Whether it’s a cordless phone, combination cordless phone/answering machine or just a plain answering machine, it’s never completely cordless. There’s always that unsightly transformer plug that goes into the AC outlet and makes for a messy installation. Traditional “corded” phones don’t require an AC outlet – they’re powered directly through the telephone jack. To install a cordless device, consumers must have an AC outlet nearby. Mounting a cordless wall phone in a kitchen or elsewhere can be a problem if there is no available outlet. And if an outlet exists, the bulky transformer plug and wires will have to be run down the wall from the phone to the outlet, which can detract from the d?cor. Now there is a solution to the problem of bulky transformers and running wires down walls – a new telephone jack that provides for cordless telephone wall mounting installations without all the fuss and mess. This new device offers a sleek and professional installation for design-conscious consumers. The perfect union of beauty with technology. The beauty of the new device is in its simplicity. The Out-of-Sight PowerJack? cordless phone jack provides a standard 4-wire telephone jack with a low-voltage power supply from its own built-in transformer. The device installs neatly in a standard wall box and allows the cordless phone to be mounted on the wall anywhere an installation is desired, no longer restricting it to the nearest AC outlet. Since both the phone jack and power supply are contained within the device, the bulky transformer and external wires no longer need to be visible. Neat, compact installation While an experienced DIY’er can install the Out-of-Sight PowerJack cordless phone jack, the manufacturer recommends that consumers use the services of a licensed professional if installation of a new wall box is necessary (if one does not already exist near the installation location.) A typical installation requires the wall-mounted telephone unit to be installed on a telephone jack (there’s no wall box needed). To install wall-mounted telephone units utilizing the new phone jack, the 120V AC wires and the 4-wire phone cable are routed to the desired wall location. A standard-size, single-gang wall box is required. The AC wires are connected to the phone jack inside the wall box according to code, and the phone wires are connected through a separate channel outside the wall box. Once the power jack is secured in the wall box, it is plugged in and mounted to the cordless phone. The result is a neat, clean look with all the wires “hidden” behind the wall (see figure 1 for wiring diagram). The communications cable is wired so that it enters the device from outside the electrical box. It is important to confirm that all circuit wiring complies with local, state, federal codes and ordinances. Why transformers are necessary Bulky transformers exist because of the way electronic devices operate: 120V AC (alternating current) runs through our homes. All electronic circuits with transistors, computer chips and other components run on DC (direct current) at a much lower voltage (usually 7V-12V DC). Electronic devices require a “power supply” to accomplish two things: Step the line voltage down from 120V to approximately 10V, and convert it from AC to DC. Transformer adapters perform these functions. Unfortunately, they are not designed with your room’s d?cor in mind. Why don’t manufacturers just build power supplies into their cordless phones? Most larger electronic devices have built-in power supplies: computers, TV’s, VCR’s, audio components, microwave ovens, etc. Smaller appliances, such as cordless phones don’t. The reason? First, put your fingers on a transformer plug when it’s in use. It’s warm to the touch because transformers generate heat. This is not a problem in the open air or with larger devices. However, if heat is trapped in a compact, light plastic device such as a cordless phone base, it will build up near delicate components and possibly cause damage. Second, transformers generate electrical interference, which may be significant if they’re in close proximity to a computer chip. Third, because the transformer is bulkier than any single component in a cordless phone base, it would change the design parameters for increasingly smaller and lighter phone devices. In a nutshell, it is easier and cheaper to design a lightweight cordless phone when an external power supply is used. Cordless power jack accommodates all types of transformer plugs If you’ve ever tried to replace a transformer plug (the relatively thin wire becomes damaged and you have to replace the whole plug), you discover that they’re not all the same. Each transformer generates a different DC voltage (from 7 to 12 Volts) and the cord end that plugs into the phone device also varies. The new power jack solves this problem by providing a user-adjustable voltage switch on the jack. The proper operating voltage for a cordless phone or answering machine usually can be found on its label or operating instructions. It may also appear on the power supply. The switch on the jack should be set accordingly. The Out-of-Sight PowerJack phone jack comes packaged with six plug adapters that accommodate the sizes typically used in most cordless telephone devices. Installers or DIY’ers simply select the plug that fits into their particular phone. The Out-of-Sight PowerJack provides an easy and attractive solution for homeowners who are desirous of an installation that doesn’t interfere with their room’s d?cor and a neat professional look. It is easy to install in new, remodeled or retrofit applications. For more information about Leviton’s Out-of-Sight Power Jack?, contact Leviton Manufacturing Co, 59-25 Little Neck Parkway, Little Neck, NY 11362-2591, Tel: 1-800-323-8920. Or visit Leviton’s website at www.leviton.com.