Revisiting Algo Solutions

In the recent pre-holiday period we had the usual spike in the number of deliveries. This reminds me of how much I admire that Algo Solutions 8028 SIP Door Phone that graces our gate. It’s a splendid device, the definitive solution to the problem of deliveries to a one-man office. When a courier arrives they push the button. Even in their pre-holiday panic I can be talking to them before they have the opportunity to cut-and-run.

On rare occasions when they arrive and I’m not on the property, the call routes to my cell phone. I can advise them to take the package next door, or try again tomorrow.

There have been a couple of times when I was nearby or on the way home. In those few cases the driver offered to make another run past our gate after making some other deliveries in the neighborhood. The ability to talk to them immediately helped them clear their daily load, and saved me a trip to the not-so-nearby depot. Win-Win!

The 8028 Door Phone has been installed for a while. I noted this week that there was a firmware update for the device. While I was not having any trouble with the device, it only took ten minutes to update the firmware.

Along the way I discovered a new product from Algo Solutions, the 8301 paging adapter. Pat Byrne is likely grimace at my appraisal of this new device, but I think it’s very interesting.

“Paging Adapter” is something of an understatement, although I accept that would be the principle application targeted. The 8031 is an alternative form of hardware SIP end-point. It’s a SIP phone in a small metal box. However, instead of microphone, speaker, handset et al it has line level mini-XLR audio input & output.

Algo Solutions 8301 Front view

Basically, it can interface any kind of production audio requirement you might have with a SIP service. It’s a lot like what broadcasters call a telephone hybrid. That’s the way that they take phone calls live-to-air in the course of radio or TV shows.

Algo Solutions 8301 Rear view

The 8301 is different in that it supports G.722-based wideband audio, which expands the scope of its application considerably. I can envision using it as a hard end-point to capture the audio from a conference, relaying the feed to a streaming service. Doing that sort of thing without using a computer makes for a more robust installation.

What the 8301 Paging Adapter lacks, at the moment, is acoustic echo cancellation (AEC). Although, I’m told that it’s based upon the same hardware platform as an older Algo Solutions product that includes AEC. The function could eventually be ported to the 8301 firmware. That would make the device more bulletproof for the kind of media production applications that I envision.

With a selling price under $400 the 8301 is less costly that similar solutions that target such production applications.

You may never need this kind of device. But if you do, you need it badly!