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How To: Use Google Voice and OBi

Started by ShermanObi, January 26, 2011, 08:13:22 AM

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ShermanObi page link with simple steps and a video on how to use Google Voice with your OBi:

Screen Shot Tutorial: Step-by-Step Google Voice™ Set-up with an OBi Device

Web Page: Getting Started & Troubleshooting Tips with Google Voice™

Document: OBi Device Set-Up for Google Voice™ Using the OBiTALK Portal

This document includes:
- Setting up an OBi on OBiTALK
- Configuring voice services, e.g. Google Voice, using the OBiTALK portal-based device configuration helper
- Troubleshooting the OBi Device Set-Up for Google Voice
  - Making Calls
  - Receiving Calls
  - Using Non '@gmail' Usernames
  - Using Google 2-Step Verification
  - OBiTALK Status Indications when Using Google Voice on an OBi Device

Also, see this how to @ for another description of how to use the OBi with Google Voice.


this info will help some to understand the Obi/Google Voice service

You can make calls using your computer as a telephone using the Google Chat feature of G-mail.
Effective 25 August 2010, you should have the green telephone icon for the new G-mail "Make a Call" feature, as illustrated in the Official Google Voice Blog

Note that this feature of G-mail is not Google Voice, although it uses some of the same resources as Google Voice. The new feature of G-mail is a true VoIP application which uses the Internet to place calls, while Google Voice is a call management service that requires that you have a working telephone with a US phone number.

With G-mail, you can enable the on-screen dial pad and dial a number directly, or type a name or phone number and let your Google contacts fill in the data. All you do is click and your call is placed, free of charge. Google originally said the service would be free through 2010. At the end of 2010 they announced that the service would remain free through 2011. Google has given no indication what will happen after that.

Enter the Obi110 ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter)

Use your Google Voice like a true SIP based voip service

The Obi ATA uses the Google Chat feature of G-mail and allows you to place free US domestic voip calls using a regular telephone.
If you also have a Google Voice number, that is associated with the same G-mail account, you can receive incoming calls to the Obi ATA, free of charge. Google Chat & Google Vocie cannot be used outside the US and can only be used with English language settings. There have been a few reports of using Google Voice successfully outside the US. All incoming and outgoing calls will go through your Google Chat/Google Voice account. All calls show as originating from your Google voice number and incoming caller id is still set from withing your Google Voice account.

No computer is needed for calling once the device is configured. You just plug it into your broadband internet modem or router, configure your G-mail account, and plug a regular cordless or corded phone into the ATA to place/receive calls. You can also plug in another working voice line and you can place and receive all your calls on the same telephones. All lines connected or configured on the unit are also bridgeable for combined features. Separate lines have distinctive ring. E911 service is not available from Google's calling services.

Because the Obi110 uses the Google Chat feature of G-mail, it is recommended that you not open your G-mail page in your browser while receiving calls to the Obi110. Incoming calls may not be routed to the ATA if the G-mail page is open.

The features of the Obi110 are many, and still expanding. You can use the Obi110 with up to 2 G-mail accounts (or other SIP providers). Each G-mail account can have 2 simultaneous sessions, but since there is only one phone port you can only have the use of one account at a time (other than 3 way conferencing). 2 Google Voice accounts (or other SIP providers), and up to one PSTN line; all with call waiting, on the same phones you currently use now in your home.
**To connect the Obi to your existing wiring, some wiring modifications may be needed depending on your current wiring/service configuration.

It will also work with other SIP based voip providers, many of the settings for those providers are preset into the device for easy configuration.

Obion PC & Smartphone App (Obi110, Obi100 & Obion apps are referred to as Obi ENDPOINTS)

Obihai also has Obion, which is a PC softphone app or Smartphone apps that can be used for placing/receiving free calls between any Obi ATA or Obion app. You can also place free calls to regular phone numbers from these apps, using wifi or 3G, through an Obi. The new apps support direct dialing from the app to regular numbers by choosing an Obi as your default gateway. Just dial a domestic, or international, number and the call will be placed through the Obi using your Google Voice account, or other configured SIP or PSTN line. You will have a separate contact list for the Obion app with up to 99 speed dials.

You can also make calls through the Obi from a regular phone or cell phone using the Circle of Trust feature.


In order to make calls to regular phone numbers anywhere with the Obi ATA, you need a voip provider or Google Chat.

NOTE: Your voip provider's (or google's) calling restrictions are not modified by using the Obi. If the provider or GV charges for domestic or international calls, you will still be charged.

If you want to place free calls you need a voip provider that gives you that service. You can always place free calls between any two Obi Endpoints, located anywhere in the world, because Obitalk is providing the voip between the Endpoints free of charge. If you also have a landline connected to, or google chat set up on (in the US), the  Obi device, you can access that landline or GV line remotely from another obi Endpoint, as long as you are in the circle of trust for that device.

See this image - The last configuration can be used to place free calls without a separate voip provider, as Obitalk is providing the voip between their devices. On the first two the voip is provided by a service provider other than Obitalk.

Configuration Wizards

Takes longer to read than to enter the setup info - 5 Minute Setup for Google Voice on the  Obi

With that configuration your Google Voice number will be the default for outgoing calls and you can use 7 digit dialing within your local area code. If your area requires 10 digit dialing then just leave the area code field empty.

If you also have a landline or equivalent plugged into the LINE port. Pressing # will connect you to that line's  dial tone, place calls as normal.
If you want to keep your landline as the primary just do not check the box on the config page. (checking the box makes Google Voice primary)
With the landline as primary, you will need to press * * 1 before dialing a number in order to call out on the Google Voice number (no dial tone after pressing * * 1)

If you need to configure a second Google Voice account or SIP provider you can do that at You will need to register an account and add the device to your account. By registering an account you will also get a free SoftPhone number that can be used with one of the Obion apps for even more features.
See the Obitalk screen shots

Part 2

Using the Obi ATA with Google

The Obi device uses the Google Chat feature that is part of Gmail. You must have a Gmail account in order to place outgoing calls. To receive incoming calls you will also need a Google Voice number.

Already have a Google Voice account, but not a Gmail account?

This is not for people that have their @domain registered with Google Apps. This is for people that have an existing Google Voice account without a Gmail account associated with it.

Do not go to Google and set up Gmail separate from your existing Google Account.
You cannot use a Gmail account that is not associated with the same Google Account as your Google Voice.
Log into your Google Account using the same log in credentials as your existing Google Voice account, and then set up a Gmail account. There is a request to combine two separate accounts that can be used, but it takes 2 weeks to process.

Follow this procedure
- Sign in to your Google Voice page
- Click on "Mail" at the upper left
- Set up a Gmail account
- From your Gmail page click on the phone on the lower left, under the Chat heading.
      Install the Google Voice & Video plug in if prompted
- Complete one successful call to anywere using Google Chat from Gmail
- Return to your Google Voice page
- Click the gear icon in the upper right and select "Voice Settings".
      Google Chat will now be listed in your phones list.
      Check the box in front of Google Chat to select it as a forwarding phone.
NOTE - There may be 2 Google Chats listed, one for your @gmail user and one for your @domain user.
          Select the one with the
- Return to your Obi configuration and make the necessary changes for the log in credentials,
  using the new user id.

I don't know why 2 Google Chats show up on the Google Voice page. Selecting the one with the will not ring into the Google Chat in the Gmail account but calls to it do show up in the Google Voice/Google Chat call history. You can delete it from your phones list if you like but it may be beneficial in the future if you want to abandon the Google Voice account. Just leave the non Gmail Google Chat unchecked.

Your old user name

You can now sign into your Google account, Gmail account or Google Voice account using either your original @domain user name or your new @gmail user name. When sigining in with your @gmail user name you only have to put in your user id, not the part.

Your new Gmail user id will become your primary Google id. Your old email will be your secondary id. You can continue to use your old email log in as long as it is not removed from your email list in your Google Account settings. Once removed from the list, it can be re-added but you will not be able to use it for login at any Google page.

After you complete this sign-up process, your primary username will be The original email address associated with your account will become your alternate email address, which means you can use it to sign in if it was verified before adding Gmail. You won't be able to change your primary username once Gmail is added.

To access all your favorite Google products, including Gmail, just sign in with your new Gmail username


Owner of the 1st OBi110/100 units in service in Canada & South America. 1st OBi202 on my street. 1st OBi1032 in Montreal.


I won't have my second unit until Monday but the question was asked at SD, can you set up the same GV account on 2 separate units. I don't guess that is any different than setting up the same account on both SP1 & SP2 on one unit, is it?


You can put on multiple OBi's.  Not sure which OBi will ring on incoming calls, randomly, depending on which connection made first to GV server.


Which ever unit connects last is the one that rings.

Obi #1 - google as SP1 - set up first
Obi #2 - google as SP1 - set up second

When I called my GV number the phone on Obi #2 rang and the phone on Obi #1 did not.

I rebooted Obi #1, called again and this time the phone on Obi #1 rang, and Obi #2 did not.
I rebooted Obi #2 and got reversed results.

The phone on the Obi that did not ring had a dial tone while the call on the other was in progress.


So I followed all the steps from jimates's summary. And everything works great except:

**my Iphone GV app: it calls back another number that I have listed on my account. I just want to make outbound calls with my GV number using my GV iphone app.

** and calling outbound on my GV web page. I think its going some weird call back thing too.

and that's it! my obi 110, gmail web calls (after installing the plugin) all work

Please help me out


It appears as though your specific issues are best served by looking at the Google Voice configuration.

1.  The GV iPhone app does not use VoIP, so the behavior of GV calling back a number you specified is correct.  If you want GV to use the iPhone, you will need to use the cell phone number of the iPhone in the GV settings.  Otherwise, to use VoIP from the iPhone (over 3G or Wi-Fi) you will need to use the OBiON iPhone app and set-up your OBi device as your OBi Soft Phone's voice gateway.

2.  Similar to #1, you will need to use either your cell phone number or some other traditional number for calling from the web page.  If you want to use VoIP, use the Gmail Call phone dialpad feature available from the Gmail interface.


I am a little confused cause i am a noob i guess.
I want to transfer my landline to Tracfone i guess, cause that's the carrier i have with my cell?


Quote from: mayhem69 on July 13, 2011, 02:18:04 PM
I am a little confused cause i am a noob i guess.
I want to transfer my landline to Tracfone i guess, cause that's the carrier i have with my cell?

If you want to keep your number and get rid of your land line then you will have to port it to either a mobile service or a voip provider. If you port it to a mobile service you may be able to port it to google voice from there. Some have reported success transferring from Tracfone to google voice. Many have reported success transferring from T-Mobile to google voice.

Google voice charges a fee for porting. The prepaid cellular providers don't usually charge but you have to have a few usable minutes to get the google process done. So At&t or T-Mobile require purchasing prepaid minutes in order to do it. Tracfone gives 10 free minutes with activation so the only cost would be the phone, which can be found for under $10.


I just bought an obi, set it up with gVoice, I'm loving it. Really nice.
Quick question:

How do I enable call screening on the obi so that its not automatically connecting the call on the incoming? I've switched the "X_SkipCallScreening" parameter, but it seems to revert back immediately.

Any advice? Thanks for an awesome device.
PS-- I know i might be the minority here, but I kind of enjoy google's call screening.


Found the answer here:
Doing the same thing to the parameter working from the obiportal instead of the device. Good to go.


You can manage the OBi devices either through the OBiTalk web portal or through the local web interface, not both. If you want to manage the device through the local web interface you need to turn off Auto Provisioning, otherwise it will over write those settings with what is on the OBiTalk web portal. Both ways to manage the devices work and have both their advantages and short-comings.

I prefer using the local web interface, most seem to prefer using the OBiTalk web portal. It is a nice feature that the OBi folks let us choose how we want to manage our OBis.



Yes, at first I missed the auto-provision concept. Kind of unique, obi is very impressive to me.


I have 2 GV numbers but plan to move one number to another gmail account. I have already registered the Obi log in with the gmail account#1 I want to move the number away from. Here are the questions:

When I move the GV number to gmail account#3, the gmail account#1 will no longer have a phone number associated with it. Is that ok since I'm only going to use it as a login not adding it to SIP1 or SIP2? And in this case, when I log in to gmail#1 it will not show voice only status, is that correct?


I know that Google Chat has to be enabled in Google Voice for incoming calls to work with the Obi but does it need to be enabled for outgoing calls to work?

In other words, people who were using the sipsorcery/gizmo method would hear consistent ringing from the time the call was placed til the time the call was connected - the ringing was really two parts because a call back via the web interface was being triggered by sipsorcery.

So if that is what the Obi is doing then Google Chat would have to be enabled.

However what I would like is for incoming gv calls (since free) to ring on my sp2 (sipgate) but I am thinking that would screw up my outgoing.


It's easy enough to try these things and know exactly how they work.

With Google Chat disabled (unchecked) in Google Voice, incoming calls go straight to voicemail (assuming you have no other forwarding phones enabled).

With Google Chat disabled (unchecked) in Google Voice, outgoing calls still function normally.


Thanks Ron.

I realize I am all over the place in these threads.  Trying to post in the right spot.

So do you see anything wrong with this setup?

SP1: Google Voice (Primary)
SP2: Sipgate

All outgoing calls go through GV, incoming calls will forward to sipgate and still ring the same physical phone and google chat will still be able to stay logged in in gmail?


I don't do Google Chat and never log into Gmail (I use POP with Gmail), so I can't comment on that aspect.

If it does what you want, then I'd say go with it unless you run into a snag.   :)


I just ported my landline to GV and it's now connected to OBi. The only thing is the GV account is linked to my cell (unchecked) and when I call my GV number (old landline) it goes on to ask for my pin and then to voicemail. I would like to delete my cell from the GV profile, but that will leave only Google chat in and not sure if that's allowed in GV? Anyone has experience in this setting or alternative way to set up in OBi to allow me to call the GV number from my cell?