About Me

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TsooRad is a blog for John Weber. John is a Skype for Business MVP (2015-2018) - before that, a Lync Server MVP (2010-2014). My day job is titled "Technical Lead, MS UC" - I work with an awesome group of people at CDW, LLC. I’ve been at this gig in one fashion or another since 1988 - starting with desktops (remember Z-248’s?) and now I am in Portland, Oregon. I focus on collaboration and infrastructure. This means Exchange of all flavors, Skype, LCS/OCS/Lync, Windows, business process, and learning new stuff. I have a variety of interests - some of which may rear their ugly head in this forum. I have a variety of certifications dating back to Novell CNE and working up through the Microsoft MCP stack to MCITP multiple times. FWIW, I am on my third career - ex-USMC, retired US Army. I have a fancy MBA. One of these days, I intend to start teaching. The opinions expressed on this blog are mine and mine alone.

2016/08/15

AudioCodes SBC 7.2 firmware

Most of my customers use AudioCodes appliances in their Skype deployments in one form or another; SBC, analog gateways, recording, management, phone devices.  So, when AudioCodes announced that SBC 7.2 firmware is now GA, I had to go get it.  I won’t bore my gentle readers with the exhaustive listing of the 30+ enhancement and session capacity updates – the document that outlines that stuff is 70 some pages – and I had to buckle down to get the entire thing digested.  Suffice it to say that this is a big update.  What I am really interested in is the promised GUI changes and the “click the GUI to configure” claims.

Having downloaded it the other day, I  upgraded the firmware on my Mediant 800 SBC and started kicking the new tires a bit.

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OK, file loaded.  28.8MB of spotless CMP file.  I guess I will click on the “reset” button and hope I don’t have to figure out the “reset to factory” option I think might exist.  Well, I clicked the “reset” at 1309 PST…and waited.

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The Results are In

After picking my teeth and looking at some Olympic Games results, at 1317 PST I am able to login to the upgraded SBC.  I think the watchword here is PATIENCE.  This is a total update for your firmware.  8 minutes of patience is not too much to ask for, right?  And, we have the new goodness that was advertised:

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Let’s open a few pages to see if the advertised goodness actually is goodness and not pure market-speak.

A few minutes pass – did you sit here reading this same sentence in a loop or did you check those Olympic results for yourself?  Alright, I have poked around a little.  Things in general are the same…but some things have moved.  Not a huge issue, but it will take a bit of adjustment/learning.  The overall look and feel is certainly AudioCodes, yet refreshingly updated.  Like the header CSS?? layout…

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And the promised GUI view of the relationships is certainly there also – very helpful for those of us with limited brain capacity.

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And as further advertised, clicking an element in the Topology GUI view as shown, does indeed dump you into the tree to configure the element you selected.  Maybe now even *I* can figure this thing out, eh?  And while I am saying nice things, the linking between configuration elements along with “EDIT” right next to the element you want to change is….very welcome.

1.5 “not so nices”

While I am at it, there is a sorta not so great thing.  The old GUI used to have the type of device shown at the top of the page – that seems to have gone away.  I forget what I am doing very easily, and it was nice to have the reminder of what device I was accessing.  And no analog gateway version (boo hiss).

Two more “nices”

One nice thing, well, actually two – is that when you change something, the “SAVE” selection on the top row gets a red box around it.  And (genuflecting towards Tel Aviv) when you resize your browser window, the contents shuffle and resize.  Finally.

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Conclusion

A big update for the AudioCodes SBC – it took a bit of time for the “burn and reset” but my SBC came back to life without losing a single iota of configuration.  The topology click to configure part is really nice.  I sure wish they had a version for my MP118FXS gateway.  Overall, I think this update is a winner.  Login to your AudioCodes account and get it today!

YMMV

2016/08/02

Logitech h650e v h570e

In my goody box that arrived about a month ago were two Logitech headsets.  Wired, stereo – well-built pieces of kit that work with SfB/Lync right out of the box.

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Don’t they look just about the same in these high-quality graphics?  Maybe some color differences…and the mic booms look a little off.

What does Logitech Say?

Here is the official market-speak for each:

H650e Stylish and Sophisticated Headset with Pro-Quality Audio and H570e Comfortable, Resilient Headset in Stereo or Mono.

Other than price, what is the difference between these two headsets?  After an examination of the datasheets for each unit, it appears that the differences are:

  • In-call LED indicator light (h650e)
  • Flat no-tangle cable (H650e)
  • Dynamic equalizer (H650e)
  • Premium velvet bag (H650e) – oooh aaaah  
  • The headphone speakers are different – the H570 actually has (IMHO) better specs in terms of frequency response – and the THD is listed as only 1% difference – which you and I cannot differentiate.  The H570e specs are listed on the right side.

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How do they feel clamped to my gourd?

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The H650 feels better on my hat-rack.  But this is totally subjective (I put them on the cat too; that did not work well).

Which plays better Musack?

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H570e, hands down.  To my ears at least.  This is somewhat indicated by the frequency response numbers as the bass/mid-range is much fuller on the 570 than the 650.  But why check this?  Because I do listen to music during the day, and if, gawd forbid, that I am in an office setting, I don’t want my choice of tunes to intrude on my co-workers.

SfB Connection

Hey, you knew I would get to this.  After all, we are in business and what better tool to use for your business communications than Skype for Business.  And to get the most out of that experience, you are going to need a high-quality headset.  Sure, you could run down to the local bodega and pick up some POS for $19.99, but you will not be getting DSP, wideband, noise/echo cancelling pieces of wonderfulness to match up with the goodness that is SfB.  OK, </rant off>

Bottom line, both of these headsets, like everything else that Logitech makes in this category, plugs in and starts working.  SfB did not even blink the screen.  It just used them like they were built-in.  The inline controls worked as expected.  I had three plugged in at one time and could flop my audio around amongst them no problem.  Simply put, these headsets work with SfB as expected with ZERO hassles.  Perfect.

Conclusion

If you are purchasing for a number of users, I would get one or three of each, and let the users pick for themselves.  I would think that your system provider can probably get you some demos to try out.  Or you could just blanket buy.  Either way, you cannot lose picking one of these two headsets.  As a side note, Logitech also makes these units in single ear, but who wants that?

You can get your H650e here

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or H570e here

YMMV

AudioCodes 400HD firmware v3.04

Those fine folks (and apparently busy beavers) at AudioCodes have popped a new IP Phone firmware release out into the wild. Brings a nice ne...