Discussion: Asterisk Nortel

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Asterisk <-> Nortel CS1k

Interestingly the Nortel CS1k supports about 12 sip devices. Total. Those are the only ones that nortel will support connections to. I've been trying to get asterisk-1.4.13 to talk to one for a day and a half now with absolutely no luck whatsoever. can't seem to call in either direction

by shawnl, Wednesday 17 of October, 2007 (13:44:15 UTC)
SIP Link to Nortel CS1K


we just tried to link a Nortel CS1K with an Asterisk. From nortel i can reach Asterisk without any problems (phones are ringing etc.) Now, when we try to setup a phonecall from the Asterisk to the nortel. Nortel abouts it with "Service Unavailable". I just setup the sip.conf like in the example. Anyone has a clue ? I mean, do I need to change the SIP-URI from Asterisk while setting up a phone call to the nortel?


by basty, Wednesday 10 of October, 2007 (14:25:45 UTC)
Using DTMF as disconnect signal

How does one go about "enabling the tone detector full time"? (See post below) This would prove useful for integration with many PBX's as a lot use DTMF to signal disconnects.

by apicht, Sunday 02 of April, 2006 (01:27:18 UTC)

If you don't have the ability, for whatever reason, to add a T1 to your MICS 4.1 or higher, a couple of VMIs and a couple of CO ports are all you need. The VMI is not that hard to get on eBay or through dealers who have used Norstar parts. As the previous poster said, it's still not ideal for a large system, but it's the only way to get voicemail with MWI on the Norstar sets without some serious hacking.

There is one issue with the VMI, however. Its "disconnect supervison" consists of making one or more DTMF tones to the Asterisk server. To get Asterisk to recognize this, I had to enable the tone detector full time and force the Zap channel to hang up when it heard the configured tone (I used 'D').

Using the dialplan, you can have the VMI indicate which set a call was originally coming from and send the caller to voicemail. An incoming call on the MWI can be redirected to another station (by default) by flashing the switch-hook and dialing *70 and the destination extension. It will transfer the call and free up the VMI port. If the station has forward no answer enabled, the call will be returned to the VMI and can be sent to voicemail.

In our setup, the VMI is used only for voicemail and SIP->Norstar station calls. We use a couple of DS trunk ports paired with a couple of FXS ports on the Asterisk server. This allows us to use a single digit line pool code to access dialtone from the Asterisk server, making it easy to dial a SIP extension. The MICS automatically buffers dialed digits until the outgoing trunk is actually seized, so there's no difference to the user.

by Mills, Tuesday 07 of February, 2006 (19:47:57 UTC)
Asterisk FXO to Nortel Norstar/BCM FXS Interface Guide

When connecting an Asterisk FXO interface to a Nortel Norstar or BCM FXS interface, there are a few Nortel interface options:<p>

1. ATA (I-ATA, ATA, ATA2). These devices provide a single FXS interface from either the Norstar or BCM (ATA2 only) to the Asterisk FXO interface. Unfortunately, ATAs do not automatically support DTMF tones on exension to extension calls (i.e. ones where the Norstar and/or BCM does not terminate an external call on the FXS port), and neither do they support disconnect supervision. This makes them unsuitable for all but basic testing and/or lab environments when integrating the two platforms.<p>
2. VMI (Voice Mail Interface). The VMI was originally designed to provide an interface between the Norstar key system and an external, analog-based voice mail system. It has the advantage of being programmed to provide support for certain features (i.e. MWI, cancel MWI, Call Transfer, and Call Disconnect) via a "Link" and code from the Asterisk system. Unfortunately, it was long ago discontinued by Nortel, and only functions on the Norstar (the BCM does not work with the VMI). This device is great for small Norstar integrations, but rather expensive, bulky, and hard to obtain.<p>
3. Fiber ASM. This device provides 8 analog FXS interfaces for Norstar MICS systems, and one version will also support MWI, but it otherwise has the same drawbacks as the ATA, and is not suitable for anything other than basic testing and/or lab environments.<p>
4. ASM8+. This devices provides 8 analog FXS interfaces for the Nortel BCM (not the Norstar), and will provide full disconnect supervision on analog ports (assuming the BCM is on a current release of software). The only downside is that extension to extension dialing doesn't default to using DTMF tones, and the "long tones" feature must be used to provide DTMF on non-trunk terminated calls. However, this is an excellent interface for integrating with Asterisk FXO interfaces. There is also an older version of the interface (called the ASM8) that does not support disconnect supervision. . .avoid this unit if at all possible.<p>
5. 3rd party devices (i.e. Konnex, DTI, etc.). There are a number of 3rd party devices out there that will convert a digital station port on a Norstar or BCM to an analog FXS port. However, of these, I have only ever known one (the DTI device) that will provide disconnet supervision and DTMF support (with long tones enabled). Unfortunately, this devices has been discontinued for quite some time, and would only be available on the secondary market. They also had notoriously high failure rates, so I'd be careful with these devices.<p>

So you see, FXS to FXO integration on a Norstar system isn't exactly ideal, while on a BCM system, it seems to work a little better because of the ASM8+ unit. Because of these limitations, I would say that FXS/FXO isn't the best method of integrating these two platforms. Trunk-to-trunk (i.e. T1 or VoIP) integrations work best.

by jcoomans, Wednesday 21 of December, 2005 (07:08:20 UTC)
IATA not passing dtmf tones to fxo

I have a CICS which has a Internal ATA. I hooked up a X100P fxo card to it and it worked for dialing out through the Nortel pstn lines (as the Nortel was configured to do) and it answered calls from other extensions (using Feature 66 on the Nortel handsets).

However, I could not get the X100P to sense the dialpad presses of the caller (on another Nortel extension) once it answered. I tried long tones (Feature 808) but the X100P immediately hung up when another key was pressed.

Just to make sure, I hooked up an analogue phone to the I-ATA and found that the dtmf tones were not coming out of the I-ATA at all (unless long tones was on)

Has anyone gotten this to work?

by , Monday 10 of January, 2005 (22:10:43 UTC)
Re: BCM and Norstar

Hi Tom,

I also have setup a H323 trunk between Asterisk and the BCM and it all works well except for calls made from a Nortel phone to a (Asterisk) SIP extension - the SIP phone rings but as once it's answered I cannot hear anything - there is no error with the codecs.

I'm using the latest HEAD version but have had it all working with a pre-version 1 release of asterisk.

What did you change in h323.conf for it to work?

Many thanks.

Matt Green

by , Wednesday 01 of December, 2004 (03:41:30 UTC)
BCM and Norstar

First the BCM. I have confirmed successful H323 connection to and from a BCM3.0/3.5 to an Asterisk Server. It works pretty good. The CLID is a little weird from the BCM to Asterisk but works very well from the Asterisk to BCM. Note: its the BCM causing the problem. You do have to tweak both systems and make a change to the H323.config . I have spent a week off and on to use SIP but I was running into all sorts of issues. If some one knows how to use SIP let me know.

Second is the Norstar. Rather than use an outdated products like a VMI why not use a VOIP gateway. Namely AudioCodes MP104 or MP108. It works well with the norstar and the Asterisk. I have been using it since AudioCodes released them over 2 years ago. I have been sucessful at Norstar connections since I started this. Plus even used VMI's are expensive for 2 ports and they have issues. I have both the Nortel released INI file and Firmware plus I have my own custom INI and Firmware that works on the mp104/108/124. Question. Given the limitations of a Norstar why would you try to use a extension based solution with all of Nortels limitations? Just a note for you all the Nortel Norstar VOIP Gateway was made by AudioCodes not Nortel.

Tom Driscoll

by tdriscoll, Monday 06 of September, 2004 (05:49:15 UTC)
Norstar VMI Tests

We have two of the NT8B89DA VMI's, and they work fairly well. They support disconnect supervision and use DTMF codes to pass call information to the attached device (Asterisk). It's not as full-featured as the native protocol, but definitely offers a much better integration alternative than using the standard ATA/ATA2.

I ran across and 8-port analog interface for Norstar that apparently replaced the VMI, but I'll be darned if I can't find the link again!

by , Tuesday 23 of March, 2004 (06:27:20 UTC)

I have a Nortel Norstar system with the VMI. I haven't bothered to try, but I'm told the VMI is really just a PC running OS/2. You can supposedly connect a monitor and keyboard and mouse and get an OS/2 console on the thing. I believe it has at least ISA card slots, so in theory you could put a network card in it that has OS/2 drivers, configure it, and then access VM files and such, at least. There's probably a way to start hacking from there to do more if you wanted, but you probably start digging into proprietary-land. I'm guessing the VM files use the directory structure for organization and are just .wav's...

I've had the system for a while, but I'm starting to get very interested in moving to VOIP. I'm at least going to be demo'ing VOIP very soon now.


by , Thursday 29 of January, 2004 (21:22:05 UTC)