1 week with obi200. Just works whenever it wants to?

Started by PropDad, August 10, 2018, 01:10:12 PM

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PropDad

Just bought an obi200 1 week ago. I have followed the instructions and set it up with Google Voice. I have tested and it works with inbound and outbound calls.... well, when it wants to. The first thing is that I have an answering machine at home. If I have it set to 4 rings, the machine will answer but it hears dial tone. The calling party hears the phone continue to ring afterwards and then eventually goes to Google Voice voicemail. Also from time to time you may or may not be able to call the home phone, as well as make outbound calls. Does this thing not consistently work the same all the time?

drgeoff

GV voicemail will pick up a call if it is not answered within about 25 seconds.  That time cannot be changed nor the voicemail turned off.  If you want your own answering machine to operate it needs to do so before GV's voicemail.

PropDad

Quote from: drgeoff on August 10, 2018, 01:15:01 PM
GV voicemail will pick up a call if it is not answered within about 25 seconds.  That time cannot be changed nor the voicemail turned off.  If you want your own answering machine to operate it needs to do so before GV's voicemail.

I understand that and I am fine with that.  What I don't understand about it is why does the caller still have a ringing sound (voicemail has not answered yet) when my answering machine has answered the call?

Also, not sure why we cannot make calls sometimes.  got a "the number you dialed has not received a response from the service provider" yesterday.  Rebooted the device and then it works.  It's like sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.  We don't know until we are trying to use it.  :/

A_Friend

Where I am, in New York City, Google was having massive troubles yesterday afternoon.  Haven't seen this before.
Phone calls were not connecting.  Graphic files were not uploading to Send A Message.  Google search was painfully slow, or outright failed.  Google News wouldn't update.  Meanwhile, other services and providers were working pretty well, with only slight degradation, although I got minor complaints regarding voice quality on Voip.ms and Circlenet, but at least I was getting through.  I don't think the problem was my ISP, or nothing would have been working.

I suspect a localized transient infrastructure problem, or maybe an attack.  It abated a few hours later.

bill-cary

I am getting similar occurrences, but my network config needs some work.
I may have too many routers.
Has your router been setup to port forward the proper ports used by the OBI?

drgeoff

Quote from: bill-cary on August 11, 2018, 11:53:45 AM
I am getting similar occurrences, but my network config needs some work.
I may have too many routers.
Has your router been setup to port forward the proper ports used by the OBI?

It is rarely necessary to forward any ports to make an OBi work.

And even when it is necessary the symptoms are not sporadic in the manner the OP is experiencing.

PropDad

Quote from: drgeoff on August 11, 2018, 01:13:10 PM
Quote from: bill-cary on August 11, 2018, 11:53:45 AM
I am getting similar occurrences, but my network config needs some work.
I may have too many routers.
Has your router been setup to port forward the proper ports used by the OBI?

It is rarely necessary to forward any ports to make an OBi work.

And even when it is necessary the symptoms are not sporadic in the manner the OP is experiencing.

Correct.  Also, I MAY have fixed the issue with inbound and outbound calls.  I got the OBI200 to replace my Comcast home phone.  I originally placed the unit near my modem and then connected the RJ11 to it there.  This is in a closet in the master bedroom and the phone is in the study downstairs.  This was using the home phone wiring which has ONLY been used for voip (no outside connection).  I'm not sure if the OBI200 has an issue with wire length but I moved it to the study (thankfully we have a switch there already) and connected it directly to the phone.  Inbound and outbound seem to be fine but I am still having an issue with the answering machine and the voicemail fighting with each other.  :/   I understand the voicemail being there, and I WANT it there to answer calls while ON the phone.  I just don't understand why the answering machine gets a dial tone when answering and the caller is still getting a ring sound.

A_Friend

Quote from: PropDad on August 15, 2018, 07:05:55 AM
  I just don't understand why the answering machine gets a dial tone when answering and the caller is still getting a ring sound.

I have a thought and a question.

First, the question...  Why do you need the answering machine at all if you're using GV voicemail?  Why not let GV take all the messages?

Now, the thought...  Is it possible the answering machine is essentially jiggling the switchhook (electrically speaking) in such a manner that it's putting the incoming call on hold so fast that the caller's carrier is never signaled that the phone has been answered, and then the Obi200 is giving the machine an outside line to make another call?

If you're not into tossing out your answering machine, or trying a different one, then I think you're going to need to make some adjustments on the Phone Port of the Obi200.  I would have said to try a higher or lower Ringer Equivalence Number, except that's not a single setting on the Obi like it is on Grandstreams and some others.  Maybe you can find guidance somewhere about how to emulate that with the settings the Obi has: Impedance, voltage, current, etc.  Or maybe it could be fixed by some built-in feature you need to disable, like Conference calling.

Have a look at the Phone Port settings and see if you're inspired to play with any of them to see what happens.

drgeoff

@PropDad

You write of an answering machine.  You also write that the phone is plugged directly into the OBi200.  Unless you have a phone with built-in answering I don't understand. Please clarify.

drgeoff

Changing the OBi's REN is bunkum.  There is no such adjustment on an OBi and no need for one.  REN is a property of an FXO.  A phone, a fax machine, an answering machine, the LINE port on an OBi 110, an OBi212 or an OBiLINE etc.  It is a measure of how much power is required by the device to make its bell ring, its beeper beep, think about answering the call or whatever.  A device that is supplying ringing has a finite limit on how much ringing power it can supply.  Look at page 215 of https://www.obitalk.com/info/documents/admin_guide/OBiDeviceAdminGuide.pdf and you will see the OBi202 is specced as "Maximum Ring Load 5 REN (Ringer Equivalence Number)".  There is no need to somehow reduce that capability if the total of the RENs of all the connected devices is less than 5.

A REN of 1 was typical of a traditional phone which used the ringing power sent by the phone company to directly operate the mechanical bell.  Modern line-powered phones tend to use beepers which are more efficient than mechanical bells and have a REN less than 1.  Mains powered devices (cordless base stations, answering machines, fax machines, OBi devices with LINE ports) need very little ringing power.  They sense the ringing voltage and take very little ringing current.  So again they have low REN figures.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringer_equivalence_number

PropDad

Quote from: drgeoff on August 15, 2018, 12:34:58 PM
@PropDad

You write of an answering machine.  You also write that the phone is plugged directly into the OBi200.  Unless you have a phone with built-in answering I don't understand. Please clarify.

It's a cordless phone base, and as most do it has an answering machine built in.

A_Friend

Quote from: drgeoff on August 15, 2018, 12:57:34 PM
Changing the OBi's REN is bunkum.  There is no such adjustment on an OBi ...

Yeah, I kind of said that.  HOWEVER, this answering machine is interacting very poorly with the Obi200, which is clearly mishandling or doubling some "click" or something when it picks up the line, and apparently initiating a conference call or something.

My suggestion was:  1) throw away the answering machine altogether, or 2) try a different answering machine, or 3) try to fiddle the impedance/features/whatever of the Obi200's Phone Port so it filters out or ignores whatever staccato thing is accompanying the answering machine's call pick-up.

Do you think it appropriate to attack me for the suggestions?  You got something better?

Further advice for PropDad:  just disable call answering on your built-in machine and let GV do it.


drgeoff

The OBi should not need to, nor try to, distinguish between a human answering a call and the answering function doing it.

Is the phone a Panasonic?  See http://www.obitalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=12530.0  Despite initial pooh-poohing by myself and others there was an issue that required a firmware fix by Obihai.  Perhaps this is similar.

SteveInWA

Quote from: A_Friend on August 15, 2018, 01:14:30 PM
Quote from: drgeoff on August 15, 2018, 12:57:34 PM
Changing the OBi's REN is bunkum.  There is no such adjustment on an OBi ...

Do you think it appropriate to attack me for the suggestions?  You got something better?


What IS appropriate, is to point out that you are suffering from "Male Answer Syndrome", repeatedly posting answers just for the sake of it, without understanding the technology.  Given that you a) don't understand telephony hardware, and b) don't adequately understand Google Voice, posting more bunkum answers will result in the same comments.

LTN1

The insecurity part of oneself is to be on the defensive in response to SteveInWA's reply...but I highly suggest not to do the predictable and learn from his and drgeoff's responses.

A_Friend

Quote from: SteveInWA on August 15, 2018, 06:02:24 PM

What IS appropriate, is to point out that you are suffering from "Male Answer Syndrome", repeatedly posting answers just for the sake of it, without understanding the technology.  Given that you a) don't understand telephony hardware, and b) don't adequately understand Google Voice, posting more bunkum answers will result in the same comments.

Okay, I'll bite.  So...  What is making his answering machine fail to answer the call, but instead record a dial tone while the caller is receiving a ringback tone?  If it's not inappropriately somehow triggering the conference call feature, what would YOU guess it is doing?  AND, assuming he wants to keep that particular answering machine activated (for whatever reason), can you suggest any settings changes to either device that would make them play nice together?

And please feel free to criticize me any time you like.  It might be more helpful, however, if you do it in the context of delivering a better and more useful answer.  I can definitely respect that.