Cisco 7970

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LinuxMCE allows the use of many devices as Orbiters. One of them is the CISCO 7970. You can use it to control your home as well as to make calls.

To add a new CISCO 7970 phone as an Orbiter follow these simple instructions (from information in the LinuxMCE support forum).


CISCO 7970 phone is plug-in-play device; LinuxMCE adds it automatically when it is plugged into the network. But first, we have to make some preparations. Run an Orbiter. Be sure that no others tasks are running. Check the DHCP setting of your phone. It should be something like that: "get IP via DHCP and no alternative servers". Check the range of MAC addresses:

  1. Go to Advanced --> Configuration --> Device Template.
  2. Chose manufacturer CISCO. You should see in the right list at least two models: 7970 and 7960.
  3. Press the button 'Show model'.
  4. On the opened window check 'Range MAC addresses'. The range contains two big decimal digits. To get correct range for your phone first see its MAC address. A MAC address is six groups of two hexadecimal digits, separated by hyphens (-) or colons (:). The first three groups identify a maker. You leave them and fill the rest by 0 and F. For example, if MAC is 00:16:78:CD:01:D8 its range will be 00:16:78:00:00:00 - 00:16:78:FF:FF:FF. After that you should convert those two values into LinuxMCE representation. To do that run a script /usr/pluto/bin/convert_mac and pass the hexadecimal values as parameters:
/usr/pluto/bin/convert_mac 00:16:78:00:00:00
/usr/pluto/bin/convert_mac 00:16:78:FF:FF:FF
As result you will get two big decimal digits. Add them to the phone template and store.

If you have problems with phone installation, it may be related to firmware. The phone should have the latest firmware upgrade. (I didn't have any problem with existing firmware on my CISCO 7970, though).

Note for CISCO 7960 SIP users: if your phone fails to register with asterisk then edit /tftpboot/SIPDefault.cnf and append

nat_enable: 1


  1. Plug the phone power and network cable. Note if you have two network cards on your core you should plug network cable in the right switch.
  2. During boot of the phone after 2-3 minutes you should see on the Orbiter a message about new device with your phone MAC address was detected. You should click by caption "Cisco 7970" below that.
  3. After that the phone should be registered with asterisk and you can see a normal CISCO screen.
  4. However, it'll take another 2-3 minutes to generate a new Orbiter for CISCO7970.
  5. When this operation finishes you'll see a message on the Orbiter screen. Make a quick reload of router (Wizard -- Reboot -- Quick Reload Router. I also rebooted CISCO 7970 because I didn't see anything in the menu Services).
  6. Now go to menu Services on CISCO 7970 and chose Orbiter.


  • Problem: Phone boots successfully but there is no any message on the Orbiter's screen.
  • Solution: If the message doesn't appear check MAC addresses range.

Some useful tips

  • To reset a Network configuration of CISCO79xx go to menu 'Network Setting' and press the following sequence of buttons:
  • To check network communications between CISCO7970 and CORE run tcpdump on the CORE:
tcpdump -i eth1 [CISCO7970 IP Address]

or to see detailed packets information:

tcpdump -i -vv eth1 [CISCO7970 IP Address]

or change TimeZone change following line in /tftpboot/SEPDefault7970.cnf.xml (you can find proper TimeZone strings here ):

<timeZone>W. Europe Standard/Daylight Time</timeZone>
  • To add the voicemail options to the message button, edit the sccp.conf file and add the following to the lines section of each phone:

Email suggestions to: stepanov.michael [at] gmail [dot] com or leave a comment.

Add Directory buttons to Cisco IP Phone


Download the files here:


This set of files adds a working Directory for your Cisco IP phone. It has been tested on my Cisco 7970 phone, but does not use any additional features, so it should work on any of the other Cisco IP phones that support XML services, such as the Cisco 7960.

It adds the following Features:

  • Directory button now works!
  • Works with Contacts from the Pluto phone directory
  • Paginates them based on # of entries in phone book
  • Shows the phone type.

Installing this Patch

  • Unpack the files to the pluto-admin directory. (/var/www/pluto-admin/)
  • edit the file /tftpboot/SEPDefault7970.cnf.xml (it just needs to be the default xml for your cisco phone, adjust as needed.)
  • Reboot the phone by pressing the settings button, and pressing the following button sequence **#**

Once the phone boots, try the directory by pressing the Directory button!

If there are any problems, let me know --Tschak909 ( thom.cherryhomes (at) gmail (dot) com ).

Add usefull XML services beside Orbiter

I've searched internet a bit and found few usefull applications that will let you put rss or xml feeds to your 7970.

Basically you can try rss or xml feeds directly, but also there is usefull script that automatically converts pages to proper format - for example:

Gives you rss feeds from CNN and BBC. You can also use this script to convert any rss feed to same shape (it's weather rss feed in my country):

I have further modified file /var/www/pluto-admin/ServicesMenu.php - and added more entries - basically it's XML list of various URLs to follow.