Algo Solutions 8028: A Door Phone Solution For Our Front Gate

A few years back when I installed the analog DoorBell Fone I considered the Algo Solutions 8028 SIP Door Phone. It was the most appropriate option that I had found, but at $500 it was well outside my budget for the project. That was the principle reason that I opted for the analog DoorBell Fon. Not long after I installed the DoorBell Fon I met Pat Byrne of Algo Solutions at ITExpo West.

When the DoorBell Fon eventually failed I was forced to reconsider the situation at our front gate. I let that situation remain unaddressed for some time, until I eventually stumbled upon DoorBot. When DoorBot failed to impress I reached out to Pat, who kindly provided one of their 8028 SIP Door Phones for me to evaluate.

It has taken some time for me to get around to installing the Algo door phone. I was delayed because I wanted to have a small metal plate welded to to the fence post to create a proper mounting platform for the device.

This past week my wife was eagerly awaiting a UPS delivery. The delivery driver twice tried to deliver the large box. Even though I was home at the time I was never notified by the DoorBot app. I even tested it early in the day to ensure that it was functional. It was working, but not reliably.

The Algo device is in two parts; one that goes at the door and another that goes somewhere inside. The door-end unit connects to the back-end by way of a simple twisted pair. Luckily, I still had the cat 5 lead that I had pulled for the analog DoorBell Fon.

Given the urgencies of the current situation, I decided to mount the Algo door phone on a small wooden plate even before I had a welder pay us a visit. The physical installation took about an hour. The back-end unit went into our central hall closet, where I already had a UPS, network switch and tie lines to the network core back in my home office.

If you have ever configured a SIP phone using its web interface then the Algo 8028 will be very familiar. I took me less than 15 minutes to add a new user to our OnSIP hosted PBX, then configure the Algo 8028 to be that user.

Once registered to our hosted PBX pressing the button on the Algo door phone simply dials a preset extension. In our case, I had it dial my desk phone, a Polycom VVX-600. If that phone goes unanswered for more than 15 seconds the call forwards to my cell phone.

The happiest part of this exercise is watching the Algo door phone establish a call in a fraction of a second. I’m sure that I can be talking to the person at the gate within a second or two of their finger leaving the button. This is in stark contrast to DoorBot, where there could be many seconds of delay from the time the button was pressed and any potential action resulting.

Given that we are expecting some deliveries this coming week I should be able to gather some comments from our regular UPS and Fedex drivers. Once we have some experience using the Algo 8028 SIP Door Phone I’ll prepare a more in-depth review of the device.

  • TheMole

    Why are all these SIP door phones so dang expensive?

    From what I can tell the internals, albeit hardened for foul weather, are basic components that are found in all SIP phones.

    I’ve often thought I could buy a NEW! cheap LInksys SPA922 and cram the components into a weatherproof case with a vented slot for the speaker and set the SPA to auto dial when off hook.

    What am I missing here?

    • Michael Graves

      I don’t think that they’re overly expensive for a specialty item. The Telecom Spot has them for around $380, or so I’m told. By the time you gathered the components and fashioned what you describe you’d have considerable time and expense in the project. That is, if you count your time as worth anything. Further, it’d be unsupported and not have the integration with the electric door latch.

      In my mind $500 is too much, but $380 is not unreasonable as long as the device is reliable, performs well, truly weather tight, and well-supported.

      You can always consider the Door Bell Fon, which is the device that I used initially. It was around $200 for an analog extension. Very poor performance.

      I still think that the Gigaset HC450 is a killer idea. Sadly, not available in North America.

  • How does this work say at site entry points ? Will it work with automated gates and barriers, or would you have to put the control unit somewhere. The seperate door controller is OK. But it is an extra part to install. We have worked with CyberData and Commend before. I have not tried Algo yet. Looks good but not sure on the additional wire and 2nd hardware part needed. You can see the indoor voip intercoms here Commend was ok to install. A little more costly than Algo and Cyberdata, good post too, nice to hear some comments on the install. 15 minutes is very quick !

    • mjgraves

      I’m not sure I understand the question, but I’ll give it a try. There are terminals on the outdoor unit that can be connected to an electric latch. There are terminals on the inside unit that can be connected to another control scheme. So, I believe that all you need is a single twisted pair to the entry point.

      To be fair, the manual is available via the manufacturer’s web site. That probably has the details you seek. If not, reach out to them via phone or email. They’ve been good to me, providing timely and well considered answers to my concerns.

      • Arrr, now i see, thats what the 2nd unit is for, this will house the relay which will trigger the door. Thats good from a security point of view as the relay and contacts is hid inside the building which is good, thanks i understand now, all the best 🙂