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Diagnosing AlphaMax Paging Problems

Introduce an alarm and use use your configuration program, Tconfig (DOS) or TalphaW (Windows), in monitor mode to confirm that the alarm has been generated and is qualified. A message will appear on the screen when the Alphamax attempts to deliver a page (because you are using its phone line, it can't actually send it while you are connected).

In your configuration program, confirm the phone number that has been assigned for each pager you are using, confirm which pagers are assigned each alarm, and confirm pager usage (primary or secondary) . Be sure this information has actually been written (downloaded) to the Alphamax - you can do this by reading (uploading) from the Alphamax and viewing the results.

Call the paging facility yourself, from any convenient phone, using the phone number programmed into the Alphamax. A paging system should answer. Wrong numbers are a frequent problem.

If you still have problems, go the location where the Alphamax is installed, unplug the phone line from the Alphamax, plug in an ordinary analog phone, and call the paging facility using exactly the same number your system is set up to call. A paging system should answer. There is often a problem with forgotten factors such as having to dial 1 first to get an outside line, or being in a different area code than you thought you were, or having a long-distance call-blocker on the line, etc. Also verify that the line sounds clean, with no crackling or other noise.

If you still have problems, note exactly how the paging facility responds to calls:

If delivering a numeric page, there is generally a brief voice message after which the numeric message is entered. The Alphamax is usually set up with two commas following the phone number it dials to deliver a numeric page - each comma represents a 5-second delay to step over this voice message. Verify that the delay is appropriate for your system.

If delivering an alpha page, the Alphamax expects to make an immediate modem connection when the facility answers - this comes across as a hissing sound.

These days, many paging facilities are enhancing their service by adding voice messaging capabilities and other features that deviate from these standard dialup sequences. In some cases, the Alphamax can be programmed to work around these exceptions; in other cases the paging facility may have a simplified dialup sequence available if you ask for it.

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