by Anura Guruge
>> Obi110 without Google Voice —
>> Apr. 16, 2014.
>> Obi-based Guruge network — Nov. 24, 2013.
>> Obi110 Voice Service Bridge — Nov. 14, 2013.
++++ Search ‘OBi‘ for other related posts >>>>>
Click to access “Stok.com” and their excellent product and technical description of the TCL VoicePro VP412 Automated Phone System.
As I have explained before, carefully, I have a very specific need — but it is EXACTLY what the OBi110 was designed to address. I want a home phone system with one POTS line and one unlimited calls VoIP ‘line’. OBi110 with Google Voice gave me exactly, 100%, what I wanted, and once I got it setup with Google Voice as my primary outbound, the whole system worked flawlessly. Totally transparent. Nary a problem. It was really too good to be true and as such, I knew (as is my luck), that it would one day come crashing down. Didn’t realize that that ‘one day’ would be this soon — i.e., May 15, 2014!
As I explained in these comments what I really would like is unlimited calling as I had with Google Voice or what I can get with MagicJack or as I found out yesterday, NetTalk.
Since they are always listed first, I assume because their name starts with an ‘A’, I first looked at the Anveo. They didn’t offer an unlimited call option. I have since discovered that PhonePower does for $60/month.
But this whole Google Voice debacle has left a bad taste in my mouth. I do NOT want to be held hostage by OBi.
So I started looking for alternatives that I could use with MagicJack.
So I started Googling for “two phone lines on 1 line phone system“, “two phone line bonding“, “two phone line bridging“. I was having zero luck. Lots of bogus entries for line splitters BUT I knew that I couldn’t just splice the two lines together!
Now red face time. I worked for ITT and Northern Telecom BUT I had totally forgotten PBXs — but that is understandable. I never worked on PBXs and like all good data folks we looked at PBXs with disdain. But, yesterday morning, in the shower, my second best place for inspiration (next to my near daily runs) it came to me in a blinding flash. I need a small PBX.
Started on eBay! Where else?
Found the VoicePro VP412. But, wasn’t going to buy it from eBay. Wanted to buy new from a dealer.
I LUCKED OUT. First Google brought up “Stok.com“. It even had a NY phone number. Called. Somebody answered! Miracles never cease — maybe because it is Easter. It was Glenn Stok no less. Very nice person. Hugely knowledgeable and very helpful. Kudos, kudos, kudos.
Told me upfront that he wasn’t sure whether it would work with MagicJack. Maybe with MJ+. Said it would work with NetTalk. Told me how it would work.
The ONLY issues is cost. Not cheap — though relative. VoicePro VP214 + NetTalk (unlimited — for a year) will come in close to $350. Yikes. Wife will kill me! Will be cutting my nose to spite my face.
But, I want you all to know of the VoicePro VP412, i.e., PBX option, and Stok.com.
P.S., Glenn Stok is an author and as such I want to give him a plug too.