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Obi202 with Google Voice experience (Compare to Ooma)

Started by markosjal, October 16, 2020, 03:36:40 AM

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I finally bit the bullet and got an Obi202 . Since the Obi200s seemed to have jumped in price I was able to procure an Obi202 for the same price as the Obi200.   About 60 USD as I recall.

The difference between Obi200 and Obi202 is the number of analog phone ports. The Obi200 has one port and the Obi202 has two phone ports . I believe (but not sure) that the Obi200 allows 4 Service providers to be configured just like the Obi202.

Some of this is about the Google Voice Service as much as the Obi202.

I fired up the Obi and went to the Obi portal for activation

I was able to get my obi to do all of the following simultaneously:
Register Google Voice Account 1 for Voice (to Obi202 PSTN Port 1, Not Asterisk)
Register Google Voice Account 2 for Fax (to Obi202 PSTN Port 2, Not Asterisk)
Register Google Voice Account 3 for Voice (to/from asterisk by way of account below)
One account dedicated to my asterisk for bi - directional calls

My asterisk  runs on raspberry Pi 3 and has / has had many different models of SIP devices running on it from an RCA multi handset VoIP system to Snom, Polycom, Cisco, Uniden and many other IP Phones. I use a UTStarcom  IAN-02EX for pulse dial and DTMF analog phones, and an unlocked Vonage VDV22 that also supports pulse dialing.

I was impressed that I can do a lot and it is a lot easier than hacking asterisk to handle Google Voice and an "official" Google Voice access method. 

Calls seem super clean on a 20 meg DSL Connection.


No monthly cost if you do not need or want 911. I chose to pay $12.00 per year to and use that for all 911 calls dialed from any Obi202 port or asterisk extension. This means regarless of actual line in use the ATA will always use the same account and 911 dialing. All calls to 911 will use the single 911 account.

I give one number (GV Number) to everyone and that number rings my VoIP phones and my cell. It can ring my cell via the Google Voice App on android or iOS , or by forwarding to the phone number.

Using Google Voice App on android phone I can dial calls using only Wifi or Cellular data and calls seem extremely reliable and seem higher quality than cell calls. Calls dialed with the app will show the Google Voice number of course.

If I had a data only cell phone along with the Google Voice app that would actually cover all of my mobile calling needs both incoming and outgoing

I let Google Voice handle all of my voice mail on the GV line to asterisk. I then just dial *97 to dial into Google Voice Voicemail

Non GV DIDs such as my UK and Mexico numbers actually come by way of Call Centric where they pass through a Voice mail system or are later redirected to CallCentric Voice mail.

I compared latency and call quality by way of recording calls from both Obi202 and Ooma Telo .

On Ooma I tested with both analog and digital handsets; ooma HD3 digital, and panasonic DECT Cordless, and analog Western Electric Trimline.

On Google Voice I tested with both analog and digital handsets; RCA IP160 digital, and panasonic DECT Cordless, and analog Western Electric Trimline.

Because the RCA IP160 is a DECT SIP Phone it is close as I can come to compare to the Ooma with HD3 handset.

All cordless phones were tested at the same range of about 6ft from base.

2 WE Trimlines and 2 Panasonic Corless phones were switched mid test between Ooma Telo and Obi202 to eliminate any handset differences.

I used the test number +1 804 222 1111 and dialed into the echo test simultaneously on the Ooma and Google Voice lines. I also used a test number that I set up on my own using a SIP DID and asterisk. This was mainly to make recordings.I also used this second (my own) Test number to verify the latency resuls were similar to those on the +1 804 222 1111 number.

I found latency on Ooma , regardless of handset to be 2 to 3 times higher than the latency of Google Voice. This , I also believe affects the echo cencellers and can cause the user to have something less than a "Full duplex" experience.

Voice Quality
I found voice quality on the Western Electric handset to be louder on Ooma than on Google Voice. This same comparison on the Panasonic DECT cordless phone caused distortion on the line. In fact that distortion was found to be both transmit and receive.
Voice quality on the Ooma HD3 handset vs RCA IP160 was comparable other  than the latency noted earlier. Voice qualitywas always inferior on Ooma. 

There is an easy method tp reproduce these results:
Dial +1 804 222 1111 on an Ooma phone and Google Voice Phone simultaneously select the 'echo test " on both phones , place one to left eart and one to right ear and talk to yourself. You too will hear the latency and in some cases lower quality call overall. You can often hear that Ooma will chop off the first parts of words due to excess latency on echo cancellers.

Also with a single Obi202 (or even the obi200 single port version)  you could register to NPSTN, C*Net, Google Voice, and your favorite VoIP provider simultaneously and access them all from your analog phones, no asterisk required, although you would need a pulse to tone converter for your rotary phones.

I would not give up the GV option for anythong and have now made similar comparisons to commercial VoIP providers . Obi202 with Google Voice seems to mee the mark in every way!
Phat Phantom's phreaking phone phettish


I also recently purchased an Obi device. One thing I like is that you can buy a little USB add on for it that will make it wireless. Every other ATA I own requires an Ethernet connection. With this Obi all I need is an electrical outlet reasonably close. It will use wifi for the network connection. I also use it in conjunction with a X link so i can use a rotary phone, in this case a WE 5302.


The xlink requiqres Bluetooth. Is that on the same USB dongle with WIFi?
Phat Phantom's phreaking phone phettish


I have the BTTN Xlink. It only requires bluetooth if you want to use it with a cellphone. I plug the phone into the xlink and the xlink into the Obi. This way I can use my rotary phone with the Obi. The wifi plugs into the obi usb port and allows me to use the whole thing without an ethernet cord. All I need is a power outlet nearby. Works great.