Author Topic: Can a PC dial an extension and play an audio file via the paging PA system  (Read 70 times)

Tim_Cross

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We have ext. 148 set up as paging over our PA system (e.g. you dial 148, a 1-second beep plays, and then you say whatever, e.g. "Mitch, you have a visitor waiting in the office").

We have our plant's equipment alarms set up with text files (e.g. "Temper furnace 201 has fall below the minimum temperature"), which can easily be created as computer generated audio files (imagine that same sentence read in an airport PA system voice).

When an alarm happens, we would like to have the audio file read aloud over our PA system.  One way I imagine we could do this would be to have the PC "dial" ext. 148, wait 1 second (for the beep), then play the audio file.

Has anyone been able to dial an extension using a PC? I assume we would need a modem card on the PC and use an FXS port on our UCM6204, correct?

SmartVox

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My first thought is to install Nagios and Asterisk on a Raspberry Pi, have Nagios do the monitoring and then trigger an outbound call (with appropriate wav file or text-to-speech synthesis) through the mini-Asterisk server to call your main PBX.  We do this all the time for wind turbine monitoring.  Quick sales plug:  We've worked with EverWatch Global, probably the top Nagios monitoring consulting company, to put this together in the past.  Be happy to help you out here.
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drostoker

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Not sure, but something that you might wish to experiment with. is using UCM Paging with the UCM Announcement Centre to send the prerecorded page out over the paging system. Then you could use a modem/FX line, softphone, or perhaps even a URI to trigger the page.


FWIW....
David
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GTA & Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

lpneblett

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PC to SIP, not exactly with a modem. A modem is using a different protocol standard and would be at an analog state.

You need to address three issues:
1. Some form of signaling to signify when an alarm event has occurred and how or what comprises the signal
2. Some form of a receiving device that would take the alarm and then act upon it.
3. The connectivity used to get the alarm condition to the receiving device and then from the device to the UCM.

Nagios may be a good solution, but I am not familiar with it.

So, consider the following scenario -

Using an analog ATA, if you could set up the alarming device to cause an off-hook condition and the ATA is programmed to auto-dial the announcement center and the announcement center (as David indicated)  is set such that each announcement is custom for the device and forwards to those who need, then this may be a way as well.

It is really just a matter of what the signaling is, does it latch until cleared, is it momentary, only need one alarm, etc.

I have a water district where we use autodialers. It is expensive, but it allows for different types of alarms to be pre-recorded in the dialer. When one of the alarm inputs is tripped, the input that is tripped determine the message that will be sent. The dialer then has a telephone interface that takes the ATA off-hook. The ATA dials the operations center and then the recording plays once the far end answers. The alarms can be for a leak, pressure drop, chlorine leak, pump station failure, lift station failure, etc. Additionally , the operations center can dial into any of the autodialers whereupon the dialer will answer and report its condition - no alarms, battery low, AC power out, etc. 


SmartVox

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Nagios is "just" a monitoring platform.  But it can take action based on the monitor result.  So it could fire off an event such as drop a file in a co-hosted Asterisk server's outgoing call directory with the appropriate information to have it call the UCM to report the problem.  Lightweight configuration on both Nagios and Asterisk means all of this can run on a $20 raspberry pi.
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Tim_Cross

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Thanks to everyone that responded.  I looked at Nagios' products and they seem to start at several thousand dollars, which I think is overkill here.  I also read about the UCM Announcement Center feature and that is pretty close, but again, we have to set up something to "dial" ext. 148.

Our PA system is a Snom PA1 connected to powered loudspeakers, and the Snom sits only a few feet away from the PC that generates the alarm .wav messages.  I am thinking the easiest solution is to simply run an audio cable from the PC's audio output and send that audio signal into the Snom PA1.  The audio file will simply play over the PA system.  No phone call made!  I will look into this on Monday.

SmartVox

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Powered loudspeaker directly from the PC seems to be the easiest path forward.  In the "for what it's worth" category, Nagios Core is open source software and free of charge.  Also, for what it's worth, their commercial product is also free for monitoring 7 or fewer nodes.  :-)
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Billx

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Look at Valcom.com and VikingElectronics.com.

There is a good chance that they have something that will work.

They interface to the PBX through an Analog Station Port.