All phones ring, but sometimes some phones can't answer

We have a FreePBX server setup at a client a few months ago. Version Using Voip, no copper lines. They have 5 lines, one of which is to an ATA device for a cordless, though this issue doesn’t pertain to this device specifically.

Off and on, as in one day every few weeks, the client had an issue with their main desk phone, all of which are Grandstream GXP2170 except the cordless, would not answer a call if it rang. This only happens when it rang within the ringgroup for an inbound call. The Ringgroup has all five phones. If the user at the desk couldn’t answer it, they would reach for the cordless, and all would be well, except this would happen multiple times in the day, then fade off the next day and not happen for at least a week or more.

Yesterday the issue seemed to have gotten worse, as the user went between three phones before catching the call on the fourth. The server logs shows no signs of the call being answered/picked up/ignored on the lines that failed. The phones were ringing, so Do Not Disturb isn’t an issue, as far as I can tell. Fail2Ban shown 11 failed attempts in the 15hours of up time, none jailed.

Between the server and the phones is a single POE network smart switch. I’ve seen Fail2Ban on the server for the asterisk-iptables show multiple failed login attempts, none jailed, but not say what they were. Checking the F2B logs doesn’t appear to specifically state it, however I’m not sure if I’m reading them right. I’ve gone as far as shutting own F2B, via Webmin as the terminal command fails to keep it stopped, and has no change.

I’ve changed the ringgroup to using a Queue, with no change. I’m suspecting something with Asterisk, which I can’t find any signs to say one way or the other, same with all the phones.

Basically at this point: A call comes in, all five phones ring, when a phone is picked up, the other phones keep ringing, and the phone that picked up doesn’t answer the call. Not limited to one or two phones.

I don’t think it makes a difference. But whatever.

What does make a difference, since this is a third party software, what else have you have installed on your PBX?

I’m suspecting something is wrong with these phones.

We’ll need a bit more information:
What version of Asterisk?
Where is the server hosted?
Are they on the same LAN?
For the sake of testing, did you try adding any other brand of phone, or a softphone to the Ring Group/Queue?
Did you try upgrading firmware on the phones?
What do you see under Reports > Asterisk Info > Peers, are they all “OK”?
If you can, please post logs of a failed call.

The only other sofware we installed on the FreePBX server is Webmin.
Asterisk 15.5.
Locally at client location. 1 network switch between the phones and the server. Same VLAN.
The cordless is using a Grandstream ATA adapter. Grandstream HT701. As for the other phones, Grandstream GXP2170, are also used in 5 other clients we have setup, also local FreePBX setups, including in my office and sitting next to me. As part of the troubleshooting, I’ve updated the phones to the latest today. I just made a call to the client, and of course, the guy who’s been reporting the issue, is out for the day, so no clue if the issue has returned since the updates.
Other than the one phone which is in storage, all the extensions are up, ok, and very low pings (<10ms).
Upon their next report of a failed to catch call, I’ll submit the log. Even though I insist to be informed as soon one happens, it either is ignored or I’m informed half an hour or so after.

I’ll update tomorrow on further answers. Thanks for your time!

So you basically installed something that wants to fight for control over the configs with FreePBX?

Anyways, where is the debug or call logs of this happening? Do:

asterisk -rvvvvvvvvvv
sip set debug on (if chan_sip extensions)
pjsip set logger on (if chan_pjsip extensions)
make call to ring group
attempt a pick up (that fails)
get all the output from when you entered “asterisk -rvvvvvvvv” and post it here.

Not sure why your point to asterisk. You said they can always answer from the cordless. That points to issue with the desk phones. Also if you are not seeing any packets hit the PBX from the phone trying to answer that again points to a phone or network issue but I put my money on a phone bug issue.

I’ve encountered some strange problems similar to what you describe with the 2170s, but it hasn’t been a problem recently. I think it was a network or phone config thing, but we’ve also gone through tons of firmware changes, so I can’t tell you exactly what the problem was. But the newest firmware is pretty solid, so I would switch to that to rule out anything firmware related. Which firmware are you running?

We are not managing Asterisk or FreePBX with Webmin. Webmin is used for better remote control of network, mail, OS/program updating, etc. IF we use Webmin to do anything with Asterisk, it’s troubleshooting the mail side of things, or reading logs. I’m sorry we don’t keep straight with the SSH/Terminal, not everyone in my office is specialized in linux terminal.

The issue is not easily repeatable. Unless we make dozens of calls and hope one happens, what you’ve asked will take repeated attempts to catch it.

No where did I say the cordless didn’t have the issue. The day where they were able to catch the call on the fourth attempted phone, they had already attempted with the cordless.

As much as I agree, I have not proof on either side. The switch between the phones and the server is not showing any packet loss on any of the ports.

Before I updated the phones, they were on 1.0.9.X. I don’t recall the last number. They are currently on Here in about an hour I plan to give them a call and see if they have had any issues this morning. If so, I’ll grab the time and number, grab the log, filter out other unrelated activity (such as another call), and pass it over here.

Thanks everyone for your assistance.

You’re missing the point. FreePBX wants control of the entire system to be able to do what it wants when it wants. Which means things have to run as a specific user and have specific permissions. When other “management” applications like Webmin get introduced they want to do the exact same thing, control things. Webmin wants to control Apache for you, FreePBX also wants to control Apache and make needed changes.

FreePBX offers management of Email, the Distro has it own repos to control system updates along with a System Update manager.

So the point is, you have two things running on a system that both want to manage the system. They could end up with conflicts down the road and you should be aware of that.

You seem to indicate that you’ve updated the phones since you were having this problem. If that’s the case, then I’m pretty sure I know the issue. Grandstream had a big issue with one of their firmware releases that got put into production. They removed it not long after, but a lot of people had already upgraded. It can be difficult to reproduce, so it’s a bit of a hair-puller.

It’s possible that there is a problem with permissions conflicting from the use of webmin, but if you’re phones were on then I’m almost positive this is the problem, and if you updated the phones, then you’re probably fine now.

As much as I agree from I’ve read, I have no say in this with my boss. My boss and previous asterisk techs before me have been installing Webmin on every PBX system my company has installed with no issues.

As for Mail, the available options from FreePBX’s interface, to my understanding and troubleshooting, which can be left for another thread to help me better understand another time, is lacking. Granted the FreePBX for our setups have been strictly voicemail to email, we’ve had to do more backend work to make sure the emails are sent out and either not bounced by the client’s email service or sent straight to spam.

Thanks for the info. The phones were on a final segment double digit, not triple like .102. .80s I think. I believe one of their phones were left not-updated as the phone was still in heavy/constant use, and could not schedule a time after hours to update, which I plan to push today. I’ll be able to use that phone as a point of reference.

As the client is not a highly managed client of ours, they are not on the rotation to update hardware firmware and OS updates, unless we’re currently in their systems doing other, generally related, work per their request, approved, and signed off on their agreement. I’m not a big fan of this, but it is as it is.

Edit: Client hasn’t had any issues with the phones today, however the wildcard with this is, they haven’t had many calls this morning. Will be playing it by ear for the next day or two.

I’m not going to say that Webmin is the issue here, we have 2-3 servers with Webmin with no issues.
I brought up the question because there are some folks here who “followed a guide on the internet that said install this and that to make it work” many of them are actually clueless what they install…

Regarding troubleshooting, I stand by what some said here, that it’s either a network or phone issue, and to troubleshoot, I would install a free soft phone like X-Lite and see if we can answer on the soft phone.

This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.