Friday, January 13, 2012

Minor site changes

Updated the design of the top navigation links, removed the old "share" link for twitter and facebook, and replaced it with a smaller module that also includes the ability to share with email, twitter, facebook and G+. Also the new module will allow you to share a post from the main page. With the previous module you had to be on the post's page to share that particular post. Hopefully these minor changes will make navigation easier, more streamlined, and less obstructed. More minor changes will be coming in the next few days/weeks, as well as a complete rebuild of the store, which is a fairly new feature of the site. I also brought back the link for the "helpful phone numbers" page. The page never left the site, I just had removed the link to it a while ago, but it is now back. Feel free to leave comments here if you think that there are other numbers that should be included.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Door phone ring analog PBX and VoIP phones at the same time.

[EDIT: Wiring diagram to connect PAP2 to RC2a and E20B doorphone can be found HERE]

As a VoIP tech, I usually leave the old PBX phones in place when we install a new VoIP system. I do this for several reasons.

 First, to allow the porting to take place which can take a few days. The reasons why I do not like to just use call forwarding are explained in my LNP post but basically when call forwarding a number only the first call is forwarded then all subsequent callers get a busy signal.

 Second, it allows the customer to transition to the new phones at their own pace for outgoing calls until the port process is complete.

 Today I had a rather unusual request, as most people that move over to VoIP eventually do away with their old phone system and POTS phone service. This customer has an Partner phone system and VoIP service with us with Cisco phones, so each desk has a VoIP phone and an Avaya phone. This customer wanted the door phone, which was currently run thru their Partner system to at the same time ring the VoIP phones.

After some deliberation, a solution was found to accomplish this. The existing door phone was simply connected to the partner system as an extension. I tapped off of this extension wiring going towards the door phone after it exited the Partner phone system and connected the station wire to the tip and ring of an RC2A relay, then connected the N.O. and common connections of the RC2A to the existing wiring going to the door release. That solved the connection of installing my relay.

My next hurdle was the tricky part, how to ring the VoIP phones AND the phones connected to the PBX. The soloution? Connect the line side of a SPA3102 to an extension port of the Partner system, and configure the SPA3102 to hotdial an extension group on the VoIP system when it detects ringing on the extension port that it is connected to, thus whenever someone rings the door phone all of the extensions on the Partner system ring, and since the SPA3102 is connected to an extension port on the Partner system it too rings, however when the 3102 is ringing, it is forwarding the call via VoIP to the VoIP phones.

 Sorry no pictures this time, it is pretty straight forward, nothing too fancy it just works. The RC2A was put in line with the door phone station wire to activate the relay with DTMF tones - if the existing relay would have used DTMF tones to operate the relay it would not have been required, I just would have had to determine the proper digits to dial to activate the relay with a DTMF decoder.

[EDIT: There are 2 things to keep in mind with this set up. First if anyone calls the extension that the 3102 is connected to, whatever VoIP phones that are in the door bell call group will ring, and the CID will show that the call is coming from the door phone. The other thing to be concerned with about this set up is if the extension that the 3102 is connected to rings when someone calls one of the CO lines that the analog PBX is connected to all of the VoIP phones that are in the door bell call group will also ring and CID will show it it coming from the doorphone. If someone answers one of these calls with the VoIP phone then the doorphone will not be able to be used while this call is in progress, so you will have to ensure that the extension that the 3102 is connected to in the analog PBX is not in any call groups on the analog system, which may be a problem if you are not familiar with programming of the analog phone system that the customer has.]

Thursday, January 5, 2012

network clean-up

I had to return to the customer who decided to run all of their wiring AFTER the new building's construction was completed. Here is a before and after of what it looked like before I left on the first visit - more info/pics  can be seen of this job HERE

All of the contractors were complaining about this place. The original electrician. The new electrical contractor who was there today, installing yet more CAT5 cabling, the plumbers who were there last time that had to fix a leak from a previous plumbing contractor. 

I only spent about 2 hours here today, testing and labeling, installing the router/switch and patch cords, and moving the FiOS router (upstairs behind the bar, not photographed) 

With everything going on with this job, using wiring pulled by someone else, having to extend or splice and re-route CAT5 drops only a single brown/white pair failed. Since it was not the green or orange pair I just labeled that jack "no-PoE" and kept it moving. 

Here is one of the images of my patch panel from the first visit.
I did NOT install any of the mess of wiring. These were all here when I arrived.
The only wiring I pulled are the white wires entering the panel from below.
Luckily the mess of wiring was cleaned up,
possibly by whoever installed them.
More likely by a different contractor.
This is my complete network.
Wiremolding, router, switch, patch cords
and analog phone jacks. 

20 jack network turns into a 44 jack network overnight

So my 20 jack network  install ended up being expanded and became a 27 jack network. Instead of adding a 3rd 12 port panel when we passed the 24 port mark I opted instead to use surface jacks for the extra 3 ports.

The PC guy was wiring patch cords to the panel as I was still pulling cable, and testing jacks, so the network became quite a mess.

Fast forward to earlier this week. The customer needed 17 additional runs, for a total of 44 network jacks. I knew after the second dispatch to this location that they were going to need these additional runs done "some time in the future" so I was not concerned with wasting time neatening up the patch cord mess, because I knew that I was going to have to replace the 2 - 12 port patch panels and the extra jacks with a 48 port patch panel.

The installation of the additional 17 CAT 5 runs, cutting everything over to the new patch panel and labeling the jacks took just one (long) day. I returned for about 2-3 hours to test all of the jacks. Just one mis-wire. In my rush to finish the bulk of the work in a single day I had one of the jacks backwards from how it was punched down. No big deal, quite a quick fix to re-punch the one jack. The remainder of the second (half) day was spent replacing the patch cords and neatening up the network as best as I could.

Some of the PC guys wires were not neatened up by me because I did not want to touch his stuff, and because my company wanted me to only worry about what I had installed, and our companies VoIP phones.

This is what became of my "20 jack network" installation.

I had installed the 2 - 12 port panels, and the cisco router.
The computer guy was connecting stuff as the cabling was still being pulled.

FiOS and another switch was installed since my last visit.
Does anyone have pride in their work any more?

Since I had to add about 17 more runs on top of the  27 existing  runs,
I replaced the 2 - 12 port panels and extra jacks with a 48 port panel.
44 ports are being used.

Everything cut over to the new patch panel.
All that is left is to neaten this mess up!

Much better than when I first returned to see the mess that became of my previous wiring job.
Still would have liked some more time to neaten some of the wiring towards the bottom,
but those are the computer guys wires.
My company wanted me to only focus my time on the wiring I installed and our VoIP wiring.

Some additional runs under windows.
Luckily there was space to snake horizontally behind the walls.
Unluckily where I snaked down ended up being behind a beam,
thus the small channel next to the bracket on the right side of the image,

Wide angle of wiring installed below windows for cubicles.

From the network closet down the hall to reception area.

Down hallway (network room down hallway to right)
Door phone to office. Wire in wiremold because wall is concrete.
Room with cubicles and wire under windows at end of hallway to left
(where the light is shining through doorway).