and Goldmine Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the main difference between the BigmOuth &
Goldmine and PowerVoice systems?
There are quite a few differences. Both systems can get
your job done, though it's like comparing a Ford Escort
to a Mercedes.
1) BigmOuth/Goldmine is a MS-DOS based system, whereas
PowerVoice runs under Windows 2000 Professional. With BigmOuth
you should have some familiarity with DOS to really fell
comfortable with the interface, though it has its own windowing
system and does not use the command line. With PowerVoice
- anyone familiar with Windows should have no problems with
installing and running the system - frequently without even
having to contact our support department.
2) BigmOuth/Goldmine has voice detection, whereas PowerVoice
has very accurate answering machine detection. BigmOuth
sees voice, whether it from a live person or a machine,
as the same thing, and proceeds to deliver its message.
PowerVoice recognizes the difference between answering machines
and and live people and can play one message for live answers,
another to be left on machines. Some telemarketers want
to only leave messages on machines, and this is a pretty
simple chore for PowerVoice.
3) BigmOuth/Goldmine is a single line system and is not
expandable. With PowerVoice, you can start out with as few
as 2 ports, and easily expand to as many as you like. This
is a real advantage for businesses that want to make a minimal
investment initially, and after they find out that their
telemarketing activities are successful - they can easily
expand their systems by adding additional ports.
4) BigmOuth/Goldmine uses your PC's processor as a slave,
whereas PowerVoice has two onboard processors, a general
purpose processor (Intel 386 for handling the boards onboard
housekeeping and transferring data to your hard disk. It
also has a state-of-the-art Motorola 56001 digital signal
processor (DSP) to handle call progress, voice compression,
answering machine detection and a host of other DSP functions
that BigmOuth and Goldmine are incapable of performing.
5) BigmOuth/Goldmine is only available in an ISA slot
configuration, whereas PowerVoice is available in both
ISA and PCI card slot configurations. ISA, over the past
several years, has been systematically phased out.
Computer companies such as Dell, Compaq, Gateway and others
no longer offer models with ISA slots.
While for many this may be a weakness in the BigmOuth/Goldmine
system, for others it is an advantage because many have
an old 386, 486 or an old Pentium I that they are no longer
using, and all of these machines provide a
more-than-adequate platform for BigmOuth to run on.
What it boils down to is that BigmOuth/Goldmine is a great
choice for small groups that have a limited budget. BigmOuth/Goldmine
excels with phone trees and group distribution. Those who
make a living or plan to make a living by doing telemarketing
should opt for the PowerVoice, though for those on a really
tight budget wanting to get into telemarketing, BigmOuth/Goldmine
affords an opportunity to get started with a basic auto
dialer with some pretty sophisticated features - and when
they find they're making money with their efforts - they
can always invest in a more sophisticated system like PowerVoice.
Q. I want my system to leave a message on answering machines.
How can I get it to do this. Most of my prospects are at work
during the day and I need Goldmine to leave a message on their
machines or voice mail.
A. BigmOuth uses a 'brute force" method to deliver
messages. It doesn't distinguish between a live person and
an answering machine/voice mail. Your greeting should be
prefaced with something like, "Hi there, this is an
important message from ASAP Power." Then wait a second
or two and start your message, "ASAP power is offering
...". This way, your greeting preface will mirror any
greeting that was on the answering machine and if a person
answers, they will think that it's just part of your message.
It seems to work well for most. You'll have one message
for both people and machines. I hope this answers your question.
Q. When I hit the <Enter> key to begin my recording,
the relay on the Bigmouth card clicks and the highlighted
cursor moves from 'Record Greeting' to 'Play Greeting', but
won't let me record my message. Why?
A. There are two things that could cause this.
1) Your phone cables are reversed. Swap them.
2) Make sure you are using a standard single-line telephone.
Multi-line and non-stardard telephones can cause problems.
Q. Sometimes, when distributing a message, BigmOuth or Goldmine
seems to cut off while distributing the message. Why?
A. There are several reasons that might cause a message
to be cutoff during delivery.
1) Make sure that call waiting is OFF on that line. A call
waiting signal will make BigmOuth or Goldmine think that
the called party has hung-up.
2) Frequently, when people record outbound greetings, they
speak very loud. This causes the recording circuitry to
become overloaded, and can produce unwanted touch-tone (DTMF)
input, which will signal to the hardware that it was intended
that the message be terminated. Sometimes this will happen
sporadically or after a number of messages have gone out.
Try re-recording your greeting message in a normal voice,
with the handset several inches from your mouth. If necessary,
put a handkerchief over your mouthpiece to help mute the
3) Make sure you are running in real MS-DOS mode. This
means that you should have entered DOS by clicking on 'Start',
the 'Shut Down', then 'Restart Computer' is MS-DOS mode'.
Opening a DOS window from the program window can cause problems
Q. What type of computer do I need for the BigmOuth?
| A. BigmOuth requires a 286,
386, 486 or Pentium class PC with DOS 3.0 or higher, 1 meg
RAM, 80 meg HD. The PC must have one available ISA slot. No
COM port is required. BigmOuth will work fine in MS-DOS mode
under Windows 9x and Me.
Q. Can BigmOuth transfer incoming calls to a live operator/extension?
| A. Yes, BigmOuth can either
utilize three-way-calling from your local Bell Company or
can be connected to an analog PBX extension to transfer and
route calls to outside phone numbers or internal extensions.
The limitation with three-way-calling is that while the caller
is speaking to the desired party, BigmOuth is still in use
and cannot accept another incoming call until the two parties
disconnect. When connected to a PBX extension, BigmOuth will
actually release the call once it has been transferred and
await new incoming calls.
Q. Can BigmOuth forward messages to my pager or remote
| A. Yes, BigmOuth supports
tone, digital or voice pagers allowing a mailbox owner to
be notified when messages are left in his/her mailbox.
Q. How many mailboxes does BigmOuth support?
| A. BigmOuth has the support
for up to 300 individual mailboxes, each with its own personalize
greeting, and message forwarding and pager numbers.
Q. Can BigmOuth perform order-taking when I am out of
| A. Yes, BigmOuth has a questionnaire
feature, which allows the caller to be prompted through various
options. A sample script might be, "please record your
name", then "please enter your account number with
your touch-tone phone", then "please enter your
credit card number" etc..
Q. Can BigmOuth dial a list of telephone numbers and play
a prerecorded message?
| A. Yes, BigmOuth has its
own integrated PhoneBook Database in which the customer can
enter up to 300 names, addresses, phone and fax numbers, and
notes manually. You can create an unlimited number of PhoneBooks
within the BigmOuth structure and dial any one PhoneBook at
a time. We also offer an add-on module for BigmOuth called
Goldmine I. Goldmine I has the ability to import up to 10,000
numbers from any ASCII file database and dial them in succession.
Goldmine I also provides for sequential or prefix dialing
of up to 10,000 numbers. Please consult your local Public
Utility Commission for legalities pertaining to automated
outbound telemarketing and dialing.
Q. Can I customize BigmOuth through programming if I don't
like the way something works?
| A. Yes, we offer a tool
kit called the BigmOuth Programmer's Tool Kit. This tool kit
is a TSR library in Microsoft or Borland C: which allows direct
access to the functions of the BigmOuth Hardware.
Q. Can I install more than one BigmOuth in a single PC?
| A. No, only one BigmOuth
can reside in your PC and that PC must be dedicated to the
purpose of BigmOuth while it is running.
Q: Will BigmOuth work with Micro Channel? (i.e. MCA architecture)
| A: No. The only PS 2 models
BigmOuth will work with are models 25 or 30.
Q: Will BigmOuth run in the background or under Windows?
| A: No. BigmOuth is designed
as a DOS foreground program only. We do not recommend running
BigmOuth under Windows or trying to have other applications
running at the same time.
Q:Why do my messages have so much static in them?
| A: There are a couple of
reasons for this, for example: interference from another card
in your PC. Move the card to an expansion slot as far as possible,
away from the power supply. Or try locating the BigmOuth card
to an "isolated" slot. Another reason could be CPU
sharing. BigmOuth was designed as a dedicated voicemail server.
It requires 100% of the CPU's time in order to provide the
best voice quality. If you have drivers or TSR's installed
at the same time, it will reduce BigmOuth's voice quality.
Remove any unnecessary TSRs or drivers.
Q: I can't get the software to install properly.
| A: If during the install
process you receive a "bad sector" or "read
error", you need new disks. Disks can be damaged during
shipping. If this happens, we can either send you new disks
or you can download them from our
Q: I am getting the error message "screen buffer
full, no more room for events"
| A: Because of memory constraints,
BigmOuth only displays the first 100 events on the screen.
After that, no more events are displayed. To continue tracking
events, turn on disk logging from the "Functional Options"
screen, which will store all activities in a file instead
of on the screen.
Q: I had messages in my box, and when I went to the main
menu and came back, they were gone!
| A: The most reliable way
to review messages while on the PC is to choose Mailbox Messages
from the main menu rather than choosing "Review Activities".
Any message, which has been successfully recorded, like any
other stored file, will remain on your hard drive until you
choose to delete it. "Review Activities" only displays
"current messages". As soon as you look at them,
they are no longer considered current and therefore, not displayed
Q: Can BigmOuth forward a message or do outbound calling
to an answering machine?
| A: Yes, but BigmOuth cannot
distinguish between real voice and recorded voice, so it will
not wait for the tone. Once a BigmOuth hears a human voice
it begins delivering the message.
Q: How many voice mailboxes can you have with our BigmOuth
| A: It depends on how much
information is in each box. Generally, up to 300. If the only
information in the voice mailbox is a phone number, it can
handle up to 500 mailboxes. If there is a large amount of
information in each mailbox, it may only handle up to 100
Q: Can BigmOuth do more than 300 outbound calls, if you
program it to call out from one phonebook for a period of
time and from another phonebook for another period of time?
| A: No, you cannot program
it to call out from one phonebook for one time period and
a different phonebook for another time period. In order to
switch the phonebook from which you are making outbound calls,
you must physically call up BigmOuth and instruct it to switch
Q: Can BigmOuth "get an outside line" and direct
a call to another phone?
| A: Yes, but it requires
3-way calling. Technically it is a three-way call since BigmOuth
is still in use while the other lines are communicating and
is unable to take another call.
Q: If you program BigmOuth with Toolkit, do you have to
start from scratch, or can you "add on" to the BigmOuth
| A: You must start from scratch
for each program.
Q: Can BigmOuth be attached to a modem?
| A: Yes, although the BigmOuth
software and hardware is not capable of detecting a FAX tone.
Therefore, it would not be possible to have BigmOuth automatically
route FAX calls to your machine. You can, however, buy a Voice/FAX
switch at your local electronics store in order to accomplish
Q: How much memory does BigmOuth use?
| A: It uses 14.3 megabytes
per hour of recorded messages. (5 minutes per megabyte)
Q: What kind of bus does BigmOuth require?
| A:BigmOuth requires a PC
or AT bus.
Q: Do I have to dedicate my computer to BigmOuth?
| A: Yes. It is recommended
that you dedicate one computer to BigmOuth, if you plan on
using it 24 hours per day. This is to avoid multitasking.
Q:What languages can I program with BigmOuth toolkit?
| A: C is the recommended
language. The Toolkit is also programmable in Quick Basic
Q: How can I do "order processing" with BigmOuth?
| A: BigmOuth will record
information necessary to process orders. It can do this by
simply recording someone's name and phone number, or it can
ask a series of questions of the caller.
Q: BigmOuth is not answering the phone. What do I do?
| A: Run the RINGTEST.EXE
program that comes with BigmOuth. Once this is on screen,
call into the line that the BigmOuth board is attached to.
After you do this, the Zero Cross Counts, and Amplitude will
change. Watch for the highest number the Zero Cross Counts
goes up to and write it down. Now watch for the lowest non-zero
value it drops down to and write it down. Write down the value
you see for Amplitude as well. Reload BigmOuth and go to Options,
then into the Options File. Find the parameters RingHi, RingLow,
and RingThresh. The RingHi and RingLow values should be set
to the highest and lowest numbers you received from the Zero
Cross Counts fields in RINGTEST. RingThresh is determined
from the value of the Amplitude, divided by 2.
Q: BigmOuth is picking up, then hanging up right away.
What do I do?
| A: Make sure your line and
local phone wires are plugged into the proper jacks on the
back of the board. If they are plugged in properly, go to
Options, then into Options File. Change the parameter HookIgnore
Q: BigmOuth is answering, but callers are getting cutoff.
What do I do?
| A: From the Main Menu go
to Options, then to Options File. Find the parameter ClunkDiscnt,
and set this to 0.
Q: Even after trying the #3 solution, callers still get
| A: The caller may be causing
talk-off. This usually happens with female callers since their
voices are generally higher pitched, thus making it easier
for them to simulate a DTMF digit. There really is no solution
for this, since the human voice is capable of replicating
a DTMF digit.
Q: How do I record a greeting message?
| A: Go into the Autodialer/Database
from the Main Menu and highlight the box that you want to
put a greeting in. Press F3, select Record Greeting, pick
up your local phone (or microphone), press enter, and begin
recording your message. You can also go into Utility Messages,
then under Greeting to record a message. Just enter the box
that you want to record the greeting into, in the Box Number
field, select Record Greeting Message, Pick up your local
phone (or microphone), press enter, and begin your greeting.
Q: How do I get a better understanding of all of the various
| A: Read pages 89-98 in the
manual. All telebox functions are covered.
Q: Where can I get the new BigmOuth help file?
| A: You can get it right
here, or you may ftp it from ftp.tti.net
Q: I am doing outbound call distribution, and halfway
through my outgoing message gets cut off. What happens?
| A: Go to Options to Options
File. Find the parameters MaxBusyCount and MaxEvent and change
them both to 32. If problems still persist, try changing the
parameter UseDTCheck to 0.
Q: Why does my system lock up when I try to run BigmOuth?
| A: Try creating a boot disk
and load BigmOuth after booting off of that. You can create
a boot disk by following these steps.
If you are running MS-DOS v6.0 or greater, then you will not
need to create a boot disk. Instead, reboot your machine and
when "Starting MS-DOS" appears on the screen, Press F5. This
will force DOS to bypass your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT
files and ensure that nothing gets loaded into memory. Now,
try running BigmOuth.
- Insert a blank floppy into your A: drive
- Type "format a: /u /s" at the DOS prompt
- Reboot your machine
- Try loading BigmOuth
If BigmOuth continues to lockup, you may have a hardware conflict.
In this case you will need to change either the port address
of the BigmOuth board, or of the conflicting board. In order
to change the port address of the BigmOuth board, locate jumper
JP1 on the board and either short the pins (port address 360)
or remove the jumper (port address 3E0). Now, try loading