Friday, 27 May 2016

Configuring Grandstream HT701 With CallCentric - Quick Guide

The Grandstream HT701 is a single-line VoIP ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter).  It can be purchased as an "unlocked" (open configuration) VoIP adapter.  It is well suited for the BYOD DIY VoIP enthusiast who wants to configure their own ATA with their choice of BYOD DIY VoIP Service providers (VSPs).

In this "Quick Guide", I will illustrate the bare bone essentials that I used to configure my HT701 with the well known VSP CallCentric.

CallCentric is a BYOD and DIY VoIP Service Provider (VSP) based out of New York City, USA.

As with all of my Quick Guides, I like to begin by ensuring that the VoIP device has been freshly Factory Reset to its default settings.  This is the only way I can ensure that what works for me, should also work for you.  As well, I like to quickly review the list of assumptions and prerequisites to ensure we are all starting from the same general reference point.

Assumptions and Prerequisites
  • You know how to login to the Grandstream HT701 ATA -  I explain how:  HERE.
  • You are the owner of the phone and it has not been locked-down by a VSP or previous owner.
  • Make sure the phone is Ethernet cable connected to a LAN port on your NAT-Router.
  • The NAT-Router must be enabled to issue DHCP IP addresses to LAN connected devices.
  • You know how to perform a Factory Reset (Reset configuration settings to their factory defaults) - I explain how:  HERE.
  • Once you know how to perform a Factory Reset, I recommend that you do so before proceeding. (Not absolutely required, but a good idea.)
  • Preferably, your HT701 should be running with the latest available firmware version
  • Your HT701 is powered-up and ready to be configured.
  • You have already setup an account with CallCentric and know your account SIP credentials that will be used to configure into your HT701 ATA. (i.e. User Name and SIP Password.)

Now that we have the assumptions and prerequisites out of the way, all that remains is the non-default essentials required to successfully configure the HT701 to connect to and register with the CallCentric proxy server.  (This will only take a few short minutes.)

The screen captures in this article were based on Firmware Version

Let's Get Started
  • Login to the HT701 Configuration Utility using your PC web browser. You will initially land on the  Status  page window as illustrated below.

As can also be seen under the Status page section, FXS Port Status is showing:  "Not Registered".

This unregistered status is normal for a new, or just factory reset base unit.  Once we proceed and successfully configure the FXS Port configuration settings with CallCentric and then  come back to the Status page, you should then see the FXS Port Status shown as "Registered".

Setting Your Time Zone
  • Click on the " Basic Settings " tab link at the top of the Grandstream Device Configuration window.

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the Basic Settings page to the Time Zone drop-down list.

  • Click on the drop-down menu list and select your local Time Zone that you live in.

    Because I live in the Okanagan Valley region of British Columbia, Canada, I will be selecting Pacific Standard Time - PST (i.e. GMT -8).

  • Click on the Update button at the bottom of the configuration window to save your changes.

After clicking the Update button, you will be greeted with the "Configuration Changed.  Click Apply to Save Settings" update notice window.  But, do not Apply or Reboot just yet.

First, you will want to configure the SIP VoIP proxy settings located in the FXS Port page.  These next, and final settings should only take just a minute or two.

However, please note that if you doddle for too long before making the setting changes before applying to save and reboot, your HT701 ATA login session will time-out and any changes you make will not be saved.  So, completing setting changes before session timeout is something to keep in mind (it is a bit of a pain trying to save settings only to find out your session has timed-out and you then have to re-login and start again...)

Moving along:

  • Click on the FXS Port page tab.
    This is where you will configure your VoIP SIP credential and Proxy Server settings, etc.

Configuring The Proxy Server Settings

The  FXS Port  page is where you will configure the Proxy Server settings for CallCentric.

Configure the following text boxes with the following values (in red):
  • Primary SIP Server:
  • Outbound Proxy:   
  • NAT Traversal:                Keep-Alive 
  • SIP User ID:              Your CallCentric 11-digit Account #  (or, 14-digit Sub-Account #).
  • Authenticate ID:        Use your same SIP User ID here, too.
  • Authenticate Password:      Your CallCentric SIP account Pass Word.  (or, Sub-Account PW)
  • DNS Mode:                      SRV
  • Register Expiration:        5  (minutes)
    (Default is 60 minutes - but I use a shorter period for better registration reliability)

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Apply button.

After clicking the Apply button, you will be greeted with the "Your configuration changes have been saved." screen.  This time, if you are confident that you have entered your configuration values correctly, you are ready to Reboot the HT701.

  • Click the Reboot button.

Rebooting will take about ~ 60 seconds.

Once rebooted, the HT701 should now be successfully registered with CallCentric's proxy server that you have now configured into the ATA.

I should note that the "Phone" LED green light on the ATA should illuminate steady green when the ATA is successfully registered with the VoIP proxy server.

I would also like to note that I have observed that it takes the HT701 approximately 60 more seconds after rebooting to indicate it is "registered" with the proxy.  In other words, if the ATA is correctly configured with the SIP VoIP account information, it will take ~ 120 seconds or about 2 minutes to acquire registration status again following a Reboot, or power-up sequence.

If registration is successful, the registration LED on the front of the HT701 ATA will light up green.

You can also log back into the HT701 and confirm registration on the Status page.

That's it.... we are done!

I have found the Grandstream HT701 to be quick and easy to basically configure.  And, so far it seems to be performing quite reliably with the minimum of settings that I just walked you through.

That's It In a Nutshell
So now, I have covered the bare-bones essentials of getting started configuring your Grandstream HT701 ATA Phone with a BYOD DIY VoIP service provider like CallCentric.

If you started with the HT701 configuration default values, and only changed the values and entries described in the above bullet points with your correct account credentials and proxy, you should now be able to make and receive VoIP calls via your CallCentric account connection.

Making Test Calls From The HT701 With CallCentric
Because CallCentric is a pay-as-you-go BYOD VoIP service, you do need to have calling credits in your CallCentric account in order to place calls to PSTN landline or mobile phone numbers.  (However, you can place free in-network VoIP calls to other CallCentric users by dialing their 11-digit CallCentric account number, if you know it.)

I have listed a few Free Test Calls that you can make regardless of the calling balance in your account.
  • *123(#)   -  Voice Mail access   (if you setup a CallCentric voice mail box)
  • 17770000001(#)  -   CallCentric Test Number
  • 17771234567(#)  -   Free 411 (advertisement sponsored)
  • 011-883-510-000-000-091(#)   -  iNum Echo Test
  • 011-883-510-000-000-093(#)   -  iNum Caller-ID Test

    Because iNum calls are international numbers, they are dialed as an international number, which means from the USA and Canada, you need to precede the iNum number dialed with the International Direct Dialing (IDD) Access Code of 011.

To ensure speedy dialing of any number, just press the # key after the last entered digit.  Entering the # key will initiate an "immediate send" on that dial string, and speed things up.

Obviously, there are numerous additional settings for tweaking the configuration and performance of your Grandstream HT701 analog telephone adapter.  However, configuring the bare bones basics to quickly get connected with CallCentric was the theme of this article.

Reminder:   Don't forget to set an Administrator Password for your HT701.  It's good security policy.

Happy VoIP calling via your Grandstream HT701 analog telephone adapter!