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TIPS Suggestions for somewhat large/complicated home phone system?

Discussion in 'Endpoints' started by Mark D. Montgomery II, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Ok, so I have my PBXIAF system all up and running and working, and now I'm trying to figure out what to do with our home phone system.

    1. First, here's a general overview of the current setup:

    We have a landline at the house (and no, I can't get rid of it or port it, we live in a parsonage).

    I currently have a Panasonic KX-TG9321 two line phone with 6 handsets, a Uniden 1 line phone with 2 handsets, a Panasonic 1 line phone with 1 handset, and a V-Tech 1 line phone with a speakerphone and 1 handset.

    That's 11 "stations" at the moment, and we could actually use 1 or 2 more for convenience.
    The 1 line phones are all hooked directly up to POTS.
    The Panasonic 2 line phone has line 1 into POTS and line 2 going into my Obi110 and acting as a SIP extension (so normal line 1 dialing goes out POTS, line 2 goes out my PBXIAF setup).

    The Obi110 is setup to connect its POTS output line to an Ooma, has a Google Voice connection setup, and then is connected to my PBXIAF setup as well.

    2. What I'd like to do:

    First, I'd like to have every phone as a SIP extension. The main benefit of the Panasonic 2 line phone is that you can direct call any handset from any other handset. The problem being, of course, that we have 5 stations that are separate, and therefore cannot be directly called from the Panasonic setup.

    Second, I'd like it to call out POTS by default, and then have it dial out through the VOIP setup with Line 2 or some such trigger.

    Third, any incoming calls on POTS need to be able to be directly picked up by any handset and easily moved or conferenced another handset (again, the Panasonic does this by just picking up another of its handset and hitting a button) as we often have one person answer a call that needs either 2 or 3 people on the line or is a call for someone else so they need to answer on their phone so the initial answering person can hang up (i.e. typical family phone behavior).
    Of course, I don't believe this works if the call is answered on one of the other phone systems either.

    3. Summary etc.:

    I think that covers it. Basically I want all phones to dial out through POTS by default and be able to easily dial out through VOIP, be able to easily conference and move calls from one handset to another, and be able to direct call from any handset to any other.

    I know that I'm probably not going to find a perfect solution with the POTS system still in the mix, and with most phones only supporting 6 handsets, but I'd like to make it as clean as possible.

    I'm tentatively looking at the Gigaset C610A IP (I'd need 2 for full handset count), as it seems to be one of the few Hybrid POTS/IP phone systems available and seems to have decent reviews.

    Does anyone have any experience with something similar or anyone that can give me some pointers on what my best options are?
    Note that voicemail is not an issue as I'm the only one using it (the rest of the family explicitly does NOT want voicemail), so that's not an issue.

    Hopefully that was clear enough to be understandable. :p
  2. atsak

    atsak Guru

    Here you go:

    255 handsets per system, but you can only do 4 simultaneous calls per base station and 32 in a group, but that should do it for you. Not overly cheap for home but a unified system for you.

    So, you need PBIAF, you can use an OBI for your pots interface or buy a Sangoma line card (or Digium , or whatever you want), setup a trunk for the obi, setup a trunk for VOIP, setup your outbound routes to default to POTS and failover to voip.
  3. Ooh shiny.
    1. Who sells those?
    2. What handsets does it use (and again, who sells them)?

    As for the setup, let's make sure I understand it.
    I hook up the Panasonic, and configure it as a trunk to my PBXIAF.
    I get another Obi (the PBXIAF server is actually out of house, so line card would be pointless) and configure it's outgoing POTS and whatever else I feel on it and trunk it to the PBXIAF server.
    I setup my routes so that local calls go out through the new OBI configured for POTS and everything else goes out my current routes through my various other outbounds - this would actually fix one my main issues, which is getting the family to actually use my VOIP setup for long distance calls since it would be seamless.
    I get handsets for the Panasonic, configure each with it's own SIP extension, and configure them all to be in the same group for multi-handset talking or transferring from one handset to another.

    Then each handset could directly call another over SIP, or could share or transfer a call just by someone else picking up the line.

    Is that about right?
    How does the multi-handset talking (multiple people one one call from POTS talking or one answering then hanging up after someone else picks up) work?
    How do incoming calls from POTS work (i.e. how do I get the incoming calls on POTS to go from the Obi to the Panasonic so someone can answer it?)?

    I'm pretty new to all this so the POTS side of things is kind of driving me crazy.
  4. atsak

    atsak Guru

    1. Lots of companies. I'm in Canada so can't speak for where you likely are.
    2. Handsets are linked on the page I sent you.

    Otherwise you're right about the rest as far as I can see. You can transfer calls all around to the handsets that you need, or you can call from one handset to another, or on the PIAF server you can setup a conference room, and you can put people on hold or park the call.
    You send the POTS call using the obi to your PIAF server. In other words, the Obi translates the inbound POTS to SIP and sends it just like a SIP trunk call to your PBX. I think you need the 220 for this, but someone else will correct me if not.
  5. 1. I'm down here below you in the US. :p
    I'm searching around but not finding anything, so pointers as to where to look would be appreciated (I'm not used to shopping for VOIP equipment). Thanks!
    2. Duh. Hah! Should have noticed those.

    Looking at the Obi product comparison, only the 110 has a Line port. The others just have 1 or 2 Phone ports.
  6. phonebuff

    phonebuff Guru

    So look at this --


    Or put a AudioCodes MP or VegaStream 50 in so that you have a number of POTS Analog extensions out of the PBX and then just work out your dial plan..


    It's really not that bad a system..

    I have Panasonic two line 900. 1-Handset
    Panasonic one line Dect 5 Handsets
    Cisco 7970 on my desk -
    Cisco 7960 in Wife's office
    Acrobits (ipsec) on three Android Phones
    Cisco ATA at my daughters place over seas with Panasonic 900 and 2 Handsets.

  7. I'm really liking the idea of that unified setup. I'm not really liking the price of it. hah.

    I guess my first step should be to get another Obi110 and get it configured for calling out through POTS and to get PIAF routing incoming pots calls to a SIP extension to get that ready.
    Once that works I can start figuring how to save up the cash for the Panasonic base and a couple handsets to play with to start getting the oddball cordless phones out of here.

    IT (and telephony with it) is an expensive hobby.
  8. atsak

    atsak Guru

    It is and it isn't. If you want what you want, it's expensive.

    Most of the time in the US I buy from voipsupply.com and telecomnationusa.com. Only thing is I can' t see that model there, but it is available in the US. Maybe try contacting Panasonic to ask them? The retail price in Canada is about $500 for the base stations, and $159 - $345 for the phones themselves. They aren't really a home priced item. There is a bundle of three phones available here that might be available in the US that's cheaper.

    The other thing you could do is buy a couple of these:

    While each base only supports 4 or 5 phones, you can have more than one. Each phone has its own extension, so you can still dial between them, transfer etc. I have used these a couple times. The batteries they give you are junk - go get something better - but the phones themselves have been used in clinic setting and a mechanics shops for a number of months and were fine. I don't always care for the Grandstream stuff but that would be a much cheaper choice for you if the base stations provide adequate coverage in your house.
  9. The one place I've found them online so far is voipsuperstore.com - $566 for the base and $186 for the UDT111 handset (more for the other of course).

    Can each handset be assigned multiple SIP accounts (1 for the shared line mode and 1 for direct handset to handset calling - the specs page is a little vague on that particular scenario)?
    If so, that may be a viable option, but I'd still wonder if those shared settings work across multiple bases (i.e. can handset on base1 and handset on base2 both be on the same call without conferencing via extensions).

    I'm going to dig around Panasonic and see if I can find a contact email to ask who else in the US sells them online so I can shop around a bit.
  10. TwigsUSAN

    TwigsUSAN Guru

    Why do you need two. If you point that shared incoming line to a ring group, it will ring all the line sip extensions that are assigned to the ring group. The people can still dial the 3/4 digit extension of that phone.
  11. Ok, after looking at the manual again I think that makes sense, although the manual is still a little vague on it (pages 43 and 46 talk about the hunting group configuration).
  12. TwigsUSAN

    TwigsUSAN Guru

    I was actually talking about the ring groups in PIAF.
  13. Ah ok. The problem with that is that I don't think that allows for the shared line analog type behavior. *sigh*
    If I'm wrong and anyone else in the ring group CAN pick up and join the call, I'd love to know how.
  14. TwigsUSAN

    TwigsUSAN Guru

    Why can't you conference that person in or transfer it to the other phone.
  15. That's what I'm starting to wonder. If a calls comes in and x123 answers it, if x124 could pick up their handset and just dial a number to join the in progress call, at which point x123 could either stay on or hang up, I think that would work.
    It kind of sounds like the Enable Call Pickup option in Ring Groups allows that. Can someone verify?
    If it's simply a matter of putting all the home extensions in Ring Group 601 and whoever wants to join/take over the call just picks up and dials 601, I think that would work well, and would allow me to use any SIP phones I feel like without requiring something special built into the set bases.
  16. Well, I just emailed GrandStream to see if their DP715/DP710 can handle what I want (and if it can do it across multiple bases).
    We'll see how fast and useful their response is. :)

    From digging around and searching really the only way I see to do it all purely backend would be for multi-person calls to have the initial answering party transfer the call to a conference and then have them and any others join the conference.
    For transferring, I guess a straight transfer or park/pickup would be the solution.
    However, that all looks more complicated than what I think the fam would be willing to learn - especially conferencing (I've been trying for ages to get them to dial out my line for long distance, and the parents can barely use their cell phones so....).
  17. TwigsUSAN

    TwigsUSAN Guru

    You do t have to necessarily dump them to a conference bridge, you should be able to conference them onto the original phone.

    What you are looking for doesn't really exist in VoIP.
  18. Oh you can? How do you go about doing a straight conference or transfer in a PIAF setup?
    I know we can do that at work, but that's a pure Cisco setup I believe (and I don't have access to the backend anyway) with configured buttons on the phones to do that stuff.

    Yeah, I find it amusing that the most annoying thing I'm currently trying to figure out how to do is to emulate POTS behavior. :p
  19. rossiv

    rossiv Guru

    Re-reading your first post, it sounds doable if you had all-SIP endpoints. I use a Snom M3 system in my house that has five (IIRC) wireless DECT handsets. Each one rings when called individually, and there's also one extension that the base makes every extension ring. You can call between each extension and hold/transfer/conference between each handset fairly easily. Snom has replaced the M3 with the M9. I haven't used the M9 though the functionality should be the same.
    You could do PSTN out the Obi by default through outbound routes, then dial an 8 or something to send the calls out a VoIP trunk.
  20. rossiv

    rossiv Guru

    Transfers can be done (depending on the hardware) on a SIP endpoint by doing ##EXT# where EXT is the target extension. This is a blind transfer. I think there's a code for attended, but I'm not in front of my server to look up the code at the moment. Some phones also have dedicated transfer buttons that do the transfer themselves instead of having Asterisk do it. Same goes for conferencing, there's a code I think, but most endpoints do it themselves.

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