Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ojo Videophone - Can it travel?

"Will Ojo work if I travel around? Like stopping by a hotel? Attend a Friend’s home? Go for a Family’s visit?" These are the common videophone calls I received from deaf friends of mine near or far wanted to know if it will actually work. FYI, I never had the chance to take Ojo with me on any business trips such as flying or driving. I always have the laptop and webcam with me. Why bring Ojo if I use webcam. I can videophone HOVRS, Viable and SnapVRS with it. Not a problem toward my end. As for Ojo? I decide to give this a test.

Recently, I attended a friend’s daughter wedding in Louisiana. I took the Ojo with us. My wife and I booked a night at Marriot Courtyard Hotel. This hotel includes free internet. After checking in our room, I went ahead and started with Ojo as we had plenty of time to attend the wedding later that evening.

I set up the Ojo - plugged my Cat 6 cable to the hotel data port box on the table by the light. Ojo was powered up and was trying to read the network data. When it was all done, it came out as FAILED! Network problems were shown on the screen. I knew it would happen as adjustment to the network configuration need to be made. Selecting the Main Menu and then Connections, I went to the Internet Settings and clicked the “Get IP” button. I selected the DHCP: Cable or Router. Why? Remember I am on a CAT6 cable plugging directly to the data port box. Next, I selected the advanced button and then selected NAT Traversal. I decided to leave STUN (default) as the settings where it should originally be. After saving the configuration, Ojo restarted itself and it looks like all was ok. I see the date and time correctly been set. One thing I noticed was the IP reading was It showed I am not getting any IP through with the data port. I tried to change to PASSIVE settings but I get the same readout. This was evidence that CAT6 cable alone plugged to the data port would not work.

Next, I decided to take out my wireless router and plugged everything in order. I even hooked up my laptop as well to the wireless router. I brought extra cable to plug in the wireless router ports to be used for the Ojo at a later time. One end of the CAT 6 cable was plugged to the data port box and the other end was plugged into the “WAN” wireless router port. My laptop was plugged in the Port 1. I wanted to be sure the internet would be up and workable before I get to Ojo.
I found out something interested. Could this be the problem why Ojo cannot work alone with a cable plugged into the data port? Ojo is a SIP (Session Initation Protocol) videophone. I thought it could go through anything without a problem. But lo and behold, here what happens as well.

My laptop screen came up with IBAHN (company that is contracted with the hotel to use internet services) messages. It asked me to select 24 hours, 2 days or 3 days of using the internet service. I selected 24 hours. Then next message asked me if I abide to terms and agreement of their services. I agreed to the service and boom! Marriot Courtyard Hotel homepage came up. I was able to google through several websites with no problem. Could it be the reason why Ojo did not work because of these messages? This could be because earlier I received a IP readout.

Next, I decided to plug in the Ojo. I placed another CAT6 cable to Port 3 of the wireless router to the Ojo. It came up with good readout. The IP readout was showing good. I left it as a STUN (Default) and the IP was reading something like I placed an Ojo call to friends of mine with their Ojo. Bingo! It worked. Problem was I could not see them. I knew I have to open the DMZ ports in the wireless router configuration. I decided to use DMZ port because I am only using the Ojo. Inside the wireless router, I placed in the and saved it. The system information on the Ojo External IP was reading After all is done with the DMZ configuration, I saved it. I redialed my friend and bingo! I see them and they see me. We chatted and I see no problem with the communication. I asked them to call me back and nothing happened. Again, there was another problem why it did not come through. I decided to call a friend that has Sorenson VP100 and VP200. I dialed their IP number and sadly nothing went through Sorenson VP. I mean there was no “dialing” or “ringing” but a very loud tone that indicates Ojo was not able to connect. That indicates it does not work at all. At home, I can call Sorenson via Ojo but not at a hotel. That was something interested to know. I called several Ojo customers again and it worked great without any picture being jerky or of a problem. What bothered me was why Ojo customer cannot call me back. After all I thought with this new SIP videophone model, it would give me less work or headaches. I decided to go back to the Ojo Settings. Back to the Advanced setting then NAT Traversal, I changed from Stun (Default) to Passive and saved it. I noticed the IP address changed to something. I gave a call again to friends of mine. Bingo! They were able to call me back. Then Ojo WORKS!! Picture was not as good but I am able to read my friend very well. I tried to call friends with Sorenson Videophones, sadly it still it did not work successfully. I test call SnapVRS, HOVRS and Viable, it all worked. Why because they uses SIP as well.

One important note to you all in which I did not try was when you arrive at a hotel and check in, please be sure to ask the Hotel Representative to turn on your free internet service in your room. This would probably work. This is only for person bringing just the Ojo itself. No laptop, router or etc.

The whole set up to get Ojo up and workable only lasted me 30 minutes. If you are a tech savvy, you will have it up and in no time. If not, seek help and practice before going to the hotel.
Going for family visit or a friend’s place, just plug Ojo into their router available port and you are set to go. No need for major configure or settings.

Now Ojo does travel! Not in outer space but at places.

Feel free to post a comment. I am sure other will be glad to share with you of their experience and configurations.

Until the next wave…….Smile on!