Phone of the Day: Nortel Analog M9417 (Meridian) 2 Line Telephone

Today’s phone, the M9417 Analog/Centrex/PBX phones, comes from my days at Purdue and is now located at my sisters house on her standard ATT UVerse Phone Line (Analog/VOIP line).  So while this phone is technically considered an analog phone, it is using the UVerse service which actually takes a VOIP line and converts it back to analog via an ATA (Analog Terminal Adapter) located in her router.

I bought this phone back in August of 1998 while attending Purdue.  I was actually home on summer break, but I knew I would be in transition of going back to school so I had it sent to the campus and received it back when I returned to college.  Interesting story…..when I returned to campus and I was all excited to test this new phone, my residence hall room analog line was dead!  It was the same room I had in the spring and I know the line worked, and here I come back to school, the phone geek, and my line is dead.  I called the Front Desk and they were like, “oh there will be a long wait to get it restored.”   Wait, not so fast, I called my friends in the telecom department and they had it fixed within 10 minutes for me.  So I took this phone with me when I graduated and moved to Grand Rapids, MI and used it in my apartment there…..until I upgraded to a Norstar system I acquired from a client’s site.

When I moved back to Chicago in 2002, I gave this trusty phone to my sister and she has been using it since.  It still works very well and is very reliable.

It’s basically an office phone that does all of the general functions of a PBX phone, but running on an analog line.  Access to PBX/Centrex features are via pressing the LINK button that gives you a second dial tone to enter feature codes.  Many of the feature codes can be programmed into the Autodial buttons on this phone.  This phone even has a page output so you can press a page button and connect it to a paging system.  Set up in series with other M9417 and M9516 phones, you can page a total of 8 phone speakers and the loudspeaker at the same time, so basically like a mini Norstar system without a KSU.  The only stipulation is that if you want to call between the phones, no I/C exists and you have to standard analog lines, say off the Phone Company, Centrex or PBX.

The phone comes chock full of features built in, like standard Norstar styled ring tones, Area Code modification (say you want to modify the 7654944600 to read 44600, you can enter 76549 and then just the last 5 digits of the campus number are built in), clear the MWI light, change contrast, callers list, change ring per line, etc….so many features in a little footprint.   Don’t forget the trusty color coded RLS and HOLD buttons either, the RLS staple not reproduced on other manufacturers phones.

These phones, originally introduced in 1994, are such a hit that they are still manufactured by Aastra telecom.  Many universities with Analog Centrex service offer these phones to their staff as an inexpensive and flexible alternative to digital and Centrex P phones.