First look at the Obihai OBi202 VoIP device: Two Phone ports plus a built-in router and USB port (Part 1)

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28 Comments

  1. Robert Coates said

    Would that be (point) 5 REN instead of 5 REN (REN is Ringer Equivalence Number, i.e. how many ringers on the line) 5 seems way too high.

  2. Robert: NO, it’s really 5! That’s why they use a 12 volt power supply rather than a 5 volt one!

  3. Jay said

    Can you assign one of the 2-FSX (phone) ports to act as an FXO (Line) port?

  4. Jay: No. However, one of the things I suggested that the Obihai developers might think about is creating some kind of module that could connect to the USB port, that would provide FXO capability. I don’t know if that would actually be doable or not. Anyway, what you asking about would essentially be the OBi110, except the OBi110 doesn’t have the built-in router or USB port. But no device that I’m aware of will let you magically transform and FXO port into an FXS port or vise versa, because the hardware behind the two types of ports is considerably different.

  5. Charles Young said

    To be more clear about REN, it might help to say something like “supports devices with up to a total of 5 REN”. It should also be safe to say that it will ring at least 5 phones on one line (most modern phones have an REN less than 1).

  6. Mike C said

    Does the Obi202 support rotary phone dialing or pulse dialing? This is important to me since I have some rotary phones I like to use for the fun of it.

  7. jimates said

    Great notice MT. I posted a link on Fatwallet

  8. jimates said

    I think Obihai has a great product but I think a lot will think it falls short by not having a line port.

  9. Mike C: No, touch tone only.

  10. jimates: Thanks for the link. See my response to Jay (above) regarding the line port. If you really need a line port, an OBi110 is what you probably want, at least for the time being.

  11. Bummer: no built-in wifi.

  12. Steve Johnson: Not in this model, no. If that’s a feature you really want, you might want to add your 2¢ worth to this thread:

    http://www.obitalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=2757.0

    EDIT: But apparently they do plan to come out with an Obihai OBiWiFi wireless adapter, which will allow the OBi202 to connect to the Internet over a Wi-Fi network.:

    http://michigantelephone.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/heres-one-use-for-the-obihai-obi202s-usb-port-wifi-connectivity/

  13. Hunter Gatherer said

    Thanks for reporting on the OBI202. Greatly appreciated.

  14. The Sage said

    Needs the cappability to have line port for the two phones.

  15. The Sage (and anyone else thinking about leaving a similar comment): If you want that capability your best bet is to post a feature request on the OBiTALK forum (http://www.obitalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=2757.0 would be a good thread to post it in). Posting it here is probably not going to help you much. Also, please keep in mind that the OBi110 already has one LINE port and one PHONE port, so you could just get two of those if you need two LINE ports and two PHONE ports.

  16. A Different Sage said

    Also: You could buy the new OBi202 and an OBi110, and then register the OBi110′s LINE port as a provider on the OBi202.

    1) You could do this with SIP, I believe. See instructions from this site for setting it up on Asterisk; it should be the same for setting it up on an OBi202, I believe.
    2) I wonder if OBi could add some internal OBiTALK way to do this, though…
    3) A simpler way is to set yourself up as a trusted user, and then to call the OBi110 and use the automated attendant to dial out through it.

  17. Charles Young said

    I wonder if the USB port will ever be able to use a USB wireless NIC in place of a network cable? That would be a NICe addtitional feature.

  18. Sherman Scholten of Obihai has informed me that they will be getting things ready for the OBi202 general availability this coming week, and that they expect they will accept sales for the OBi202 starting on (or
    about) April 16th. I have edited the article to show the revised date. I found a couple of minor issues with the unit that have been addressed in a firmware upgrade (little things like transmitter and receiver gain settings on the phone ports not having any effect — that’s been fixed) so I know they are working hard to get as many of the minor kinks out as possible prior to shipping the units.

  19. Tom said

    Hey… first off, a disclaimer…. I’m a bit of a freak about power consumption. Any chance that the documentation mentions how many watts this device consumes, or possibility that you have a Kill-A-Watt or similar device that would be able to measure the power consumption?

    Thanks for any info.

  20. Sorry, Tom, even though in some ways I’m a bit of a tightwad, there are two things I refuse to do to save money:

    1. Obsess over searching for / clipping coupons. I’d rather watch toadstools grow in my back yard. And I tend to buy food products from companies that don’t issue coupons or use similar gimmicks. If I see a coupon for a product, it goes on my mental “do not buy” list for a while, because I figure I’m getting overcharged at the regular price!
    2. Measure the electricity my technology devices consume. Doesn’t mean I won’t take energy usage into consideration when buying a device, but once I have it I’m not going to measure the power consumption, because I really don’t want to know. If someone gave me a Kill-A-Watt, I’d probably kill them before I’d use the damn thing.

    It’s like I always used to tell my mother while she was still alive — the solid state devices are not the biggest power-wasters in a home. Look at the things that have motors in them (refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, water pumps, furnaces, air conditioners, etc.) and any form of electric heating, and THOSE ate the things that use 70%-90% of the power in most homes (possibly even more if you’ve converted all your light bulbs to CFL’s). Whatever the Obihai may draw, and I suspect it’s no more than about four or five watts peak, it’s truly insignificant compared to all the other stuff you have in your home. The one exception to the theory that solid state devices use relatively insignificant amounts of electricity is those infernal satellite TV boxes that seem to have been designed to waste electricity. I don’t know how they managed to make those so power-hungry, but it’s almost criminal that they do.

  21. wily said

    I was wondering if we can plug a skype phone or a usb adapter in the obi 202 usb port
    like this

    or something else?

    Is there a way to have SIP and skype with obi without having a computer running?

  22. wily, I am 99.9999% certain that adapter would NOT work if plugged into the OBi202′s USB port. It will only work when plugged into an actual computer, and very likely it would have to be a Windows-based computer (not a Mac or a Linux-based system).

    Some people have managed to use SipToSis as a way to interface an Obihai device with Skype (search the OBiTALK forum for references to SipToSis) but that would require that you have some type of server running. If you could ever get your hands on a low power computer such as the Raspberry Pi (supposed to be $25 or $35 depending on the model, if you could actually buy one), that might be an ideal platform on which to run a SipToSis gateway. Note I did say “might”.

  23. Gary said

    What about an update to the 100 and 110 to support FAX

  24. So I’m VERY certian that I want to get this device but let me explain a possible issue to see if you can assist.

    I have three cordless house phones (regular pstn) spread throughout the house and actually right now using uverse phone service which is VOIP. Would it be possible to have a phone cable connected from the wall to the obi202 and have all the phones in the house ring? Is there any specific website I can check out for more info?

  25. Did you notice the link in the right sidebar?

    How to Distribute VoIP Throughout a Home

    The short answer is that it’s possible as long as the inside wiring is COMPLETELY disconnected from the phone company’s wiring. That means no connection to the current phone service OR the legacy PSTN wiring coming from the street. There must be zero voltage on the pair from any source when you connect the OBi. The page above explains all that.

    Also, especially if any of your home’s phone wiring is on the outside of your home, you may want to follow this advice:

    How to Protect Your OBi VoIP Device from Lightning

  26. Liam said

    I might sound a bit ignorant but I simply wonder how to receive phone calls with any of the obihai products. With MagicJack and Nettalk you get a phone number supplied. Yet, does anybody know how to get one for the obihai? Yes, I heard something about Google voice but you still need a pre-exisisting number be it from a cell phone or else. However, I want a new number and wonder if you know about a voip service provider that simply provides a phone number to receive calls?

  27. Liam, yes you’d need to set up a Google Voice account, however Google Voice lets you pick the number you want from a pool in the various areas in which they have numbers — it does NOT have to be a pre-existing number. The only thing you need an existing number for is the verification process when you set up the account, but if you don’t have any phone at all then maybe you could do it from work or from a friend’s house and use the phone there to receive the verification call (make sure you don’t use a number that’s already associated with Google Voice). Note that if you set it up correctly, you will NOT be routing actual calls to that number — you’ll only use it for the verification call. Once you have it set up, you tell Google Voice to send the calls to Google Chat, NOT to the phone you used for verification.

    If you have any issues or need more information, see the page Getting Started & Troubleshooting Tips with Google Voice™ on the Obihai web site, and/or watch the Google Voice video on their Tutorials + Videos page.

    If for some reason you think you still might have a problem, please comment again (or send me an e-mail at the address at the bottom right of the page) and try to be very specific about why you think you might have an issue getting a Google Voice number for your Obihai device. Thousands of people have done it, and it is really not that difficult.

  28. Liam said

    Thank you very much! You just convinced me to buy an Obihai with this information ” you’ll only use it for the verification call. Once you have it set up, you tell Google Voice to send the calls to Google Chat,..”. So, with this Google number I can receive calls and reroute them to the phone that’s connected to the obihai: http://www.obihai.com/itspConfiguration/itspConfiguration-googlevoice.html

    Is there a way to find if the obihai works with my modem or should I contact obihai directly. I simply had very BAD experience with Nettalk duo.

    Thanks for sharing your voip knowledge!

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