OBitalk service is flakely lately!

Started by BobTeatow, January 09, 2012, 07:59:02 AM

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BobTeatow

I have an OBi100 and Obi110, they were working fine for a few months.  Lately, they are having trouble staying registered/connected to the OBitalk service.  SP1 and SP2 connections are okay.

When I try to pass a call from one Obi to the other, I get errors,  looking into the status screens I see that one or the other is not "online" to the Obitalk server.  Looking at the Obitalk status from the device screen I see "backing off"....

Seems problem is at the Obitalk service end. Please fix!!!

BobTeatow

On the chance that there is or was a problem with my router/NAT or something,
I changed my OBI100 to use a new static address on my local net, I rebooted my router and the OBI,
and still the OBI100 shows  .... "backing off" for the OBiTalk status.  SP1 is google and SP2 is voip.ms and those both work okay.

Curiously my OBI110 seems okay, as does my Android/OBion softphone - both connecting through the same home router.  And they can call each other via Obitalk.

What to try next?

I use the OBI100 to drive my  home office phone, I use the OBI110 to drive the cordless phone system for the rest of my house.  On the OBI110 SP1 is (another) google number and SP2 is Callcentric.

I was relying on Obitalk to pass/gateway calls from one to the other, depending on calling number and/or dialed number.  E.g if you dial 411 or 911 on any phone the call is routed to the OBI110 and out to SP2.
If you dial 011x. on any phone, the call is routed to the OBI100 and out to SP2 to get international service from voip.ms.

As I wrote previously, all was working fine, until a few days ago.  When I noticed that one or the other or both OBIs were not staying registered to Obitalk....  Let me recheck ...
Oops, now both of my OBIs have gone "red" on the OBi "Dashboard"!

lk96

I have been experiencing similar instabilities with Obitalk.
I have both an Obi100 and and Obi110 at home. Curiously enough,
when I tried to access the Obi110 remotely (though Obitalk) I get
the error message shown in the attached image snapshot. Even though
the error message said the device was not online, I could use it
to make calls through it (but I was not using it yet as a voice gateway for
Obi to Obi forwarding/bridging).

As a sanity check, I tried to access the Obi100 device through Obitalk and that one
was perfectly reachable.

In my case, the Obi110 seemed to be functioning fine all along and was accessible
when I tried to configure it through its local (non-routable) IP address when I was at home.
The error message seemed to be intermittent.

Both Obis in my environment have static IP addresses in the 10.0.0.x space.

L.

BobTeatow

Checking again, now both OBIs show green on the dashboard....
This is why I said flakey... I did nothing since the last post...

I was really "high" on OBI, telling all my friends and relatives how great it was...
Now I'm not so sure....

BobTeatow

LK96, Good to see I'm not the only one.  This shows that the problem is not peculiar to my household.

Of course, I get the same screen when I try to access the OBI status or configuration screens from the obitalk website, that is just another symptom of the connection between the OBi1xx device and the OBItalk network being busted.

And, yes, the design is sound enough, so that if you're making or receiving calls via SP1 or SP2, then the state of obitalk does not matter. 

BUT, I was depending on the OBItalk connection for bridging/gatewaying calls between OBI1xx devices, which is one of the big selling points of OBIHai....

SUGGESTION to OBIHAI....  For OBI1xx to OBI1yy gatewaying, you could cache the addresses, so that the software would be more robust against OBItalk network/server failures. 

FOr example, in my household, once the two OBI1xx devices find each other, they should cache each other's network addresses, so they can continue to pass calls back and forth to each other, WITHOUT contacting the OBItalk mother server.   

If you do that, you'll have happier customers since we'll be much less likely to notice outages on your network/server(s), and you'll lighten the load on the mother server -- win-win-win.


BobTeatow

This message received a while ago....

There has been temporary outage with the obitalk server, we are working on
this.

- Obi Support


Still, I think Obi should implement a "cache peers' IP addresses" scheme.

Stewart

Quote from: BobTeatow on January 09, 2012, 02:20:21 PM
Still, I think Obi should implement a "cache peers' IP addresses" scheme.
If both uers are behind different NATs, P2P won't work, unless some port forwarding is in place.  If you are willing to set that up, using dynamic DNS names, you can do it yourself without help from Obihai.

Alternatively, you can interconnect your OBi devices with a free or paid SIP service, a PBXes account, etc.

BobTeatow

#7
Stewart, good point.  I'm thinking of my case, which I would expect to be fairly common -- both of my OBi boxes are on the same private subnet.  They should be able to discover each other, even without the help of the Obitalk server. BUT If that took some extra configuration - I'd sure be willing to do that too, I've done a fair amount of call routing configuration "the Obi way"  to get the call handling working to my satisfaction.

I also use Voip.ms which let's me assign "extension" numbers to subaccounts.  Each subaccount registers to the voip.ms server via Sip. Then I can call for free from subaccount to subaccount.  This works great for forwarding (Google) calls from an Obi box to my Android phone. MUCH better than the crappy Obion app for Android.  I also keep a Sip registered to a guest sub-account in my guest bedroom...  

(I tried the Obion app, and I still use it to make free outbound calls from my Android, but it has some problems, the worst of which it just is not reliable for inbound calls.  The other problem is that it doesn't integrate with the Android contacts list.)

However, I haven't figured out how to use Voip.ms as an Obi gateway. Reading the doc, it seemed there were restrictions and "gotchas"... whereas it was relatively simple to do Obi to Obi gateway functions, EXCEPT, for the problem which began this thread -- the Obitalk server(s) are apparently not as reliable as a service like Voip.ms.

That's understandable - Voip.ms business depends on its servers' reliability.  Their revenue stream is at risk.  Whereas with Obihai, it seems their revenue if from the devices, not the service.  But on second thought, they have chosen to tightly tie their devices to the Obitalk servers, so ...  

BTW - I've been a voip.ms customer using Sipura boxes for many years.  What sold me on Obi was their easy integration and exploitation of Google voice/talk to obtain completely free phone service using ordinary phone/handsets.   I need to maintain two Google voice accounts - and be able to use them simultaneously (one is my office number, the other my wife's) -- so I ended up buying two Obi-boxes ...   (If Google supported SIP directly, I could have used my old Sipura boxes.   I'm not going to be surprized if there is a deal with or even an acquisition by Google ;-) ...

ONE more request of Obihai - it would be useful to allow another SP or two on the same box - SP3 and SP4.  If necessary, you could limit the number of simultaneously active calls, but give me the flexibility of accepting inbound calls from 3 or 4 SIP providers, and routing outbound to any of 3 or 4 Sip providers.


BamaBook

Try this. Mine went to backing off status I think because I had changed my Google password, which works with my Obitalk dashboard. I went into the account, retyped my password, and then hit refresh, and was back in business.