the SR will never misdirect a call. The SR does not rely on special tones to direct calls to FAX or MODEMs.


Can a conversation or data transmission be interrupted by someone picking up an extension on the same line?

Yes and no. This option is selected by the user and depends on the application. In the home, the SR Call Processor routes calls to particular phones. With the exclusion feature “on”, that particular call can only be answered on that particular phone and no other extension can “barge-in” on the conversation. With exclusion “off”, calls routed to particular phones can be answered on other extensions. In business, you should have the exclusion feature on to protect against interruption of data transmission by a FAX or MODEM.


How does surge suppression work?

The SR Call processor “limits” transient voltage and lightning strikes to a safe level. Excess voltage is routed out of the ground in the SR power supply.


Do I have to operate this device through my phone somehow?

No. Routing is automatic. No switches to constantly reset or codes to dial in. Just designate which phones you want to ring your different telephone numbers. It’s that easy.


Why does my SR Call Processor repeatedly click-click when I pick up the line?

If you cannot get a dial tone, and only hear a click-click every two seconds or so, the SR does not have a good connection to the phone company. Check your installation and wiring for loose or open connections. Connect a single-line telephone directly to the incoming line. Check for dial tone and proper operation. A dead line should be reported to your telephone company.


Why does my FAX answer all incoming calls?

Your SR Call Processor may not be getting any power. Check the LED indicator on the front panel. If the LED is not lit, check the power connector, the AC adaptor, and the AC power source.


The phones on the SR do not ring with the first ring from the phone company. Why?

The SR does not answer the incoming call, but must count the ring bursts in the first ring interval to determine which device port to present with ring voltage. This means the first TELCO ring is absorbed in the SR. Any devices on the line (ahead of ) side of the SR will see all rings and all patterns.


My FAX or Modem answers when I receive an inbound voice call. Why?

When the SR is powered off, all device ports will see all incoming rings from the phone company. Make sure power is supplied to the SR. The power indicator should be lit.


How does the SR pass the call-id signal?

The call-id signal passes through very fast since the SR never answers your phone. The SR needs a ringing pattern of at least 1.8 seconds for the call-id information to have enough time to get through to your phones.


So what happens is...the last phone number in the sequence always gets the call id signal but sometimes the other numbers won't get the caller id information depending on the ringing voltage as I just mentioned. There are several ways to get around this:


  1. Be really persistent with the local phone company technicians and convince them to make sure all of your numbers ring longer than 1.8 seconds. Sometimes you can talk the phone company into doing this. We have reports from customers that say they have been successful in getting the phone company to configure the ringer so it passes the cal-id. We have had others who said that the phone company wouldn't do it. Some customers have told us that they even got a choice of six ringing patterns so they just chose the longest ones. We don't want to get you hopes up here though because some phone company installers simply will not make these changes for you. If they will not, please use one of the other solutions which follow (#2-4)
  2. Run a call-id box in front of the SR. Simply plug in you call-id box between your incoming line and the SR. Call-id will always work in front of the SR. Unless you use wireless phones with call id display, this will be your best solution.

  3. Run a wireless phone (with call-id display) in parallel to the first number and turn off the ringer. You hear your other business phone(s) ring, then answer the cordless. This is what I personally do. The only disadvantage is you won't get the barge-in protection on the wireless, which is no big deal as you would never answer the phone unless your phones ring for voice anyway. Incoming faxes automatically go to the fax on the fax number I also personally run a call-id box (#2) in front of the SR to record all call-id information on both numbers.

  4. Have the phone company change around your phone numbers (make you original number you distinctive ring number and your new number your primary number). This way the second number in the series (which always gets the cal-d signal) is your original number (for voice) and the first number is the new number (for fax or something else).

    This is the way most people get around this problem. The phone company will always do this for you with no extra urging. For most people this works great.

    The only problem is if you use call forwarding for your voice calls (primary number). # 4 will not work for you with call forwarding since the phone company has only two settings for to set up your call forwarding either (1.) forward all numbers (primary + distinctive ring) or (2.) forward primary number only (not the distinctive ring numbers). If you want to transfer you voice calls only, your primary number must be your voice number and the setting must be set to (2) forward primary number only.

  5. Just plug in the fax machine into the SR device. In this case, you don't plug any phones into the device only the line from the wall jack and the fax machine. With this configuration it is strictly plug and play. With this simple;le installation, for voice calls (the normal sounding ring) everything will work as it currently does. In other words, nothing will change on the normal number. Except when a fax call (or whatever calls that number) comes in on the distinctive ring number, all the phones will ring one time with the distinctive ring pattern associated with that number, then the call will automatically be routed to the fax device.

    Since there are no phones plugged into the SR device, all of the phones ring one time when it is a fax call because the phones and the SR are receiving the call at the same time. When the SR routes the call, all other phone connected devices except the fax will quit ringing. Along as you don't mind your phones ringing one time when it is a fax call, this is the easiest way to install it, just plug in your fax and the phone cord. This is the best installation if you want to be notified (by the ringing pattern) when each fax call comes in.

  6. If your requirements are only two devices to have caller id information, you can use the SR-3 and subscribe to 2 distinctive ring numbers (plus the main number). In this case, you plug your two devcies into device 2 and 3 with the switch on the front of the SR-3 set on 3 devices. (If you need to have the numbers switched around so your old main number is one of the distinctive ring numbers, your local phone company can easily do this. See #4 above.) 

    In this application, you do not tell anyone or advertise your main phone number so unless you give out the number or it is published, no one who knows you will call it, thus your calls are automatically screened against phone sales people, etc. You can handle these calls in at least 4 ways:

    A. Don't plug anything at all into device 1 (with no phone company voice mail). In this case, unless you have phone company voice mail, to the calling party is would sound like you are not home or available to answer your phones. Although nothing on your end will happen (no phones or devices will ring), to the calling party (phone sales person), the phone will sound like it is ringing until they hang up the phone.

    B. Don't plug anything at all into device 1 and subscribe to your local phone company voice mail. In this case, all calls that are dialed to this number will go to the phone company voice mail.

    C. Plug in an answering machine and no phones. In this application all calls would go to the answering machine plugged into device 1.

    D. Plug in answering machine and phone(s). If you want to answer it you can. If not, the calls will be sent to your answering machine.

Most likely, with one of these work arounds, you will be able to get your call-id information on your voice number(s).


To review: the call-id signal always passes through to the last number in the series (either the second number if you have 2 numbers or the third number if you have three numbers on one line). Usually both distinctive numbers will have a long enough ring pattern for the caller-id information to pass. Typically the main number (primary number) will pass the caller id inforation inconsistantly or not at all.

#5 is the easiest installation as long as you don't care about the phones ringing one time when it is a fax calls or about barge-in protection. If you only don't what the phones to ring at all when it is a fax or are concerned about barge-in protection and unless you use call forwarding, #1 would most likely be the easiest solution.

If you use the SR with call forwarding to forward your voice calls to your cell or another phone when you are out and still get your faxes on your fax machine, tell the phone company to set it up to only forward the main number. I do this personally and love it. I can go anywhere in the US and still get my business calls while my fax calls always go to my fax machine. Total freedom!

You can also forward your voice number to a cell or other phone when you are on the Internet (the line is busy) thus get your voice calls while your line is tied up with the computer (or another call). With this application (call forwarding) you need to use one of the solutions #1-3 as # 4 will not work as mentioned above.

Does the SR require call waiting?

No. The SR does not require call waiting from the phone company. The SR is fully compatible with all call waiting services offered by your local phone company. Your call waiting service will work the same way it always does. The SR will not effect call waiting in any way.

Will the SR function while being behind the filter required by my DSL Internet Service?

The DSL is not problem for the SR. Just use the filter like you do with your phones now.


Will the SR work with all "distinctive ring" services offered in the United States and Canada?

The SR will work anywhere in the world where distinctive ring service is offered. Unlike other products, all SR products feature the Smartware™ embedded software that "learns" your phone company's specific distinctive ring patterns. To program the SR, all you do is call into each of your numbers one time. It's really that easy. Smartware™ is one reason why the SR will always work while other products will not.