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

Jason Locklin locklin.jason at gmail.com
Sun Feb 21 07:53:51 EST 2010

unsolicited wrote:
> Jason:
> - 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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At this point, I can only hope that dialing the number is all that is
required. If that's the case, I won't have a problem. They did say they
have had people with Rogers home phone use the service. But since Rogers
is basically on a LAN, they have a better chance of making fax/modem
data working. Hopefully I get an opportunity to talk to someone who
knows what the system is beyond the "pamphlet" information.


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