Telephone Paging Announcements

What is a telephone paging system?
The HowToAV team explains how to use a standard telephone system as part of your public address / paging system...

In general, most PA systems use dedicated microphones (for example – a desktop pager or a zone microphone) for making voice paging announcements. Dedicated microphones can be very reliable and will provide years of service if maintained and looked after properly. However, developments in technology have made it possible to use telephone systems to make announcements rather than dedicated microphones.

Advantages of using a Telephone System rather than a Dedicated Microphone

There are many benefits to using telephone paging systems including:

  • Any location that has a telephone has ability to make paging announcement, therefore, there is no need for an additional microphone and potentially expensive cable installation.
  • Simplifies any additions or alterations to staff positions or room reconfiguration.
  • It is possible to make announcements that where previously difficult or impossible to install a microphone such as building to building, site to site or even remotely from another town or country
  • Telephone interface devices have the ability to make announcements live or in store and forward mode. There are several advantages of store and forward mode such as it can help eliminate audio feedback and enable the person making the announcement to preview the announcement, the person can then decide to either send the announcement or may decide to rerecord the message if they are not happy with it. Most dedicated microphones only have the ability to make a live announcement.

How to set-up a Telephone Paging System

There are several techniques and technologies for connecting a telephone system into a paging system. The way to set up a Telephone Paging System will depend on the existing telephone system and the facilities required.

Person on the phoneThe most cost effective way is to use the paging port output on the telephone. This output is usually an audio line level signal that can be wired into an audio input on the PA amplifier via a low cost barrier interface unit. The barrier interface unit provides electrical isolation of the two systems; this is beneficial as an electrical fault on one system will not cause any damage to the other. The user can simply pick up the telephone handset and dial a facility code on the system which is normally a star command. A page announcement can be made live; then the PA call can be ended by hanging up on the telephone.

Another method of connecting a telephone system into a paging system is by using a telephone paging extension interface. This is a device that can be plugged into an interface phone extension and then connect to a public address system. The user can dial the designated extension number for the paging interface and then makes the announcement as soon as the call has been picked up by the telephone paging extension interface device.

There are several advantages for using a telephone paging extension interface rather than a paging port output including:

  • Announcements can be made live or in store and forward mode.
  • Users are able to route the announcement to different paging zones by using the keypad on the telephone to notify the system which zones should be paged.
  • Another option to consider when using digital or IP based telephone system and an IP paging system. An IP based public address system (also known as audio over IP) has the ability to connect directly to a digital telephone system using an Ethernet cable. The IP PA software will directly connect to the IP telephone system; this means that no additional interface boxes or cabling is required.
  • The user simply dials the extension number assigned to the PA system and the paging call is made. With this type of system it is possible to crate more PA zoning options than you can with a telephone paging extension interface.

There are a wide range of professional products available on the market to enable telephone paging and PA system integration.

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