Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Default IP Phone & Router Passwords

One thing that I really need to do these days is create a master list of default passwords for the common routers and IP phones that I use. I just decided to connect my Polycom 330 phone after not using it for a while and I forgot the password. Well it's not admin admin or admin blank password. The user name for the web config is Polycom and the password is 456 - no way I'm going to keep remembering this.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Side By Side Video - Cisco SPA504G & Linksys SPA942

The new Cisco SPA504G compared with the old Linksys SPA942

Roughly the same size - here is what is different

Handset is bigger and feels heavier on the SPA504G
Dial buttons are closer together on SPA504G
Nav button is smaller on SPA504G
Speaker holes are in a "round" pattern compared to a square pattern
Message Waiting Indicator is smaller on SPA504G

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Asterisk g722 with Cisco 504G

One of the new cool features of the Cisco 504G is support for wideband (hd) g722 codec. Note that g722 is only available with the 500 series spa phones. You spa 900 series owners are out of luck. Asterisk 1.4.x does not support g722 without patching, I've used the following patch and instructions with Asterisk and it worked.

The one thing I noticed with the g722 Asterisk sound files is that the volume is much louder - I had to take down the volume half way on the spa504g. Everything sounded clearer but none of my gateways support g722. I know technically pots line would not provide hd quality audio but if the gateway supports g722 my Asterisk box would not need to transcode from 711 to g722. Everytime there is transcoding you lose quality, create latency, and slow down your system. These are all bad things and should be avoided.

Now I just need to configure another phone with g722 and do some test. Perhaps play some music and see if I can hear the entire range of sounds.

Aastralink 160 Pro Initial Setup

My initial thoughts about the Aastralink 160 Pro phone system is that it has a good number of features at a reasonable cost (around $850 from many online voip stores.) This is an embedded Asterisk system. Aastra does not hide this fact - although you would not know it if just looking at the box or gui interface.

The physical box is very small - no fan so it is very quiet. It is wall and rack mountable (brackets included for standard 19" rack)

6 fxo ports
2 fxs/fax/analog phone ports
1 lan
1 pc audio out (paging)
1 pc audio in (moh source)
additional interface for what could be used for door open switches or overhead paging


Normally network guys are accustomed to setting up devices by finding the default ip address of the device. We login and assign a static IP address. With this device its a little different:

1. You must have atleast one Aastra phone
2. Connect the Aastralink to your network and let it boot up completely (steady constant flashing green LED means it has booted OK)
3. Connect a supported Aastra IP phone - the phone also must be reset to factory default settings
4. Let the phone boot - it will upgrade/downgrade to the same firmware level that the Aastralink supports
5. Keep an eye on the phone - you will need to select an extension #, password, name, and email address. Note: You cannot skip this part - you cannot login to the Aastralink unless you setup that first phone which is automatically the "admin" phone
6. Once the admin phone is ready - get the IP of the phone (yes the phone)
7. Open a browser and enter the ip address of the phone - it will redirect you to the IP address of the Astralink
8. Use your extension # and password to login to the system as administrator - that's right! There is no "admin" username - the first extension is the "admin" account - enter the password you created for the extension

Once you are logged in you can configure additional phones and settings.

I will detail more info in follow up posting. This is not a review of the Aastralink 160 Pro, I will provide a review once I am done testing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

FreePBX default password

The default login and password for the FreePBX gui is admin admin

Note that if you are using a distro like trixbox, asterisknow, elastix, PIAF (PBX in a Flash) it is probably different.

Look in the /etc/amportal.conf

This is the default FreePBX config file - the passwords should be readable here.

Cisco SPA504G Paging & Intercom

One of the reasons I wanted to get a Cisco 504G was to test the FreePBX/Asterisk Paging & Intercom module. With every new phone release its always important to test the feature set before deploying to clients.

The paging and intercom work the same way as the SPA942 models. Just need to enable "Auto Answer Page" and remove any vertical service codes that might conflict with FreePBX paging/intercom codes.

There is a new multicast feature that enables paging directly from the phone - need to look into this more.

The New Cisco Cares About Asterisk!

It wasn't too long ago that there was no "official" documentation that would suggest that Cisco products worked with Open Source Asterisk.

Now with Small Business Pro there is a sense that Cisco has put some effort in documenting and being more open to their products working with Asterisk.

There is a great deal of documentation that is really useful - in fact more than any other vendor. Documents can be found at https://www.myciscocommunity.com

You can find the following Asterisk documentation:

Asterisk: Configuring Cisco SPA5xx phones with the Web-UI
Asterisk: Zero-Touch Configuring Cisco SPA5xx phones
Configuring the Cisco SPA8800 IP Telephony Gateway in an Asterisk Environment
Interoperability information for Asterisk(R)-based Phone Systems
Asterisk: Configuring the Cisco SPA500S Attendant Console

You don't see this level of documentation from any of the following vendors that benefit from Asterisk.

1. Polycom - very little official documentation - even though many of their products work well with Asterisk - if it wasn't for the great Asterisk community many of their products wouldn't even be used with Asterisk systems

2. Grandstream - Just enough to get things working - very little documentation - but at least they acknowledge Asterisk - guessing that most of the IP phones that Grandstream sells go directly for Asterisk deployments. Grandstream is the equivalent of Dlink in the voip world. They sell lots of shitty product at low prices and available everywhere.

3. Aastra - have done a great deal with their xml and auto provisioning toolkit for systems like trixbox and elastix. No enough documenting if you want to configure things manually.

4. Snom - the stuff works - well documented on their wiki for Asterisk - just wish the basic phones weren't so ugly and expensive. The new 800 series look great though!