PSTN quality on SPA400

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by AndrewRTS, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. AndrewRTS

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    Hi all!

    I have been amazed with the 3CX system in my three short days of testing. I was ready to go live tonight until I hit a major snag with our PSTN line quality.

    I fought through all the strange configurations needed to get the SPA400 working and thought it was going to be great. Before leaving the office I wanted to do some test calls over PSTN to finalize everything. The callers on the other end started complaining that I sounded "far off" or quiet. I also was losing a lot of what they said and they experienced the same. I attempted to play with the gain settings and the VAD on the SPA400 to no avail. I also stayed on the calls for a minute or two see if they improved and nothing happened differently as the call went on.

    I realize that QoS on our network would help, so I'm installing a 3COM Gigabit switch tomorrow that has support for 802.1p. I don't believe we have any real bandwidth/QoS issues though because calls between extensions are CRYSTAL clear. I have a VPN configured to my house, and when calling from there back to the office it was so clear that I could hear the wall clock across the room ticking.

    All of our phones are SPA942s with the 4 line unlock firmware.

    I have a BroadVoice account configured too, and I would rate its quality somewhere around a 7. It's not quite as clear as my cell phone or the old Nortel PSTN phone system. It's still VERY usable though.

    Any thoughts/suggestions would be highly appreciated. If there are quality issues with the SPA400 I would really appreciate thoughts on what is the BEST PSTN gateway. We live in a market that will probably never have local VoIP phone numbers so we will be PSTN for years to come. A four line box would be great, but I really only have to have 2 lines into the system now so a couple of single line gateways would be fine.

    Our 3CX server is dedicated and it is extreme overkill on hardware. DUAL 2.4GHz Xeon processors, 3GB RAM, Windows Server 2003.

    Thanks everyone!
    Andrew
     
  2. gregitx

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    Hi
    I am using a SPA400 and the call quality is great
    Do you have the latest firmware installed ?
    I am running the system on a dedicated 512/512k ADSL connection
     
  3. AndrewRTS

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    I'm on 1.0.0.12 for the SPA400.
    I can post screenshots of everything if I need to.

    Thanks!
     
  4. gregitx

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    I am only on the 10 version

    I will upgrade and see if this causes any problems
     
  5. slinc

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    We are also currently testing the SPA400 and hope to be in production with it next week. So far in our test we have seen pretty good quality using our PSTN lines. We had to upgrade the firmware version also because we could not recieve inbound calls from a mobile phone (interesting). We will be doing a full test the first of next week before going live with it. We have 4 inbound PSTN lines.
     
  6. AndrewRTS

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    I guess what bothers me is that I had fairly good quality until I was ready to go last night. The last few calls got to be horrible.

    I gave up on this in my excitement, but I must have something configured wrong with the DID setup that you have to use now... To mimic our old Nortel system I wanted the front desk telephone to see "Line1", "Line2","Line3", "Line4".... So I gave her phone extensions 100 through 103 and made a rule that if they were from 10100 (the first port of our SPA) to ring extension 100. 10101 would go to 101 and so on. Everything was ringing to 100, so I just set all of her 4 lines back to 100 last night until I had more time to test. Then I had the quality issues so I gave up on the whole thing until I had a fresh mind.

    The only thing I didn't try was rebooting the 3CX server and/or restarting the services, but again all of our extension to extension calls were great. Even the VoIP line was good.
     
  7. AndrewRTS

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    I'm not sure exactly what did the trick but our quality was back to normal today. We originally didn't have Caller ID on our PSTN lines, but I called my friends at the local CLEC and had them turn it on. I found that the "Answer After" setting had to be setup for 2 on the SPA400 to see Caller ID information passing in.

    This was great until I tried to call with my cell phone. (Verizon Wireless)
    When I called in with my cell phone it made a strange sound similar to picking up the line and then went to dead silence. I see nothing in the 3CX log file. If I move it back to answer on one rings where we get no caller ID, it's fine!

    I know this has to be a problem in the SPA400 due to the fact that nothing hits the 3CX log.

    Any ideas?? Thanks all!!!
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    CLID is picked up using DTMF, to do so it needs to be BellCore standard. If your phone provider is not supporting that you get some funnies.

    What got me interested is that..... this not only happens on SPA400 but also on the SPA3102 (The PSTN Ring Thru Delay issue when the ring thru is set to 2 or 3 it works but hight it the wheels fall off).

    I would like 3CX to test this (they have more kid than me) to see if there is a handshaking issue between the software and the HW. It is strange very strange.

    Some cases it can be explained that the Ring Thu Delay is to long and the call gets handed of to Line 1 but you cannot do that on the SPA400 is it?


    Back to the sound issue, what does it mean that the calls got horrible?

    Was the sound distorted or did you have delays etc in the calls. There are some issues that the computer hits a double whamy in performance like when you use media server etc or if the box works as a domain server (I found recently that that can decrease the voice performance).

    So if your pc runs out of processor cycles it will start to cut corners and push things through to swap files etc that is where voice will die an heroic death due to latency on the IO.
     
  9. AndrewRTS

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    Thanks for the speedy response.

    The caller on the other end of the line said that I sounded "Far off" and very quiet. I then attempted to increase the gain on the line and that didn't help much. I was getting drop outs on the call and basically only hearing about half of every other word. I played with VAD on/off to no avail.

    Our 3CX server is a Dual Processor Xeon 2.4GHz machine / 3Gb RAM / Windows Server 2003. I did promote it to an additional domain controller, so that might not have been a good idea. I can easily DCPROMO it down. It is a couple year old HP Proliant that I reloaded just for this purpose. It's only bottleneck that I can imagine would be that it has standard IDE drives on the RAID array instead of SCSI/SATA/SAS.

    The quality on the PSTN was great today, but I"d love to have Caller ID working. I can't sacrifice incoming Verizon Wireless calls though because thats what nearly everyone in Tennessee, USA uses... :)

    I may attempt it with a friends AT&T mobile or a Sprint/Nextel/etc to see if it happens on all mobile phones.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I had it working on a machine way below your spec and worked fantastic on the surface but if you are really pick (as some of us are here in the office) you could argue if it was working ok.

    So we started slicing...... put 3cx on seperate disks than the domain controller etc and it was better (scsi though, but old ones)

    Now we running the new version on Vista MCE and i must stay it is fantasticer.

    Re the CLID, it am a bit baffled (same issues on the SPA3102) no idea atm.

    Might be something in the messages I do not know yet.
     
  11. AndrewRTS

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    We just got our authorization today from Deerfield.com to be a 3CX/Deerfield Partner. We are a technology consulting firm that concentrates in one vertical market, and I've always been handing the phone systems off to our cabling contractor. Not anymore!! :) For that reason I want to know what works the best... Any thoughts on a different PSTN gateway being more reliable, higher quality, etc? I'll order another box to try it out and put the whole darn Linksys set on eBay!

    I started my VoIP PBX quest with an SPA9000/SPA400 and my first hint of trouble should have been when my Linksys rep (We're a Linksys partner too...) warned me that they have problems if you aren't just using VoIP "lines".

    I found 3CX on Tuesday and absolutely fell in love. This is the coolest toy I've had in a long time. My Nortel phone system is now disconnected and all of my staff are dumbfounded that I found something online and three days later replaced our whole phone system. It just adds to my reputation of being a bit eccentric!

    Thanks for your help, farmer... We'll keep in touch as you seem to be the most versed on all the 3CX stuff on this forum outside of the 3CX staff.
     
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    LOL yeah I might write a country and western song about it :). Sitting on my veranda with the gitar, but than again that might cause troubles with the missus and the dogs as my singing is not that flash hot and the only thing i can make music with is my chainsaw :).

    Its all good.
     
  13. slinc

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    AndrewRTS,

    We also had the problem with the verizon calls not coming in. Upgrading to the latest firmware for the SPA400 fixed the problem. Hope this helps.
     
  14. AndrewRTS

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    Slinc: Are you on 1.0.0.12?
    That's the revision I have loaded and according to their website it is the latest firmware.

    I saw on their website that between versions .9 and .11 they were supposed to have fixed this bug:

    "Fail to respond to call request from FXO ports and network
    when certain non-alphanumeric characters (including &, $,
    #, (, ), [, ], {, }, |, and ',' (comma)) are included
    in the display name of the From header or caller ID name."

    I'm thinking about ordering another brand of PSTN gateway!!! :) The funny thing is that I LOVE the SPA942 phones... Everything else Linksys has kind of lost it's luster.
     
  15. slinc

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    I am running version 1.0.0.12. I will be doing final testing on Monday before going live and will be doing more testing with incoming moble calls. But before upgrading I was not able to get incoming calls from Verizon but after applying the upgrade I was. Make sure you have done a good reboot of the SPA400.

    I am using the SPA941 phones and so far have had no problems. Like I said I will know more the first of the week when we really hit the system hard. I am really hoping everything goes well.
     
  16. AndrewRTS

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    Since upgrading to .12, I've probably rebooted the thing 10 times... At least three full power cycles; One being for at least 15 minutes while we were moving it from my office into our wiring closet.

    I'm REALLY considering ordering a Grandstream box tonight.
    I called my Dad earlier and he told me that he could hear me but it was really soft. I think I'm going to try bumping the Transmit gain up a few db and see if that fixes it. Other than the 942 phones I think Linksys VoIP is still a bit of a joke... The SPA9000 was such a waste of a few weeks of my time. I'm just thankful we bought it at the partner price of 40% off. I can at least get my money back out of it on eBay. :)

    If you don't mind me asking, Slinc - How big is your installation of 3CX? Lines/Extensions/etc?

    Anyone tried to Grandstream GXW-4104? Their support has to be better than Linksys?

    Thanks!
     
  17. slinc

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    When everything is fully up we will have about 9 phones and 4 PSTN lines. We are a small office. I called someone a couple days ago using the SPA400 and they said it sounded a little soft also. But then I called them from a standard traditional phone and they said it sounded the same.

    I read many people post comments about the SPA400 on this forum before purchasing it and many said they had good results. So I am hoping tomorrow when I fully test it with all phones hooked up I will have reasonable results. If not, I will be like you and looking another gateway.

    If you do go with a Grandstream let me know the model and how it works in case I have to go that route. But for now, I am hoping for the best.

    We are runing 3CX on a new Dell server using a Gigabit network.
     
  18. slinc

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    Well, after getting back to the office and doing more testing I have found that the SPA400 is NOT accepting calls from Verizon. I thought for sure we had tested that last week.

    Now for the even worst part, I have call Linksys 3 times and they say they do not support the SPA400 AT ALL. You have to call the reseller you purchased the product from for support. Of course, if you buy it online from one of the main VOIP supply houses they do not support it and expect Linksys too.

    So, it looks like I have a $300 paper weight :( The only way to get it to work is to have it anwser after 1 ring which completely disables the caller id. The problem appears to be in the "," used in the caller id (ie. New York,New York). It can't handle the comma. The latest version was suppose to have fixed it.
     
  19. AndrewRTS

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    Hey Slinc! I was JUST testing mine a few minutes ago and saw the update in my email to this forum post. I did find that I wired my phone jacks backwards that I added just for the SPA400... Woops.. I had -48V instead of 48V. (The old Nortel was all on the 66 block instead of having phone jacks...)

    I was hoping that would fix my problem... It didn't work! :)
    I'm probably going to order the Grandstream in the morning. I'll be more than happy to let you know how it goes. This SPA400 bug is just unacceptable! Verizon probably has a 80% marketshare of our clients so we're going to live without caller ID for a few days.

    eBay here we come! Anyone want a great deal on an SPA400 / SPA9000 kit? :)
     
  20. slinc

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    AndrewRTS,

    Did you say you are using Linksys phones? I have 9 brand new Linksys SPA941's. Do you think they will work with the Grandstream? I assume since SIP is a standard they should. If not, I have 9 more paper weights :shock:
     

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