Saturday, 23 July 2016

Manually Configure CallCentric In Obihai OBi200


In this article, I will walk you through the basics of how to configure your Obihai OBi200 directly with CallCentric, a well known BYOD DIY VoIP Service Provider based in New York, USA.  I myself have been using CallCentric for many years.

The OBi200 is a feature-rich Voice Bridge/VoIP Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) capable of simultaneously registering with up to 4 VoIP service providers, plus the OBiTalk proprietary network.  So in essence, the OBi200 is capable of making and receiving phone calls via any of 5 VoIP service networks from this one tiny little box (2.9" x 2.9").  

While only equipped with a single FXS RJ-11 analog telephone jack, the OBi200 is capable of directing all inbound calls from any of the 4 configured ITSP VoIP services (and the OBiTalk network) to the one single phone jack. As well, it can also make outbound calls via the same set of 4 configured VoIP service providers and OBiTalk network via the one phone jack.  The OBi200 has many more talents which I don't have space to cover at this time.

In this article, I am only focusing on the very fundamental basics of "manually" configuring a single VoIP service  provider (CallCentric) into the ATA using ITSP-A and SP1 as the voice service pair.  I will start with the factory default settings and then only add, edit, or modify the most essential required setting parameters to successfully achieve reliable SIP registration with CallCentric.

Once successfully "manually" configured and registered with CallCentric, you will then be able to make and receive VoIP calls through your CallCentric account on your OBi200,

To achieve the goal of a quick and reliable setup, I will recommend that the ATA be initially "factory reset" to it's default values - this way, we're all starting on the same page - literally.  Then, I will point out only the essential settings that "must be edited" manually, in order to connect and achieve reliable service registration with the CallCentric proxy servers.


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NOTE:
My procedures outlined here are based on the premise that your OBi200 is not, and will not be linked to the OBiTalk Dashboard web portal at www.obitalk.com using their "Add Device" feature.  If you "add your device" to the OBiTalk portal, the portal will takeover remote administration of your OBi device via the cloud (which is fine, if that is what you want.  However, my tutorials are not based on that premise).  Thus, if you are connected to the OBiTalk Dashboard portal, any local administration settings that you do here to your OBi200, via local LAN side administration could and likely will be over-written by the OBiTalk remote administration portal periodically, or upon device reboot.  Thus, to proceed with my procedures outlined here, and if your OBi200 is/was previously configured via OBiTalk portal, then I recommend you "unlink" and remove your OBi200 from OBiTalk portal (remove from "Add Device" list) first, and then followed by a local factory reset to ensure that you are starting with fresh default configuration values and no remote administration links or remnants left behind.

Please remember, the premise of all my tutorials are to allow you to locally and manually configure your ATA without any interaction with 3rd party control - which is how I configure all my VoIP devices.


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Trying to manually configure the OBi200 may at first appear to be a daunting task (which it can be for someone not familiar with it's configuration settings and layout).  After all, there are over 1,000 configurable settings inside the OBi200...


The good news is that the OBi200 ATA can be manually configured and making phone calls with your existing CallCentric account in less than 10 minutes.  
(Once you have read and understand all the information outlined below :)

In order to proceed , a few assumptions must be made and prerequisites met:


Assumptions and Prerequisites
  • You need to know how to login to the OBi200 -  I explain how:  HERE.
  • The OBi200 has not previously been "locked-down" by a VSP (VoIP Service Provider).
  • The OBi200 is not linked to OBiTalk Dashboard portal via "Add Device" method on OBiTalk website.
  • Make sure the OBi200 is Ethernet connected to a LAN port on your NAT-Router/switch.
  • Your NAT-Router must be set to issue DHCP IP addresses to LAN connected devices.
  • You should have an analog telephone plugged into the OBi200 Phone port.
  • You know how to perform a Factory Reset (Reset Configuration to Defaults) - I explain how:  HERE.
  • Once you know how to perform a Factory Reset, I recommend that you do so before proceeding with my configuration directions.   (This is an important step to be sure that what works for me will also work for you, too.)
  • Your OBi200 is running the latest Firmware version.  Don't know?   I explain how to check/update:  HERE.
  • Your OBi200 is powered-up and ready to be configured.
  • If you like, you can test that your OBi200 is working properly by placing an ECHO TEST call to the Obihai Echo Test Server, by dialing **9-222-222-222 from your telephone that is connected to the OBi200 Phone port.  (The OBi200 can magically make this call over the OBiTalk network without any configuration changes from the factory defaults. :)
  • You have previously setup a CallCentric account and have your SIP account login username and password credentials handy.
    (You can use your CallCentric "Main Account" credentials, or any other CallCentric "extension" sub-account credentials setup for specific use with your OBi200 connections).

Now that all the assumptions and prerequisites out of the way, we are all set.



So, lets get started

  • Login to the OBi200 configuration utility using your PC web browser.
  • Navigate to (click on) the "Service Providers" menu option.
  • Click on ITSP Profile A menu option.
  • Click on "General" menu option (located just below ITSP Profile A).
  • You can set the "Name" of this ITSP A profile as "CallCentric", if you like (optional).
  • I'm recommending the following Digit Map for most people:

(*xx|*xxx|*75xx|[49]11|1[2-9]xxxxxxxxx|<1>[2-9]xxxxxxxxx|011xx.|xx.|(Mipd)|[^*#]@@.)

You can copy and paste this complete text string into the "Digit Map" text box in the ITSP Profile A section as a replacement for the default OBi200 digit map.  (Delete/erase the default digit map before pasting the new digit map.)  (You must uncheck the "Default" check-box first before editing.)

Note:
While you can make regular phone calls using the Default Digit Map, my recommended CallCentric digit map will enable additional dialing options such as checking your CallCentric Voice Mail, sending *xx vertical service commands, 411 or 911, and the CallCentric *75xx based quick dial phone book. (911 must be purchased and enabled via your CallCentric user account dashboard in order to enable 911 access).





  • Once you have finished the above edits, click the Submit button at the bottom of the ITSP Profile A window.
  • When a pop-up "Submit Changes" dialog window appears, click the OK button to proceed; 


  • You will then be greeted with the Configuration Update Successful screen.

    Once you have clicked OK above, you could reboot.  However, the previous submission will be temporarily saved until we finish making more changes, and then we will Reboot.  In the meantime, you will see the gold colored "Reboot Required" icon in the upper-right corner of config windows, reminding you that changes won't take full effect until you eventually do reboot.



  • Next, on the left side of the window,  click on the SIP menu item, listed under ITSP Profile A.


  • Now, we will be editing the VoIP proxy server settings in the SIP section of ITSP Profile A:


While in ITSP Profile A, SIP settings window, edit the following fields with callcentric.com as the server:
  • Proxy Server:                 callcentric.com
  • Registrar Server:           callcentric.com
  • User Agent Domain:      callcentric.com
  • Outbound Proxy:           callcentric.com

  • Set Registration Period to:  360 (seconds) (i.e. every 6 minutes)


    Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
    • Enable:  X_DnsSrvAutoPrefix  by un-checking its Default box and checking its Value box.







    When finished editing the SIP page, click the SUBMIT Button before proceeding to the next page.







    After clicking Submit, you will again be greeted with the Update Successful window.
    You do not need to reboot, just yet.  We will do that when finished with all our configuration changes.



    • Next, click on Voice Services menu item in the left navigation window pane.
    • Now, click on SP1 Service menu item, located directly under Voice Services menu.


    • For reference purposes, note that the parameter:  X_ServProvProfile is defaulted to value = A. We will not be changing this setting.  At this time, we want SP1 to be paired with ITSP-A;  so no change is currently required.
    • Enable:  X_KeepAliveEnable  by un-checking the Default box and checking its Value box.
      This setting should help ensure your NAT-Router SIP ports don't time-out, and thus allows the SIP ports to remain open for incoming calls through CallCentric servers.

    • For reference purposes, note that the parameter:  X_UserAgentPort is defaulted to Value =  5060.   This is the default and standard VoIP SIP port used by most VoIP User Agents (i.e. your ATA or IP-Phone).  If you have conflicts with other VoIP devices on your network, or prefer to use a non-standard port, this is an option you that can alter as required, or desired.  You can change this value, but is not usually required (depending on circumstances).

    • Locate the SIP Credentials section located in the middle of the SP1 Service page.

    • In the text box labeled AuthUserName, enter your CallCentric account number.  This is your 11-digit 1777xxxxxxx account number, or 11-digit number + 3-digit Extension number (if using a sub-account:  i.e. 1777xxxxxxxxxx
    • In the text box labeled AuthPassword, enter your CallCentric SIP password.
      (Passwords are limited to a maximum of 15 characters, and not less than 6 characters.)
    • Enable:  X_EnforceRequestUserID

    • In the Calling Features section, you can Enable and insert your personal Caller ID Name.  This is an optional setting.

    And finally, you can enable Mail Waiting Notifications for your CallCentric account (assuming you have enabled Voice Mail within your CallCentric VoIP service account).
    • Enable:  MWIEnable
    • Enable:  X_VMWIEnable



      • When finished editing this page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Submit button.
      • Then, click on the OK button to proceed with submitting the changes:
      • Once again, you will be greeted with the Configuration Update Successful window screen.

      • This is the final step to complete our quick and easy OBi200 configuration settings for service with CallCentric:   Click the REBOOT button located in the window upper-right corner:




      Rebooting your OBi200 only takes about 15-20 seconds.



      Start Making CallCentric Voice Phone Calls
      If you started with the OBi200 configuration default values, and only changed the values and entries described in the above bullet points, you should have a dial tone and now be able to make and receive phone calls with your OBi200 using CallCentric as your default VoIP provider.  Following, I provide some numbers for testing calls via CallCentric using the OBi200.


      All numbers listed below are Free Calls, via CallCentric and your OBi200 ATA phone:
      • CallCentric's Test number:   1-777-000-0001
      • Free voice activated information service; sponsored by 24-7 Information Line:   1-777-123-4567 (same destination as dialing 411)
      • Free Directory Assistance (advertiser sponsored):    411
      • Call your CallCentric Voice Mail box (if you enabled it via your CallCentric dashboard):   *123
      • iNum network Echo Test:   011-883-5100-0000-0091#


      Notes:
      1. With the procedures outlined in this article, you will still be able to make free OBI-to-OBi in-network VoIP calls to other OBi ATA's.  (Even if you are not registered on the OBiTalk Dashbpard.)
      2. Calling to PSTN landlines and mobiles requires CallCentric calling credits.
      3. CallCentric also provides for free in-network calling between all their account holders by dialing any other 1777xxxxxxx SIP account number, or sub-account extension.
      4. If you populated your CallCentric online Phone Book with phone numbers and SIP URI's for quick dialing, the OBi200 (as configured in this article) may not correctly interpret a *75xx phone book entry unless you first dial **1, then followed by the *75xx code (and, assuming you used CallCentric's recommended Digit Map above).   i.e., dial :   **1*75xx
      5. The CallCentric recommended Digit Map settings may not be optimal for some number sequence dialings.  If you experience excessive connect delays (~10 seconds), try following your dialed number with the pound/hash key ( ) to speed things up. (immediate send)
      6. e911 service is available with CallCentric - but must be activated and paid for through your CallCentric service account. 


      That's it, we are done!


      Obviously, there are numerous additional settings for tweaking the configuration and performance of your ATA.  But, configuring and enabling the bare bones basics was the theme of this article.   And, it's working for me.  I hope it works as well for you, too!

      Enjoy!

      Jeff - VoipDIY