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Thread: New Obihai offer: Replace your Obi 100 with an Obi 200!

  1. #1
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    New Obihai offer: Replace your Obi 100 with an Obi 200!

    Hard to choose where best to post this (here or the Google Voice forum) but due to Landline Replacement this seemed more appropriate.

    I've been a user of an Obi 100 for several years, coupling it with service through Google Voice. Only a few surprises along the way, the greatest being how my service was interrupted about a year ago (if memory serves) when I had to discover on my own that the device needed a firmware update to accommodate some change at Google. Can barely remember the details but it seems that if I had been on some paid deal with Obihai (which I knew nothing about) I would have been notified of the need for the update, but once I Googled around a bit I found that people were getting the update file on their own and doing the update. Problem solved, service restored.

    Well a couple of days ago a message arrived to my Gmail account from Obihai (first ever!) with a big slick promo with the heading (copy and paste here):

    "Give Your OBi100 / OBi110 a Refresh

    As you may be aware, Obihai will no longer develop and release software updates for OBi100 and OBi110 devices. 2017 is also the last year you can purchase Premium Support for the OBi100 and OBi110.

    Give your OBi100 or OBi110 a refresh by getting the OBi200."

    It goes on essentially to tell you that because of this end of "Premium Support" you should consider replacing your 100 series units with 200 series units, and they provide an offer through Amazon for an Obi 200 for $10.01 off the regular price, for a pre-tax total of $39.98.

    So what do you think of that? I'm totally sold on my service using this method. I'm just wondering what the future of the Model 100 would be if I did nothing. I can't imagine what further issues would require another firmware update. I also wonder what "extra charges" might be up Obihai's sleeve with a new Model 200, like a mandatory Premium Support deal.

    Does anyone have any informed opinion on what Obihai users have experienced with this Premium Support thing or lack thereof? I'm a DIY'er and my perception of how they rolled that out after the infamous Google changeover (2015? - when Google and Obihai were supposed to have parted ways, then never did, etc.) was that it was something for serious novices to the product; pure gravy for Obihai. As long as you could get your hands on any needed firmware you were good, and that proved to be the case.

    Wish I could post the entire message containing the promo, but it's a large graphic. Inviting comments and opinions. I'm kind of inclined to go for the offer (discount only good for the one purchased from Amazon only by using the provided email link). It says the offer goes to "Saturday Feb. 28th", but the 28th is next Wednesday!

    Here are a couple of pertinent links I just found:

    http://blog.obihai.com/2016/08/end-o...bi100-and.html

    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r307...ai-for-support

    In surfing for best prices I'm not finding much better than this direct offer (and I'm sure shipping is additional). Best price I saw was from last summer from CNET magazine for $35 including shipping.
    Last edited by whacker; 02-21-2017 at 07:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whacker View Post

    In surfing for best prices I'm not finding much better than this direct offer (and I'm sure shipping is additional). Best price I saw was from last summer from CNET magazine for $35 including shipping.
    Newegg had it for $34.99 two days ago. It is semi-regularly on sale for $35 at Newegg. This is not a good deal in my view. But then I look at it from a SlickDeals perspective. Five dollars probably isn't a big deal for most people.
    https://slickdeals.net/f/9781763-obi...src=SiteSearch

    There is absolutely no need to go with the 200 series if the 100 series is still working for you. Using terms like EOL (End Of Life) and saying no new firmware are simply scare tactics. Even if Google changed something with Google Voice that required a firmware update you could still pay a one-time $6 fee and connect to the Simonics Google Voice gateway. In addition to not having to worry about firmware updates you get CNAM (Caller ID name) for your incoming Google Voice calls.

    You aren't missing much by not having Obihai tech support. One of their standard lines when they get contacted for help is to go post your question in the Obitalk forums. I love Obihai ATAs but as a company Obihai leaves a lot to be desired.

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    Thanks Taoman54. Your input on these things has always been practical and helpful. I suppose then I'll just stick with the 100 model for now. Of course, if the level of discount on a 200 in the future should become too enticing, it might be hard to pass up!

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    Looks like the decision to switch models was made by a higher power. Had power problems at the house (several quick off/on blips during a storm) a couple of weeks ago, and my original Obi 100 appeared to have died (power LED showing steady red). Tried power reset and underside reset button routines, but no recovery, so I ended up replacing it with a 200 model which I needed pronto, and didn't find a sale on anywhere at the time. It was only a week earlier when I'd had the latest $40 offer direct from Obi/Amazon. Oh well. Probably best to buy a spare when on sale. New unit was very easy to configure for both GV and my Anveo 911 service.

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    I wouldn't replace an Obi 100 if it is still working. I can't think of anything that a 200 does better. At $35-$50 for a 200 it doesn't take long to break even vs Magic Jack, Ooma, etc. Heck, it would cost me $8 a month just to put Caller ID on my landline, not to mention long distance service.

    I got my 200 on a NewEgg $35 sale. It is the best $35 I have ever spent. I used to do GV callback on my landline for local and long distance calls, which is a bit of a nuisance. On top of that, my landline is old copper and noisy. Vz refuses to fix it - other than installing FIOS.

    Here's hoping Obi and GV continue to play well together without going to recurring cost plan.

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    I guess now we have no option but to get the 200 as 100 is not connecting anymore?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclops13 View Post
    I guess now we have no option but to get the 200 as 100 is not connecting anymore?
    Or pay a one-time fee of $6.00 and subscribe to the Simonics Google Voice gateway and connect to it from your 100 via SIP. It's been run by Bill Simon for years and is very reliable.* I've been using the service since it was in beta. Plus you get CNAM (caller ID name) for your incoming Google Voice calls which you didn't have before.
    https://simonics.com/services/

    Your OBi100 is still a high quality ATA. But now it's a SIP only device. You can no longer connect directly to Google Voice via XMPP.

    But if you choose to buy an OBi200 there will be Black Friday sales coming up.


    *Actually, this was just posted by Bill Simon in the Obihai forum:
    I have been running GVGW since November 2011. In 2015 it was reworked to use the Oauth2 token system. I am no longer working on the gateway in terms of new features but it is and will continue to be actively maintained.
    http://www.obitalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=13169.0
    Last edited by taoman54; 11-13-2017 at 08:02 PM.

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    Well hold up a minute. What is the nature of the 'not connecting' issue cyclops13 is referring to? The only deadline regarding the Obi 100 I'm aware of is that they're not continuing to update the firmware (software) and discontinuing 'Premium Support'. I didn't get that the units would stop working for any reason. However, any Obi 100 model would need whatever the latest firmware version available there is, and that can be the tricky aspect, which I ran into on my 100 a couple years ago. I never had paid support, and at some point there was a firmware update I was not notified about, nor did it automatically occur. My unit stopped working (i.e. connecting)! I had to do online research to determine there had been a firmware change, then find a source for that firmware file and the method to apply it to the device. Definitely doable, but unclear if this is cyclops13's problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whacker View Post
    Well hold up a minute. What is the nature of the 'not connecting' issue cyclops13 is referring to?
    All OBi110/Obi100 devices will eventually get the "backing off" error and be unable to connect directly to Google Voice.

    http://www.obitalk.com/forum/index.p...84139#msg84139

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    Thanks for the totally pertinent link. I was completely unaware of this impending issue. Funny how Obihai uses my Gmail contact info to send me stuff about devices on sale, but doesn't send notifications about firmware updates and methods! I do have a 200 now. So I take it with this unit I still have to visit the ObiTalk site (periodically) and check for an update indicator and then manually take care of things? I'll get right on that! Thanks again, taoman54!

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    Quote Originally Posted by whacker View Post
    I do have a 200 now. So I take it with this unit I still have to visit the ObiTalk site (periodically) and check for an update indicator and then manually take care of things?
    You will get the update indicator as long as your device is still under warranty*. After it's out of warranty you will get no kind of indication whatsoever. You would need to visit the Obitalk forums to find out about new firmware and then manually download it and manually install the update.

    *Except in this case when all 2xx and 10x2 devices got the push and the notification indicator. I was shocked to see I had the update indicator since my 200 has been out of warranty for years. But this was such a crucial (Google Voice) update Obihai pushed it out to all currently supported devices.

    I forget. Are you using Google Voice or a VoIP provider like PhonePower? If you're not connecting directly to Google Voice then firmware updates are not as crucial/necessary for you. My OBi110 has two VoIP providers configured on it and is purring along just fine. I have no intention of retiring it as it will continue to work without issue with the existing firmware.

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    Wow. Even better (sarcasm). I'm using GV (used PhonePower one stretch back when the era of confusion reigned and the Oauth2 thing was being hammered out between the companies). My 200 is only a couple of months old; can't remember what the stated warranty is, but I guess I'll make a trip to the control site to check. To your knowledge is there a single consistent place that would be most central to do periodic checks for latest firmware? I mean other than having to scan their support forums. I just don't want any surprises, as I'm sure you can understand.

    Update: I did just go to the ObiTalk portal, remembering to use my Google credentials to sign on (amazing to remember certain things when they're not used frequently), viewed my device, when it was new (Aug. 2017), when warranty expires (Aug. 2018), and discovered my firmware version, which is completely up to date. Pretty smooth, and good to get back in and interact with the portal. Had to re-learn how to check firmware (software) version by Googling, which revealed answer from Obi forum; three ways (portal, embedded web page, dialing code from a connected phone). Can't beat that; just have to get in the habit!

    Thanks taoman54!
    Last edited by whacker; 11-15-2017 at 11:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whacker View Post
    To your knowledge is there a single consistent place that would be most central to do periodic checks for latest firmware?
    Consistent? Unfortunately, there is very little about the Obitalk forums that is consistent. I would start looking in this thread I started a couple years ago. Go to the last post in the thread and work your way back. You should find a direct link to the latest firmware after it is released.
    http://www.obitalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=9983.0

    Quote Originally Posted by whacker View Post
    three ways (portal, embedded web page, dialing code from a connected phone). Can't beat that; just have to get in the habit!
    Not sure what you mean by "embedded web page" but portal and dialing code from a connected phone won't work after your device is out of warranty. If you mean a direct web page link then yes, that's the only way you'll be able to update your firmware after your device is out of warranty.

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    'Embedded web page' likely same as direct web page link: put the device's IP address in your browser address bar and see it come up.

    Ok, thanks for all that!

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