This is just a quick set of notes to document things that I found difficult when doing this setup. With a lot of products you can simply use Google, but I found here that yes, I was the only person on the planet dealing with these issues.

The Fanvil PA2 is a beast of a product- it is a POE powered device that can be used in all sorts of installations, in fact the sheer customisability blows me away. There’s plenty of downsides though- the manual could be better, the support could be better and the firmware could be better….. If you want to find out why I don’t give this product a thumbs down, read on….

Here’s my use case- we have a client who has a beautiful Harbourside house, and with the copper phone lines being retired it was time to add a modern phone system. But there were several complications wth this job- no way to get power to the front door intercom, and the intercom itself has a custom stainless steel faceplate which we didn’t want to replace. To get power and ethernet to the intercom we used a Doorbird POE + Ethernet adaptor set, and to replace the intercom internals we used the Fanvil PA2 and the PA2 Accessory Kit.

Initial setup is pretty normal- tell 3CX about the device, add the MAC address, adopt and provision. You will most likely need to upgrade the firmware, then strangely 3CX wanted to downgrade it to something in between!

Once adopted into 3CX you need to log into the PA2 device to make some changes. If using the accessory kit you need to scan the QR code on the back of the camera unit and put that code into the spot at Intercom Settings/ Video/ Camera (set to Local mode) and ‘Auth Code’

Once this is active (remember to take the lens cap off) you can test by inputting the ‘Main Stream URL’ into VLC – this should verify that the camera is working.

Create a ring group for the Fanvil and add the extensions you want to ring when someone presses the intercom button, and set the ‘no answer’ destination to ‘end call’ so the voicemail is disabled for the intercom.

Unlike some other Fanvil door intercom products, the PA2 does not supply any power to the terminal blocks. You have to use something else for power – my test Bench used an old Netgear power supply 12v 1A

The door strike we are using for testing is from Jaycar, it’s a 12v fail secure device. This means to open it needs power, no power = door stuck closed. So set the terminals up like in the pic, and the software like in the other pic and you should be all good.

Fanvil PA2 software setup

Software setup- this assumes you are happy to have the door opened when someone on the other end of the intercom dials ‘1234’ in DTMF codes, and you want the door strike to be in ‘open’ mode for 5 seconds, and you want audible confirmation of the trigger.

Test Hardware setup

You can see in the above pic that 12v+ goes directly to the door strike, 12v- goes to the -ve terminal of the NO terminal block and the other door strike wire goes to the +ve terminal of the relay controlled NO switch/ terminal block. I hope that makes sense…

If you’re wondering about getting the video to show at the other end, me too. It works, but my notes only say ‘to get the video call working we just fiddled with the video settings inside the Grandstream phone’
Riiight. By the way the phones are Grandstream GXV-3370, really nice phones!

For the actual installation, the cabling was slightly different- we had power going over the cables direct to the door strike. It didn’t work initially, so I set this up again in my home lab- where I worked perfectly! After fiddling about a bit onsite, of course it worked fine. In this pic you can see the power supply output at the bottom left…

Oh, and why am I so happy to recommend the product despite the support difficulties I’d experienced?

Well, in desperation I emailed Fanvil support- not expecting much because they really aren’t native English speakers, and they emailed me back
1. Within 1 hour
2. With the correct answer
3. That was easy to understand
4. On a Sunday

Now I’m impressed!

(Update) Fanvil also contacted me after the support ticket looking for more details, pics of setup and happy to discuss use cases etc. I’m really pleased with their help- and the language barrier wasn’t a problem. I buy a lot of stuff from Chinese sellers on eBay so I guess I had low expectations, Fanvil were terrific.