Issues To Consider When Changing PBXs With Analog Voice Recording

With the now not so recent demise of Nortel and the subsequent EOL of many of their products companies must look at alternatives to what was ubiquitous telephony equipment. Nortel switches are going the way of the dodo and in many cases are being replaced with Avaya IP Office, particularly for the Norstar KSU. This is partially due to the ability to continue to use the existing digital handsets (check out Citel’s Portico™ TVA™ as a far better alternative (  With the Nortel Meridian that is not the case but the migration is happening there too.


Where it can get interesting is if an analog call recorder is involved. If that is the case then there are some things to consider when migrating away from the Meridian. If you are call recording and therefore possibly using Citel’s MCK Expandable Digital to Analog Converter (EDAC) (for those of you not familiar with the EDAC this protocol specific product line converts digital PBX/KTS signals for call recording on standard analog equipment).  a move away can be problematic. How so you may ask. Well there was a special feature built into the EDAC for Meridian known as the Meridian 1 Release Detect.


The Release Detect version of the EDAC operates much the same as other versions of the EDAC. However, the Release Detect EDAC turns on when the line becomes active (based on sensed activity in theB1 channel), and stays on until the call is released whereas the standard EDAC turns off when theB1 channel becomes idle.


This above feature prevents the EDAC from turning off during dialing; for instance, the EDAC will not turn off during ring back, etc., or times when the B1 channel may be idle. The EDAC/RD will also turn off when a call is placed on hold (by the local user).  A typical application for this configuration would be an emergency dispatch center where a single headset is used by an attendant to communicate over the telephone system and radio console. For this application, the addition of a Dual Relay Card can be used to automatically switch the headset from the radio to the telephone whenever and active call is detected. This relieves the operator from having to use a foot pedal or other manual device to toggle their headset.


Unfortunately this feature or similar radio applications cannot be done with any other kind of phone such as Avaya IP Office.  You can use the EDAC for regular audio recording but the relay will not work as in the Nortel Meridan set up.


Something else to consider as you look at your PBX options.