Paging in FreePBX 12 with Digium Phones and DPMA 2.1

Last week I upgraded our FreePBX to version 12. No problems there except the behavior of paging changed.

I had a cron job running weekly to make sure our Digium phones always got “alert-info: intercom” so that they wouldn’t ring-answer when the operator pages. When that happens people try to answer their phones and get frustrated when they realize it’s actually a page. Here is what my cron job contained:

use asterisk
update paging_autoanswer set setting='Alert-Info: intercom' where useragent='Digium'

I had this running once a week and all was well. After upgrading to FreePBX 12 this continued to work if I ran it manually but I found that the setting kept getting overwritten at seemingly random times. I decided I would have to run that command once a minute to keep it working properly, which I didn’t want to do, so I checked for updates and found a new paging module. Upgraded that. Then I upgraded the DPMA to version 2.1.

Now paging is completely broken. When I dial a paging group, the phones in the group ring one to two times then hang up. On the phone I dial the paging group from, it sounds like paging is working. I get the beep I expect. But none of the phones hear what I say.

Kinda lost at this point.

I think FreePBX automatically adds an alert called “ring-answer” into its dialplan macros for Digium phones. And, DPMA automatically adds an alert called “ring-answer”.

So, ostensibly, things should work out of the box when using DPMA and FreePBX these days for Paging.

Well it is doing ring-answer but I just want “answer.” I don’t understand why you would want the phone to ring when the receptionist is paging. I hear phones ringing all over the building and it is disruptive. And everyone stops what they are doing to answer their phone, which isn’t really ringing at all. It’s just a page.

But now, even that doesn’t work. It only rings. About one and a half times. Then stops. No pages can get through. Paging is completely broken.

I just don’t know if it was the FreePBX upgrade or the DPMA upgrade that broke it. And I see that there have been a couple of new versions of the FreePBX paging/intercom module since we upgraded so I’m trying those but I doubt that will fix it.