Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Configuring Grandstream HT701 With Flowroute - Quick Guide



The Grandstream HT701 is a single-line VoIP ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) that can be purchased as an "unlocked" (open configuration) VoIP adapter.

It's well suited for the BYOD DIY VoIP enthusiast who wants to configure their own ATA with their choice of  VoIP service providers (VSPs) who allow BYOD and DIY.


In this "Quick Guide", I will illustrate the bare bone essentials that I used to configure my HT701 with the well known Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP):  Flowroute.



Flowroute is a BYOD and DIY ITSP based out of Seattle, Washington, USA with VoIP proxy servers located in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  Flowroute also provides DID phone numbers throughout Canada, as well as in the Okanagan Valley of BC where I live.  They also provide free iNum DID's as well as free iNum inbound/outbound calling.


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/ITSP 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.
  • 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 Flowroute and know your account SIP credentials that will be used in the configuration of your HT701 ATA. (i.e. User Name/Tech Prefix/Authenticate ID, 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 Flowroute SIP proxy server.  (This should only take a few short minutes.)

Note:
The screen captures used in this article were based on Firmware Version 1.0.8.2
  











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 be seen under the Status page section, FXS Port Status is showing:  "Not Registered".
This unregistered status is normal for a new, or factory reset base unit.  Once we proceed and successfully configure the FXS Phone Port configuration settings with Flowroute and then come back to the Status page, you should then see the FXS Port Status shown as "Registered".  (Following a reboot, registration can take up to 2 minutes on a properly configured HT701.)



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).





After your Time Zone has been selected, click on the Update button at the bottom of the configuration window to save your changes. 

The Update button is a "temporary" save option and should be applied before navigating to any other configuration pages.



After clicking the Update button, you will be greeted with the update notice: "Configuration Changed.  Click Apply to Save Settings".  There is no need to click the Apply button at this time.  We will do that at the end of our configuration session, prior to rebooting.



Moving along:
  • Click on the AVANCED SETTINGS tab.


  • Change your Admin Password from its default value to something more secure.
    Just type in your new Admin PW string, and then proceed down to the STUN server section.

  • I recommend that you Enable STUN Server support with Flowroute.
    STUN servers aid with NAT Firewall Traversal and ensure more reliable connections with the proxy server.

    You can do this as follows:

    Set STUN Server text box value to:   stun.ipvideotalk.com

    This is a STUN server implemented by Grandstream.  Alternatively, you can use stun.counterpath.net  or  stun.3cx.com.   (Without STUN server support, you may experience problems with one-way audio or no audio during  "inbound"  calls.)





  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click:   UPDATE button.



Next, you will need to configure the SIP proxy settings located in the FXS Port settings page.

  • Click on the FXS Port page tab.

    This is where you will configure your SIP credentials and Proxy Server settings, etc.  I will also be changing my device local SIP and RTP port values as well as NAT Traversal and Keep Alive assist settings.

The following screen capture shows the default settings (before I edit changes) :






Configuring The SIP Server Settings

Configure the following text boxes and radio buttons with the following values (marked in red):
  • Primary SIP Server:        sip.flowroute.com
  • NAT Traversal:              STUN 
  • SIP User ID:               Your Flowroute 11-digit DID Phone Number (or, a phone# where you can be called back on).  This will also be your transmitted Caller-ID.  Your ability to receive inbound calls are determined by this number.

    If you don't have a Flowroute inbound DID number, alternatively set this value to any phone number that you wish to associate your Caller-ID for your outbound calls. For example, if it is set to your cell phone number, people you call will see that they can call you back via your cell phone. 
  • Authenticate ID:        Your Flowroute Tech Prefix (i.e.  SIP Authentication Username)
  • Authenticate Password:      Your Flowroute SIP account Password.
    This PW is auto-generated in your Flowroute account portal.  Copy and paste it here.
  • Name:           Your preferred Caller-ID Name associated with your CID number. (optional)
  • DNS Mode:           NAPTR/SRV
  • Unregister On Reboot     YES
  • Outgoing Call Without Registration:   NO 
  • Register Expiration:        5  (minutes).        (Default is 60 minutes - but I use a shorter period for better registration reliability)
    • Enable SIP OPTIONS Keep Alive:     YES
    • SIP OPTIONS Keep Alive Interval:     15
      SIP OPTIONS Keep Alive improves inbound call connection reliability between your ATA and the SIP Proxy server by keeping the SIP Port open for inbound calls from the SIP Proxy Server.  Without it, you may experience missed inbound calls, or inbound calls with "no audio".
    • Local SIP Port:         16060        (optional - I select a random high-range port number for better reliability and security - up to a maximum of ~ 65500).
    • Local RTP Port:        16004        (optional - I select a random high-range port number for better reliability and security).  (RTP port must be an "even number" - up to a maximum of  ~ 65500).



    • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click:   UPDATE button.




    • Again, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and this time 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.





    After about 60 seconds, you should now be able to Login again to the HT701.

    If all recommended configuration settings have been entered correctly, the HT701 should achieve successful registration with Flowroute servers.  I have found that with the HT701, this usually takes a full 2 minutes following a REBOOT command.

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

    If registration is not successful, go back and review all configuration settings recommended on the ADVANCED SETTINGS and FXS PORT pages.


    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 relatively quick and easy to basically configure.  And, so far it seems to be performing quite reliably with the 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 Flowroute.

    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 Flowroute account connection.



    Making Test Calls From The HT701 With Flowroute
    I have listed a few Free Test Calls that you can make regardless of the calling balance in your account.
    • 1-800-FREE-411  (1-800-373-3411)   Directory advertisement based 411 service.  This will allow you to test 11-digit dialing.
    • 1-866-210-2157    Plantronics Audio Tuning Wizard - Toll Free Plantronics Automated Sound Test Machine for Wireless headsets.
    • iNum network Echo Test:   011-883-5100-0000-0091#
    • iNum network Caller-ID Talk-Back:   011-883-5100-0000-0093#  
    • iNum network DTMF digit entry Talk-Back Test:   011-883-5100-0000-0092#

      iNum numbers are 15 digits in length.  However, because iNum calls are considered 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 (as illustrated in the above examples).  Note however, iNum calling is free via Flowroute network.

    You can do further test calling to any 11 digit PSTN or mobile phone number of someone you know for test calls through the PSTN network.  Your Flowroute cash balance will be decremented by about 1-cent/minute for outbound calls.


    Notes:
    1. Calling 1-8xx toll-free numbers are free via Flowroute.
    2. Calling to PSTN landlines and mobiles phone numbers requires Flowroute calling credits.
    3. e911 service is available with Flowroute - but must be activated with a paid subscription.
    4. 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 ATA.  But, configuring and enabling the bare bones basics was the theme of this article.   It's working for me.  I hope it works as well for you, too!

    Happy VoIPing !
    Jeff - VoipDIY