BLF on Polycom 650 Expansion Module Sidecar

I know this question has been asked before, but I haven’t found an answer on here so I’m hoping someone might be able to assist. I’m running a Rhino Equipment Ceros 1U CentOS 5.8 server that came with Elastix 2.3 (I believe) and Asterisk 1.8 (I also believe) for a client of mine. They have a bunch of Polycom 550’s and 335’s that work fine with the system, and we also have two YeaLink T-28’s and 2 non-IP Polycom SoundStation 2W’s (wireless) that we connected in with a PAP2T and an HT520 VoIP adapter. We’re using MegaPath SIP for inbound/outbound calls, and everything works great. Recently, the owner decided he wanted the receptionist to have BLF capabilities, so I tested it out on a YeaLink T-28 and it was incredibly easy to set-up. I sort of assumed (I know - my fault) that it would be equally easy on a Polycom, so I ordered a 650 with an expansion module sidecar to set-up for the receptionist. Long story short - I got the 650 working fine, but I have no idea how to set up extensions on the sidecar for BLF. Basically, this is what the YeaLink T-28 can do with BLF and I want this to be what the receptionist can do on the sidecar:

  • See the status of the extension (green means it’s free, red means it’s in use, and I think blinking green means it’s getting an incoming call)
  • Hit the sidecar extension button when it’s green to dial that extension (or even transfer a call there if that’s possible)
  • Hit the sidecar extension button when it’s blinking green and getting a call to answer the extension

Can someone give me some clues on how to do that - I know there is some information out there, but to be honest I’m not entirely sure how to make it work for me. There is some talk of editing some files, such as sip.conf, extensions.conf, and some sort of MAC-Address-phone.cfg file. However, when I open sip.confg and extensions.conf, it specifically tells me not to edit them, so is there some sort of GUI I should be using to make those changes? And I can’t even locate the appropraite MAC-Address-phone.cfg file…all I can find is the MAC-Address.cfg and MAC-Address-reg.cfg files in the /tftpboot/ directory.

Any help is greatly appreciated!


I can’t speak to any of the GUI enabled versions of Asterisk like Elastix or the others as I just use plain vanilla asterisk. However, if I remember correctly about playing with trixbox back in the day there was an extra file like extension-additional or something in the /etc/asterisk directory that you could use to add “custom dialplan” stuff.

I know to get BLF working for my 650s and my SNOM phones I had to build hints in the extensions.conf file. Here’s an example.
exten => 1111,hint,SIP/Device_user_name

you also need “allowsubscribe=yes” and “call-limit=something” (I use call-limit=4) on the phones sip.conf entry.

As for the 650s, I dont even use a <mac_address>.cfg file. I have a general settings file that is just
000000000000.cfg that holds the base info for all my phones and then a file that looks like this 0004f212c9ca-phone.cfg that holds the per-phone type configs. It is in there that you will put the BLF stuff.

I haven’t been able to dig up an example of a config file though as I’m no longer using the 650s. I tried to search the net but had no luck. I’ll keep looking but have to run for now. Hope this helps a little

ddickenson - thanks for the help! I ended up actually getting in touch with Tony Hann from Express Interconnect and he was able to give me some incredibly helpful pointers that allowed me to get it all working…

Basically the way I did it was to update the firmware of the 650 to v4.0.4 via a TFTP server (available on Polycom’s support website, although I had to go through some extra steps since going from a v3.X to a v4.X requires an additional upgrade) and then this gave me a lot of new options for the 650 via the web interface, including the ability to add BLF “lines” to the sidecar (under Utilities -> Line Key Configuration -> add Line appearance (I think it was actually called something slightly different) -> static BLF.

I think that my Elastix/Asterisk config was already configured (either by me at some previous point, or out of the box) to support BLF/presence since I didn’t have to edit any config files on the Elastix/Asterisk server, but it’s possible that this might need to be done if it isn’t already configured on your Elastix/Asterisk box.

Also, I didn’t use the Endpoint Configurator in Elastix to re-configure the 650 after updating it to SIP v4.0.4 since I believe the firmware on the 650 would be too new and the sip.cfg and other files that the endpoint configurator would use (as a provisioning server) would not work correctly with the 650 - so I just provisioned it manually, but it works fine.

I know this is sort of old, but i have been messing around with it as well, and here is what I was able to do - without going to the phone’s web interface (this way it is easily moved if the phone breaks). I did NOT use 4.x.x, this is using

Set up the hints in extensions.conf, turn on the subscriptions portion in sip.conf as indicated above and then in the phone’s individual extension file you enter the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>

This adds 13 BLF lines. I am still getting some issues on the pickup and caller ID, but this is a good start if you’re still messing around with it.

I wonder if there are multiple ways to get it working - it appears there are. I am actually no longer in charge of that particular phone system, but in the future I will probably deal with Asterisk/Elastix deployments, so it’s good to keep up with this stuff…thanks!