Symbols caused password to fail on LinkSys SPA901 phone

An unusual situation arose this week during my attempts to get Voicemail to successfully send email notifications.

After giving up on Sendmail, I followed Ben’s advice ( and used Postfix - all good.

I was therefore very surprised to find that after achieving this success, 2 of my extensions were no longer registered.

All the extensions running from ATA’s were ok (SPA3000, SPA3102, PAP2T), but the 2 SIP phones (Linksys SPA901) were ‘failed’.

Eventually I looked at the Asterisk logfile and noticed these 2 extensions were failing with a message such as:

NOTICE[3190] chan_sip.c: Registration from ‘“The Cottage” sip:[email protected]’ failed for ‘’ - Wrong password

Since I had not changed any passwords during the Sendmail/Postfix saga I was confused.

However I tried changing the passwords, from something like:
to a ‘bare minimum for testing purposes’ format like:

You guessed it, the SPA901 now registered.

Not satisfied, I returned the passwords to their previous 20 character ‘gobbledygook’ format and rather satisfyingly, but still confusingly, registration failed.

So I created new 20 character passwords, but only allowing upper and lower case a-z and digits - all registered again.

What is still confusing me, but I’m leaving it alone, is why the ATA’s are still happy with their ‘odd symbol’ password format (#%!) etc., and why the SPA901’s suddenly lost the plot.

I have never posted here before, but maybe recording this experience will be of value to someone else - even though I really can’t explain WHY there was a problem.

My system is running
CentOS 5.5

The SPA901’s are at f/w rev 5.1.5