A Few Definitions

Control Unit or KSU: (Key Service Unit): In smaller office phone systems the control unit is commonly referred to as the “Brain” or “phone box”. The size of the control unit determines the maximum configuration. Most business phone systems have a number in the name such as ‘Norstar 616′ {6 incoming lines and 16 stations of phones} or ‘Norstar 824′ {8 phone lines and 24 stations}. These numbers usually refer to the maximum configuration of the system although not always. There are other systems that are scalable to allow more for more incoming phone lines and or more stations.

CO lines These are the incoming phone lines from your local telephone company.

Extensions-Stations These are the actual telephones. They are extensions of the telephone system. They look like telephones and work like telephones, But only work with the control unit and will not work if they are plugged into a regular telephone line from the telephone company. So, if you ever move, Don’t forget the control unit.

Voice Mail-Auto Attendant voice mail systems with the auto attendant is like having a receptionist 24 hours a day without paying labor costs. The auto attendant is an answering service that answers incoming calls with a company greeting,plays a list of options to a caller, and transfers calls to the different departments, then to mail boxes if that extension is not answered, or back to a main directory. The auto attendant can be turned off during business hours and answered manually. The person answering the call can transfer calls to the different departments and mail boxes. The voice mail system is a separate unit from the telephone system, it is wired into an extension port on the telephone system and is programmed to answer after a determined amount of rings. Voice mail comes in different sizes 2 port,4 port, 6 port and up, it depends on the amount of incoming traffic your company has.

Ports The term port means circuit. For instance, a 2 “Port” voice mail system has 2 circuits to handle call traffic. The number of ports on a voice mail system is directly related to the number of users that can be in voice mail at the same time. An example the “Norstar Startalk Flash” voice mail system is 2 port and 24 mail boxes and is expandable to 4 ports and 48 mailboxes. The term “port” is used when describing a telephone system it refers to the combined number of lines and extensions. An example of this would be the “Meridian Norstar Modular ICS with XC software “. This telephone system supports up to 272 total system ports.

Hunt Group,Rotary Lines Meaning if line 1 is busy it will roll over to line 2 an on down to your last line. Don’t put the fax line in the hunt group, Because if all lines are busy the next caller will get the fax machine. “Not good for business.”
When ordering your CO lines from your local telephone company order them in a hunt group, i.e. Ordering 6 lines, put 4 in the hunt group 1 for the fax and 1 for a modem or 5 in the hunt group and share 1 line for the fax and the modem.

Wallboard Drywall, the most common material used in walls for homes and offices is not a suitable material for mounting telephone systems. The preferred method is to install a piece of plywood (3/8 or 1/2 inch thick) to the drywall with at least 4 (one in each corner) wall anchors and then mount the phone system equipment to the wall board. The wall board should be large enough to hold the required equipment but it is recommended that it be a bit larger so that you have the option to add something new in the future.