The Barracuda Phone System can connect to an external paging system by means of a gateway device. The gateway device will "translate" between SIP (Barracuda Phone System) and the analog connection to the amplifier. The information in this document was verified using a Valcom 2003AHF amplifier. Two different analog telephony adapters (ATA) were used:
Each device has advantages and disadvantages:
The Cyberdata SIP Paging Adapter is a more elegant solution than the Cisco. It is configured as a user on the system which means that it has an extension number and can even have a BLF key on other phones so that they can see when the external paging is in use. The Cyberdata unit also has a relay that will close when the adapter is active. This permits some amplifiers (like the Valcom 2003AHF) to play music except for when the paging is used. This is similar to being in the grocery store where you hear music until an announcement is made - the music cuts off, the announcement is made, and then the music resumes when the announcement is done. Cyberdata has excellent documentation. The primary drawbacks to the Cyberdata SIP Paging Adapter are that it is relatively expensive and that it cannot do two-way audio. (Note that Cyberdata does make SIP-enabled speakers, including a talk-back model.)
The Cisco SPA 232D (or 3102) is a simple FXO gateway and is configured as a SIP provider on the Barracuda Phone System. This means that a specific outbound call route will need to be added in order for users to make a call to the ATA. Because the ATA operates as a SIP gateway there is no provision for having a BLF key, although a speed dial key would allow for faster dialing. Also, the ATA has no relay, therefore there is no way to have it interrupt a music source during paging operations. The Cisco devices are relatively inexpensive (usually under US$100) and allow for two-way audio. If there are talk-back horns connected to the amplifier (for example, the Valcom 1048) then the Cisco ATA will allow for audio in both directions. Note that because the audio flows in both directions the person performing the announcement will be able to hear his or her own voice in the telephone handset. The typical complaint would be, "It sounds weird to hear my voice in my ear." Assure the user that this is normal for a 2-way audio paging system and that they'll quickly adjust to it after using it a few times.
Create a new user and name it something like "Cyberdata Paging." Add a generic SIP device to the user. (See here for explicit instructions on adding a generic SIP device and see the SIP credentials.) This new user's extension number is the number that people will dial in order to access the paging system. (This extension can also be added as a BLF key or speed dial key on user's phones.)
Configure the Cyberdata device by following the instructions in section 4.2 of this document. (Note that this assumes you've already connected the Cyberdata device to the network, powered it on, and given it a static IP address.) Once the unit reboots it will be ready to perform paging operations.
Connection to Paging Amplifier
The Cyberdata device has a terminal block connector for connecting copper wires. The following picture shows pins 3,4 and 6,7 connected to a Cat5 cable's white/blue and white/orange pairs:
Pins 3 and 4 (white/blue wires) correspond to "tip" and "ring" while pins 6 and 7 are the normally open (N.O.) relay contacts. These four wires were connected to a 66 punch-down block as described in this document. Once the wires were connected the paging system was active and calls to the "Cyberdata Paging" user resulted in proper overhead paging announcements.
Configuration: Cisco ATA
Configure the Cisco 232D according to these instructions. Note that you will start configuring the device by connecting to your network using the yellow "Ethernet" port with the hard-coded IP address of 192.168.15.1. You must be able to reach the browser interface at this IP address, so you may need to temporarily change the IP address of the computer you're using to connect to the 232D. Once you're there, follow these instructions on changing the admin password and enabling the WAN interface. (The 232D is equivalent to a SPA122 in this scenario.) Once the WAN interface is enabled, set the IP of the WAN interface to something appropriate for your network. Power down the unit, move the cable from the yellow "Ethernet" port to the blue "Internet" port and then power the unit back on. Connect your browser to the IP address of the WAN port to continue the configuration.
Connect the amplifier's paging port to the gray "Phone" port on the 232D. (This will require some kind of wiring unless the amplifier has an RJ11 port. The Valcom 2003AHF uses a 66 punch-down block.)
Log in to the ATA as admin and select "advanced". Navigate to Voice > PSTN Line and scroll down to Proxy and Registration. Set the following items (excluding the quotes):
Make Call Without Reg: Yes
Ans Call Without Reg: Yes
User ID: "paging"
Auth ID: "paging"
Use Auth ID: Yes
Submit these changes. You will need to find the "line-in-use" voltage. Navigate to Voice > Info and scroll to PSTN Line Status. Make note of the Line Voltage value. (If this value is negative then flip-flop the wires that are connected to the amplifier and check again. You want this value to be positive.) Navigate back to Voice > PSTN Line and scroll down to International Control. Set the line-in-use voltage to the "Line Voltage" value from the Voice > Info screen. Submit these changes.
Create a new SIP provider account and name it something like "Cisco Paging." Use the following values (excluding the quotes):
Host: IP address of the Cisco
Realm: Same as host
Authorization Username: "paging"
Register to Provider: no
Click the green Create button. You will now have a "Cisco Paging" SIP provider.
Create an outbound route that users can call to reach the ATA. For example, for users to dial "99" to reach the paging create this route:
Then add this route to the routes list with the destination being "Cisco Paging" gateway:
Once the route is added, users will be able to dial "99" to perform an overhead page operation.