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UCx questions ...

UCx questions ...

UCx questions ...

Hi everyone: I started a thread in general telephony pertaining to recommendations for a new system. We have an old Norstar. It's working fine, but a lot of our phone are starting to not work so hot, so we're looking at different options. I think I started a firestorm in general telephony, and the thread eventually got deleted as there was some heated discussion between UCx and Avaya (go figure).

I watched some demo videos on the UCx, and I'm really intrigued by the fact that you can have the old Norstar digitl sets working with other IP phones as well.

I'm also not eliminating the possibility of looking to a virtually hosted PBX service, as we would be small enough for this to work. It would save a lot of hastle by not having to maintain premise equipment. I'm not sure how you feel about services like this.

I've got a lot of questions, but before I post them, I wanted to make sure it was OK to ask here because I don't want to start another war!! Thanks for your time.

RE: UCx questions ...

Techs have a tendency to to do that. But the bottom line is going to be up to you. Get all the info you can. Go to the sources. I read you thread and got a few laughs reading the arguments. They are all good products. Go to E-Metrotel, Avaya, Cisco, ect. and get the info you need. If they want your business, then they will provide you with everything you need as well as local reps. to visit with. I've been a Nortel tech sense 1982, as well as NEC, Iwatsu, Mitel and other brands. And just getting started with the Ucx but I like what I see. Good luck.


Avaya/Nortel/NEC/Asterisk/Access Control/CCTV/DSX/Acti/UCx

RE: UCx questions ...

OK ... I will! :) BTW, watched many of your YouTube vids Joe ... they were very helpful! As a little background, we're a medium-size church, so we have employees scattered around several buildings on the campus. I think more of the questions I have are with wiring and with sets we can use than anything else. Here's what I've got right now:

1. Can the UCx support the answer DN feature from the Norstars or does the UCx have a feature comparable to it? This is absolutely essential. This was a big disappointment for the Avaya Partner ACS systems and Partner Messaging ... it could be done, but you had to use an AA to accomplish it, along with some crazy programming! We have multiple users who use Answer DN's, so we'd absolutely have to have this. This is our favorite feature on the Norstar.

2. Some of our M-series phones are starting to give up the ghost - have had them for quite awhile. What I'm thinking we might do is to shift the sets that are still working to areas on campus with phones that aren't used all that often, and upgrade the office sets. If we do this, some additional questions surface:

a) The M-series sets are one-pair sets. I'm assuming that most SIP IP phones, like all ethernet devices, operate on two pairs and also need either a power adapter or PoE. If we were to put some new IP sets in place of our existing M-series phones, can we simply rewire the jacks to accommodate two pairs (provided the needed cable is there), or would we have to run new cable?

b) I'm really new to PoE ... never used it before. For IP phones, does power get sent with the same two pairs that the phone uses to communicate, or do they use the "spare pair" on the cat5 to transmit power? That might mean the difference of having to pull new wire if we don't have three pairs available (if they only ran two-pair wires to the jacks). How do the sets get hooked up? Let's say that we've got a jack in an office. The wires going from that office go to a punchdown block which connects our buildings. If we threw in PoE, how does that look? Do the wires coming from the office jack come to the PoE switch, and then there's a port coming out of the switch that goes to the block and then to the system? Does any PoE switch work, or is there a special one that's needed based on the phones used?

c) What would you recommend for IP sets that we could use along with our M-series phones? I'm OK with having something that might be a little older as cost is a factor, but it would be nice to have something a little more modern for folks who use their phones regularly. I like Cisco sets, but maybe if we're using the M-series, we need to stick with Nortel brands?

3. How do our incoming lines (we have 4) fit into the system? Do they simply plug in from the CO?

4. How does the UCx integrate with our LAN? I have this image in my head that phone sets must be plugged into the UCx and data connections go to our ethernet switch. Does the UCx maybe plug into the ethernet switch and interface with it that way?

5. How about the voice mail features? I see that the UCx comes with voice mail. What are the specs? Number of AA's? Mailbox / storage capacity? Ports for connections? I really like the idea that you simply "get it" and don't have to keep unlocking different features.

6. How hard is the system to program? I'm assuming through a web interface? Would the system come pre-configured based on our needs and we could tweak?

6. How popular is e-metrotel? How many of these devices are out there in the field? Names like Avaya and Norstar have been around forever ... I want to make sure that we're partnering with a company that's going to be around for awhile and supports their products.

7. How much is the UCx 50 selling for?

7. Any reps in Wisconsin?

If you read this, Joe, can you do a YouTube video sometime about wiring, how the system integrates with the LAN, PoE, etc. Your videos are fantastic, and I think if I saw it, it would help me visualize this in my mind better.

That's what I've got for now. Thanks for your help!

RE: UCx questions ...

Responses to some of your questions:

1) Yes we support a feature similar to the Answer DN on a Norstar, we describe it as a Ringing BLF key. You can have as many as you want on as many phone as you want.

2a) Yes Ip Phones are network devices and require two pairs on Cat 5 (minimum - 5E or better recommended)cable. Power can be provided locally via a power cube or over POE. POE ports, in my opinion are a bit pricey. If you are replacing a phone near a pc that has a wired network connection, you can use that connection to connect the phone to the network. Almost all of these IP phones have a second port to use for a PC. So you may or may not be required to run a network cable.

2b) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_over_Ethernet
(Taken from the link above)
Two modes, A and B, are available. Mode A delivers power on the data pairs of 100BASE-TX or 10BASE-T. Mode B delivers power on the spare pairs. PoE can also be used on 1000BASE-T Ethernet, in which case there are no spare pairs and all power is delivered using the phantom technique.
Mode A has two alternate configurations (MDI and MDI-X), using the same pairs but with different polarities. In mode A, pins 1 and 2 (pair #2 in T568B wiring) form one side of the 48 V DC, and pins 3 and 6 (pair #3 in T568B) form the other side. These are the same two pairs used for data transmission in 10BASE-T and 100BASE-TX, allowing the provision of both power and data over only two pairs in such networks. The free polarity allows PoE to accommodate for crossover cables, patch cables and auto-MDIX.
In mode B, pins 4–5 (pair #1 in both T568A and T568B) form one side of the DC supply and pins 7–8 (pair #4 in both T568A and T568B) provide the return; these are the "spare" pairs in 10BASE-T and 100BASE-TX. Mode B, therefore, requires a 4-pair cable.

2c) The phone sets i'll leave with your decision. We can support Nortel IP Phones running Unistim or SIP, Cisco Phones running SIP, Avaya phones running SIP, most any SIP or IAX device.

3) We use an internal card to terminate CO trunks. We found that this is the simplest and most reliable configuration. There are 4 RJ-11 ports, one for each trunk. We can simulate Incoming DID calls on these CO trunks and have a feature called Shared call Appearance, that simulates Key System functionality.

4) The UCx plugs into the customer network. As do any IP phone (SIP, IAX or Unistim). If you are using Norstar phones they will connect to the digital gateway or the DSM modules using standard phone wire as they do today.

5) There are as many voice mail boxes as there are licenses. Using the compressed WAV codec each user has over 10 hours of storage for voice mail messages.

6) Yes we use a simple web interface for configuration, maintenance, software upgrades, backups etc. In my opinion (and i am a bit one sided) it is one of the easiest systems to program that i have used. Pre-configured systems are available for an additional fee.

Second 6) Please call 2145565917 and press 2

7) Please call 2145565917 and press 2

Second 7) Please call 2145565917 and press 2


RE: UCx questions ...

i was also curious to 6 and 7 please advise

RE: UCx questions ...

Pressing 2 sends you to the office queue and the marketing guys can help you with the last three questions.

I'm just support.

RE: UCx questions ...

Hey Mrdom,

Thanks for the compliments on the videos. They aren't the most professional, but my friend who works for Microsoft in Bellvue(the other 2 guys and a phone on our blog) has taught me how to use the right tools to make even better you tubes. Watch for those shortly.

I will work on posting a video on how I set up my Network asap.

First I'll explain it in words.

My Networking equipment consists of:
-1 Nortel BSR 222 Router
-1 DSL ATT Modem
-2 Nortel BES50 POE switches
-1 Nortel Baystack Ethernet Switch (unconnected now)
-1 Avaya IP Office 8.1
-1 Nortel BCM50 6.0
-1 E-MetroTel UCx50 Digital Gateway
-1 E-MetroTel UCx50 Call Server
-1 Nortel BAP120 Wireless Access point.

Imagine a Clockwise motion here sitting on a rack.

The Nortel BSR 222 obtains WAN from the ATT DSL.
The main CAT6E cable that routes to the Network makes it first stop at the UCx50 Digital Gateway (which is a converted BCM50 box) via a LAN port.
Another cable routes from the BSR222 Router directly to the UCx50 Network Port
A 3rd cable runs from the BSR222 router directly to my Desktop computer
A Network cable from the UCx50 Digital Gateway LAN port, plugs into the first Nortel BES50 POE switch underneath.
I ran another Network cable to the 2nd Nortel BES50 POE switch to the left of the first BES50.
I ran 1 cable up from the 2nd BES50 to the LAN port on the actual Nortel BCM50 which sits above the POE switch.
I ran a network cable from the BCM50 LAN port up to the IP Office, and this completes the Network cycle.

Note: I cable runs out of the POE switch up to my BAP120 that I have on a wall above.

Basically, all of my phone systems can be managed on the same network, by simply typing in the appropriate IP address in my network such as for my BCM or for my IP Office.

Within the POE switches, I have various Nortel 11xx,12xx,i2xxx Unistim/SIP phones along with a Cisco 7970 and Avaya 9630G set.

Everything is set to DHCP off the main to network.

"Keep the Peace, Use RLS"

RE: UCx questions ...

We had a 450 installed in June and so far I've been pleased with the migration. There were a few small hiccups but that comes when you've been on one system for nearly 10yrs, just like moving to a new PC you have to find all those little tweaks again to make it close to what you had. Alot of end users don't want any change even if it is new and better.

I find the interface easier and faster than the old BCM's.

I'll also add I have been having fun with all the extra options over a BCM and trying to play with all the new tools. I only wish there was more documentation.

RE: UCx questions ...

Thanks everyone for the helpful replies. Will look forward to those vids in the future, Joe.

We have three buildings, with 25 and 50-pair cables connecting the buildings together. To connect the buildings together by ethernet, we would simply punch down the needed pairs and bring data to each building. If we used PoE switches in the other buildings, would we bring the data to each building, install a PoE capable switch for IP phones and access point and a standard switch for regular ethernet? Will the 24 and 50-pair wires be OK with sharing IP phones and other devices so long as we install a PoE switch in the building where the devices are at?

RE: UCx questions ...

Im not a cabling expert and this question might be better served in the Cabling Forum on this website.

With that said, i'll offer my two cents. No i don't believe you would get satisfactory network service using telco (Cat 3?) cabling between the buildings. The Cat 5 and greater cable that is used for networking is manufactured in a way (greater twists per foot) that optimizes the high speed (>10Mibs) nature of it's use. The Cat 3 telco cable will limit your bandwidth if it works reliably at all.

I would look at running 4 pair Cat 6 between the buildings. Create a main network, and then use routers if you need separate subnets. Use Switches where appropriate. I use POE's only where i have a phone with no AC outlet to plug a power brick into.

Any place where a phone and a pc are co-located and the pc is connected to the network with a cable, IS ready for an IP Phone (power and network).

RE: UCx questions ...

I have posted a video on you tube showing how I set up my network.

"Keep the Peace, Use RLS"

RE: UCx questions ...

Thanks for the video, Joe - that was very helpful!! :)

RE: UCx questions ...

Joe - can you or others tell me about your experience with different IP phones on the UCx? I've been told that it's best to use the Nortel 1100 series. These seem to be good, but it looks like they have only 6 fixed feature buttons. Four of the buttons for us will be lines, leaving two keys for other features. Are there any IP phones that would have more fixed feature buttons that would work well with the UCx?

RE: UCx questions ...

Hey there! May I ask why you are using 4 line buttons? Central answering positions? Can you explain the setup and I can give you my best judgement.

If you want a phone with more buttons, you have a few options:

-Nortel 1165e has a total of 8 buttons.
-add a KEM unit to the 11xx phones which adds 18 buttons.
-use Nortel 1230 IP phones which use 10 buttons.

If I think of more, I ll let you know. Good night for now, sleepy!

"Keep the Peace, Use RLS"

RE: UCx questions ...

hey joe! thanks for the heads up. we have a small office here, and everyone has all four lines on their phones. we do have an admin. assistant that would serve as the CAP, but we all cover for each other, so we have all four lines on all of our telephones. The 1230's seem like a possibility, or an 1140e with a KEM module would work too. Only a few folks would need the KEM, not all of us.

How do the KEM's plug into the system? Do they direct plug to the phones?

RE: UCx questions ...

Just an outside view but I am trying out Digiums offering in the D70 model on a UCx. So far so good, I just wish I could program the buttons via the GUI on the UCx instead of the phone or Phones web GUI.

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