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Common Questions

Auto Dialer Software


There are three sections in this FAQ: General and Technical Questions, Dialogic Hardware Questions and Troubleshooting Questions.


Section A:

General and Technical Questions

1. How much does your software cost?
2. Can I use my current PBX with your software for call transfers?
3. How do I purchase your software?
4. Where can I source a list of phone numbers to use with my autodialer?
5. What is the difference between Acarda Messenger and CallAssist?
6. How many calls can Acarda Messenger make in an hour or a day?
7. Will Acarda Messenger autodialers work with a modem?
8. Will Acarda Messenger work with Win XP?
9. How do I record prompts with Acarda Messenger?
10. How do I import prompts into Acarda Messenger?
11. I try to ring into the Message Manager, but it doesn't answer.
12. Can I use .wav files for my recordings?
13. What format do the dialogic vox files need to be in?
14. How can I convert from .wav to .vox files?


Section B:

Dialogic Hardware Questions

1. What Dialogic Card do I need?
2. How much does Dialogic Hardware cost?
3. Where can I purchase Dialogic Hardware from?
4.  Can Acarda Messenger use other cards beside Dialogic telephony cards?
5. What drivers do I need for my dialogic card and where can I get them from?
6. How can I be sure the dialogic card is installed correctly?
7. How do I start the dialogic card?


Section C:

TroubleShooting

1. My registration key and serial number aren't working
2. With Acarda Messenger I get an "Unable to load a required Visual Voice DLL" error.
3. I'm having trouble installing Acarda Messenger on Win ME
4. The Controller says Assumed Started and doesn't seem to assign the line to Acarda Messenger.
5. Acarda Messenger is not leaving the answer machine message on answer machines, i.e. it's not detecting them
6. I get a Run Time Error 3343 Unrecognized database format error
7. Some or all the lines in the Controller are greyed out
8. My professionally recorded vox files won't play in Acarda Messenger
9. I get an error or have a technical problem with the software not listed on this page
10. The first part of messages left on answer machines gets chopped off.


Section A:

General and Technical Questions

1.  How much does your software cost?
Visit the Pricing page for up-to-date pricing information.

2. Can I use my current PBX with your software for transfers?
Visit the Hardware Requirements page and check out the section "PBX Requirements"

3. How do I purchase your software?
You can purchase online with credit card from our pricing page

4.  Where can I source a list of phone numbers to use with my autodialer?
Click here for links to list providers.

5.  What is the difference between Acarda Messenger and CallAssist?
Acarda Messenger Sales Lead is an autodialer that will phone through a list of telephone numbers and play a recorded voice message.  It works with a Dialogic Telephony card, which it allows it to detect if the call has been answered so it can start straight into the recorded message. For more info on this product, click here.

CallAssist is a product that assists live operators with telemarketing campaigns.  You click a Dial button to dial the next number in the dial list.  Once dialed, you pick up your telephone receiver or headset to take the call as the number is ringing.  If the call is busy or not answered you can press the Requeue button to have the number placed at the end of the list for dialling later.  CallAssist also has an inbuilt Do Not Call list.  For more info, click here.

6. How many calls can Acarda Messenger make in an hour or a day?
Typically autodialers can make 1000 calls per telephone line per day. Some of the calls will be ones where the complete message is played, some only part of the message will be played before the recipient hangs up, other calls will be busy or no answer or disconnected etc. So say on average then a call takes 36 seconds.  For a single line you're looking at:

1. 60 minutes * 60 seconds in a minute: 3600 seconds in one hour.

2. 3600 seconds divided by 36 seconds per call = 100 calls per hour.

3. In a ten hour day you'd call 10*100 = 1000 telephone numbers.  So if you had four lines you'd make approx 4000 calls in a day.

In practice you will probably find auto dialers make less calls than this. Some people work on a rule of thumb of 1 call per minute per line e.g. 60 calls per hour per line.

7.  Will Acarda Messenger autodialers work with a modem?
Acarda Messenger autodialers only works with a Dialogic Telephony cards so they  won't work with modem cards.

8. Will Acarda Messenger work with Win XP?
We have customers using our telephony software successfully with Win XP. If you have any problems please call us.

9. How do I record prompts with Acarda Messenger?
Find out how to record prompts under the Help Contents (click on Help, select the Contents Tab). Click on the title: Recording Message Prompts, then select the subtitle: Recording Messages. You may find the subtitle section: "Diagram of how to Record Message Prompts" helpful too.

10. How do I import prompts into Acarda Messenger?
First, you must record your prompts in .vox format (there are several formats that Dialogic voice files might be recorded in however the voice files for our software must be recorded in the Dialogic vox format VOX_PCM_8k which is PCM at 8kHz, Mu-law). 

Each prompt must be saved with the correct filename or Acarda Messenger will not recognize it.  Find a list of filenames  under the Help Contents (click on Help, select the Contents Tab). Click on the title: 'Recording Message Prompts', then select the subtitle: 'Prompt List - Message Prompts'.  Each prompt and an example is listed in the table, the filename you need use for saving your .vox files in listed in the column 'Filename (as used by Acarda Messenger). Please note the second digit in the filename is variable, and needs to be the same as the system number you will be using that prompt for.

Once you have saved your prompts, you need to copy them to the correct directory. Prompts are kept under the Prompts directory found in the application directory, e.g. if you installed Acarda Messenger Sales Lead to the default directory this will be: C:\Program Files\Acarda Messenger Sales Lead\Prompts.

11. I try to ring into the Message Manager, but it doesn't answer.
The steps to access the Message Manager  are as follows:

1. Set the schedule for some date in the future

2. Start the Acarda Messenger on for example line 1 via the Controller screen (MUST be done AFTER setting the schedule)

3. Call into that line e.g. line 1 and after a couple of rings Acarda Messenger will answer the call

4. Follow the prompts. You can refer to the F1 Help for more details.

If it doesn't answer the call when you try calling in please check that the telephone line is plugged into the correct socket on the back of the Dialogic card. The top plug position is for lines 1 and 3, the lower plug is for lines 2 and 4. To be certain that you have the correct line I suggest you use the default prompts and get Acarda Messenger to call out to a test number e.g. your mobile number. To do this you need to setup your number as a recipient and then change the schedule to be past so that it will start right away. Once you have it calling you then you can follow the above steps to try and ring in.

12. Can I use .wav files for my recordings?
No, dialogic cards require recordings to be .vox format. There are utilities that can convert between file formats.  You may like to try Vox Converter, a free utility which can also convert from .vox to .wav files.  Find out more here.

13. What format do the dialogic vox files need to be in?
There are several formats that Dialogic voice files might be recorded in however the voice files for our software must be recorded in the Dialogic vox format VOX_PCM_8k which is PCM at 8kHz, Mu-law.

14. How can I convert from .wav to .vox files?
Use our free utility, Vox Converter which can also convert from .vox to .wav files.  Find out more here.


Section B:

Dialogic Hardware Questions

1. What Dialogic card do I need?
Visit the Hardware Requirements page and read the section "Dialogic Hardware Requirements"

2. How much does Dialogic Hardware cost?
Contact us for an indication of the Dialogic hardware cost.

3. Where can I purchase the Dialogic Hardware from?
Contact us for details of how to contact a Dialogic Reseller in your area.

4.  Can Acarda Messenger use other cards beside Dialogic telephony cards?
No, Acarda Messenger autodialers will only work with Dialogic telephony cards. It won't work with modems or other brands of sophisticated telephony hardware

5. What drivers do I need for my dialogic card and where can I get them from?
You must get the Dialogic drivers from the supplier of the Dialogic Card.  The driver you need to depends on whether you are using Win NT4/2000 or Win 95/98 and the type of card you are installing.

You should be able to download the older drivers still from Intel's web site. 

For Win NT/Win2000 you need the Dialogic System Release Version 5 for Windows on Intel Architecture: get this from: http://resource.dialogic.com/telecom/support/releases/winnt/Sr511/index.htm.  At the bottom of this page is a link: 'Download Software Release'  where you can download the drivers  however you need to give them your details and get a password to do so.

If using Windows 95/98 then you need System Release 3.01 for Windows 95: get this from: http://resource.dialogic.com/telecom/support/releases/win95/301/index.htm. You will need to give them your details and get a password before you can download the driver. When using Win 95 driver you need to also install the PTR5083 patch - download here.

Please note these are very large files to download so you are better getting them on CD when you order the Dialogic Card. 

If you are in New Zealand or Australia we can provide a CD with drivers when you purchase your Dialogic Card from us.

6. How can I be sure the dialogic card is installed correctly?
You should run the Dialogic sample test program so you can be confident everything is installed correctly.

Step 1. Click on the Windows Start button, select Program Files, select Dialogic Development Package, then click on the Voice Sample Program icon.

Step 2. Once the program opens, select File, then Open.

Step 3. Select the channel to open. Just select the first one. This is probably called dxxxB1C1 then click OK. In response a window opens up and the first line should say ‘Device Opened’.

Step 4. From the menu select Function, then Offhook. In response you should get the message ‘Setting Offhook … done’.

Step 5. Select Function, then Onhook. In response you should get the message ‘Setting Onhook … done’.

If you get this far then it looks like everything is installed correctly. You can play around with the sample program if you like. For example try select Function, then Dial, and enter the number to dial, then select OK. In response the sample program should try and dial a number. If you have it call someone, once they answer you should be able to play a voice file to them. Don’t forget to hang up afterward (Function, Onhook). When you have finished select File then Close to close the channel.

7. How do I start the Dialogic Card?
Step 1. Click on the Windows Start button, select Program Files, select Dialogic Development Package, then click on Configuration Manager.

Step 2. The Dialogic Configuration Manger will open up. You should see the Dialogic Card listed in the box and to the right of the name you should see the memory address and IRQ used.

Step 3. If a Dialogic Card is started it should say “1 board started’ in the Dialogic Configuration Manger . If it doesn't then to start the Dialogic Card: Located the Start button on the right-side, click it. You will see the Status change to ‘ Initializing boards, please wait …’ If the Dialogic board is configured correctly the status will change to “1 board started’ otherwise it will say ‘No board started’

Once you have successfully started the board you should set it into automatic start mode. Open the Dialogic Configuration Manger and mid-way down the screen you will see the words Operation Mode. Select the Automatic option then click the Close button. Now whenever the computer is turned on the Dialogic Card will start automatically


Section C:

TroubleShooting

1. My registration key and serial number aren't working
When you enter your keys, it is best to copy and paste them into Acarda Messenger, as they are case sensitive. Also, please make sure you do not have any spaces before or after the codes. If you cannot copy and paste them and are having problems, try changing the font of  the keys in case a letter is appearing as a digit or vice versa. e.g. a number one can appear as a small letter L at times.  Different fonts can often display the codes clearer.

2. With Acarda Messenger I get an "Unable to load a required Visual Voice DLL" error.
This error usually occurs when there is no dialogic card installed.  For more info on dialogic cards, and other hardware requirements, click here.

If you have a dialogic card installed, then this error suggests that one of the what's called dll's may no have been installed correctly when you ran the setup program.  Please run the our setup program again WITHOUT un-installing it i.e. you effectively run the setup program twice, once on top of the other.

3. I'm having trouble installing Acarda Messenger on Win ME
If you have problems installing Acarda Messenger on Windows ME you should make sure Microsoft atl.dll has been installed. This is the most critical file in the Acarda Messenger setup disk. This file should be saved to the C:\Windows\System folder.

You need to do the following:

1. Exit any programs you are running.

2. Download and place this atl.dll file in the Windows System folder C:\windows\system

3. Click on the Windows Start button (usually located at bottom left of screen), then click on Run. In the box type or copy and paste "regsvr32 atl.dll" WITHOUT THE " MARKS. Click OK and a message box should popup saying "DLLRegisterService in atl.dll succeeded.". If it doesn't then please try again but this time use the Windows\System path e.g. "regsvr32 C:\windows\system\atl.dll"

4. Next run the Acarda Messenger setup program.

4.  The Controller says Assumed Started and doesn't seem to assign the line to Acarda Messenger.
Problem Description: The controller says the line  is available/not-assigned.  When you check it and click "start," it says "Starting on Line 1 . . . (long pause) . . . Assumed started on Line 1 . . . Finished."  It returns you to where it says Line 1 is available/not-assigned, and there's no check mark by Line 1.

The problem with assume started is usually to do with the dialogic card. Follow these steps:

1. Make sure the dialogic card is turned on.

You need to start the Dialogic Card every time the computer is turned on. This can be done automatically but you need to set it up in auto mode. To do this click on then Windows Start button, click Program files, click Dialogic Development Package, then click Configuration Manager. This should open up the Dialogic Configuration Manager. Mid-way down the screen you will see the words Operation Mode. By default this is set Manual, click on the Automatic option to change this to automatic mode. This will start the card each time the computer boots up so you don't need to remember to do it.

If your Dialogic Configuration Manager wasn't in auto mode then manually click on the Start button located at the top right of the screen. You will see the Status changing as it tries to start the card. Once started it should say '1 voice board started'. After installing the Dialogic card this is the real test to see if it is installed. If it doesn't say '1 voice board started' after you have clicked the Start button then it suggests that the system resources e.g. IRQ or memory address, for the card are not set up correctly. You need to change the system resources allocated to the card or change the hardware jumpers on the card itself until you can get the board started.

2. Run the Dialogic test program so we can be sure the card is installed properly:

Step 1. Click on the Windows Start button, select Program Files, select Dialogic Development Package, then click on the Voice Sample Program icon.

Step 2. Once the program opens, select File, then Open.

Step 3. Select the channel to open. Just select the first one. This is probably called dxxxB1C1 then click OK. In response a window opens up and the first line should say ‘Device Opened’.

Step 4. From the menu select Function, then Offhook. In response you should get the message ‘Setting Offhook … done’.

Step 5. Select Function, then Onhook. In response you should get the message ‘Setting Onhook … done’.If you get this far then it looks like everything is installed correctly. You can play around with the sample program if you like. For example try select Function, then Dial, and enter the number to dial, then select OK. In response the sample program should try and dial a number. If you have it call someone, once they answer you should be able to play a voice file to them. Don’t forget to hang up afterward (Function, Onhook). When you have finished select File then Close to close the channel.

If the test program doesn't work then the drivers aren't installed correctly or the IRQ/Memory resource assigned to the card is not correct.

3. If no 1 and 2 are OK try running the installation program again over top of your current installation and that should install any missing required .DLLs.

5. Acarda Messenger is not leaving the answer machine message on answer machines, i.e. it's not detecting them
There are really only 2 settings that determine whether or not the software thinks it's a live person or machine. The first is the Answer Machine Threshold which is set in the Telephony screen. 3 seconds is a good setting but the lower you have it the more often the software will think its a machine. If a recipient greeting is longer than this threshold then it assumes its a machine, if its shorter then it assumes a live person. Often it doesn't matter if the live person gets the answer machine message but the other way around is a problem.

The real question here is :- for the answer machines/VM that get the live message is it because the answer machine message is too short i.e. less than the threshold of say 3 seconds? Or is it that the software thinks the answer machine greeting has finished but its is just a pause in the greeting that is mistaken for the end of the greeting?

If you listen to the machines that don't work out - try to time the length of the greeting ... perhaps the 3 seconds is too long, perhaps these machines have only 2.5 second greetings. If that is the case the only way you can get it is by lowing the threshold.

If it is not this then it means that the software must be thinking the greeting is shorter than it really is. There is a file in the main application folder (C:\Program Files\Acarda Messenger Sales Lead) called otgcall.prm. This can be opened in notepad. In the file there is a setting called ansrdgl and its set to 50. This means that it has 50 x 10ms (500ms or 0.5 seconds) for answerdeglitch in salutation. This is the gaps between words. If you make this longer then the software waits longer before its decides that someone has spoken the greeting. You could try ansrdgl=65 for 0.65 sec or say ansrdgl=75 for 0.75 seconds. If you make it too long then a live person will say HI and be waiting too long before the first message starts to play. So change it to say =65 then save it and see if that fixes the problem.

6.  I get a Run Time Error 3343 Unrecognized database format error
Sometimes Microsoft Access databases get corrupted for no apparent reason, which is what has happened to your   database. Please download this utility we wrote for repairing databases. Once downloaded, exit Acarda Messenger then double click on the exe and it will run the program. You Click on the button with the 3 dots and select the database listed in the error message and then click the Compact & Repair button. Please make sure you are not in Acarda Messenger when you do this.

7. Some or all of the lines in the Controller are greyed out.
Firstly, please click on the Telephony button and check the last counter box (total number of cards installed) is correct, i.e. it equals the number of lines you have available.  If it is correct, then you need to take the following steps to fix the problem:

1. Please click the Windows Start button, then select Run.

2. Type ComputerTelephony.ini and click OK.

3. This will open up a file in notepad. About 12 lines down you will see

[ActiveApplications]
1=
2=
etc

When an application (e.g. Acarda Messenger Sales Lead) Engine.exe) is running the name of that application is written beside the line number (e.g. 1= for line 1).

Check that the none of the numbers have anything written after them in that same row. If it does then please delete the writing and just keep the number plus the equal sign, e.g. 2=. Then save it and run the Acarda Messenger software again.

8. My professionally recorded vox files won't play in Acarda Messenger.
There are several formats that Dialogic voice files might be recorded in however the voice files for our software must be recorded in the Dialogic vox format VOX_PCM_8k which is PCM at 8kHz, Mu-law.

9. I get an error or have a technical problem with the software not listed on this page
Please send us an email outlining the problem and attach your log files.  Please include in the email the following:

i. A description of the problem including the text of any error messages

ii The operating system you are using, e.g. Win 95/98/ME/2000/XP or NT4

iii. Whether you have a dialogic card installed and if so, what type of card you are using

To send us your log files follow these instructions:

1. Please click the Windows Start button, then select Run.

2. Type ComputerTelephony.ini and click OK.

3. This will open up a file in notepad. About 10 lines down you will see DebugMode=0 ..., please change this to DebugMode=1 and then Save and Exit.

4. Now open Acarda Messenger

5. Launch the application (engine) on line 1 via the Controller

6. Do what you were doing before that didn't work ...

7. When finished stop the application (engine) on line 1 and exit the program.

8. Go to the main Acarda Messenger application folder using Windows Explorer and click into the one called logs (C:\Program Files\Acarda\Acarda Messenger Sales Lead\Logs)

9. Select the most recent few log files including the one that was just generated (look for today's date when in Detail view .. you get to detail view by clicking on the View menu at the top of the window, then select Details). The log files we are interested in start with the name MessengerEngine don't worry about those that start with the words MessengerSetup.

Attach these to your email and send it to: . You may only have one to send, that will be fine.

10. The first part of messages left on answer machines gets chopped off.
One of the reasons for this is that people when recording answer machine messages leave varying amounts of “speechless” recording at the end of the message. Acarda Messenger starts playing its message when the answer machine finishes playing and sometimes the answer machine is not ready to record at that point.  When an Answer Machine is detected Acarda Messenger will pause for a second before it plays the answer machine message.

 


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