Archive for October, 2010

Today was a hectic day. I walked into my office and immediately started getting calls that phones have gone 1 hour behind. I was a bit surprised as Daylight Saving will be finishing here in UK on 31st October so how come phones gone behind a week earlier. I thought may be customer has got some messed up NTP settings. So, I started investigating it and found the NTP server is their gateway which is in synch with an external time source. Time on the gateway was correct. I did show system at Call manager and found the Call manager time was correct as well. As I was working on this issue I had a quick look at my desk phone (a 7960) and was taken by surprise. My phone was 1 hr behind as well. I walked to my manager’s desk and found his phone is showing correct time (7961). Immediately I came to conclusion that 1st/2nd generation phones are affected as 3rd Gen phones are java based and they don’t rely so much on Date/time group settings. As I was trying to sort out this issue I started getting more calls regarding this issue. In a span of 20 minutes I had eight customers with the same problem – 7940/7960/7912 phones have gone back an hour. I decided to do a quick fix and changed the TIMEZONE in Date/time group settings from Europe/London to CET (GMT+1). Reset the phones (7940s/7960s) and all started showing correct time. Remember, the 3rd generation phones were unaffected by this change.  The affected Call manager versions were 7.1.3 & 7.1.5. I raised a Cisco TAC case and it was quite amusing when she said that she already took some 10 calls since morning regarding same issue. One of the TAC engineer came back to me with the following solution:

Bug – CSCtj70240    CUCM applying DST changes 1 week before needed (2010)

Workaround/Solution

Workaround #1:

Affected customers can choose to do nothing and wait for the time to automatically update.

Workaround #2:

Time of Day Routing
Adjust the time schedules behind one hour.

1. Choose System > Date / Time Group from CUCM Admin.
2. Create a new Date / Time group that is one hour ahead of local time.
3. Choose System > Device pool.
4. Create a New Device pool and assign the (one hour ahead Date time group) to this new device pool.
5. Assign the new device pool to the Cisco IP Phones that display the incorrect time.

Note: The CUCM time updates occur automatically (dates vary per timezone).
Change your Time of Day Routing and Device Pools back to the original Date / Time group accordingly.

Note: Just had a response from Cisco TAC that this bug will only affect systems in 2010. It will be fine next year.

Bug Fix:

Update from Cisco TAC: 26/10/2010 22:13

The following versions are affected:

* 7.1.3: all CM versions below 007.001(003.33031.001)

* 7.1.5: all CM versions below 007.001(005.12008.001)

* 8.0.2: all CM versions below 008.000 (002.41007.001 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              002.41007.001      end_of_the_skype_highlighting), 8.0.3 shouldn’t be affected.

Developers provided COP files with fixes for the 3 branches mentioned above:

* COP for 7.1.3 -> http://tools.cisco.com/squish/d8500

* COP for 7.1.5 -> Can be found on cisco.com already: http://tools.cisco.com/squish/6A66E5

* COP for 8.0.2 -> http://tools.cisco.com/squish/12576

In case you decide to install COP files, please bear in mind the following suggestions when installing the COP files:

– Installation to all machines in the cluster is required

– As with any installation or upgrade, it is recommended that you apply this Update during off peak hours.

– When applying this Package be advised that a clusterwide reboot is required.

– It is also recommended that this update be installed on all  machines in the cluster before the cluster is rebooted.

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I had an interesting scenario where customer logged a case with us regarding their RightFax server not working. Those of you who don’t know what is a RightFax server can read about it here. When you dial the fax number from outside, it reaches the gateway and you hear one ringback and then a fast busy. The call flow was something like this:

0XXXX23422 >>>> Birmingham GW  FXO >>> on CCM we have FXO port with number 3422 >> on CCM there was a RP 3422 with a RL pointing towards an Intercluster trunk to 192.168.10.39. The 192.168.10.39 was the Right Fax server.

I could ping 192.168.10.39 which proved no issues between CCM and Right fax server.

I then opened debug voip ccapi inout and observed the Ringback and fast busy tone which was not very helpful. I then asked the customer if fax calls through any other gateway are working and luckily I found one gateway where they had successful fax calls. I compared the MGCP config on both gateways and found one line missing from this gateway which was not working.

The MGCP commands common to both:
ccm-manager fallback-mgcp
ccm-manager redundant-host BELL
ccm-manager mgcp
no ccm-manager fax protocol cisco
ccm-manager music-on-hold
ccm-manager config server 192.168.10.25
ccm-manager config

!

mgcp
mgcp call-agent MICKEY 2427 service-type mgcp version 0.1
mgcp rtp unreachable timeout 1000 action notify
mgcp modem passthrough voip mode nse
mgcp package-capability rtp-package
mgcp package-capability sst-package
mgcp package-capability pre-package
no mgcp package-capability res-package
no mgcp timer receive-rtcp
mgcp sdp simple
mgcp fax t38 ecm
mgcp bind control source-interface FastEthernet0/0
mgcp bind media source-interface FastEthernet0/0
!

mgcp profile default!

The command which was missing was this:

mgcp rtp payload-type g726r16 static
I added that command and Fax started working.

OK, this is different of what I use to write but I think it would be helpful for all iphone 4 users.

I had my iphone 4 few days back and I was quite impressed by this new smartphone until I realized the phone is draining my battery like a Ferrari sucks up fuel. All that iphone 4 claims of long life battery etc seems rubbish to me. I went through several forums and did some tests to come up with some guidance notes to avoid battery drain for iPhone 4. This can also be used for other iphone generations.

  • Don’t over charge your battery, drain it to 10% and below and then charge it completely to 100% and take the Power cable off. Don’t leave it charging overnight as that damages the Battery cell. Go into General > Usage > Battery Percentage > ON. This will show you battery life in %.
  • Go to Safari browser and close all webapges. Don’t leave pages running in background after you use Safari.
  • if you find your iPhone is getting hot and battery is draining fast then Reboot your iphone but shuting it down and bringing it back up. This way it will kill any process using up iphone resources.
  • Go to Settings > Wifi > Turn it off if not using it. Also under wi-fi turn off “Ask to join Networks” if you already have added your wifi network
  • Under Notifications > Turn it off. I found that my fring Software was taking a lot of battery resources as that was set as Notifications turned on by default. I still have my facebook notifications ON but keep it off if you don’t need notifications.
  • Under Settings > Sounds >Ring > Vibrate off. I have also turned off New mail, Sent mail, Calendar Alerts, Lock Sounds.
  • Under Settings > Brightness > Turn Auto Brightness ON
  • From Settings > General > Network > Enable 3G > off
  • From Settings > General > Network > Turn off Internet Tethering if don’t use it
  • Settings > General > Spotlight Search > Uncheck all – This is a major battery drainer
  • Turn off Push from Settings > Mail Contacts and set it to Fetch > manual
  • Settings > Messages > MMS messages > off – if you don’t use MMS often
  • If this all doesn’t resolve the issue then you need to restore your iphone as a new phone and not as backup. Hook it into itunes and restore it as new phone

Note: I can now confirm that after following the above tips my battery ran for 56 hours+ with a usage of 7hours+ which include playing games like iBasket, FruitNinja and paper Toss as well as facebook browsing. Also, I did some facetime Video calls as well. Just to add that my iphone 4 has not been created as new phone but has been created from my iphone 3G backup.

I was looking into this customer issue where they upgraded from Call manager 4.x to 7.x and almost all users on 7912 phone lost their speed dials.

I checked the phones and CCMUSER page and found that the dials where there but they are not able to access it.

Created a new Softkey template including “AbbrDial” at “off Hook” mode. Reset the phones and asked them to check.

Customer came back saying they cannot see “AbbrDial” Softkey. All settings in Call manager were fine but for some reason they were not able to see the Abbreviated Dial Softkey.

I checked the firmware for 7912 and it was CP7912080003SCCP070409A.

I decided to upgrade the firmware for 7912 to the latest one CP7912080004SCCP080108A. I loaded the new firmware, restarted TFTP, reset the phones and it all started working fine.

Later I came to know that it’s a kind of a bug that if you upgrade from CCM 4.x to 7.x then your 7912 phones will have issues in AbbrDial Softkey. If you come across this issue, upgrade the firmware and you will be good.