My Phone Techs

Phone Systems => Inter-Tel => Topic started by: sailorboy on January 14, 2014, 09:00:26 AM

Title: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: sailorboy on January 14, 2014, 09:00:26 AM
 I am employed at an aviation shop in NE Kansas. It appears we're using Inter-tel 1224s and despite an 'system alarm 10' at one phone and station names being rather 'dated', all phones (10 currently) function fine. One phone jack had a wire break which got me curious as to finding system information. I'm NOT surprised that these were considered old a decade ago since we still use WW2 era ground support gear on aircraft.
 Having the phones fail would be a BIG problem so if a dead battery /power fail can render the system inoperable (add a UPS?), do we need to backup the 'db' file? We've used XP hyper-terminal/ serial com to set-up avionics so we can handle this.
 Being able to update station names and clear that 'system alarm 10' would be a bonus also. Thank you for your time.
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: MacGyver on January 14, 2014, 08:41:44 PM
Hi Sailorboy, welcome to the board!  I apologize for the slow reply, but was out all day.  

You might be surprised at how many of those systems are still in service today.  In fact I was at a location today that is still running the 2460, which is the larger version of that system.

In short they're generally very solid systems, and as long as it does everything you need, then it may very well take good care of you for many more years.

The System Alarm 10 indicates excessive data errors at a given station.  If you have a printer hooked to the system it will tell you which station reported the errors, but it sounds like that alarm is likely very old.  It could have been from a bad card, a bad phone, or even faulty wiring, but if all your stations are working then it may have just been from someone setting a book on several keys at once, some oxidation on the base cord plug, or other fluke.  

The phone that is displaying the error could be your administrator's station or on a system alarm 10 it could actually be the phone that had the problem.  There is a button on the phone called the SPCL key that has an infinity sign on it.  That's the key that looks like it has a sideways 8 on it.  From the phone that is displaying the error, with the phone on the hook, press the "spcl" key which is the one with the infinity sign on it, and then dial 019.  In most cases you can just dial 019, but if that doesn't work use the SPCL key.  That should clear the system alarm.  Then just see if the alarm returns.  One last thought would be for if you're running any 8 line "Turbo" phones.  Those phones have an A-B slide switch on the back that can get some oxidation in them and will often cause a #10 alarm as well.  If you're running 12 or 24 line phones that won't be your issue though.

As for dead batteries, they can always be a concern.  There is a battery on the main board, but explaining the voltage test procedure while the battery is on the board is a little beyond what I can explain here.  A back up of your database is always suggested.  Then if you do lose anything due to a failure you can do a simple restore and you'll be back up and going.  As for the UPS I'm a big fan of them on Inter-Tel systems for their surge protection and grounding properties.

On the programming question, Hyperterminal will work well for updating the names on the stations.  :054:
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: sailorboy on January 15, 2014, 11:09:31 AM
  WOW! A quick reply - the phones here do not have that 'infinite symbol' but one button is labelled 'SPCL' -and '019' DID clear the fault. Thank you.
 This allowed me to (finally) see it's extension# (101) so it is the admin phone.
 I have read here about verifying baud rate (for hyper-terminal- same for avionics) but likely need a command list also.
 I have no manuals on this system and my 'Google-fu' isn't finding much- this forum seems the best resource around.
 Is the board battery easily replaced -live? Should I have a DB backup file B4 any attempt?
 Not a rush deal, it works fine but looking to just keep it that way so making/ finding a com cable seems to be next step
 (along with digging out an old W98 laptop). Secretary thought me 'genius' for clearing that fault- thanks!

 Edit- found the user manual (shock), so I was able to update station names from ext 101 via the keypad, so not interfaced- yet.
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: MacGyver on January 15, 2014, 02:44:40 PM
I'm surprised you were able to find a manual.  That's great, and you're welcome on the clear code.  Hopefully it was a fluke and the station won't report again.

I'm sorry about the Infinity Key comment.  It actually hit me after I went to bed last night that your system would say SPCL.  The Infinity Key came later.  Yesterday was a very long day and I was wiped last night.

The battery is very easily changed, and it's just a camera style battery that you should be able to find locally.  Absolutely back up the database first though.  You will need to do a restore after pulling the battery.

For your cable, all you need is a 9 pin to 25 pin serial cable.  You should be able to find one easily.  The harder part may be finding a computer with a serial card in it.  

I forgot about W98 issue.  You can copy the Hyperterminal file over to a Win 7 box though and it'll work just fine.  We have a Win 7 box at each client location that is permanently attached to the cabinet as it also holds the SMDR feed.  You can also use another terminal program if you have one.  Procomm is great if you have an old copy of that.

Just remember to power the cabinet down before your pull the card to replace the battery, and of course take the standard procedures to protect against static electricity zaps just like you do with the avionics.  

For what you're going to be doing as far as standard name changes etc., I can give you some simple commands to get to the correct menus to do that.

Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: sailorboy on January 15, 2014, 03:07:50 PM
 Just so cool you've time to help people like this- our older (W98) laptop has a COM (serial?) port, most newer PCs do lack those. Forgot about Procom may use that instead- thanx! I put the user guide in the KSU? box, it was on a table (buried under stuff) nearby. Things change slowly here.
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: MacGyver on January 15, 2014, 04:27:48 PM
Things change slowly here.

Lucky for you.  You wouldn't believe how many system back ups we found on 3.5" floppys, buried under 1/4" of dust on top of cabinets back in the day.  :011:
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: sailorboy on January 16, 2014, 09:45:09 AM
 Since I'm able to 'reprogram' station IDs through the admin phone- seems all I need now is to backup DB. I've read of that KSU.exe program and realize with hyper-terminal the trick likely is how to export to storage (isn't HT simply a 'dumb' terminal)? My current questions is where to actually plug into (KSU box end) and a run-down of transfer settings/ switch locations, and commands to backup/ restore.
 Side note- recall reading about need for expansion card for both cabinet half’s to function, this has one but one side seems unused anyway (connectors
and board fuses removed)- some phones have been removed over the years. Spare parts are always good.
 No rush, I've other things to do around here also. Thanx for your time-
 edit- found most answers on other threads except the commands needed, sorry- see no easy way to delete a post
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: MacGyver on January 16, 2014, 05:04:16 PM
You're welcome.  I'm glad we're able to help you.  It can be hard to find any techs that are still in the business who can help (or at least are willing to help) with those older systems.

So am I correct in understanding that you were able to find the instructions in the other threads about how to hook up to the main card, set the baud rate, and other settings?  If so then we're almost home.  Once you get there, you'll be able to hit the enter key and see some menus come up.  If you see what looks like the old dos-day style characters popping up on your screen, then we don't have the settings quite right yet.

As for the cards that aren't being used, you're correct in that it's great to have the extra parts around.  I personally like to leave them in the slots, (where they won't get stepped on,) but I leave them out just far enough so that they're not plugging into the cabinet.  That way if you take a surge and it cooks your currently working cards, they won't be as likely to get fried. 

Let me know once you get the laptop talking to the cabinet and I'll get you some commands and a back up procedure.  You're right in that backing up and be a pain.  In fact it's been a while since I did one on that system, so I'll probably remote into one and do a back up so I can give you a better set of instructions.
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: sailorboy on January 17, 2014, 09:11:43 AM
 Glad you're hanging with me, checked my cable pile at home and found a DB9 to DB25, but reversed genders. So I soldered one up from a 'googled' pin-out but now see there are 'straight through' and 'null modem' versions. Is it pin 2 to2 & 3 to3 or 2 to 3 &3 to 2? Recall we had confusion as to Rx & Tx lines before on radios and actually soldered in a DPDT switch. I made a 'null modem version' but don't want to inadvertently damage a board. (I do have another system I gutted from our old warehouse, will check later for extra parts). Good idea about pulling unused boards from connectors. Thanx-
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: MacGyver on January 17, 2014, 09:46:34 AM
As I recall, we did have to roll two of the pins on the cable when we were putting a dial up modem in line, but it's been a while since I looked at that.  As far as going just straight from your laptop to the card we just used the 9-25 pin cable like you'd buy at Radio Shack.
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: sailorboy on January 17, 2014, 01:02:31 PM
 Seen on another thread that RS doesn't stock them now and ours closed anyway. We likely have better parts stock on site than any stores for 30 miles. Since RS-232 isn't really standardized, this is a snag. Even the 'inside trax' pdf is confusing, seems the null cable I made is likely wrong.
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: MacGyver on January 17, 2014, 01:56:35 PM
I could send you the pin-out, but I think the last time I needed one we either picked it up from Best Buy, or ordered it from Amazon.  A 12' cable was around $6.00.  As I recall only 8 pins are used and the board end spec is RS232C compatible with a 25 pin, male, subminiture D connector. 
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: sailorboy on January 21, 2014, 09:31:37 AM
 Sorry, been sidetracked dragging cat5e around the building- will verify the rs232c spec. Another 'quality' question- we have no 'hold music', does this require a specific board? I checked the other system I had gutted and it's a Premier, different (newer?) model. Hold music would be nice.
                Thanx-  elmerd
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: MacGyver on January 21, 2014, 02:30:43 PM
Hey Elmer,

Ok you're making me reach here in my memory banks as I don't have one of those cabinets where I can look at it, but as I recall on the left side of the cabinet itself is where the power supply plugs into the KSU.  Just below that I think you'll have three connection points.  I think the top one is for external paging, and the bottom one is a ground lug.  The middle one should be for music on hold and I think it takes a 1/8" two conductor plug.  Once the music is being piped into the system, your users can dial SPCL 313 with the phone on the hook, and the music will come out their speaker phone.  Then if they get a call it will mute until they hang up again.  Again it may not be necessary on that system to press the SPCL key first for that function.

As for the Premier that gets a little fuzzy.  Premier and 1224 is often said interchangeably, but there was a very early version of the Premier that used tan phones I believe.
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: sailorboy on January 22, 2014, 08:44:30 AM
The hole the KSU? is tucked in obscures the end, so good to know since I've an old laptop that can die as a music source.
I've been calling this a 1224,but the KSU box holds like 16 boards so maybe the larger model. As to the rs232 cable, the 9 pin (pc end)
is a standard, it's the KSU end (25 pin-out) I'm unsure of- (whether DCE & DTE, is it a modem connection?)
 Also now involved on a remodel at another facility (I r the electrician), so this and network upgrades here are not any real priority.
                                thanx,-              elmerd
Title: Re: Still works fine but want assurance
Post by: MacGyver on January 22, 2014, 10:16:24 AM
NP.  Whenever you get back to this project just send up a flare.

As I recall that's just a straight 9-25 pin cable.  We did have to roll one of the wirepair and make a custom cable when we put a dial up modem in the equation.  Wow.  That made my brain hurt.  :011:

The old laptop is a good idea.  We have a computer permanently attached to all our locations.  That way it can serve as a SMDR terminal which will give you a call log that will write to a text file, you can remote to that computer from another location to make changes, and it also gives you an mp3 music source.  If you use that as your music source though you'll want to set up a daily event in Win98 to play that playlist every day.  Otherwise at some point the play list quits looping.  Once we started having them relaunch the playlist every night automatically we ceased having that issue.