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My HHX Extension Stopped Working

There are many reasons why a phone on the HHX network might work, but then stop working.

Jeff Dale, Administrator of HHX, did a series of small articles on why this happens..

Jeff collected theses articles into one posting. Hopefully it will help you determine any issues and provide us with the information we need to assist you.

Below is the compilation of articles from Jeff.

HHX Notes (From Jeff Dale)

Jeff Dale to Hamshack Hotline
March 28, 2019

Just a reminder when logging a support ticket with HHX

We need at a minimum:

Your Public IP address
Your Extension Number
Make/Model of your Phone
MAC Address of your Phone

Without this it's like going to the mechanics for an engine noise… without bringing your car.

Jeff Dale to Hamshack Hotline
August 14, 2019

Note to HHX users.

Make sure your phone isn't a Sheldon. Re-registering or setting the timeout to 30 seconds will get your IP blocked.

You don't need to have a re-register timeout or keepalive set for anything lower than 5 minutes.

Jeff Dale to Hamshack Hotline
October 28, 2019

Pull up a chair. Grab a coffee…. It's time for a little bit of tech insight into SIP and VOIP

Few things to clear up.

You should NEVER port forward any ports from the Internet to your IP phone. SIP protocol is initiated from the phone itself to the server and that session stays open as long as the phone is on. In rare cases some firewalls have SIP “helpers” that may get in the way but for 99% of the folks out there…. NEVER EVER EVER NEVER EVER open ports on your firewall to your phone. They aren't needed.

The unintended consequences are anything from your phone randomly ringing all the time to actually getting your phone hacked and LD calls placed on your actual home SIP phone, ringing up the toll charges on your account. I get a bunch of tickets every month saying, “My phone worked great for an hour, a minute, a second, then it couldn't register anymore”

Most likely it's because your phone is being an annoying Sheldon. Knock Knock Knock Penny, Knock Knock Knock Penny, Knock Knock Knock Penny. There is no need for that. When you come home from work, do you tell your wife/husband every 2 seconds that you're home? Well chances are your phone is telling the server that it's still there and, much like me, is a little crusty and doesn't like to be told every 2 seconds that you're there. So the server talks to the firewall and all of a sudden you're labelled as a nuisance on the network and are blocked.

This happens for a few reasons.

Registration Timeout - Much like the annoying neighbor Sheldon, your phone should have a re-register time out of at least 3600 seconds. Anything lower than that and Penny will block you from trying to knock ever again. (I named the firewall Dexter for personal reasons but for this Sheldon analogy… Penny is better fitting)

Phonebook - You might be trying to pull a non-existant phonebook from the server and after your phone has tried 200 times in 30 seconds the firewall blocks you. (It thinks your trying to hack by sending nonsensical commands)

Wrong SIP Firmware - Many people buy phones online, hook them up and have no clue what they are doing. The phone may not even have firmware capable of handling SIP traffic. For example many Cisco phones run something called SCCP or Skinny. This doesn't work with SIP. And so you pop in your Username and Password with the server name and off it goes trying to make a non-existant SCCP session with the server…. Which after a few tries Penny blocks you as well.

Multiple Lines - Many people want to have 12 lines configured on their phone because apparently the 4 HT's, 4 Mobile radios, 2 Softphones and their highly trained pigeon “Bob” aren't enough methods of getting a hold of them. And that's actually all well. (Personally I need a bigger desk to accommodate for all the radios so I get it.) But the problem with multi-line phones is that sometimes they are designed to work with a much larger phone system than 1 sip account you have with HHX and try to do fancy things like presence checks or weather updates. If you're pointing those “features” to the HHX server, well they aren't supported, and by now you know what happens….lets say it all together……. Penny blocks you.

I've been asked, “How come my HHUS phone never gets blocked but my HHX line I always have problems with it.

Well ultimately it's your fault.

See HHX is a sandbox for you to use unsupported phones and still get access to the yummy goodness of Hamshack Hotline.

Countless days/weeks have been spent on HHUS to craft, shape, configure, test and deploy templates for a limited amount of phones and ultimately you have not much to do but to point to that beautiful XML file that the Sysops have made.

On the HHX side we give you the bare necessities to get you online and hope that you have enough knowledge to figure out what goes where…and ultimately how to fix/configure it on your own.

I hope you haven't fallen asleep and have reached the end of tonight's coffee round-table lesson on the finer points of HHX, SIP and your phone.

Yours Truly

Jeff D HHX Admin

Jeff Dale to Hamshack Hotline
November 10, 2019

Time for that coffee and learn session again.

Today's topic is about placing a support ticket.

Sounds like a stupid thing to cover right? Well we want to make sure that your experience here with HH is as smooth as possible. BUT there are some times where you might encounter an issue that you need help with.

Let me set the stage. You own a car, and that car is having problems, lets say the wipers don't work. Do you walk to the garage and ask the mechanic to fix your car…. that you didn't bring with you?

That's kind of how we ( I ) feel when you send us a ticket with little to no information about your problem. You're showing up at my service counter, no keys, no car and expect the wipers to work again.

Now I do consider myself quite the tech wizard but one thing I cannot do…. is help you without some critical pieces of information.

#1. The extension in which you are having problems with. As silly as that might sound, some people have 2-3 extensions under their name for various reasons. If I don't know the extension….I can't help you

#2. The specific problem or error message you're encountering. “Phone don't work, Please fix” is about the most useless requests known to a technician. These requests usually end up at the bottom of the pile and get treated with as much thought as was used to log the ticket in the first place (I joke… They get treated in the order they were logged) Again…Tech Wizard…. Not Nostradamus.

#3. Make and model of your phone. Some phones have certain peculiar issues that we might have come across when provisioning. Not knowing what your phone model and make is sometimes makes things harder for us to diagnose and help you.

#4. Your Public IP address. Much like the mailman… If you just put a letter in the mailbox addressed, My friend Jeff…. You'll get that letter back saying “Address Incomplete” And possibly covered in tears of laughter from the mailman who can't believe that you'd do something like that. Now as you must all know by now, support staff laughs at customers all the time… Why do you think the MUTE button was invented on headsets or learned the art of covering the voice tube with your thumb (Those of you who worked in a call center know what I'm talking about) Many times the issues you're having are related to your phone being…. Lets all say it together… BEING A SHELDON. But I have no way of knowing which Sheldon you are. By giving me your PUBLIC IP address I now can look that up… figure out what your problem is and resolve it.

So remember kids… The mechanic can't fix your car if you don't bring it with you

kb/troubleshooting/hhx-stopped-working.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/17 15:41 by kg6baj