Why does my Element or Fusion appear to insert random characters when trying to dial?

Updated by Bryan Jones


This document covers both the Element and Fusion console, where you use the number pad on the console Master module for dialing.


When you dial a telephone number from an Element or Fusion console, the numbers you dial display in the lower middle section of the screen. This image shows the Fusion screen. Element screens are in a similar location. Customers will sometimes report that they are getting "random" characters in this field.

Dialing modes explained

There are three dialing modes, 123 (the default), ABC, and SIP. You toggle between the modes by pressing and holding the # (pound or hash) key on the keypad for two seconds. Each time you press and hold the # key, it will switch to the next mode. You can see the current mode by observing the indicator of the text box.

  • 123 indicates normal dial mode where only numbers are used, and the # and * keys work as expected. For example, 12162417225 and then press # would dial the main Telos phone number.
  • ABC indicates you are in what is sometimes called "multi-tap" mode. Each time you press a key, it enters a different digit. For example, pressing the 2 key will either enter A, B, C, or 2, depending on how many times you press it. You would use this for making SIP calls where you need to dial by name. For example, you might need to dial 1234@homephone.net. This method is VERY RARE.
  • SIP indicates you are in direct SIP mode. The numbers keys work like normal, but the # (pound) and * (asterisk) keys are re-assigned to . (period) and @ (at) sign respectively. This mode would be for dialing direct SIP by IP Address in the form of 123@ A reminder that you need to switch back to the 123 mode so you can press # to complete the dialing.
The ABC and SIP modes are rarely if ever, used. Often, these modes get activated by someone accidentally holding the # key for too long or setting something on the key, putting the system in a state where you can't dial normally.

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