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Groups

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All the subscribers in the exchange can be divided into groups. The exchange can handle up to 250 different groups of stations. There is no limitation to the number of members in each group and a station can be member of more than one group. The groups are used for several purposes:

  • Group call - Broadcast messages to all stations or a group of stations.
  • Set-up of Audio Program or Simplex conference to a group.
  • Send mail messages to a group of stations.
  • Send Call Request to a group of stations.
  • Group hunt - calling one station in a group (e.g. to access on of several telephone line).
  • Restrict access on calls to/from a group of stations.

Important Information:

  • In a system with IP Stations, maximum 50 stations will receive group call by default. This is because the group call audio is by default transmitted using unicast. If there are larger groups than 50 members, one have to enable group call via multicast. (AlphaPro: Exchange & System > System > VoIP tab > Enable "Multicast"). See also: Multicast_in_AlphaCom
  • Only stations can be members of a group. Groups cannot be members of groups


Group Membership Configuration

By default all groups are empty, except group 1 which includes all stations.

Group 1:
Allcall 84. All stations are included by default.

Group 2 to 15:
Groupcall 85-88, 890-899. No stations included by default.

Group 16 to 48:
Empty groups, free for any use

Group 49:
This group is used to set access restrictions to the telephone interface PNCI. The group is empty after autoload.

Group 50:
This group is by default used for group hunt to external telephone lines when using the PNCI telephone interface. Directory number 0 makes a group hunt to group 50. The group is empty after autoload.

Group 51 to 60:
These groups are used for defining Ringing Groups, directory numbers 6701 - 6710 are autoloaded with relation to these groups. Groups 51 to 60 are empty after autoload.

Group 61 to 250:
Empty groups, free for any use

Assigning Stations to Groups

To assign stations to a group, each station must be specifically included. It is possible to include a station in any number of groups.

Group Call

The Group call feature is used for broadcasting of voice messages to a group of stations and/or PA amplifiers. The group call audio can be transmitted directly without delay, or it can be recordeded by the AlphaCom XE and dispatched after having listened to the recording (recall).

Group call

Default directory numbers for group calls:

  • 84: All Call to group 1
  • 85-88: Group Call to groups 2 - 5
  • 890-899: Group Call to groups 6 - 15

More groups can be added from AlphaPro. In the Directory & Features window, select Insert and select Feature 39 and ID = group number. Enter any free directory number and an appropriate display text.

To initiate a group call, dial the directory number of the desired group. Both you and the group members hear a ding-dong signal. Press the M-key to start the broadcast. Release the M-key to stop the broadcast. You can choose to exit the group call feature by C-key, or optionally wait (30 sec timeout) for someone to answer.

Recall

Main article: Recall

The recall function is available as from AMC software version 11, and requires an Audio Messaging license. Default directory numbers for "recall" broadcast:

  • 9084: Recall to group 1 (all)
  • 9085-9088: Recall to groups 2 - 5

To initiate a group call, dial the directory number of the desired group. Press the M-key to start recording. Release M-key to listen to the message. Press 8 to dispatch the message, or C to cancel.


Answering feature (Meet Me)

By dialing the answer feature 99 on any intercom station within the answer period (default 30 seconds), you will automatically be connected to the station that initiated the group call.

With several group calls are active at the same time, one must answer from a station belonging to the group.

Simultaneous Group Calls

Several group calls can be active at the same time as long as there is no overlap in members of the simultaneous groups. If there is an overlap, the second group call is queued. However, there is a "Max Missing Members" setting per group in AlphaPro, which will let the second group call go through if the overlap is less than the number of stations specified.

When several group calls are active at the same time, answering a group call can only be done from a station belonging to the group.

The possibility to have simultaneous group calls can be disabled. A new group call will then meet a busy signal if the ongoing call has the same or higher priority. An ongoing group call will be canceled by a new group call with higher priority.

The gong is a common resource. If two group calls are started at the same time, the second must wait till the gong is finished, no matter what the priorities are. If the repeated gong is used, the gong may be occupied for some time, according to the programming of the repeated gong.

Acoustic Feedback

When making groupcalls, there might be a problem with acoustic feedback between nearby stations or overhead PA speakers.

Recall

The Recall function let you record a message from a station, and then dispatch the recorded message as a Group Call, effectively preventing possible feedback problems.

Group Exclusion

With Group (Voice Paging) Exclusion each subscriber may exclude up to 20 neighboring stations from receiving the audio during a group call initiated by the subscriber. (Before software version 11.3.3.1: max 8 stations. Before software version 10.30: max 4 stations).

In AlphaPro, the list is programmed under Users & Stations > Group Excl.

In Event Handler, the Voice Paging Exclusion list can be accessed using the %ges macro (since AMC 11.00).

Group Call Setup Priority

A group call can be assigned one out of four available Setup Priority levels:

  • Low
  • Normal (Default)
  • High
  • Alarm

The group call Setup Priority works in the following way:

  • With simultaneous group calls: A group call is canceled by a group call with higher priority if there is overlap between members.
  • Without simultaneous group calls: An ongoing group call is canceled by a group call with higher priority.


Group Calls with Alarm priority has the following attributes:

  • Priority over group calls with lower priority.
  • Override of volume. The alarm call is always distributed at maximum volume.
  • Override of handset. The alarm call comes through the main speaker even if the handset is accidentally misplaced.
  • On-going conversations are canceled if the exchange needs the hardware resources to get the Alarm Group Call through to everybody.

Note: The gong is a common resource. If two group calls are started at the same time, the second will wait till the gong is finished, no matter what the priorities are. If the repeated gong is used, the gong may be occupied for some time, according to the programming of the repeated gong.

Access restrictions for group call

Group Access Level

"Group Access Level" is used to restrict the access for a station to activate group calls. Each group can be assigned on out of three possible access levels: Low - medium (default) - high. Each station also has a Group Access Level setting. To be able to access a group call, the station must have the same or higher level than defined for the group.

Class of Service

  • By using the Class of Service feature you can restrict a station from access to all group calls.

Group Call Reception Filter

Each station can activate a Group Call Reception Filter which makes it possible only to receive Group Calls with setup priority above a defined priority level. Dial 793x to activate the wanted filter on the station.

  • 7930 = Filter off
  • 7931 = Filter 1 Group Setup low priority
  • 7932 = Filter 2 Group Setup normal priority
  • 7933 = Filter 3 Group Setup high priority

When the feature has been activated on the station the display shows which filter is active for your station.

7931 GrpFilt 1
7930 GrpFiltCanc

The feature 91 is not included in Class of Service 1.

Configurable Chime

The default gong pattern for the group calls is a ding-dong tone. By default there are four alternatives available:

  • Ding-dong
  • Dong-ding
  • Repeated gong
  • 4-tone gong

The selected gong type and tones applies to all group calls.

Replacing the "Ding-Dong" chime with a wav file

When making a group call, the default behavior is that a Ding-Dong chime is played to the group before the audio channel is opened. This ding-dong signal can be replaced by an audio file in wav format.

One have to create a new directory number for the group call:

  • Feature number = 113
  • Parameter 1 = Group ID (1 - 250)
  • Parameter 2 = 129 (= Live speech, no Gong)
  • Parameter 3 = Message ID. The wav file must be uploaded via the AlphaCom web interface (System Configuration > Messaging). It must be uploaded as Message Group 30. The ID of the uploaded message must match the setting in the Parameter 3 field.
9484 will make an AllCall (Group 1), the ding-dong is replaced by message 9


Note icon An Audio Messaging license is required in order to use a wav file as chime signal


See Also