[kwlug-disc] VOIP and Direct Detect (offtopic)

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Sat Feb 20 22:31:54 EST 2010

- how will you be getting TV? Web, Satellite, Cable?
   - if cable, does Rogers Home Phone bring anything to the table for 
you here? Do they (Rogers) say anything about fax? (In theory, home 
phone is just a subnet wherein they prioritize traffic. VoIP by any 
other name. But if they prioritize traffic, and perhaps have direct 
local links to the FD / PoTs ...)

It would be interesting to know their requirements satisfaction / 
testing regimen.

The cynic in me says, yep, I see a phone line, yep, I see the device. 
It has power. Hit the test button and I saw the requisite test return 
blinking light code. You pass. See ya.

I suspect, given that your location is known, the very act of 
receiving a call is the only trigger for the FD to head out. Which is 
to say, I'd guess little or no data gets sent. An interrupt, in 
essence. [Given the comments in this thread, it's not like the FD can 
assume the place burning up has power, for the device to do its thing. 
So I wonder just how much actual data is actually involved.] My Mom's 
lifeline (bracelet/necklace carried on person, button to be pressed 
should they fall / need help, etc.) had no data component. Basically a 
speaker phone that dialled a pre-set number upon receiving the signal 
- upon connection over the speaker phone the call taker would ask if 
they're ok, what sort of assistance they need, etc. I suspect ADT or 
similar security service acts much the same. Presumably this service 
does as well.

But, it comes down to the specifics of the wording, and the vetting. 
And, as Lori points out, the insurer. Having the broker on your side, 
up front, could be useful.

Curiously, wasn't there an article in the paper the other day how the 
FD wasn't going to respond to certain calls any more?

Lori Paniak wrote, On 02/20/2010 9:43 PM:
> The web GUI for the 2102 has a pile of configuration options under
> Admin/Advanced- including several relevant for fax.  In the end though,
> fax over voip is more miss than hit. Certainly not something I would bet
> my house on in the face of an insurance company.
> Hopefully, all the device has to do is dial the appropriate number and
> the rest is automatically taken of.  It is unfortunate that the city
> does not spell out the specs for the data link in any more detail than
> "Bell".
> On Sat, 2010-02-20 at 21:14 -0500, Jason Locklin wrote:
>> john at netdirect.ca wrote:
>>> kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org wrote on 02/19/2010 04:54:17 PM:
>>>> I am moving into a new house in a couple weeks and was just thrown a
>>>> curve-ball. I just found out that the Kitchener won't give us an
>>>> occupancy permit unless we have this direct detect service:
>>>> http://www.kitchener.ca/city_hall/departments/devtech_services/fire/
>>>> direct_detect/residential_monitoring.html
>>>> Of course, they "say" that it only works with a Bell phone line.
>>>> Apparently it is just a device that dials out when the smoke alarm goes
>>>> off. I have convinced them to let me "try" it with my voip ata.
>>>> I'm going to get DSL service at the house on the first, and our
>>>> inspection is on the second, so I need this thing to work right away or
>>>> problems will ensue.
>>>> I'm considering involving my lawyer if this delays our occupancy
>>>> permit, but I'd like to know if anyone here has used this system with a
>>>> voip ata? Any chance this will simply work?
>>>> note: I'm using a linksys spa-2102 with Acanac and have been using it
>>>> for over a year, so it's already configured correctly for phone use.
>>> It would depend on how the detect-direct data communications is happening.
>>> Typically modems and faxes don't work reliably on VoIP systems. The 
>>> modulation requires predictable timing that VoIP can't reliably provide. 
>>> Also I've read that the echo cancellation also effects the signal. I've 
>>> read it's possible to dial a #99 prefix or something like that on some 
>>> ATAs to remove echo can, but I doubt the detect-direct box will know to do 
>>> that.
>>> That said, we've had customers use faxes connected to ATAs using an 
>>> Asterisk box on the same LAN fairly reliably. I say "fairly" because they 
>>> did have some problems but we never nailed it down to the VoIP before they 
>>> stopped doing business. I would expect trying to fax over VoIP through the 
>>> Internet would fail reliably.
>>> If the communications relies on touch tone signals it should work as long 
>>> as you have the proper DTMF support configured. Some configurations like 
>>> to eat DTMF so careful configuration may be needed.
>>> It sucks that you are paying for something that your taxes should already 
>>> be paying for.
>> Thanks everyone for the info. My service includes e911 and the FD don't
>> seem to care about the line-power issue. Yes, not all of Kitchener
>> requires the service, just certain locations that are a certain distance
>> from the fire hall. Direct detect was (apparently) a condition of the
>> building permit. I say apparently because we were never told.
>> John's comments are what I was worried about. I've never tried to use a
>> fax or modem over our voip connection. Acanac (our provider) says fax
>> will work, but I bet that if anything, the ata will be the problem point
>> if it doesn't work. The echo cancellation idea helps. It gave me some
>> ideas and I found a "Modem Line Toggle Code" for the device. I should be
>> able to modify the dial plan to prefix the required *99 before the FD
>> number (once I know what that number is).
>> Thanks for the pointers and I'll let you know how it goes.

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