8180 SIP Audio Alerter

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Is the 8180 a loud ringer or a paging amplifier?

It's both. The 8180 can register as two end points (or phones). If one endpoint rings, the 8180 plays its loud ring audio file. If the second endpoint rings, the 8180 will auto answer and permit loud voice paging. In many cases, the 8180 will be used for both: an example is a warehouse where both loud ringing and paging may be required.

Ring Tones and Volume

How much louder is the 8180 than a typical SIP phone?

We measured the SPL (Sound Pressure Level) of some third party SIP phones (as well as some older business phones) and found their ring volumes to be an average of 76 dBA measured at 1 m (3'4").

In the same test, we measured the 8180 speaker to be 106 dBA. According to psychoacoustic studies, most people would describe a sound 10 dB louder as twice as loud. Therefore 86 dBA would be twice as loud as the phone, 96 dbA would be four times louder, and the 8180 at 106 dBA would be eight times louder.

Using the optional waterproof 1185 Horn Speaker, we measured 120 dBA. This increases the output by 14 dB which would sound about twenty times louder than a typical SIP phone.

Which 8180 ring tone is loudest?

In terms of sound pressure level measured in dBA, the high frequency warble will be loudest partly due to the A weighting scale which peaks at about 2 kHz. But which tone is the most effective will be determined by the environment and ambient noise.

People generally prefer lower frequency tones to shrill tones. The objective normally is to find the tone that is effectively heard over the ambient noise and at the lowest possible level.

Lower frequencies propagate further, are less directional, are less attenuated by obstacles, and are less likely to be masked by background noise. You’ve experienced this first hand if you've pulled up beside a “boom car" in traffic, listened to the rumble of far off trains or thunder, or heard a coastal fog horn.

The 8180 lets you create or select a ring type that suits you and your environment best. With the right tone selection, the 8180 may be able to operate at a lower and more pleasant level and still be effective in the presence of ambient noise. For added comfort, the SoundSureTM feature will automatically adjust the 8180 output to the appropriate level based on ambient noise.

Do I have to create my own ring sound?

No, the 8180 comes with several pre-recorded ring sounds to choose from. But users can record or upload their own sound files as well for unique ringing or, more often, for an informative message.

For example, the ring sound may be a voice message like "Call for new truck sales, dial extension 3790 to answer" in a car dealership. Or in a school, dialing a particular extension may trigger a voice announcement such as "Please remain in your classrooms until further notice".

What does the 8180 loud ringer sound like?

Please check out our Ring Tone Player to hear the various ring tones that the 8180 is supplied with.

How do I create my own ring tone?

For fast customization, you may record a voice message or sound into the 8180 memory using the buttons and front cover microphone.

Most users will prefer to upload a WAV file for best quality and consistency if using multiple 8180 Alerters. This is done by uploading a MONO PCM encoded WAV file, 16 bit, 16 kHz sampling using the web interface. The 8180 supports both 16 kHz and 8 KHz, as well as both 16-bit linear PCM and u-Law. The compressed formats are useful if longer recordings are required.

Setup and Configuration

Do I connect the 8180 to my SIP phone for loud ringing?

The 8180 registers with a SIP server through a network connection just as a SIP phone does. To add loud ringing for a SIP telephone, the SIP server must be set to ring both the telephone and the 8180. Of course, the 8180 will not answer – just ring until the phone is answered or ringing stops.

Can the 8180 work with analog or digital phones that are not SIP?

Yes, provided they are connected to a SIP server.

How do I manually adjust the ring volume?

The manual program buttons are hidden from view to avoid tampering and may be disabled using the web interface.

Remove the 8180 from its wall mount bracket by pressing on the tab at the bottom. Press the ►button to play the currently selected ring sound. Use the ▼and ▲buttons to adjust the volume. When finished, press the ►button again to exit programming. Re-install the 8180 in its wall mount bracket.

Since there is a web interface, why does the 8180 have program buttons?

The program buttons do not need to be used but are helpful at initial setup and for occasional tuning of the 8180 speaker volume if the ambient noise changes.

After connecting the 8180 to your network, you will need to know the IP address in order to access the web interface. This can be found by using Algo's Locator Tool. Alternatively, you can simply press the (Menu) key until the prompt "Get Device Information" is spoken. Then press the ← (Select) key and the 8180 will speak its IP address.

Does the 8180 support NAT (Network Address Translation)?

Currently, the 8180 (V1.1) supports STUN (Session Traversal Utilities for NAT) and Asterisk-type NAT. Support for ICE may be added in future.

Does the 8180 support Central Provisioning?

In release V1.1 the 8180 supports DHCP option 66, Checksync/reboot, and TFTP/FTP/HTTP download of configuration files and firmware. Currently, there are two different Provisioning methods that can be used: via DHCP Option 66 or via a Static Server. In addition, there are three different ways to download provisioning files from a “Provisioning Server”: TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol), FTP, or HTTP.

Does the 8180 support VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) Tagging?

Yes. This feature is supported in firmware versions 1.2 and above.

How can I factory reset the 8180?

To reset the 8180 to default settings, first disconnect the Ethernet cable from the unit. Then push and hold the volume down button while reconnecting the Ethernet cable. Continue to hold the volume down button until the front blue light blinks three times.

Power and Memory

What is the power consumption of the 8180?

When idle, the 8180 consumes about 1W of power. When the speaker is active, it may consume up to the limits of IEEE 802.3af Class 0 which is 12.95 W although typically this is only for 2 seconds of each 6 second ring cycle. Actual power consumption depends on speaker volume setting.

If I don’t have a PoE switch, how do I power the 8180?

You will need a PoE injector which installs between the 8180 and network switch. The PoE injector will supply 48 Vdc to the 8180. Most PoE injectors are capable or providing more power than the 8180 requires (12.95 W). Ensure that the PoE injector is fully compliant to the IEEE 802.3af standard.

How much memory does the 8180 contain for a recorded message?

The available internal memory of the 8180 is 3 MB which will hold up to six minutes @ 8 KHz sampling , 8-but u-Law audio - or 90 seconds @ 16 kHz sampling 16 bit linear audio. For users requiring long recorded messages, additional space can be made available by deleting the stock ring tones or through a firmware download.

Location and Coverage Area

Can I locate the 8180 outside?

The 8180 is intended for a dry location with ambient temperature 0-40 deg C (32 to 104 deg F). However, the optional external 1185 Horn Speaker may be located in a wet environment within, or on the outside wall of, a building.

Where should the 8180 or external speaker be located?

If the ambient noise is generated from a specific location, putting the 8180 or external horn speaker at the noise location generally works best. That way, the 8180 will be heard regardless of the distance from the noise location with constant signal to noise. The exception is if you know where the person will be located, then the 8180 can be positioned there.

The 8180 must be less than 100 m (328 feet) from the network switch but the horn speaker may be located some distance from the 8180. Since the horn speaker is 8 Ohm, the resistance of the wiring connecting the horn speaker to the 8180 may impact on sound level. The longer the wiring run, the larger gauge wire should be used. If using 4-pair telephone cable, use all four pairs twisted together. In that case, 50% of power is lost with 200 m (650 feet of wiring).

What size area can the 8180 cover?

There is no simple answer to this question but here are a few fast guidelines for maximum listener distance for different ambient noise levels:




Loud Ringing

Voice Paging

8180 Alone

8180 +1185 Horn

8180 Alone

8180 + 1185 Horn

Home or Quiet Warehouse


Sounds are easily heard

(820 Feet)

Horn not required

(210 Feet)

(820 Feet)

Normal Conversation, Office


Voices easily understood

(420 Feet)

(820 Feet)

(105 Feet)

(210 Feet)

Factory, Busy Restaurant, Vacuum Cleaner


Voices raised

(105 Feet)

(420 Feet)

(26 Feet)

(105 Feet)

Machine Shop, Screaming Child


Conversation is difficult, hearing protection possibly worn

(26 Feet)

(105 Feet)

(6.5 Feet)

(13 Feet)

For 8180 at maximum volume and ambient noise measured at listener location. Voice paging distance limits assume average speech level 12dB below peak.

Ambient Noise Compensation

How does the SoundSure™ Ambient Noise Monitoring feature work?

In some environments like a restaurant, machine shop, or classroom, ambient noise may vary significantly throughout the day. Ambient Noise Monitoring allows you to have the 8180 automatically adjust its output level based on ambient noise.

With SoundSure, a microphone in the front cover of the 8180 constantly monitors the ambient noise level. When you set the volume of the 8180, it remembers what the noise level was at the time. When activated, the 8180 will compare the ambient noise with what it was when the volume was set and adjust accordingly.

For example, if the 8180 volume was set when ambient noise was 70 dBA and is activated when the ambient noise was 80 dBA, then the 8180 will increase its volume automatically by 10 dB. Likewise, if the ambient noise is only 60 dBA when the 8180 is activated, it will reduce its output by 10 dB.

Does SoundSure™ work for paging as well?

Yes, as long as your 8180 has Firmware version 1.1. or later. In version V1.0, ambient noise monitoring only affected loud ring volume. In version V1.1 and later, voice paging level can also adapt to ambient noise. In both cases, the output level for the ring or page is determined by the ambient noise detected in a short period (several seconds) just prior to the ring or page event. Output level will remain at the same level for the ring or voice page session.

Ambient Noise Monitoring is off by default and must be activated using the web interface. Both loud ringing and voice paging are affected by Ambient Noise Monitoring based on the ambient noise present just prior to the ring or page event.

Relay, Outputs, Speakers, and Lights

What is the relay output for?

The relay output may be configured to activate during ring, paging, or both. For ring, it may connect to an Algo 1126 Strobe Light or 1127 Visual Indicator frequently used when noise levels are very high or where no audio ring is wanted – such as in a recording studio or hospital nursery. (The speaker may be disabled for quiet notification).

For paging, the relay output may be used to mute background music or activate an external paging amplifier connected to the audio output.

The internal speaker may be muted.

What is the audio output used for?

The audio output is intended to connect to the 600 Ohm input of an external audio amplifier. The 8180 can be used as a SIP compliant input to a remotely located paging system or utilize an existing network of speakers for broadcast of ring, paging, or announcement.

How much power is available for the external speaker?

The 8180 provides up to 5.5 W (RMS) for an external 8 Ohm speaker. This power normally is available for the internal speaker but the 8180 automatically detects the presence of an external speaker and switches power to the external speaker. The internal speaker is disabled while an external speaker is connected.

Can I manually activate the 8180 with a push button or relay contact?

For 8180 testing, the ►Play button may be used to activate the currently selected ring sound.

For non-SIP applications such as triggering from a relay, door contact, push button, motion sensor etc., requires the Algo 8061 Interface Module which can activate the 8180 by network messages in response to hardware events. The 8061 also provides relay outputs and accommodates up to four of Algo's 1202 Callbox for customer assistance applications.

What is the difference between the SPEAKER output and AUDIO output?

The SPEAKER output is intended for an 8 Ohm external horn speaker, ceiling speaker, or wall baffle. Power is provided by the 8180 and the internal speaker is disabled when an external speaker is detected.

The AUDIO output is a low power output designed to provide up to 0 dBm level into a 600 Ohm load of an external paging amplifier providing its own power.

Can I connect multiple speakers to the 8180 SPEAKER output?

Yes, but the 8180 is expecting the external speaker to present an 8 Ohm load so it is important to arrange the speakers to maintain this impedance.

One application may be to connect multiple low cost ceiling speakers for broader coverage in which case two strings of 8 Ohm speaker in series can be paralleled at the 8180 for an 8 ohm load with four speakers with up to 2W in each speaker.

If an application requires two or three 8 Ohm speakers, then they can be run in series. However, the 8180 will not be able to provide maximum power.

How many Strobe or Visual Alerters can be connected to the RELAY output?

The 8180 relay output is rated at 50 mA, 30 V. Since the Algo strobes and visual alerters use only a few mA to detect the relay closure, several can easily be connected in parallel across the same relay. However, polarity must be consistent to avoid self-triggering of the lights.

What does the blue light on the front of the 8180 do?

When the 8180 is actively ringing or paging, the blue light will be on solid. During programming modes, the blue light will be flashing. After power up, the blue light will stay on until the 8180 has initialized and connected to the network. The blue light will also flash when the microphone is active for paging talkback.

What is the purpose of the built-in microphone on the front of the 8180?

The microphone serves three purposes: 1) Allows talk-back paging, 2) Senses ambient noise to support the SoundSure™ noise compensation feature, and 3) Allows a user to record their own sound files and announcements.

For the SoundSure™ feature, the built-in microphone senses the ambient noise surrounding the 8180, such as machinery, traffic, or crowd noise. This allows the unit to vary the audio output level to compensate for differing background noise environments. The result of this is that the 8180 is more likely to be heard when the ambient noise is high and it is also less disruptive to an environment when the ambient noise is low.

Paging and Multicasting

Does the 8180 support talkback paging?

 Yes, starting with Firmware version V1.1. Any 8180 with older firmware may be upgraded to a V1.1 or later. Visit Algo’s 8180 webpage www.algosolutions.com/8180 for download instructions or contact Algo customer support.

The front cover microphone is used for both talkback and ambient noise monitoring. Both features are off by default and must be activated using the web interface.

To use talkback successfully, the person initiating the voice page must stop speaking, allowing the 8180 switch to the talkback mode. Then the person standing near the 8180 can be heard at the telephone. Control of the speech direction is given to the person paging by telephone based on whether they are speaking or not.

The talkback feature is most successful in lower noise ambient conditions and when the 8180 is close to the person talking back. For privacy reasons, the blue light will be flashing when the 8180 is listening.

What happens if the 8180 is asked to loud ring and voice page at the same time?

Voice paging is given a higher priority than loud ringing, so loud ringing is interrupted by voice paging.

Currently, the ring will not resume if it was interrupted by a voice page.

Does the 8180 provide a voice page notification tone?

In release V1.1, the 8180 provides a pre-annouce tone to both the speaker and the telephone user. The default tone may be changed through programming if desired.

How does multicasting work?

Each 8180 may be configured to broadcast or receive multicast audio. Multicasting must be enabled using the web interface.

If set to broadcast, the 8180 will send its ring audio or paging over the network to a multicast IP address instead of, or in addition to, the speaker. If set to receive multicast, the 8180 will watch for audio sent to the multicast IP address and play the audio over its speaker.

One use for multicasting is where SIP licenses are required for each endpoint. By having one 8180 multicast to others, then only a single license is required. Also, multicasting can be used along with the other 8180 output features to set up a broadcast network of speakers or paging amplifiers.