Monday, November 16, 2015

Singlewire's InformaCast LPI solution for Bells using a Cisco CME

We had been using SingleWire's InformaCast and LPI solution to run our bells schedule.
It integrated well with our Bogen equipment and allowed bells to ring both on the SCCP phones and Bogen paging system using a FXS port.

A few years ago we were installing a new CME into one of our remote sites, and found that the new version of Cisco OS was no longer compatible with InformaCast.  Or at least that is what SingleWire was telling us.

We couldn't downgrade the Cisco CME OS because the SRE module running the CUE would not work with older versions of Cisco CME OS.

After a little bit of trial and error, installing the InformaCast software using the HRE install option worked. Bells would now ring even though it reported an error about not being able to talk to the Communications Manager cluster... (see below)

Both the CUCM or CME install options for InformaCast wanted to 'talk' to the CME every time a bell was to ring and since it couldn't 'talk' to the new OS... the bell would not ring.

It's been working great until this year... now we are not sure if the Bogen equipment is starting to fail due to age or if the numerous power outages this summer have caused damage to the Bogen.  Either way the DTMF tones from the LPI software are not triggering the Bogen zones.  However paging from the Cisco CME using the same DTMF tones worked everytime.

After several tests, solutions were found for 3 out of 5 sites.  Adjusting the DTMF length and volume in the LPI device settings resolved the issue.  1 site will be getting new equipment as the Bogen is over 10 years old.  The other site will be testing this solution.

The previous config had the LPI software sending the DTMF tones based on the speaker on the single Device (ex 1410).  (Sip Address is the Voice Vlan IP of the CME)

The CME already has paging dial peers for the zones, so the LPI software will use those numbers (ex. 1411) when calling the CME via SIP calls.  The CME will pass along the DTMF codes and then the bell (aka message) will play.  (Sip Address is the Voice Vlan IP of the CME)

dial-peer voice 1411 pots
 destination-pattern 1411
 port 0/1/0 'FXS port connected to Bogen
 prefix ,07#

The problem was that the LPI device software needs at least 1 DTMF code or it will not create the InformaCast speaker.

The solution was rather simple after testing different volumes and time outs.
Change the "DTMF Via" option from "RFC2833" to "SIP INFO".
Now you do not hear the extra DTMF tones before the bell.

The other feature we lost in changing to HRE mode was the ability to play the messages on the phones.

Create a paging group for phones (In our case all phones)

ephone-dn  200
 number 1498
 name Paging All
 paging ip port 20482 'Works with SIP and SCCP phones
 paging group 201,202,203,204,205,206,207,208,251,303

Create a LPI Paging device that calls the 1498 via SIP.

Now create the speakers in InformaCast and add the Phones speaker to any of the InformaCast Paging Recipient Groups.  You may have to increase the "Wait Time" on the messages to allow the CME to send the DTMF tones.  The "Example Humoctopus Alert" message is perfect for testing.