Just signed up to the forum to hopefully get some feedback on the BT Versatility PBX system.
The reason why I'm asking is that a friend of the family has ask for some assistance on setting up an Intercom/Telephony system in the pub/hotel he has recently bought. I have some networking experience, system configuration experience as well as being a newly qualified Cabling Install (Ethernet and Data primarily).
His idea of an intercom system seems pretty rudimentary and doesnít allow for the fact that the telephone install currently is a real mess. The BT system seems to check all the boxes for his requirements but I need to find out some basics before I suggest it and get myself into trouble.
There are two analogue lines coming into the building, I assume that I'm wiring both into the PBX from the Master Telephone LJU's, does this involve IDC's or RJ11 sockets? With this in mind is there a 'soft switch' function within the system that allows me to route calls from one analogue line to specific handsets? Or is the Auto Attend feature best for this?
The pub currently has a Wireless ADSL router, can this still be installed on an existing extension and whatís the best suggestion for filters? At the Master LJU or on each subsequent LJU? if the later, does the PBX require filtering at source?
Once installed how intuitive is the programming?
Finally, based on the above questions am I biting off more than I can chew? Iím willing to give it a go but obviously he is stumping up the cash for which ever system is installed. Also any other pointers are greatly received
How big is the hotel? The Versatility has a Hotel Option that you can have enabled and setup on it for call logging in rooms, VM, Billing etc.... It also has a Wireless module and option for IP Telephony as part of that. You would need a Broadband Plus Module I think off the top of my head for the ADSL and IP stuff.
Extensions all terminate under the top cover on the usual punch down strips, I can't remeber where analogue lines terminate in it as I only have used ISDN line which are RJ45 and just plug into sockets on the main board, there maybe a strip for punch down of the Analogue ones or they may have RJ11s, just pop the lid open and have a look its easy enough.
If you didnt put the ADSL via it, just filter it off and have the router at the master socket before the system that will work fine.
Personally its usually cheaper to rent 1x ISDN2E which gives you 2 lines than 2x analogue lines I've found so maybe worth changing onto them instead, that would also allow DDIs and easy allocation of them to bedrooms for direct dial telephones etc.
Programming is either via extension 20 and a system phone or a cable and software which is quite easy I have no issues and have done 3 now None in hotel / B and B though.
Hotel may well be a grandiose description, its a large multi level building which may have some accomodation in the future (probably unlikely though). The primary reasoning behind the possible use of the PBX system is that there are two bars, 1 kitchen, and general office located at disperate locations invariably on different levels. The main purpose behind the PBX system is for dialing extensions within the pub and also to provide a certain level of professionalism for call handling from customers etc. Divert functions, forwarding, extension, auto attend and call grouping would be the main functions that would be required.
From what I have gained from the installation manual I managed to locate on the BT website is that the Analogue lines come into the CCU and kroned into two blocks by the side of the 8 extension blocks. This leads me to my next question and apologies for its rudimentary nature, if there are 8 extension blocks on the CCU how can the system support upto 40 users and REN limit as pointed in the BT literature, this is not important really as the system would never require so many, its more out of curiosity?
Many thanks for the ADSL info, the internet module certainly looks very useful but not for this system. Their requirements are not beyond their current single WLAN maybe with an additional AP at the far end of the 'ballroom' (told you it is a big pub!).
I have also downloaded the Wizard software tonight and having a brief look its hopefully straight forward. Im not a telephony bloke at heart so may have some head scratching to do first. Can the programming cable be bought for cheaper than £50 as I have seen it? Its not a standard rs-232 15 pin connector is it? Could a wiring diagram be sought and a cable made up instead?
Anyhow, many thanks for the info so far. I have noticed that you are Yorkshire based, can you recommend (without upsetting the moderators) a supplier of refurbed systems a bit closer to the Derbyshire/Yorkshire border?
Cheers, I may well be back with some more questions!!!
Ok then sounds like a simple system will do which is what the Versatility is Its a great system I love it to bits for its simplicity for small business and will suit your friends pub / b and b fine.
You need to check which revision it is as some of the earlier ones were I think only up to 32 extensions the newest are 40. To get to that number as you rightly say its only 8 on-board you buy Ports modules that add them in blocks of 8, thus you get 8 on-board then 3 ports modules gives you the 32 or a 4th gives you the 40.
I'd do what you are suggesting with the wireless, keep the Router at one end and cable an AP to the other end of the building and connect it to it, if you set the SSID and password and auth type to the same then its seamless roaming as it were between the two unit and job done. Just ensure you put the filter and stuff before the system and you should be fine. Maybe fit a filtered face plate rather than a plug in adaptor one, they cost about £10 for the face plate and stops people messing it up (or mangling the ADSL filter with Henry when they clean up....)
Wizard software is simple Cables are RS232 to an RJ11 and its only got 4 wires in it from what I remember, I've misplaced mine £50 for them is a joke!! They used to be £20 on eBay which was still a joke but not that bad. If you find someone with one I am sure you could make one up from an RS232 plug and an RJ11 lead
Refurb systems and bits I tend to get from eBay as it flooded with them at times, including new bits from people bulk buying up old system, with the economy like it is a lot of small businesses are going under and have them fitted by BT when they open thus they are nearly new etc
I have had a nosey at ebay and there are plenty on there. Plenty of ISDN configured options too. Will fire off some questions to the sellers.
One finally question for the time being, and its purely to clarify my understanding or lack of it. Evidently I plan on configuring the CCU with the software and cable, therefore hopefully being able to backup a system config in case of a failure. However if I wished to, or the end user wishes to, cofigure basic call settings via a handset does this need to be a specialist phone or just a feature phone configured on ext 20(?) with suitable rights and passwords given to a suitable administrator? There seems to be plenty of different descriptions from sellers on ebay.......... is a system phone just a generic description of a V8 lor V16 phone or is it a fancy job?
A V8 or V16 handset is needed for programming and by default is in Extn 20, however you can change that if you need to. The difference between V8 and V16 is V16 can have a hot key console on it and has back light display if you buy the power lead for it.
The nice thing with that system is it takes either V, V8 or V16 handsets or analogue ones with no changes to the config etc
Apologies for 'targeting you' about this PBX system, but you obviously know what you are talking about. Its turning out to be a whole load of fun and games. Namely, the three lines that BT are billing for dont even go to the pub, the MTU's I have found so far (NTE5, about 5 or 6 of them) only one works, i.e. having checked on the A/B wires with a multi meter, although BT still say they are functioning when they conduct a line test........ namely cos the lines (as mentioned above) go to a fax/modem, private house telephone and a local scrap merchant some where on the same exchange but not to the pub.
The main crux of my enquiry with you is when I mentioned to BT that I was installing a PBX system and tried to get to the bottom of the supply of what lines they mentioned one line was reserved for the ADSL connection and that I could not put this on a PBX. My understanding and through basic logic was that so long as the ADSL router was filtered at source on entry to the building or at the LJU and it was prior to the PBX then it would be fine, without any impact on the function of the PBX itself? I have no intention of installing the phone supplied with the ADSL router on a common LJU.
In essence my design was based on hybrid topology, whereby the line for the ADSL/PBX was a Bus topology upto the PBX i.e MTU-----ADSL Ext-------PBX and the other analogue line MTU-------PBX. Where the PBX phones 'hang off' the PBX CCU in a star topology (ie dedicated lines between CCU and PBX).
I have attached a PDF of a logical plan of the system I hope to install. By all means tell me to get stuffed but I would appreciate some feedbacks. Apologies for my visio work and the icon I used for the LJU's.........
If you do me the coutesy of having a look I was wondering if BT would supply a small distribution frame as opposed to 3 seperate MTU's? It seems daft to have these when they wont fundamentally provide any function beyond the BT demarc and a means on which to install my system.
Quite willing to buy consultancy time in £ or beer if required
Ok firstly do you need all 3 analogue lines into the phone system?
I would personally keep the ADSL one separate and use it as a Fax / Card Machine line which is what I've done in the places I've put systems then use the two others for voice calls which should be more than plenty for the size of place, however you then end up with a couple of numbers which is less than satisfactory.
Personally from your diagram I would chuck two analogue lines and get an ISDN2E installed instead, that will give you one number with two line on it and tidy things up, and then keep a single analogue line for Card Machine / Fax / ADSL and just run normal wiring for that.
Does that make sense? It tidies it up and makes it much smarter, ISDN2E is usually cheaper to rent than 2x analogue lines and only one box and a patch lead to patch in which looks much smarter. I have set this up in a couple of businesses and its working well, and have done something with 2x ISDN2E's to give 4 channels and an Analgue for ADSL & Fax to save on having Direct Dials and all the fun of that.
Ditching lines and starting again could be a good way of saving / reducing costs and negotiating a better package from BT (or your provider of choice) and getting rid of weird lines that make no sense you could also get the engineer to tidy up the rats nest you sound like you have
Thanks John for your reply, I too have been a bit manic. Just sat my Comptia N+ exam and passed so been a bit slack on pursuing the PABX system, having a weeks breather before embarking on the CCNA
What you suggest is a good idea, I have asked the owner to sort out the issues with BT and get to the bottom of what they think they provide and what they actually provide. Once that is done I shall at least have a baseline on which to work, I will then look at getting BT to reposition the MTU's at a better location, then all that is required from me is too rip out the mess currently installed, I dont really fancy trying to trace all the cables out and run the risk of making a meal of it. Let BT take the risk on that
Many thanks for your assistance on this matter, very much appreciated. Once its done I will try and remember to let you know how the install went.