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Sipura spa-841 first impressions

 
 
Wolfgang S. Rupprecht
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      01-22-2005

The approximately $90 Sipura spa-841 is a very nice step up from the
approximately $65 Grandstream "BudgeTone-101". For the extra $25 you
get a much higher resolution display that is capable of displaying
alphanumerics. That gives you a display that can see the "name and
number" of someone calling you (unlike the Granstream that only gives
you the number).

In most respects, this phone appears to be a typical Sipura ATA, with
the normal rather flavorful half dozen setup menus. In theory you can
connect to 2-4 different service providers (depending if you pay the
extra $30) to make it a "4-line" phone or just leave it at the base
"2-line" version. I'm not quite sure why they think anyone would pay
extra money to turn on extra software features like this, but only
time will tell.

Folks that liked their Grandstreams, but hated the fact hat they had
no alphanumeric display to display the callers name will love this
phone. It displays the incoming ascii name, number and calling time
with no problem. In theory this phone also does SRTP, secure RTP with
encrypted packets. No telling if this works because Sipura seems not
to want to document how to generate or load secure keys.

The bad parts: The rubber buttons and/or the plastic case aren't
smoothed correctly and the buttons will stick for the first couple of
dozen pressings. They obviously didn't spend much time testing the
moulds. The ethernet rj45 is also made with little precision. A
normal rj45 cable plugged into the phone didn't work at all. The
stock (rather short) Sipura rj45 100baset cable did. I suspect that
the phone's rj45 just had weak/defective spring wires and it needed a
slightly oversize rj45 to make a connection. This isn't a great sign
for their quality control dept., but at this point I'm still willing
to take a sipura phone with a crappy rj45 over a grandstream phone
with a non-functional message button (like the bt-101 with the latest
"stable" firmware).

-wolfgang
--
Wolfgang S. Rupprecht http://www.wsrcc.com/wolfgang/
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