Recently we wrote about a cordless Skype phone, but here is an even better solution that we setup on an Intel CoreDuo iMac under OS X version 10.4.8. A company named Von-Phone offers a great selection of Skype compatible hardware, and they have a special page that lists Mac Skype stuff. Among the items they offer is a Skype to RJ11 USB adapter. You connect your phone, your phone line (optional), and your Mac using a USB port and then you install a special driver that intercepts the Skype audio and ports it to this adapter, making a regular phone become a Skype phone. Here is a diagram of how it connects:
Now the diagram does show a PC, and it will work with a PC, but this vendor is offering a Mac driver as well, which you need to download here.
You can also see a PDF online.
I bought one, and it works great! The driver includes a volume control you can use to adjust the microphone and earpiece audio levels. I’m using it with a 2 line cordless phone. I have an ordinary phone line and my Skype adapter, each on a separate “line” of the phone.
You can initiate Skype calls from your ordinary phone by dialing 00 [number] #, so you don’t even need to touch your computer to make and receive Skype calls.
I did find out that if your computer goes to sleep with Skype running this adapter will need to be reset by disconnecting and reconnecting it. This does not seem to be a big issue, because if your computer is asleep you can’t receive Skype calls anyway. I just went into the Energy Saver Preferences Panel and set my iMac to Never Sleep.
I got fantastic service from Von-Phone. My order shipped in less than an hour, and I had the adapter the next day, partly because I live nearby in Southern California.
If you find yourself using Skype more and wishing it would work with your existing telephone, here is an inexpensive solution. I highly recommend it.
[tags]Skype, Skype phone, OS X, Reviews, Hardware[/tags]