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Forcing all outbound call to a specific port / line

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by bertarecchia, Apr 19, 2012.

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  1. bertarecchia

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    Using Grandstream 4104 - 3CX softphones.

    I'm trying to force all outbound calls to use a specific port. I tried to set an outbound rule but I don't think that's how it's done.

    Also, when someone leaves a message for to an extension, isn't that extension's softphone supposed to have the voicemail icon blink or something?

    Any help is appreciated.
     
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  2. lneblett

    lneblett Well-Known Member

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    My God man, you finally get it all working and now ya just can't stand it and have to mess with it? :D

    The answer is yes, it can be done, but it depends on how you set the trunks up. If memory serves, you have the MJ and Comcast phone going into a GS gateway. It is done by an outbound rule that might be as simple as preceding your normal dial string with a "9" to go one way and an "8" to go the other. Is the GS set as one trunk? If so, more/different programming is needed. May have been better getting a couple of Ht503 instead of the 4104.

    Can you provide some detail on why the need? The reason I ask is that I assume a caller-Id will be presented from whichever line you want to be your outbound and as a result, you will likely start to get inbound calls on the same line....like it or not. So your outbound dedicated will really end up being an everyday phone line.

    Which soft phone are you using? If nothing else on the 3cx phone you get a blinking icon indicating a missed call. I think you may also get a blinking envelope if there is vmail, but to be honest I do not recall.
     
  3. bertarecchia

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    Ah ah... you know it. The game is on! :)

    That's correct. Comcast and MJ.
    I'm looking at the 3cx console, the only field in the outbound rules is the "Calls to numbers starting with (Prefix)". I can't imaging how to program it to tell the system that "9" is outbound... Do you mean dialing the 9 or 8 manually?
    Yes, It's one trunk with the 4 ports. Would it be easier to send all outbound calls to a trunk?

    Trying to kill me here? I lost quite a few brain cells with the current setup.

    I guess you've been here before. Reasons:
    1-We call Canada and other countries. MJ has a much better $$plan.
    2-My 800 # will be forwarded to the comcast number. I want to try to keep that line open as much as possible.
    So, you're saying I can't direct all inbound calls to a specific port?

    Using the 3cx. It shows the missed calls but not if you have a vm.

    Thanks!
     
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  4. lneblett

    lneblett Well-Known Member

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    On the outbound rules page, you would name the rule with whatever you like so that you can uniquely identify the rule in question. Then you would use the rule starting "with prefix" and input the number that you want people to manually add to the dial string so that when dialed, that call will use this rule. So, say 9 in this case. Then down in the route section you would indicate (in the pull down box) which route/trunk this call will use and then you would also indicate strip "1" digit so that the "9" you manually entered in earlier to direct the call to this route would be removed and not sent to the carrier as a part of your normal LD call dial string. On the otherhand, you could also set up a rule for each Canadian/Intl country code or area code such that upon dialing 1418 for example it will route to the MJ. The problem here is that I do know how many area codes that might entail and there is a limitation as to the number of rules you can have.

    The problem is that the GS is programmed as one trunk in your case. All calls are sent to it and it finds the available port (either MJ or Comcast) and sends the call out. The gateway can be programmed (I think) to have more than one trunk in 3CX, but I think there will be some issues between how you want it and how reality will dictate its use -

    Assume for the second that the GS is programmed to have the separate ports rather than being one common trunk and that the MJ can be reached by dialing 9 and Comcast by dialing 8 (or whatever numbers you want).

    1. Calls to Canada/Intl are to use 9 and go out the MJ port, but what will happen if more than one call to Canada/Intl is desired at the same time? 3CX will indicate that no trunks are available if the port is already in usel. Will your folks have the dedication/discipline to resist using the Comcast line? Conceivably you could set up rules that take into account the country code and/or Canadian ACodes, but this may not be practical as you may need more rules than what the system can support and then if a new country comes into play that is not already rule based, the call would not go to MJ until such time as you created it. Presumably, it would go to Comcast unless you also have rules that preclude calls of this type. The Canada dial string is like that of the US, but you could set a rule such that calls of more than 11 digits or or start with 011 (international based) must go to MJ.

    2. Whatever port (MJ or Comcast) is used to complete the call, my assumption is that there will be an outbound caller-id associated with the call. You customer will see this number and very likely will use it to return calls thereby tying up your MJ line if Canada/Intl. Of course, you could tell those customers to call a different number but the reality is that they likely have the caller-id in a log or stored and will use it despite what you might ask them to do.

    Forcing an inbound call to use a given port is not possible unless you have call forwarding in place on the carrier of interest. Your caller is placing the call to a number. That number is associated to a carrier who in turn routes it to you via your number. Assuming that the carrier supports call forwarding, you could (AT&T example) input on the phone connected to the carrier you want to have implement the call forwarding 72#xxxxxxxxx where the x represents the number you want the call forwarded to. Keep in mind that the number you want it forwarded to may also represent a long distance call as well. To stop the forwarding, you dial 73#. You will not be able to do this from inside or while using 3CX, but will have to accomplish this with an analog phone connected directly to the line on which you want to have forwarded.

    If you are set on the method, then what I would do is get a couple of FXO single port gateways, look at the HT503 as it will support FXO and FXS (an incomming phone line as well as an analog phone connection) and program them as separate trunks. On the MJ trunk you can set the trunk up so that only outbound calls are acceptable. You can edit this in the Port/Trunk status tab within 3CX by double clicking the trunk number so that you can edit the port. Make sure that you can have MJ not send any caller-id info otherwise people who get the caller-id and attempt to use it to return a call wil be out of luck. The call will not be accepted by 3CX. On that same trunk, program the outbound so that all dial strings preceded with a 9 are directed to it. You now have it that all calls preceded with a 9 will go to MJ, that MJ will not accept any calls, but you will/must tell people what non-MJ number they must use. This is all predicated on the notion that the MJ line can be precluded from sending any caller-id info. I do not have MJ so am not knowledgeable as to its capabilities. It could be that the caller-id is programmable and you can set it to the number you want. While you can program the caller-id to some extent in 3CX, the carrier may not accept it and instead assert the actual caller-id associated to the device.

    The other HT is programmed to allow both inbound and outbound and to use 8 in its rule so that local or non-intl calls are directed to it instead.

    You can do the 4104 into separate trunks, but the HT method is easier to program, if one fails only one line is affected, etc.

    Have you looked into SIP trunk providers? I saw in an earlier post where you asked and some of the input you received (in my opinion) was not in line with my experience. This would be oh so much easier. Take a look at http://www.nexvortex.com. They may have a plan and cost structure that fits your needs as it is not a line based fee, but rather a minute plan that is packaged. You can make as many calls as your 3CX licence allows and your internet bandwidth will support. They support international as well and while I suspect that they will not be a MJ price beater, the MJ appears to be more of a consumer item than meant for business. You might also look into Skpe. There are other quality providers as well (and yes, some that might not be), but I would not lump them all as being inferior. I only reference nexvortex based upon how you have expressed your desired usage.

    Yes, the 3CX softphone does indicate Vmail. There is a small envelope just above the line keys and there is another indicator just below the transfer button. I do not know what version you of 3CX you have, but it could be that if you are using the free, that this is not supported. It is supported in the paid; I just tested it.
     
  5. bertarecchia

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    The prefix and separate trunks would be a good option.
    My setup and business demands aren't yet that strict so, I can be flexible.
    The good news is that with a click of a check box in the console, I found a way to force all calls to one line :) See attached.
    For now seems to work.

    I think it is as you say, the free version doesn't show the blinking envelope. No big deal since I send all VM to an email.

    Which brings me to the last hurdle, before I stop playing and get back to sales :) ...

    With the forum help, with enabling "2. Enable Tone Disconnect " and the silence timeout I am able to now hang up calls and free ports, that stop before reaching a voicemail, immediately. Big help there.

    The problems now is that those settings don't seem to effect inbound calls ( on both lines) that DO make it to voicemail or greeting. The ports stay open for over a minute even if the caller hangs up right away. I'm getting very long voicemails. Some have that loud beep from the carrier in the VM.
    Is there a different layer of settings in this case?!

    Thanks.
     

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  6. lneblett

    lneblett Well-Known Member

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    I do not believe your checking the box to "allow" is quite the same as you may think. What you have done is told 3cx not to allow any outbound calls to go out on that particular trunk, but go ahead and let any inbound through. So, all outbound must now be directed to your other trunk and should also be stated in your outbound rules. You have effectively made it such that you now have one trunk capable of handling outbound. depending on how you have the other checked with regard to inbound, they both may accept inbound. IF I dial using your MJ number, there is only one option that 3cx can do - accept or not accept. 3cx, nor any other system, can magically move the call to another trunk, so if set to not allow, then inbound calls will never be received on the affected trun and you will likely not know it. Keep in mind that if set to allow, then any inbound received will tie up that trunk thereby preventing its ability to make outbound.

    The silence detection setting is the only way I have heard with MJ.
     
  7. bertarecchia

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    Good point, I'll have to see if it becomes a conflict.

    For the disconnect.. which is now a pain,
    It's not just MJ. Any calls that come on both lines, if terminated before reaching an extension or VM, they free up the line / port right away. The silence timeout and tone disconnect have worked well for the above scenario and when the virtual receptionist answers, but I don't understand why they stop working when a call goes to an extension or vw.... :S

    I'll try to play with Current Disconnect and Polarity reversal... not sure what the second is at all... Most sensible people wouldn't play with it until they know but... :)
     
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