HELP!!! - How do i get Cisco phones working???

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by mbagshaw, May 21, 2008.

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  1. mbagshaw

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    I have just taken delivery of a number of Cisco IP phones - 7940, 7960 and 7971, all of which I want to connect to 3CX. I expected them to just plug-in to my network and I would follow some simple configuration instructions that would have the phones running in minutes. They don't do that - it seems they go into an endless loop trying to connect to the network.

    Having read some of the forum entries I now realise that I need to convert the phones from "Cisco" format to SIP. I would like to think I am IT literate but I would have to admit my (IBM) technical experience goes back a long way and I'm not up to speed with VoIP, SIP, etc. I am also trying to save my relationship here - I promised my partner we'd have great telephones working by midnight and that's looking very doubtful!

    I've read all I can on this forum and on the 3CX help pages and I know I need to acquire some files from Cisco and a program to deliver them to the phones. The example I saw on the 3CX help pages used a TFTP program called Pumpkin to update the phones. I went to the link and downloaded a program called IPSentry that I assume is the same thing (it's a trial version - do I need it permanently?). I'm not familiar with TFTP so I have no idea what to do with this program now I've loaded it.

    My other problem is that I don't have any of the files that I apparently require to upgrade the phones and I don't have an account with Cisco (I looked at creating one but it seems that, as an "ordinary" customer who has purchased my phones from a third party I can't easily create a Cisco account).

    Could someone kind person take me - simply - through all the steps I need to perform to make these phones work? I (and my partner) will be eternally grateful!
     
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  2. Nick Galea

    Nick Galea Site Admin

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    Two FAQs that should prove useful to you :)

    Convert to SIP
    http://www.3cx.com/blog/docs/cisco-7940-sip/

    Then to configure it to work with 3CX
    http://www.3cx.com/sip-phones/cisco-7940g-7960g/

    The firmwares should be obtained from your reseller. Or else you must obtain an account from them. We are not authorized to distribute them. Maybe there are other users that might provide you the files but getting an account makes sense, its not expensive. If you plan on using these phones you have no way around it.

    Hope that helps...
     
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  3. sabalsam

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    The reason you are getting the messages that you are receiving is because the phones that you are using need configuration files. Each of the different phones need a different type of configuration file.

    A couple of questions:

    Do you have a service contract with Cisco on these phones? In order to get the latest phone software from Cisco, you will need it.

    Do you have access to a TFTP server? This is where the configuration files will need to live.

    Do you have a DHCP server? You will need to have an entry for your TFTP server in the scope entries.

    Once you have those, you will need to write the config files for each phone and have them live on the TFTP server

    If you need to get some ideas on what needs to be in the config file do a search on cisco 7960 config file and you can find some ideas.

    Seth Balsam
     
  4. mfaster

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    We run Cisco 7970s. I've seen example config files elsewhere on these forums. Try searching for them. We've found that this version of firmware works best with the 7970 and 3cx: SIP 70.8-0-3s. Please don't ask me the firmware. get a support agreement with Cisco.

    Couple other useful resources I've found

    http://asterisktutorials.com/videos/7970/movie.html

    http://www.voipinfo.org/wiki/index.php?page=Asterisk+phone+cisco+79x1+xml+configuration+files+for+SIP

    http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/index.php?page=Asterisk+phone+cisco+79x1+xml+configuration+files+for+SIP

    Get the solarwinds TFTP free software if you don't already have this capability on your network. You will need to config your DHCP service to point your phones(and anything else) on your network to the IP addr where you run TFTP. You put the Phone config files in the root of the TFTP.

    If you really get stuck and cannot find an example config file..lemme know and I can scrub one of mine and either post it or send it to you.


    Mike
     
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  5. mbagshaw

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    Good news (for me, at leastst)! I have FINALLY got most of my Cisco phones working. I have to say this has been the most convoluted, complex technical process I have ever undertaken - and that's speaking as someone who, admittedly 25 years ago, was a Country Large Systems Specialist at IBM!

    Thank you to everyone who helped with guidance. A couple of pointers that may be useful for someone in my situation (i.e. a home office setup):

    1. You have to be METICULOUS about file naming conventions, parameters, etc. I didn't notice, for example, that the firmware files that I finally obtained on the net (Version 8.8 - I think that's how it's referred to - is available at http://www.xs4all.nl/~graver1/cisco/SIP-7960/P0S3-08-8-00.zip and version 8.2 is freely available from Cisco at ftp://ftp.cisco.com/pub/voice/ip-phone/sip-7960/ - don't ask me what the differences are ... I used version 8.8 ) don't all have the same filename (the filename on two of them begins with P0S3... and on the other two with P003... - make sure you use the right one where ever it's required, e.g. the 8.8 image upload needs to be spelled P003-08-8-00 in the OS79XX.TXT and P0S3-08-8-00 in the SIPDefault.cnf).

    2. Setting up a TFTP server that is required to download files to the phones was messy. I ended up using a free combined TFTP server and DHCP server called tftpd32 (http://tftpd32.jounin.net/) which ended up being quite complicated to set up. The reason for using that was that my ADSL2 modem/router normally provides DHCP services to my network, but to get the phones to find the TFTP server I needed a DHCP server that supports "option 66" which tells the phone the IP address of the TFTP server that contains the files that it needs. I couldn't find an "option 66" in any of the DHCP settings in my existing router so ended up installing tftpd32 on the same computer I'm running 3CX on (an unused ThinkPad) and using it both as a TFTP server and a DHCP server - of course I disabled the DHCP server in my router to avoid network conflicts. That seemed to work okay (although it seemed a bit slow) until I totally screwed up the system by connecting a Linksys SPA 3102 Voice Gateway (I have STILL haven't got that working!) that can also act as a DHCP server ... without remebering to disable the DHCP function. Even after shutting down the entire network and bringing tftpd32 up as the (only) DHCP server, some of the other computers on the network didn't seem to be able to get an IP address from tftpd32. Given that I have successfully upgraded three of the five Cisco phones I purchased (I have given up on another two and am going to send them back), I have gone back to using the router as a DHCP server. If I need to make any changes to the phones I will need to change the DHCP server setup back to tftpd32. This really is a mess.

    3. I had all sorts of spurious messages from the phones once I got them running - for example "HTTP Connection Closed" (after trawling the net yet again I discovered that this was because I had settings for a logo download from a Web site... it seems to get Web access working I need to open Port 80, I guess on my router - I have given up on this one, too). It seems the best thing to do for all of the possible parameters - and it seems like there are literally hundreds in the Cisco configuration files - is not to remove them altogether but to enter them as "" i.e. blank or null. That way any of these parameters already in the phone will be overwritten when you (finally) get the files to load into the phone.

    4. A final piece of advice? Avoid Cisco IP phones like the plague! I haven't tried any other IP phones but from what I can gather none of the others are such a nightmare to get working.
     
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  6. Nick Galea

    Nick Galea Site Admin

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    Thanks for the update.

    If you want a phone that looks like a CISCO but is easy to use and a LOT cheaper, just use Linksys phones. They have a good look and feel, and are widely available. They have good firmware, and within a few months they will support industry standard BLF as well. (you will be able to upgrade any phones you have via a firmware upgrade, no need to wait for the BLF)
     
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  7. ktikoft

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    It does not really make sense to try and connect cisco phones to anything but cisco Phone systems they are not open standard equipment but are made to get the most out of Cisco phone systems and they need to incorporate compatability functions to their non standard deviced of times past. At last count Cisco users could have 4 major releases and a large number of intermediate releases.

    The autoprovisioning availiable in 3cx and the like for opoen standard phoens makes them a lot easier.

    One nice to have woudl be that th autoprovisioning support the multiline functiosn of these phones. I for one run three different extensions on my GXP2020 phones.
     
  8. ITWorks

    ITWorks New Member

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    I would not to want the previous postings to leave one with the impression that Cisco phones are not a good choice for use with 3CX. They probably are not the best choice in implementations of less than 20 phones. However in larger deployments or where Quality of Service needs to be implemented, I believe they are an excellent choice. We use close to 100 Cisco 7941 and 7961 phones. Provisioning takes less than 5 minutes per phone and that includes the time the phone automatically replaces the SCCP firmware with the SIP firmware. I have never changed or upgraded the firmware from the one SIP version we selected to originally use. Every feature available in 3CX works on these phones and they have additional features such as directory services via a web server or LDAP server. The large LCD displays really make this feature useful. We pay less than $200 US for each 7941 phone and less than $250 per 7961. We do not purchase the Cisco Call Manager license which can add $50 to $100 by specifying “spare” in the part number. I have not tested Polycom phones but other phones we have tested do not have the quality of the Cisco phones.

    However to take advantage of the major reason we use Cisco phones one must implement Cisco switches in the wiring closet. When a Cisco phone is plugged into a Cisco switch it automatically detects it as a phone (SmartPorts) and configures the Ethernet port on the phone on the data access VLAN (to connect to the desktop computer) and the phone interface as the voice VLAN. Then QOS is automatically configured correctly on the phone, the switch port and the switch trunk port to give voice priority end to end in the network.

    To deploy a Cisco phone we first configure the extension in 3CX. We then edit our template cnf.xml file on six separate lines and save it on the TFTP server using the phones MAC address in the file name. We unplug the Ethernet cable from the back of the user’s computer and plug it into the switch port on the new phone. The computer is then plugged into the PC port of the phone. POE from the switch powers the phone. The phone auto-configures and 5 minutes later the user is making calls utilizing 3CX and QOS.

    Getting to this point was no small investment in time, but our users are very happy with their system and we are to the point we don’t need to think that much about it.

    Note: Please do not contact me directly requesting Cisco firmware or configuration help. I am always willing to provide information regarding our process in these forums.

    Mark
     
  9. Arnaud

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    I can confirm Marks posting. Even in smaller networks I see the benefits of using the Cisco 79xx series phones. I have a couple in my network, using the directory button to get phonebook information from an LDAP server (see one of my other postings on how to set this up).
    Using the services button you could do all kind of interesting things, like for example calling the recording url, to start and stop recordings for this extension on the 3cx server (http://localhost:5481/Update_extension.php?extnum=100&pwd=100&record_calls=1)
    You could also configure it to call a menu on your webserver (in my case the 3cx apache server) and make it call stock quotes, weather info or whatever you consider useful to have directly at hand when on the phone.
     
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  10. rothdani

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    Hello,

    that sounds very interessting, i've here also a cisco 7940 to try it on the 3CX. Im also interessted in a global directory an this feature with call recording over the service button sounds also very interessting, can you give me a bit more information how i have to configure my phone for using this features? I can't find Mark's post about how to set up an LDAP Server...

    Thanks

    Daniel
     
  11. Arnaud

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    Hi,

    the posting with information about how to setup the 3CX server as LDAP server, and Cisco phones as clients came from me. You can find it http://www.3cx.com/forums/howto-guide-ldap-services-3cx-cisco-ip-phones-4926.html.
    I'm still working on optimizing the call recording via the service button. At the moment I use a unique url per phone extension to be called when the service button is pressed on the phone. This means that each phone has it's the url in the phone specific config files. Instead I would rather like to use a generic config, and use a script to "discover" the extension. Not sure whether this can be done with SIP image for the phones.

    Regards,
    Arnaud
     
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  12. rothdani

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    Thanks for the Info Arnaud, looks really good, will trie it an hope it works :) Have a good night,
     
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