What is a Merlin Magix?
The Merlin Magix was a fully digital PBX/Key System introduced by Lucent Technologies in 1999 as a replacement for the AT&T created Merlin Legend. The Magix was geared towards companies that needed to support upwards of 80 phone lines and 200 extensions. In 2000, Avaya (a company that was spun off from Lucent) assumed all support and R&D of the Magix. The system remained in production up until April 2006 when Avaya, facing dwindling demand for hardware and the introduction of the IP Office platform, decided to retire the Magix.
Who is Avaya?
Avaya is a manufacturer of telecommunications products for commercial use. The company traces it's heritage back to the old commercial products division of the Bell Telephone System (Western Electric), then to AT&T and Lucent Technologies (now called Alcatel-Lucent). The company was formed back in 2000 when Lucent decided to focus on manufacturing equipment used by telephone service providers inside of a Central Office. The division that manufactured equipment for end users would separate from Lucent and become a stand-alone company. The company was named Avaya. Earlier this year, Avaya was bought out by 2 private equity firms.
What is a 108514183?
The 108514183 is a most commonly known as a 016 T/R module. From this point forward, I will refer to the module as a 016 T/R.
What Does a 016 T/R Module Do?
The Merlin Magix can interface with several types of devices. The most common are the 4400 series digital telephones, however Partner ACS, Merlin MLX and standard tip/ring devices like fax machines, modems and single line telephones can also connect to the Magix, provided that the correct module is present in the system.
The 016 T/R is used to connect up to 16 simple tip/ring devices to the Magix. This would include, single line telephones, modems, credit card readers, fax machines and similar devices. The module does not pass Caller ID to any devices connected to the ports.
Connecting The 016 T/R To The Merlin Magix.
The 016 T/R module can be used with either of the Merlin Magix carriers (Base or Expansion units). Cards are populated in the first available slot going from left to right. Modules are not hot swappable so carriers are powered down when cards are inserted or removed.
Each jack on the 016 T/R has 8 contacts, but plugs with 2,4 or 6 contacts will fit quite nicely.
Cables are fed up from behind the carrier's cover, through the cable holder at the base of the module and then plugged into the required jack.
Programming the 016 T/R.
The Merlin Magix is a telephone system geared towards commercial applications. You won't find very many of these in private homes. Installation and programming are best left to vendors that have been trained on the system.
A full and complete discussion of how to administer this (or any Merlin Magix) module is well beyond the scope of this review.
Generally speaking, there 2 ways to program the Magix. The first way is from a 4424LD+ console telephone connected to either a 412 TDL or 024 TDL module. The other method is by using a Windows-based program called WinSPM. Either way, the Magix's programming is menu based and some options can be borderline ambiguous.
Likewise, the Feature Reference document, which describes what each programming option is, can be tough to understand in some places.
How Well Does It Work?
I upgraded the telephone system at my church from a Partner ACS (now being used as a back-up telephone system) to a Merlin Magix. The 016 T/R is being used to connect 2 external door telephones into the system so anyone inside can communicate with someone at either of the 2 main doors.
The module does pretty much what it is intended to do. We have had no problems with either of the door phones as communication has been flawless. I have an AT&T 930 telephone connected to one of the ports on the module. If I call the extension, the telephone rings.
Where Can I Purchase the 016 T/R?
Sadly, this module is hard to come by. Internet vendors usually warn potential buyers to "Call for Availability". I have conversed with a few vendors and they agree that this module is in short supply and, with the Merlin Magix now out of production, there will not be any more boards produced to help alleviate the shortage.
2 thumbs up for the 016 T/R.
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