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Author Topic: Support rotary pulse dialing.  (Read 346579 times)
M105
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« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2017, 12:51:09 pm »

This topic is averaging 100,000 views a year.  In fact it is the number 1 viewed topic in feature requests despite very few posts.  Still no interest in pulse dialing capability I guess.  Hello Obi?...
« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 01:03:26 pm by M105 » Logged
Lavarock7
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« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2017, 09:01:52 am »

Many people slow down to view accident site too.
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M105
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« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2017, 11:27:49 am »

Having 35,000 more views than the next highest topic is no accident.  A better analogy would be people stopping at a new car lot to see if a particular model had the features they want.  All these views are not just from forum members, but more likely Google searches.  The numbers don't lie and Obihai should pay attention.  There is a lot of legacy pulse dial equipment still in service including millions of older alarm systems.  This is an option that could be added with a firmware update without any negative effects.  It should be done.
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2017, 02:13:41 pm »

Many people slow down to view accident site too.

That was my exact thought, too.
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2017, 03:05:30 pm »

Having 35,000 more views than the next highest topic is no accident.  A better analogy would be people stopping at a new car lot to see if a particular model had the features they want.  All these views are not just from forum members, but more likely Google searches.  The numbers don't lie and Obihai should pay attention.  There is a lot of legacy pulse dial equipment still in service including millions of older alarm systems.  This is an option that could be added with a firmware update without any negative effects.  It should be done.

It's 2017.  Hardly anyone uses rotary dial phones any more, other than a tiny handful of collectors.  Even if the OBi products could support rotary phones, the lack of * and # keys makes them mostly useless or extremely difficult to use in present-day application.

Obihai is running a business here, not some sort of Raspberry Pi DIY hobby thing.  The majority of their sales are not to hobbyists.  There is NO business case for this.

Finally, let's put your assumption to bed, about how easy this would be to implement.  It is not a simple firmware change.  Modern VoIP ATAs are not boxes jammed full of discrete components, nor do the ATA manufacturers like Obiahi "re-invent the wheel" and design their own telephone network interfaces.  There are specialized, very large scale integrated circuits, specifically designed to support the various voltages and signalling standards used internationally.  The ICs include all the circuitry to support DTMF (TouchTone), ring voltage, off-hook voltage, the analog audio interface to the telephone, and the digital interface to the ATA's main microcontroller (SOC).  These chips have to comply with all the various countries' telecom regulations, a certification process that is too much trouble for a small company to replicate.  These subsystems-on-a-chip are called Subscriber Line Interface Circuits, or SLICs.

The SLIC used in the OBi devices does not include the circuitry required to generate and interpret dial pulses.

Attached is a block diagram of the SLIC.

There are already other alternatives for supporting pulse dialing:  buy a Rotatone dial pulse to DTMF converter, or buy a Grandstream ATA.


* ProSLIC.png (40.47 KB, 556x244 - viewed 301 times.)
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M105
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« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2017, 04:12:12 pm »

No business case?  I have two neighbors who still keep a pots line because their alarm systems are pulse dial only.  Across the country there are no doubt millions.  Yes, there are kludge devices that can be added on to phones and other telecom equipment but people don't want to spend the money or time having it installed or replacing expensive control panels.
---
As far as the firmware is concerned, I am a programmer who has written my share of hardware support routines.  These chips all monitor the line voltage and can be programmed to respond to voltage pulses in exactly the same way they read a hook flash.  They don't have to generate them, just recognize them.  It isn't rocket science no matter how fancy you want to make it sound or what block diagrams you post.  The phone companies have been doing it with electronics for decades.  If there truly is a reason why the Obi can't do what the GS units do then it would be great if an Obi engineer would come on here and say so.  That would "put it to bed" as you say.

I have a Dial Gizmo and also a couple of Grandstream HT-502 ATA adapters which read pulses and have programmed my Obi to work with them but ... I put a lot of effort into working out the timing and interfacing to make it all work right and that is something the average consumer is not willing or capable of doing.  If it can be done with firmware inside the quite powerful little Obi then all that stuff can be dispensed with.

I find it somewhat interesting that there appears to be opposition to this feature being added.  What difference does it make to users who don't have pulse dial equipment?  It isn't like it will add 10 cents to the cost of the unit or cause any downside in performance.  Heck, Obi could provide an option to just completely turn it off or on.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 04:42:08 pm by M105 » Logged
SteveInWA
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« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2017, 05:40:22 pm »

Now, you have moved into the "I reject your reality and substitute my own" realm.  OBi devices use DTMF SLIC chips.  The SLIC used here does not support pulse dialing.  It's not a software issue.  It's not a device driver issue.  It is a hunk of silicon that performs a bunch of very specific tasks autonomously, and you communicate with it via a high-level API.

Alarm systems with POTS interfaces do NOT use pulse dialing.  They use the SIA or Ademco standards, and have done so for at least thirty years.  SIA uses frequency-shift keying (FSK) and Ademco uses DTMF.  POTS lines are becoming extinct.  The alarm industry is converting over to 3G/4G mobile and direct IP connections.  NOBODY is thinking, "gee, we really need to build some new pulse-dialing products."  You are just mangling the facts to suit your reality, in the same manner as "fake news".

If you think developing/engineering/manufacturing/certifying a pulse-dial ATA is that easy, then you have no concept whatsoever of the cost of doing business, and how business people with actual business education make business decisions.

Here you go:  https://youtu.be/LlRVxzHUSNc
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M105
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« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2017, 08:08:17 pm »

Now, you have moved into the "I reject your reality and substitute my own" realm.  OBi devices use DTMF SLIC chips.  The SLIC used here does not support pulse dialing.  It's not a software issue.  It's not a device driver issue.  It is a hunk of silicon that performs a bunch of very specific tasks autonomously, and you communicate with it via a high-level API.

It isn't an autonomous hunk of silicon as you imagine but indeed an interface between the analog phone line and a microprocessor.  The chip actually provides nice interrupts when the line goes on/off hook (all pulse dialing or a hook flash really is).  Yes, it does a lot of other nice things like read/generate tones and voltages with simple commands but the registers must be read, written, and the interrupts handled by the CPU.  Not much different than any other interface chip I wrote code for over the years.  So yes, not only can it be done in software but the SLIC makes it easy.  The truth is Steve you got me interested enough in SLIC chips that I have now read quite a few data sheets on them from different manufacturers and have yet to find one that natively supports pulse signaling and only anecdotal evidence that any ever did.  Those that mention pulse dialing all say that pulse dial decoding is accomplished by reading the state of the hook register and processing the timing in the MPU.  There is even an app note discussing how to handle dial pulse delay through a SLIC.  So that IS the way it is done.  I also discovered that several of the RGs provided by ISPs also support pulse dialing which was interesting and one of the main reasons they do is for customers with old alarm systems.  In my area AT&T's RGs unfortunately don't.

I guess in your alternate reality all pulse dialing equipment is gone despite the fact that I can probably find you a dozen old alarms in my local neighborhood that will ONLY dial that way.  Granted that in my alternate reality I live in an area with a lot of nice old homes with alarms since I am a retired engineer who sold my own business a few years back.

In any event, I never expected such an uproar over a feature suggestion.  I admit that even I am surprised by the obvious interest in the feature as evidenced by views to this thread as it sat idle for months.  Hey, it may not be worth it to Obi and it is no big deal to me, but I still think it could be done without much downside.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 05:57:59 am by M105 » Logged
Lavarock7
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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2017, 08:08:38 am »

Views of a thread do not constitute excitement over the possibility of rotary dialed Obis.

As said here before, if you think there is a growing need for rotary dialed calls start your own company and corner the market.

People enjoy reading about trips to Mars but do not line up to actually go.

In my opinion, you are beating a dead horse and the ASPCA will soon step in.
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M105
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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2017, 08:32:05 am »

In my opinion, you are beating a dead horse and the ASPCA will soon step in.

Opinion noted.  Thanks.
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timbergetter
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« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2017, 06:15:41 pm »


I have a WE model 302 phone, and, with a Rotatone adapter retrofitted, it still isn't fully compatible with my OBis.  It only works with a brand "G" ATA.

In the intervening 2 years have you had any joy making that Rototone compatible with OBi? 
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MrNortelDigipulse
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« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2017, 09:04:41 am »

Support rotary pulse dialing which is still part of the analog telephone standards.  This could be made optional in the phone line setup.  Telephone collecting is gaining popularity worldwide and having an ATA other than the Grandstream models which support pulse dialing would be great and likely very easy to implement in firmware.  Users with older pulse dialing alarm systems would also probably appreciate being able to drop their PSTN lines.

Better yet, provide the ability to dial * and # with the dial hold feature of this device. http://www.dialgizmo.com/  Having that built into the Obihai ATA would provide great value to many users of collectable phones since having to add one almost doubles the cost of the Obi200 alone.

I am building such a device.  Rotatone isn't any good.  It's very simple to do and it is digital.  These VOIP ATAs are not carrier grade.  Why use them?  I'm forced to do that now that my own DMS was retired.  In principle, VOIP sucks.  Always did, always will.

Although I have a Nortel Option 11 PBX that performs this function also, it's not practical for most users.

I present a fake dial tone to the user while the ATA is "on hook".
Then I collect the digits dialed allowing for variable speeds (between 8 and 11 pulses) per second
With a break ratio of approx. 60%.  Variance here is allowed also according to US/CAN specs.

Dial tone is withdrawn after the first dial pull.  Digitone signaling may also be used.

It is store and forward with pretranslation, and will honor the 1ESS sextile (*) = 11 rule with intermediate treatment for vertical service codes.  It mimics DMS-100.

So, 1170 will produce a "beep beep", and 1167 will produce a brief stutter in the dial tone before it goes solid again.  It will outpulse these in DTMF as *70 and *67 with 1500 ms pauses (digit stringing).

Once "timeout" occurs, the device will seize the ATA and look for dial tone -- then it will outpulse in DTMF.  You will not hear the DTMF --  the speech path to the ATA is opened after the outpulsing is complete.

The pretranslator will trigger "line" seizure after the 3rd dial pull if "11" follow the first digit (if the first is a 2 - 9) and add an trailing octothorpe (#) to the outpulse if the ATA supports that.

If the first digit dialed is 1, then it will wait for 10 more digits.  If no digit is received after the 8th for 4 seconds, then it outpulses and assumes 1 + 7D (which isn't valid anymore but what the heck).

Any starting digit which is 2 - 9 will timeout 4 seconds after the 7th digit, or immediately after the 10th (for 10 digit locals)

Variable length dialing ...

If the first digit is 0, a 4 second timeout needs to occur (for zero minus calls)
If the first two are 01, a 4 second timeout needs to occur (operator assisted overseas)
If the first three are 011, a 4 second timeout needs to occur (DDD overseas)

This is not a complex digital circuit.  Obi is just lazy.  The cardinal rule is you always support previous equipment.  A switch like DMS 100 supported party lines when very few had them, so it's no excuse.

If dialing DTMF, pressing # invokes timeout.  Rotary can't do this of course.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 09:18:12 am by MrNortelDigipulse » Logged
M105
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« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2017, 03:22:47 pm »

8300 views a month for over 3 years running.  Obi?
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MrNortelDigipulse
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« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2017, 10:38:25 pm »

8300 views a month for over 3 years running.  Obi?

Don't hold your breath, but there are several ways to get around this problem.  There's no market for pulse dialing.

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