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The once-simple telephone is now so complicated that you need a manual to figure out all its functions, and you can’t just plug it into a phone jack anymore — it needs its own source of power.  Usually that means stretching the power cord to some distant outlet, but with Leviton’s Out-of-Site PowerJack you can get back that neat and clean look for your phone.

The surface-mount wall plate hides a high-efficiency regulated power supply.  You can adjust the supply’s output from 7V to 12V DC, and the PowerJack comes with six universal adapters so it should work with most phones.

The catch is that you need to retrofit your existing phone wall box with a 120V feed to power the hidden supply.  Leviton protects the supply from over-current, over-temperature, and short circuits, and they took the effort to get it listed it with UL.  If you’re worried about phantom loads, the supply only draws 0.12W when there’s no phone attached.

Pricing for the Out-of-Site PowerJack starts around $25.

Out-of-Site PowerJack [Leviton]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


9 Responses to Hidden Power

  1. Ted says:

    Hmmn, at $25 apiece times the # of wallwarts in my house starts adding up to real money pretty quick 🙂

  2. One question I did have about this product that I’d like to ask our electrician readers: Is this Kosher with the NEC?

    I worked for an electrician one summer back in college and I thought I remembered restrictions about mixing low voltage wiring with 120V in the same box.

  3. James says:

    Well im pretty sure code doesnt apply to power under 50v ac. 277 in the same box as 120v is a no no but this should be fine because its just basically a transformer in the wall and the telephone line is not affected by code.

  4. Toolhearty says:

    Yeah, about that “phone requires AC power” thing…

    If you still have a landline (and you should, cheapest plan available, long distance service isn’t necessary), do yourself a favor and keep one of those old Western Electric phones (you know, the kind built to survive a nuclear holocaust) plugged in somewhere convenient. It’s nice to be able to make a call when the power is out.

    Why do you need a landline? When SHTF, cellular services are easily swamped with calls. That, and their towers are somewhat fragile things (can’t stand up to a silly little tornado or hurricane worth a darn).

  5. Noah Ramon says:

    Toolhearty speaks the truth. After Ike, while we DID have cell service (surprisingly enough), having a landline was that wonderful backup – ESPECIALLY once the cell batteries started draining with no power for a week or two to charge them…

  6. blitzcat says:

    They could have made a mint bringing this out when people still had house phones.

  7. Kurt Schwind says:

    I pitched the landline. I did keep it for a while with the lowest plan on it, but only telemarketers used it. I really don’t see any advantage to them now.

    I can call 911 from a cell. I can use my cell during most ‘normal’ power outages and if the outage is big enough to take out the cell towers then phone lines are usually hosed too.

    So I can’t agree with Noah or toolhearty on this one. Landlines are a waste of money for most people IMO.

  8. Matt says:

    When the I-35W bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, cell phone service was pretty spotty in our metro area due to the load of calls to/from the rest of the country. I didn’t hear of any issues with landline service, however.

    Of course, your mileage may vary, but that disaster didn’t even involve taking out any telecom infrastructure, yet cell phone networks were definitely impacted.

  9. Dustin says:

    @Ben Johnson. I’m not going to pull out my NEC but pretty sure you cannot mix data with 120 because if you do it will cause damage in event of 120 gets onto data line. That being said there are dividers that allow you to mix medium voltage like277 w/low voltage (120) in same box but still separate because of divider. Leviton has probably used a similar application here terminate phone one side power on the other.

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