Category: "VoIP"

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  03:00:34 pm, by The Dreamer   , 763 words  
Categories: VoIP, Networking, WiFi, Home, Broadband

Finally did one phase of redoing my home network.

When I first moved into this place, I ran into a problem where I wasn't able to put all my computer equipment in one room. And, then it was further compounded by the fact that there is only one cable jack.

Though the room where I had intended all the computer equipment to go is where the demarc is located, so it probably would've been possible to add a splitter for the the cable modem there.

But, what I did was reconfigure my Linksys router to do WDS bridging and participate in the WDS bridging I was doing with a pair of Belkin F5D7130s.

So I had the cable modem and a pile of stuff at the front of my living room connected to it...and the Linksys router. My computer with one of the Belkins in the opposite corner of the living room and the other Belkin in my 'computer room'.

The VoIP ATAs at the front of my living room....

And, all was adequate. :lalala:

But due to the SNAFU of getting cable service, I had gotten DSL service and I got out what was my spare Linksys router and set up the 'computer room' with that. So far I've kept the dual gateway home network.... :>>

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  01:03:58 pm, by The Dreamer   , 251 words  
Categories: General, VoIP

The End of A Phone Number

Today marks the end of a phone number.

When I moved to Manhattan, KS....I couldn't get a local number for my Vonage account (nor my Lingo account). I opted to cancel my Lingo account, I had mainly been using that to make calls to the UK (part of the 500 minutes a month I got) and for faxing. But, I didn't set up my fax machine after I moved and my cousin no longer lives in the UK.

But, I kept the Vonage account because it works pretty good (better than the VoIP account that does have a Manhattan, KS local number) and I still make calls to Canada regularly. The problem is I get many telemarketing calls to the number, even though its on the DNC. And, worse I still get lots of calls from headhunters....even though I had changed the voicemail greeting to even tell them to stop calling me. Of course, they don't care that leaving me a message is also costing me money....since I got the voice-to-text service. And, the job search ended over 18 months ago!

Wonder what my parents will think that my new number is in the Oxnard, CA local calling area? &#59;D

Full story »


  07:37:19 am, by The Dreamer   , 1369 words  
Categories: VoIP

Sipura SPA-3000 & Broadvoice

Sometime before my move to Manhattan, KS....I had been researching the idea of getting a WiFi VoIP phone. And, once I knew that I was headed for KSU, it seemed like a really nifty thing to try out.

As things drew near, one of the problems I found was that neither of my VoIP providers, of the time, offered Manhattan, KS numbers. Just before the move, had come across an banner ad for NetZero's private phone service, and did get a Manhattan, KS number. So at least people could make local calls to leave me messages, though it continues to be useful....

Anyways, I found that Broadvoice was a VoIP provider that could give me a Manhattan, KS number. And, they had the option of allowing me to use my own device. I got the D-Link DPH-541....

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  07:58:50 am, by The Dreamer   , 275 words  
Categories: VoIP, Networking, Cox HSI, AT&T DSL, Broadband, RoadRunner

What is COX's problem?

Apparently, they just don't care that they are unreliable....and its not just consumers, it hits KSU. (though it is especially bad because both primary and secondary DNS for the university go down, so not only are on campus sites down...but all name lookups fail, so off campus hosted sites are also unavailable).

Though KSU does kind of have an AT&T backup....actually, so do I.....but my living room is on Cox and my bedroom is on DSL....should come up with some way to do automatic failover or something :P

Because, line monitoring looks something like this (bottom is obviously Cox): Line Monitoring

Too bad I can only get 768k down from AT&T/Yahoo! DSL (I'm paying for the 1.5M tier).

Now is partly my fault. I had been advised numerous times from people in this area before and after I moved here to stay away from Cox, etc. Even had somebody mention that KANREN is Cox, and its what the University....

Guess I had been spoiled by the service I had gotten from Time Warner's Roadrunner in Dublin, Ohio. Never had the choice of DSL back there, since the phone company uses linesharing in the apartment buildings (even though they were the ones that offered DSL when I ordered service from them, and said it was available, etc.)

Hopefully, there won't be any more outages like last Wednesday afternoon/evening....were everything digital was out, and analog was snow ridden. Hard to call during outages when it also takes out your phone service.... The only stuff I could watch was WIBW-DT using my OTA HDTV receiver.....&#59;D


  11:03:07 am, by The Dreamer   , 683 words  
Categories: General, ReplayTV, Samsung HLN4365W1, Cable HD DVR, Software, Computer, Momitsu V880N, Wireless/iPhone, VoIP, PDA

An early DST 2007.

Well, I didn't want to wake up this morning...I was sore, my throat hurt, there was a productive cough, and it is kind of gloomy out. But, I wanted to check clocks at home and at work to see what changed and didn't change.

The first computer that should've updated, but didn't was my SuSE 9.3 Linux box. I had updated the zoneinfo files for DST....however, I didn't notice that the link between /etc/localtime and /usr/share/zoneinfo/US/Central had gotten severed. So the machine was still running using the old zoneinfo definition. But, zdump -v US/Central wasn't gonna tell me this.

I then check the other main computers at home and moved on to other devices. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my radio controlled clock, which I try to set all my other clocks against, was showing the correct time. I had been holding off on looking at another one of these clocks, guess it is safe to get one.

Then I check the VoIP phones....the Uniden has a local clock, so I had up date it. I drew a blank on what my Vonage number was...guess it has been a long time since I had to call it or give it out. It read an hour ahead, I guess it is still stuck on sending Eastern Time. Guess the still go by the timezone for the areacode of the number associated with it, rather than the timezone in my account profile. That's annoying.

Broadvoice doesn't seem to have updated for DST :(

I then updated the important clock...the clock on my coffee maker and put on coffee, and then back off to updating other clocks around home. It was also good to see that my Palm Tungsten T had updated....though hotsync'ng is a problem. DST change always seems to reset everything in my calendar...and this time was worse than usual. I blame Microsoft Outlook. Though I did run the timezone tool, though it was a bit weird...since Outlook is not my default mail client...its my calendar and contact tool. I suppose I should do something about this setup....especially since I have too many different calendars now. Plus, I haven't figured out where I'm at in my PDA replacement project. The Palm Tungsten T is pretty much only calendaring for me now....anyhoo.... The DST change also causes the backupbuddy to backup everything fresh again...which makes the first sync really long and painful.

The Blackberry sync seemed to have issues...but it was problem me trying to do it while the Palm sync was still going on. It worked fine later.

But, it was off to check my ReplayTVs and other HT devices if they had the correct time. All the ReplayTVs had the correct time, I was surprised to see that my Momitsu V880N was also right....and it was good that the Cox HD DVR was also right, because when I looked at it last night...the guide was wrong. But, the lack of new programming for the first few days might seem intentional :?:

As usual, since I was here...I checked the lamp timer on my Samsung HLN4365W1....5255 hours. Had noticed that it seems to be having more trouble turning on that usual, but it is still working. Hopefully the spare bulb I have works, when that time comes. OTOH, I see that 50" units are now thin enough that they should fit into my stand....and 1080p might be nice. Though I'll probably wait until the spare bulb is then they should perfect LED based RPTVs :>> Plus I might be willing to update my furniture to allow an even bigger screen &#59;D

I'm sure I've missed other clocks (at home)....but I think I'm done.

Wonder if I want to wander out and see if the outside world is right....namely it has been over a week since I've done groceries....

Hmmm, the server time for this blog is off my an hour....guess I'll have to do it manually? :P


  06:32:12 am, by The Dreamer   , 606 words  
Categories: VoIP

BroadVoice Voice Portal Fustration

The other day, I noticed the message waiting light was flashing on my phones. That's another good thing that has happened since I gave up on using the D-Link DPH-540's with my BroadVoice service.

However, there's a problem....*86 wouldn't work, eventually found that calling myself would. But, then I couldn't get past the passcode entry.

Corresponding with support has yet to yield a result. Though during the exchange, they mentioned something about having to set *86 as the code for voicemail in my ATA. After much browsing the configuration screens and searching on Google. I found that the real issue is that the ATA uses *86 for something else...and changing it to not intercept that code was the answer.

However, along the way I came across a configuration wizard on Voxilla, that claimed to set all the parameters on my ATA to work with a number of different providers (including BroadVoice). So I tried it. Big mistake.

Anyways...this is just an annoyance that I can't easily retrieve voicemail, but not enough for me to want to throw money at it...(or at another VoIP provider &#59;D ) I suppose if things got desperate enough, I could stick my phone/answerer that used to be on my Lingo adapter on here....since the Lingo adapter is a paper weight now (which i should disconnect from the UPS so it doesn't unnecessarily suck power from it during an outage).
The ATA wouldn't register afterwards, and I didn't see any significant changes on the preview screen from the wizard. And, I didn't save a backup of what I had. Eventually, I looked at the 'default' Line 2 settings and found the site that I had based my original configuration from...and figured out what things were different, likely due to the Voxilla wizard, and changed them back.

Once I did that, registration worked...and I could make calls again.

So, now I was able to test that *86 would work. And, then went around to each of my handsets to reprogram the voicemail button, yet again.

But, I still can't get into my voicemail account. Doesn't matter what DTMF sequence I enter or if I don't enter any sequence at all, it reports that my passcode is invalid....3 times and then disconnects me.

Though I'm positive that I've called other IVR phone systems from Broadvoice before, and DTMF worked for those. So, I call my Vonage line, wait for voicemail to answer and hit *. I'm in. I can enter my passcode and navigate around that system via Broadvoice.

So it isn't an 'issue' with how I have my ATA or my phone setup....OTOH, if I call my Broadvoice number from a diffent place....such as the landline from work or from my Vonage line. I can get into the BroadVoice Voice Portal successfully. Though it is kind of tedious waiting for 5 rings to go by to retrieve my voicemail.

I suppose if I get really fustrated, I could have BroadVoice forward the caller to my Vonage account to leave voicemail or something....though that uses up minutes, and I only get 100 minutes a month....which is only about 2-3 phone calls home to my mother....where I do one a week. So, I'm always over the 100 minute mark. Though not enough to reach the price point of the unlimited plan.

Of course, if everything was working....I'd be confident to ditch my Vonage subscription...and then I could see myself getting the unlimited plan. Though with Vonage, I only have the 500 minute per month plan....which is sufficent. Since my typical usage is probably only around the 150 minute per month mark.


  09:18:06 am, by The Dreamer   , 419 words  
Categories: Stuff, VoIP, AT&T DSL, Broadband

I came this close..... becoming landline free today.

I had gotten my phone bill, and I was ready to blindly pay it...when I happened to read the details and noticed that I was being charged $38+tax for a service call.

If you go back in my blog, I referenced my phone service outage of October 6th.

Actually my phones stopped working on October 4th. People calling me were being immediately connected to static. And, I had no dial tone...just static as well. I didn't notice until the morning of October 6th, however.

And, that's when I called in the trouble.

After much hold time...75 minutes of my life disappearing....they explained that the tech reset my line and found nothing wrong, so that makes it an inside wiring problem...and since I'm not paying them extra for that, they charged me for it. Even though I had explained numerous times that I had fully checked all my inside wiring before calling them....everything except using a ButtSet (since the one I had isn't DSL safe) it seems to have gone missing in the move (or I just haven't found the last box to look in yet).

But since the problem went away after they reset my somehow means they can charge me, unless I'm paying another extraoridnate charge to avoid being charged? Its bad enough that I'm paying over $30 a month for basic local only service, just so that should disaster strike...that I'll be able to call 911.

Well, while on hold, I got to thinking how bad could it be if I then switched to canceling the useless, troublesome service that is sucking money I could more than cover the cost of a VoIP provider I had been looking at... So, I said I wanted to cancel my service...and they transferred me over to 'disconnections'.

They explained that if I did, I would be subject to a $100 early termination fee. I kind of knew there would be...and it probably would've been a justifiable expense....except that it is that time of year when other bills are bigger than usual....

So, the plan is once I complete my 12-month minimum term....I'll be strongly considering dumping the landline (unless AT&T can offer me 3-6MBps/608kbps for DSL, or better)....and then I'll be looking to port my landline to VoIP (ideally to Vonage, which I've been happy with....and what I was using when I lost those 75 minutes of my life &#59;D )


  07:59:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1018 words  
Categories: General, VoIP, Networking

I answered the damn phone

One of my phone numbers had been acting kind of weird lately....this morning I decided to investigate. It was my BroadVoice VoIP line which I have configured for simulring to my landline. I also have my Vonage number set for simulring to my landline. This was largely for historical reasons.

When I was using the D-Link DPH-540 WiFi phone with BroadVoice, I wanted my landline to get the calls....because the phone was kind of iffy. So iffy, that I have shelved the $250 piece of junk and gotten a different adapter to do phone with the service at home. Though that isn't without its problems.

Later in trying to resolve DSL issues, I had moved the cordless phone from my Vonage adapter to my I could be calling from the problem landline while talking to phone repair. So because that meant there was no phone attached to the Vonage box at all....

Well, those calls were completing because the landline seemed to be sucking those calls into a blackhole.

So, I tried calling ring and then noise. Tried again...same thing. One more time....same thing. Then I looked at the VoIP activity logs and found that I was paying for calls that were being routed to the landline (I only get 100 minutes a month, and I do more than that just talking to my I should probably upgrade to unlimited, but it currently isn't over that threshold). But, the landline never rang or anything.

So, I walked over to the landline phone (a basic AT&T line powered phone...since the main reason I have landline, is so I will have something in the event of a power outage....or something 'reliable' to call 911 on). No dial-tone...just noise. Though the DSL is working fine.

So, I log a trouble report...which wasn't easy. I first went online to do it...and at the last step it said it couldn't process my request online and that I would need to call.

Calling the repair number....routed me to a hold queue....where they kept telling me in the recording that I should be using their website to log my trouble report. Umm, that's what I tried first!

Finally got through to somebody....quickly rattled off that I not an idiot....but left out that I'm a Professional (Electrical) Engineer and I already did numerous internal wiring checks (though I couldn't find my buttset, which probably gives me the excuse to get a DSL safe one to replace it &#59;) And, they said somebody would be out by 6pm to look into things...but since I'm not paying them their special service fee to cover my inside wiring, there would be a charge for the service call if the problem is on my end. Didn't I just tell them that I already know the problem is on their side.

Well, I wasn't gonna wait around to see them show up....I already missed half a day on Monday, when they finally responded to my DSL trouble ticket. Where they knocked and said they were here and would look around outside and get back to me. Later I noticed they were gone and I didn't hear from them ever again. If it weren't for the 12-month contract, I'd cancel the DSL....and I'd strongly be thinking of going landline free again. (Hopefully, my new Sprint phone will appear soon and it'll have a local number, etc.....unlike my T-Mobile line where I asked to have the number changed to a local number...and they only got as close as being in the same area code.... for a small city of population ~3300... But, T-Mobile was glad to charge me for changing my number....and my old number was gone forever and any additional changes would result in the same change fee again....oh they finally said, that they are currently out of local numbers.)

Anyways....I came home, eventually remembered to check for dial tone....and went about my evening....

Until the phone rang. I answered it....though I guess I was kind of expecting an automated message from AT&T telling me that they had completed the repair (sometimes I get one, sometimes I don't....though I'm supposed to get some kind of work completion indication...and there were times I got the message even though they didn't actually complete anything. Like when I first got service...they turned it on, but didn't feel it necessary to connect my home to their system...and it took a major effort to convince them that they needed to send somebody to connect the wires, instead of assuming that a remote circuit test was sufficient and any lack of service at my end was a problem on my side....even though I told them that there was nothing connected to the wires sticking out of the side of the building.) I guess this is what happens when the phone company turns into a monopoly again. They broke up AT&T so that one of the pieces spawned from it could buy up all the pieces and eventually buy up AT&T and become AT&T again? wasn't an automated message...but somebody looking for a Brian. I told him he had a wrong number....and then it was just apology or acknowledgement. Some people.

At least it wasn't a Sunday 6am call for somebody looking for some hotel....or some 3am call, because some girl is giving out my phone number at bars. The last ones are worse, because the guys won't accept that they have a bad number...

The rest of the time...its people calling for money....while they are worthwhile does make me wonder how they got my name, address and phone number...I don't want incoming calls on the line (I'm thinking of turning the ringer off again). Obviously the answer is that the phone company sold my personal information to them.

Not sure who I'm angrier at in this case.....


  07:29:46 pm, by The Dreamer   , 511 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, VoIP

Good-bye Lingo

Well, this morning I saw the monthly charge from Vonage hit my card....and it occurred to me that it was time to hurry up and cancel my Lingo account.

I plan to cancel both eventually....but Lingo first....because all I ever get weird calls that must be from exempt telemarketers that don't understand that asking to speak to someone who doesn't exist....when they get my voicemail and then asking again, and then saying they are sorry and good bye....isn't very useful.

They should just not call at all. (or perhaps leave a meaningful message.)

Otherwise, my call volume on the line has been dropping for a long time...the main reason I had it was that Western Europe is part of its 'local' calling area....but my cousin in London is moving to California. And, even then I have only called a few times....mainly use our gmail accounts to keep in touch.

So, I cancelled it. And, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

Wonder how it'll go when I decide that it is time to drop Vonage. |-|

Full story »


  11:29:16 pm, by The Dreamer   , 221 words  
Categories: VoIP

Unlocked Linksys PAP2

Deciding that I would give up on my D-Link DPH-540 for the time being and wanting to use my BroadVoice 'home' number as my 'home' number. I went onto eBay looking for an affordable ATA that I could transfer my BYOD service to.

Previously, I contemplated getting another locked service or waiting to cancel one of my current services and seeting about getting that adapter unlocked.

But, I ended up winning the bid for an unlocked Linksys PAP2. It arrived around the time of my high school reunion, so I wasn't able to pick it up until after my return. But, I quickly set off to get it going. Also among the spoils to pick up from the UPS Store, were the Uniden cordless phones to make my 'home' number available around my home.

Setting both up was pretty straight forward. A little tedious reprogramming numbers into the Uniden handset....but so far no issues there, though I have yet to make anything more than test calls.

The PAP2 was also pretty first I tried to guess how to fill in the blanks....but then it occurred to me that I was being silly, and I went onto Google to get the procedure. Again, only a few test calls so far...... But, I think all will be good. :wave:

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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