Build a Phone Hybrid or Virtual Hybrid

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Build a Phone Hybrid or Virtual Hybrid

Post by neomac » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:53 am

I'm looking to setup a cost effective phone hybrid for my studio. I don't have a lot of cash and was wondering if there was an easy way to build a 3 line hybrid system or if there might be some sort of virtual hybrid system available online. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Re: Build a Phone Hybrid or Virtual Hybrid

Post by BroadcastDoc » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:37 pm

I had mentioned a three line switch ahead of a single line hybrid. However he's looking to be able to answer and put calls on hold before putting them on the air.

Only thing I could think of is three single line phones ahead of the switch, or perhaps a multiple line phone. Not sure that it will work very well though.

Anyone else?
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Re: Build a Phone Hybrid or Virtual Hybrid

Post by Dale H. Cook » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:25 am

Thirty years ago I built my own hybrids, when hybrid transformers were readily available at parts jobbers. Technology has left that level of hybrid long in the dust, and I am glad.

I do not see how a virtual hybrid would be feasible to build. Even the digital hybrids that I have worked with still use transformers, either to convert between a single two-wire bidirectional phone line and a pair of two-wire unidirectional studio lines, or to isolate the hybrid electronics from the phone line.

About the cheapest thing you will find used is a Symetrix TI-101, which is a simple, dumb, analog hybrid with no holding coil that works only on POTS lines, and, frankly, does not work all that well in todays' world of cell phones and VOIP.

What you want to do cannot be done cheaply or easily. A Telos One-x-Six would probably do the job very nicely but I see them selling used for about $1,500.
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Re: Build a Phone Hybrid or Virtual Hybrid

Post by Conelrad » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:58 pm

If you are using a "modern" phone with connections for a headset, take that jack and use it (the phone itself) as a hybrid.

Earpiece circuit goes to your console input, the mic circuit goes to your mix-minus bus. You might have to isolate things with a pair of 600/600 transformers. RDL make some easily available ones.

Works really well on met-sets everywhere in stations today, without a separate hybrid box, $$ going to Telos, or having to maintain a 1A2 system.

Having the ability to use all the systems features as well as any line on the air is pretty cool.

All the op has to do is punch the "headset" button and grab a line. :wink:


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Re: Build a Phone Hybrid or Virtual Hybrid

Post by neomac » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:03 am

I appreciate all of the advice. Here is a working Theory I am looking to try. Let me know if you have any comments. Please forgive the extremely crude drawing as its late and I only have paint at home.......(So sad to admit that)

As of 2011 Magic Jack says they only support one active unit on a PC. If this hasn't been updated then I propose setting up virtual Machines on the PC to attempt bypassing this limitation. Of course, I am no expert in virtual technology and will need to do some research to see if this will yield the results I need. Nevertheless, it can't hurt to give it the old college try!

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Re: Build a Phone Hybrid or Virtual Hybrid

Post by Shane » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:50 pm

Magic Jacks on virtual machines just might be doable. I've not tried to use multiple ones but I have tried to use one and can successfully talk to a coupler on the other end to get audio out somewhere and can hear audio coming back when on a conventional call - output and input seem to isolate quite well. This second deal was used for recording with two Cool Edit windows open and one set to take input from the Magic Jack and the other to take input from a USB microphone.

Problem here is you have two unsynced recordings - one of each side of the conversation which would have to be mixed.

If there were a way to feed separate channels of Cool Edit/Adobe Audition with different inputs (and there may be but I haven't found it) that would be better.

Now to take all this live to air, I suppose you could substitute your console mix-minus for the USB mic, and the magic jack output from the soundcard output to feed the console channel that is minused out. This will work for one phone call on the air at a time; if you need more than one, then you will need a separate mix-minus feed for each line so guests can hear each other. That can be done internally or externally if the console isn't capable of it. I'm not hearing you say that's what you need, though, which greatly simplfies things.

If you already have two Magic Jacks, or even one, you could certainly try this without spending any money and then open your wallet when it doesn't work. :lol: But it might work.
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