Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Polycom BLF on Trixbox 2.6

I consider my google-fu to be pretty good but trying to get BLF on my Polycom 550 seemed challenging at best. The biggest problem I had was in figuring out exactly what I was looking for. One of my biggest pet-peaves about the VoIP community is that you seem to have those who know very little and those who know so much their brains are spilling over with information so much so that they don't bother to clearly state what files they are editing and just expect you to know by what they type on the screen.

I fall somewhere in between these two types of people. I understand a lot about computers, networking and Linux. Voice is just hte bane of my existence and I tolerate it because it's beginning to put more and more money in my pocket.

So this post is how I got BLF to work on a polycom 550 with a Trixbox 2.6.1 installation.

1. Make sure you have the polycom firmware installed:

  # yum install firmware-polycom

2. check your 'show hints' in the asterisk command line interface

# asterisk -rx 'show hints'

    -= Registered Asterisk Dial Plan Hints =-
                   3260@ext-local           : SIP/3260              State:Idle            Watchers  0
                   3202@ext-local           : SIP/3202              State:Idle            Watchers  0
                    709@park-hints          : park:709@parkedcalls  State:Idle            Watchers  0
                    708@park-hints          : park:708@parkedcalls  State:Idle            Watchers  0
                    707@park-hints          : park:707@parkedcalls  State:Idle            Watchers  0
                    706@park-hints          : park:706@parkedcalls  State:Idle            Watchers  0
                    705@park-hints          : park:705@parkedcalls  State:Idle            Watchers  0
                    704@park-hints          : park:704@parkedcalls  State:Idle            Watchers  0
                    703@park-hints          : park:703@parkedcalls  State:Idle            Watchers  0
                    702@park-hints          : park:702@parkedcalls  State:Idle            Watchers  0
                    701@park-hints          : park:701@parkedcalls  State:Idle            Watchers  0

*** if you don't have anything for the 'show hints' make sure you have your extensions set up and working in Trixbox. It's supposed to create the hints automatically.

3. Now create a speed dial entry in your polycom phone. On my 550 I pressed the follow:
1. Contact Directory
First Name:  {Extension I wanted to watch}
Contact: {Extension I wanted to watch}
Make sure you have the speed dial entry on one of your buttons now. If you don't then you either don't have an available button or you did something wrong.

These steps will create a file on your server under /tftpboot/polycom/contacts  {MACADDR}-directory.xml

4. Now open the new file in your favorite editor (mine is nano).  You should see something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" standalone="yes"?>

Add a line for the Buddy Watch so it looks like this:

Save your changes but don't reboot your phone just yet.

5. Next I had to edit the /tftpboot/sip.cfg. Look for a line starting with:
   <feature"presence" feature.1.enabled="0"
You need to turn on feature.1
Save the file, and reboot your polycom phone.

6. Presto! Once the phone reboots you should see the extension you want to monitor but instead of a tiny keypad next to it you should see a little person. Whenever they are talking on the phone, or recieving a call your screen will update. Remember this isn't a key system, so just picking up the handset won't actually report them as busy.

This is how I got BLF on a Polycom 550 with Trixbox. Other configurations may require other settings. I think if I had edited the sip.cfg file before adding the speed dial entry I might have seen the Buddy Watch option when setting up the speed dial, then I wouldn't have had to edit the directory file by hand.

Looking through sip.cfg I noticed several other features of interest to me. I guess I'll have to play with them next. But that's another post for another day. Time to go make money with my new found feature.


Theodis said...

I hate to admit it but nano/pico is my favorite editor too *whimper* sad but true. :(

Helder said...


I manage to get the blf to work on a polycom 650 with 2 expansion modules, the problem is that it just show "busy" or "availiable" nor ringing.

I've search for this issue and I couldn't find anyone with the same issue... does anyone have this issue?

I'm running version SIP 3.2.2 on the polycom and this version support enhanced blf. and when I do a "show Hints" I can see the status "Ringing" but on the phone it appear as busy.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks in advance.