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Current Thinking for Whole House Paging

xlurkr

Active Member
I bought my Panny KX-TA824 just a few years ago.  I remember at the time looking at a similar hybrid PBX from NEC.  I don't remember the model #.  It had proprietary wired and wireless phones, too, that could probably do all the paging, music on hold, and other tricks the Panny can, and might have even had a more useful computer interface.  But it was much more expensive, especially compared to the Panny equipment used on eBay.
 
I just looked and they have a model now called SL1000 that is hybrid IP/POTS.  Don't know anything about it.
 
Of course you can use VOIP services just as POTS-interface endpoints for the Panny.  I have one POTS, one Ooma, one ObiHai, and one AT&T cellular as CS lines.
 
Speaking of ObiHai, their systems seem like they're pretty versatile.
 
We may never see anything like those Panny PBXs again.  Not only are analog lines going away, but in a modern household, most occupants will have earbuds in their ears.  Maybe intercoms and whole house audio are living on borrowed time.
 
My wife and I are old-fashioned, and park our cellphones in chargers when we walk in the door.  Nothing in my ears either, thank you very much.
 
-Tom
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
xlurkr said:
...Speaking of ObiHai, their systems seem like they're pretty versatile.
I think I'll try the Obi200 on a spare CO line and see how it works out. I have a Google Voice number that I never use but maybe if it was on the PBX then I would.
 

pete_c

Guru
Here a CT peer asked and I suggested to use Ooma and he went to the Obi200 with GV and is a happy camper. 
 
I have GV accounts here and do an on and off thing with them.
 
Doing similar here to xlurkr with a copper, 2 VOIP and on cellular line coming to the house and using a multiple line analog Panasonic telephone set up (of old - wife wanted real telephone looking handsets of old).  
 
I have had weird issues with Ooma lately on the two lines (noise and dropping calls lately).  That said cell phones are mostly turned off and I am not tethered to them. 
 

mikefamig

Senior Member
I just received an email for a product called Nucleus Anywhere that is a WIFI internet connected AV intercom system. I don't know if it is capable of broadcasting to all rooms but it might be worth looking into.
 
Mike.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
JimS said:
Take a look at Asterisk.  Open source VOIP PBX with all sorts of automation possibilities.
 
Can you describe how Asterisk works for paging? Can I do an announcement through say 24 IP phones? Is there a way to respond to the page from any phone?
 

JimS

Active Member
I am far from an expert on Asterisk but I think what you are asking is possible.  Probably best to ask that on an Asterisk forum.
 

mikesm

Member
Asterisk would work, but you have to do a lot of config work to set it up properly.  I would recommend using a grandstream UCM6102 or the like as a IP PBX, and their phones.  Easy to set up via the web interface, and does intercom and paging really easily.  Easily can support paging on all 24 handsets.
 
Cheap too.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
So now that I have had a chance to play with the intercom feature of the Amazon Echo (which I am really liking) my new thinking is to get paging by feeding an Echo Dot into the paging input of a whole house amplifier. I would name the Dot "all call" or something and then I could page from any Echo in the house simply by saying "Alexa, drop in on all call" followed by my announcement. Only thing I need to figure out is how to prevent feedback in the room the announcement is being made from.
 
Ideal would be if Amazon added paging natively. similar to the "Simon Says" feature on the remote, but I don't know that they have any plans to do that.
 

drvnbysound

Senior Member
upstatemike said:
So now that I have had a chance to play with the intercom feature of the Amazon Echo (which I am really liking) my new thinking is to get paging by feeding an Echo Dot into the paging input of a whole house amplifier. I would name the Dot "all call" or something and then I could page from any Echo in the house simply by saying "Alexa, drop in on all call" followed by my announcement. Only thing I need to figure out is how to prevent feedback in the room the announcement is being made from.
 
Ideal would be if Amazon added paging natively. similar to the "Simon Says" feature on the remote, but I don't know that they have any plans to do that.
 
With this setup, would you be able to page individual rooms too? Obviously understand the "All Call" dot as explained, but just curious about individual room paging as well.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I already have individual room paging by initiating a "drop in" call from any Echo to any other Echo in the house. Works great as the person on the receiving end does not have to accept the call... you just talk and they talk back. (You can also do a room to room call where it rings and they have to tell Alexa to answer. You can also prevent the drop in type calls in rooms where you don't want it)
 
The only thing that is missing is all room paging so you can call everybody to dinner at once or for when you don't know what room the person you need is in.
 

drvnbysound

Senior Member
upstatemike said:
I already have individual room paging by initiating a "drop in" call from any Echo to any other Echo in the house. Works great as the person on the receiving end does not have to accept the call... you just talk and they talk back. (You can also do a room to room call where it rings and they have to tell Alexa to answer. You can also prevent the drop in type calls in rooms where you don't want it)
 
The only thing that is missing is all room paging so you can call everybody to dinner at once or for when you don't know what room the person you need is in.
 
Gotcha. Very cool. I didn't realize this was even a feature; I don't own one and really haven't looked into them other than knowing they're available. 
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I'm sure the Echo Dot will be on sale on Prime Day (July 11) so you can grab a couple cheap to try this out.
 

cobra

Active Member
upstatemike said:
I'm sure the Echo Dot will be on sale on Prime Day (July 11) so you can grab a couple cheap to try this out.
 
$34.95 today on Prime, but maybe that's only for single units on your Prime account?  Might have to pick up one in white and one in black.  There's also a $10 credit if you order one through your Echo using voice purchase.
 

sic0048

Senior Member
I haven't been on this site for a while and just read this thread. The Alexa possibilities seem interesting, if you can stomach the whole "big brother is listening" issues. If I was starting from scratch, this might be where I would look. Especially now that Amazon is building in some ability to play music on multiple units.

I personally always lusted after those Panasonic PBX phone systems. But they were always very expensive and closed source. Eventually I found the Asterisk world and ended up installing an Asterisk based PBX system in my house. There are several very good free software options available and the variety of phones and cameras that you can use is astounding. Yes there are SIP based cameras out there that you can tie into the system (think doorbell system).

I love the intercom functionality of the Asterisk system. By picking phones that can auto-answer (and most modern options will), I can intercom an extension or group of extensions and the extensions will ring once an then answer via speaker phone. This allows two way communication without requiring the person to pick up the phone. I have the different extensions/groups saved as a "speed dial" button on my phones, so it is just a single button press away. I also think with a little effort, I could send out announcements via the WebRTC functionality too.

Of course this isn't that different from the Panasonic PBX setup. But it is certainly cheaper to set up and has more life expectancy/flexibility being open source.
 
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