Phone for at the hive? Also will anyone be there tonight?

I was wondering if it would be possible to put a voip style phone line at the hive. I have one of those majic jack things that I think costs like 25 dollars a year and a phone to hook up to it if people would be interested in it. Main reason being if you have something heavy to carry in or out of the hive and need to see if there is anyone there that can stay or for emergency problems like an injury to not have to remember where I left my mobile phone sitting. If it is something the hive would be ok with I will bring it down with a cheap phone or if anyone else has another idea or direction that would be awesome. I have some heave stuff to move down there tonight and plan on getting there a little after midnight and just wanted to see if I could get a hand holding the doors or to try and contact who is down there lol if anyone is.

Something happen to the phone at the hive ?

This was brought up at a meeting a few months ago when a person complained about having their phone number on our Google Maps site (see below link). Also a few prospective/new members have in the past asked why we don’t have a phone. they mentioned it would have been easier to find out more about us if they had a number. Having a official phone number only seems reasonable if we want to continue to grow.

I spoke with Jon about our Google Places and he said that maybe Chris Anderson was the one who had control of our Google Places site and that he would look into it but after checking today nothing has happened. Other people said that when we had a phone no one checked the voicemail. This seems like a leadership problem and would be very easy to solve with a free Google Voice number that automatically forwards all voicemail to leadership. Hopefully someone could respond and email the group back to let everyone know. Last time I checked ObiHai was the only provider that made Google Voice compatible devices after the latest GV API change. This was several months ago but I did buy an ObiHai 1062 and I love it. It’s very clear, even when I use the speakerphone people don’t realize it unless my kids start yelling in the background.


Didnt notice the phone had left, I know Chris use to have a Obi 100 phone setup by the pole with the toggle switch and the ol disturbing color changing lamp use to bug my eyes out.

He even did a 2600 on it prolly couple years ago now, all pre the big Revamp google did , which may stopped it from working. So few had the number i think that no one had called it in long time. Or lack of message fetching no one checked them wouldn’t surprise me either,

sounds like a good project for Pi Asterisk >=) or silly ObiHai :stuck_out_tongue:


I think the issue has always boiled down to responsibility in the sense that having a phone that isn’t attended to is in some ways worse than having no phone it all because it conveys the false impression that someone is actually going to pick up the phone, return voicemails, etc.

If you want to step up and be responsible for telephonic communication / returning voicemails from a hive phone, I don’t think anyone is going to stop you. I also think a large reason why the current situation exists is that no one else has wanted to step up and take responsibility.


Or maybe the phone just shouldn’t have voicemail. That way you can call it and if no one answers you can assume that there is no one there, or no one who is free to help you.

This is something that maybe we should discuss and take action on one way or another. For what it’s worth I believe that we should make things as easy as possible for members to contact us to find out more about our community. If returning a few voicemails is too much to ask of people in elected positions then we should appoint someone to do it. It just seems like having a group take responsibility vs just one person would be more fair because we all have busy lives outside of our group and sometimes individuals get busy, go on vacation, etc.

The Raspberry Pi / Asterisk solution would be very cool and would give us a ton of flexibility with all of the different configurations that are available. It’s also something that I believe our founders would have done and definitely something you would expect from a hackspace. The down side is that someone would have to maintain it and if that person ever went missing, moved, or just got too busy it would be much harder to maintain. There are also monthly costs (although most likely very small) that would be incurred with a SIP account. Unfortunately Google Voice doesn’t have the same hacks that used to be available to forward it to SIP phones either. Keeping things maintained/working has always been a struggle since I’ve been coming around. The ObiHai solution I mentioned could easily be working and set up in 30 minutes or less as long as someone would set up the email account and forwarders.


The PFSense firewall solution currently in use has an asterisk package. No need for a Pi. Leverage existing infrastructure.

But the ObiHai is much simpler.

A long as someone sets this up and maintains it that isn’t me (I have no clue how to do that/what it is you all are even discussing :P), I say we try and give it a go in a more organized way than before. Tuesday before the meeting seems like a logical day of the week to check and respond to voice mails, and it can rotate based on content of the messages, or who is available and willing to answer. (I’d be willing to volunteer to do this with others.)

I also suggest that we have a recorded greeting message that states something like “we check and respond to messages every Tuesday at --:-- pm. If it is a more immediate concern/request/inquiry, please consider sending a message to ---- email address.” in addition to a bit of other info about us. Then expectations are clear.

As far as the other phone number being listed as ours on google places… we don’t have control over the information there. We’ve put in several requests over the last few months for changing the info, and also asked that the person being called by mistake do the same, and google hasn’t taken the suggested edits, so the incorrect phone number is still there. Without knowing who controlled it originally, I’m not sure what else to do. :frowning: Maybe if we all spam them with suggested edits… haha maybe not the best idea.

At first I was just thinking of using it as as "is someone there…or hey your being to loud…or for emergencies. Coy brings up a great point though all sponsorship letters sent out since my joining the hive have requested the general information when submitting the forms. It can come accross as a little shady to a strict guy with the books that we have no official phone number and are putting cell numbers as contact info.
Personally I would not mind answering it while at the hive, if it’s about membership we can give them the Monty python we’ve already got one and it’s realllllly niceeeeee. (french voice) lol.jk but really I don’t see this thing ringing every 2 minutes

Well there is always Ian’s solution as well , white list members, then Dueling banjos for everyone else, 3 1/2 hours of infinite fun !

I had a phone down at the hive – a VOIP phone that was tied to my asterisk box that I maintain. It was mainly for convenience for me to listen into board meetings when I’m traveling.

I removed it because someone dialed 911 from the phone in the space and I received a really unpleasant phone call in return from an officer with the San Francisco Police Department reminding me that if I’m testing 911, I need to let the operator know that I’m testing. (the Hive’s phone was set to one of my phone numbers for both caller ID and ANI)

Looking at the CDR of the line in Asterisk indicated that the phone line in question, when even powered on, had not been used outside of that limited scope.


Even if we kept it for just members only and sponsors. We could leave a voice mail on it however say in the recording that this is not checked daily so please email insert email address here LOL for more information regarding hive13org. With coming and going down to the hive and with the power tool drag racing stuff there are going to be some large items coming and going daily as I am working on them and it would be awesome for myself and others who do larger projects to not have to send out 10 texts to see who is at the hive. It would be awesome if there was a phone down there with a ringer on low and if whoever’s down there decides to answer it awesome or if you are going to be leaving in a few minutes and have to leave soon leave it go and don’t answer it LOL. I know the mailing list is an awesome way to try and get a hold of people however if it is a weird I have to drop something off kind of thing it would make it nice.

I never said that Chris had control of the google places site (which isn’t the issue you’re talking about either).

Chris A has the google voice account and therefore the hive’s phone number.

The person is complaining, because for whatever reason google /maps/ picked up some random dude’s phone number as ours and he was getting calls about us.

We already have a voip box that works and it is down at the hive as I mentioned before.

If someone wants to attach a different google voice account and phone number be my guest. I asked Chris A for access to the old google voice phone number and he never got back to me.

To be honest it might not be a great idea to use the hive’s physical phone for this unless it is getting forwarded to someone else’s phone. There is a reason we always had a handful of messages on the answering machine (we would probably get a couple of messages a month that weren’t about/on the Tuesday meeting). No one was there to answer it. :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t mind having it just send the voicemail transcripts to leadership. Google voice works pretty well for that!

If possible since it looks like it’s moving in a positive direction could there be two phone lines down there. One that goes to a voicemail that instructs people to send an email 2 your guyses email address and that the mailbox is only checked bi-weekly. And can the second line just be one without a mailbox to see if someone is at the house that could lend you a hand with something if possible and only be a number given to Hive members. Honestly if there was a phone down there like that I would call while on my way to the house to see if anyone want something from Wendy’s or Camp Washington to bring to the hive while people are working on projects. I think it would help build a little Morton like atmosphere with working together on the various things going on at the hive and various fixes going on.

Does this have to be so difficult?

It’s a good idea. Put in a phone, list the number. If you don’t want to answer the phone, then don’t. I like phone calls, in fact, it’s the communication tool I prefer, so I’m happy to answer and to return calls.

I have a small phone collection. If you’d like to use a vintage rotary telephone, I can make that happen. I may also have a couple armored phones from a prison in the attic still. Or, I will have some new two-by-phones finished soon…

Making a personal connection with people is one way to legitimize our place in the community here. It seems highly contradictory to put in a line of communication and immediately limit it to members only. This is exactly why it took me more than 6 months to even locate Hive13 despite desperately wanting to join another hackerspace when I moved to cincinnati. At that time, there was no phone, an info@hive13 email that went nowhere, a website that had not been updated.

We now have a grant from a private foundation, an official connection to UC, funding from PNY, collaboration with the library systems, and have proven ourselves as a beneficial community organization. This will lead to growth, legitimacy, and more money. And no, it will not lead to scrutiny by “the man”. Trust me, as someone who is scrutinized by “the man” every day, “the man” doesn’t care and is an idiot. The only people interested in supporting us are like-minded folks who wish to support us and learn from us. Like I tried, 2 years ago, calling a number and emailing, and staking Hive13 out on Tuesday nights.

Cincinnati is old-school. 9 times out of 10, the best way to make contact with a business is to call. That’s what I do. So, let’s at least humor people like me who use land lines.

Rant over.


Google maps had a (612) number listed for Hive13.

Googling that number turns up a Cincinnati business called Earth Creatures Pottery. Presumably that's who contacted us. It's trivial to suggest an edit to Google places so I've removed the number and that edit is awaiting review. Maybe someone suggested the bogus number to our place by mistake, maybe it is a Google voice or other voip number that went inactive and was then claimed by the pottery business. Presumably the Edan Schwartz that left us a one star review 2 months ago over the phone number didn't know he could just suggest an edit instead. Once the number is removed, I'll ask him to remove the review. I ask that nobody else contact Edan so they don't get multiple calls over the same issue.

If someone in leadership claims the Google place page, they would probably have immediate control of the info there.

We already have a google place page. Google maps apparently doesn’t take info from there and I submitted multiple edits to google maps to get it changed. I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t get updated for another 6 months.

You are welcome to mention to Edan that we aren’t in control of the phone number on that page, but he didn’t seem to understand that by the third time I told him that. Good luck! :slight_smile:

I had a voip box and phone at the Hive for a long time, but it was always unplugged. Like I would plug it in and next week when I came for the meeting it was unplugged again. Some time later the phone was also gone, so I just used the VOIP box in another project.

I can drop by the Hive and set up the phone that is there with the “official” Hive number. If the VOIP service lets you spoof outbound caller ID, you can just set it to the “official” number, easy peasy.