All Stations Paged generates random errors

We’ve recently installed a 38 user PIAF using FreePBX /
Asterisk 11.7.0/Cisco SPA504G phones and we’ve run into a problem with
all stations paging that we hope someone will recognize right away.

We’ve set an ‘all stations’ paging group as"333" with all but a few
extension in this group. Busy Extensions=SKIP, Duplex=unchecked,
Default Page Group=checked.

Last week Gail (ext 128) did an all stations page and it worked, but all
32 indicators on the SPA500 “sidecars” at both reception desks went red and stayed red until the units were unplugged and plugged again.

Later that day Wayne (ext 104) accidentally dialed “333nnnn” thinking he
was dialing an outside number. All stations LCD display said “From
Wayne” and all Line 1 buttons went red and stayed red long after Wayne hung up until each person pressed the Line 1 button on their phone. (Side cars operated normally)

The next day Sue (ext 100) did all stations. It worked fine except one
person (ext 112) was on the phone on line 1 and that call was placed on old.(all phones and sidecars operated as expected, but ext 112 had to pick up her call again)

Someone on another forum suggested that this was a known issue - that 26 extensions is too many. My first response is that we’re seeing a certain randomness in the behaviors rather than constant failures, but that may have to do with how many people are off hook, etc.

That said, the idea that a system that could handle a thousand extensions but can’t page 26 of them doesn’t sound right.

Someone suggested we try multicasting. We’re using Cisco SPA504G phones which turn out to be marginally better than two Dixiecups and string.

Any suggestions?

Why would you think those are bad phones, they work great.

You are just asking too much of SIP notify/subscribe on the BLF’s and the paging is also larger than I would like.

You should look into an Operator Panel like iSymphony until Asterisk 12 supports BLF list (much higher capacity BLF)

Those phone support Multicast and this will solve all your paging problems.

Yeah - we did just that. The problem is that, in my heart & brain, I have a problem with the idea that “26” (there is actually 26 phones in the list) is “too much” for a system as complex and full as Asterisk.

And personally - I liked the SPAxxx phones too, it’s just that most of the challenges we’ve faced were because features or functions we needed weren’t supported on this phone the way they are on the more expensive phones. I have not yet wrapped my mind around the idea that a phone on a desktop can cost more than three times the multifunction data processing machine sitting next to it.

Anyway, multicast solved the problem