New option: Use This Service for a Security Alarm Line

Started by Jay4, January 14, 2015, 05:29:13 AM

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Jay4

Saw the email from OBi announcing a new option: "Use This Service for a Security Alarm Line" (see attached screenshot)

Anyone have any idea what that actually does different?

(We use our OBi for our alarm system - didn't know if I needed to change anything or what the benefit would be)

Thanks.

drgeoff

#1
Looks like Obihai's marketing people have jumped the gun on the engineering people.  I got the same email earlier today.  Just a few minutes ago I've explored adding a GV account to a spare slot on an OBi1032.  That "Use this line for an alarm system" line didn't appear.  Nor has it appeared as an option on an already configured GV account on the 1032.

I wonder if ticking that box does any more than ensuring some optimal parameters such as codec settings are configured on the OBi.

Jay4

Quote from: drgeoff on January 14, 2015, 06:34:21 AM
I wonder if ticking that box does any more than ensuring some optimal parameters such as codec settings are configured on the OBi.

That's what I was wondering - if it would change something for the better that I missed. ;)

dwestall

I was wondering the same thing. I have the Obi100 and had to manually change the GV DTMFMethod from Auto to InBand to get it to work with my alarm. However, InBand causes issues with in-call key presses (voice mail, etc). My guess is this new feature automatically sets the DTMFMethod to something that works with both Alarm dialing and in-call key press.

drgeoff: The email I got says it's only implemented on the OBi2 Series products.

jeflad

I would like to know if this is really only for OBI2 series.

I have an Obi110 and still haven't fully converted to it as my only home device as I have an alarm system as well and have yet to test if it would still work.

drgeoff

Quote from: dwestall on January 14, 2015, 06:56:08 AM
drgeoff: The email I got says it's only implemented on the OBi2 Series products.
Yes it does say that.  In more than one place too, so I shouldn't have missed it.  However, except for the built in router and twin phone ports on the 202, I haven't been conscious of any feature on the 202 that isn't on the 1032.  That's bound to provoke someone to reply with a bag full of them!

Mango

Okay, I'll bite.  How in the world do you propose connecting an alarm system to a 1032, without phone ports?  And if you could, why on earth would you want to?

SteveInWA

#7
Knowing that this very topic would come up, I sent a note to the Obihai folks last night, asking that they post a "horse's mouth" FAQ to explain what checking this option does to the device configuration.  Referencing the other end of the horse, all we can do is assume (guess) that it ensures the device is using only the G.711 CODEC, and perhaps adjusts some DTMF values to be as compatible as possible with the old alarm system protocol.

If you're curious, the standard ADEMCO alarm protocol uses DTMF tones, not a modem-like modulation scheme as used by fax machines or dial-up modems.  Here's a link to a document on the standard:

http://www.hkvstar.com/technology-news/sia-standard-ademco-contact-id-alarm-communication-protocol.html

And, of course, nobody should try to use this feature with a 1032 phone, as it has no analog phone port output.

Extra information for those interested in doing this:  The typical (properly wired, for USA use) security system panel that was designed to be used with a POTS line, would have this configuration:

POTS line demarcation block<--->RJ-31X exclusion jack<-->alarm's telco plug
                                                                 |<-->premises phones

Properly wired, the RJ-31X jack has spring-loaded pins that connect the POTS line to the premises phones if the alarm's plug isn't inserted in the jack, and, if it is inserted, the alarm electrically loops the connection back to the RJ-31X through a relay, and then to the premises phone.  When the alarm is tripped, the relay "seizes" the POTS line by disconnecting the premises phones and connecting only the alarm panel's phone plug.  So, properly replacing a POTS line with an OBi-provided connection requires that the RJ-31X's POTS wires be disconnected, and instead, the OBi ATA's phone jack be wired to the POTS side of the RJ-31X jack.

Disclaimer:   I am neither recommending, nor discouraging the use of this feature; YMMV and you need to decide which communications method meets your own needs and risk level.  I have been using my 202, wired this way, with Callcentric, and with my ADT/Ademco Vista panel for a few months, and it works fine, but this will vary by the alarm monitoring service used, your ITSP's connection quality and the OBi's settings.

PaulCrick

I posted a while back (here: http://www.obitalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=8796.0) having problems playing with Asterisk's AlarmReceiver app and an Obi200

@SteveInWA - did you have to configure anything special to get your Obi202 to talk to your monitoring station?

SteveInWA

Sorry, I have no experience with that app.  As mentioned in my post, I am using mine to place conventional PSTN telephone calls to the ADT alarm monitoring center.  I am not doing anything clever to make it work.  Proper operation over SIP VoIP is going to be a crap-shoot, as it is dependent on the VoIP ITSP being used, and the equipment at the both ends of the call, and how successful they are at accurately exchanging DTMF tones.

Mango

Before now, there were (are) two star code variables: $NOJI1 and $NOEC1.  These improved success with alarm systems, but only work on outgoing calls.

It will be interesting to find out whether OBiTALK is simply using these variables that always existed, or if there is some brand-new option that does even more.  There's nothing in the release notes or the admin guide, so I assume the former until proven otherwise.

PeteMoss

#11
Quote from: dwestall on January 14, 2015, 06:56:08 AM
I was wondering the same thing. I have the Obi100 and had to manually change the GV DTMFMethod from Auto to InBand to get it to work with my alarm. However, InBand causes issues with in-call key presses (voice mail, etc). My guess is this new feature automatically sets the DTMFMethod to something that works with both Alarm dialing and in-call key press.

drgeoff: The email I got says it's only implemented on the OBi2 Series products.

I have an OBi202 with latest firmware and the option to check that option does not exist. CORRECTION:  It's an option for Google Voice only but not my 2 VOIP providers. A rather poor implementation for me.

ploo

Hi everyone,

I'm a newbie intending to get an OBI202 because our analogue line has to be cancelled to make way for our fibre internet (and VOIP) modem.

I read that I can use the OBI202 to connect wirelessly to the modem, and connect my existing cordless analog phone to the phone port.

I also have a security system with an analog line that dials out (warning call) whenever the alarm is triggered.
The analog line was connected to my phone analog line but this has been disconnected.

Can I just plug the alarm analog line into the 2nd phone port on OBI202, or do I have to register a VOIP service in order to use the phone port?
My ISP/telco providing the modem will have the VOIP option available for connecting phones.

Thanks for your help.

Peter

drgeoff

#13
Quote from: ploo on September 15, 2021, 10:17:55 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm a newbie intending to get an OBI202 because our analogue line has to be cancelled to make way for our fibre internet (and VOIP) modem.

I read that I can use the OBI202 to connect wirelessly to the modem, and connect my existing cordless analog phone to the phone port.

I also have a security system with an analog line that dials out (warning call) whenever the alarm is triggered.
The analog line was connected to my phone analog line but this has been disconnected.

Can I just plug the alarm analog line into the 2nd phone port on OBI202, or do I have to register a VOIP service in order to use the phone port?
My ISP/telco providing the modem will have the VOIP option available for connecting phones.

Thanks for your help.

Peter
i don't know what you have been reading but it appears to me that your current understanding does not accord with reality.

Firstly, an OBi202 has no wireless (=Wi-Fi) capability.  It is usually connected with an ethernet cable to a router.  However it does have a USB port into which an optional Obihai branded (not generic) Wi-Fi dongle can be inserted to connect to a Wi-Fi equipped router.  But that is probably irrelevant. Read on.

I don't know the exact details of what your ISP will be providing but I gather the new modem will have a phone jack into which conventional analogue phone equipped can be plugged.  So, if you had the alarm system and your cordless phone teed together and connected to a single telco line coming into the property you should be able to instead have them plugged into that jack on the new modem.  This assumes that the alarm system uses voice band signals, not some proprietary out of band carrier system. It also assumes that you contract for and pay for the VoIP service which will probably retain your existing phone number.

The functionality of an OBi202 is basically the same as the VoIP option offered by your ISP.  It converts an analogue phone into a VoIP phone.  The ISP's offering will be tied to them whereas an OBi gives you the option to choose from many phone service providers and typically their monthly rates and call charges are substantially lower than those of telcos and cable companies.  Indeed many people buy an OBi because it works with Google Voice which they perceive to offer free telephone service.

No VoIP equipment is of much practical use unless it is configured to connect to an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP).  For the ISP VoIP option they will do that.  For an OBi you usually do that yourself using information supplied by the ITSP.  If you have the freedom to and decide not to continue with your ISP's VoIP service it may be possible to port your existing phone number to an ITSP.

An Obi has the extra functionality that it can be configured with up to 4 telephone numbers from any mix of GV and other ITSPs.  The two phone jacks on the 202 permit two simultaneous calls.  The cheaper  OBi200 has a single phone jack.  Still up to 4 ITSPs but clearly only one call at a time.

All this is probably going to prompt further question from you.  Answers may require detailed info about the fibre ISP and the alarm system.  Being in the UK I have no specific experience with US equipment or industry practices but others on this forum do.


SteveInWA

Quote from: ploo on September 15, 2021, 10:17:55 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm a newbie intending to get an OBI202 because our analogue line has to be cancelled to make way for our fibre internet (and VOIP) modem.


If your new fiber internet service provider is also supplying you with telephone service, then you don't need an OBiTALK device.  Your alarm service provider can connect the alarm panel's communicator to the phone service from your new ISP.

ploo

Quote from: SteveInWA on September 16, 2021, 01:33:27 PM
Quote from: ploo on September 15, 2021, 10:17:55 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm a newbie intending to get an OBI202 because our analogue line has to be cancelled to make way for our fibre internet (and VOIP) modem.


If your new fiber internet service provider is also supplying you with telephone service, then you don't need an OBiTALK device.  Your alarm service provider can connect the alarm panel's communicator to the phone service from your new ISP.

Hi SteveInWA,
My ISP is SpinTel and I bought my own modem.  My modem does not have a VOIP port and I have an analogue cordless phone.
So I ended up buying the OBI202 for the analogue port and OBI202 connecting to my ASUS router which connects to the NBN black box.
The VOIP line is provided by SpinTel and I managed to call out through OBI202 (by using **1 dial-code).

I need to get the VOIP line to receive a call so that I can remotely call in to attend to the phone connect alarm.
I intend to connect my alarm's analogue line to OBI202 using port 2 since my cordless phone is using port 1.

So, calling in is still a problem in my OBI202 settings because of the DigiMap.
Are you able to help with the calling in function?
Thanks

SteveInWA

Don't use an OBiTALK device configured with Google Voice in conjunction with a security panel, despite the useless option provided on the OBiTALK dashboard.

Dial-up alarm communicators are largely obsolete.  Get alarm monitoring via a cellular radio or IP gateway.