[Asterisk-Users] FXO cards - low cost systems

Chris Albertson chrisalbertson90278 at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 9 13:01:45 MST 2003

Comments on this are welcome.  Here is my opinion...

I just went through this.  Your office size is not economical.
Actually smaller or larger would be better.  Getting a channel bank
and then using only 8 ports is a waste.  OK if you have 24 extensions
but 3x to expensive if you only use 8 ports.

I'm working on a 3x8 system for a not-for-profet  I'm doing the
work for free and they value every cent as they live off donated
money.  (You don't want to tell donors that 100 of their $20.00
checks went into a new PBX and did nothig to save sick homeless kids
or whatever.)

Here is what I told them:  "Go VOIP".  You can get decent IP phones
like BT100, or whatever for $65 to $100 each.  Buy eight of these.

Next get a VOIP service provider to provide you with a PSTN DID
(A phone number) VoicePulse will do this for about $8.00/month
pluss outgoing per minute cost. So you get as many incomming lines
as you need and you have zero hardware interface at your site.
(other then your DSL line.)

Keep one or two analog POTS lines and use one or two FXO cards
either Digium other.  You want POTs for free local calls and
for 911 calls and for if the VIOP service fails or if the DSL
line is down.  But one POTS line for the whole office is enough

So now your Asterisk server is just one re-cycled PC with one
FXO card installed, nothing else.  Pretty dard cheap.

If using a "re-cycled" computer as the server _do_ keep
spares on site. You don't want a broken power supply fan to crash
your phone system for a day.  I'm suggesting a full-up hot spare
Asterisk server system be kept on-site.

--- Michael Rowley <os2doc at bellsouth.net> wrote:
> Hey,
> Here is a quesion for you.  I am still battling with the phone system
> for my new buisiness.
> 6 incoming lines, 1 fax, DSL.  8 phones max, will provably start with
> 5 
> to save money.
> I was thinking of using Asterisk, but having difficulty finding 
> appropriate buisiness phones.  The Mitel 5055 is the best one I have 
> found, but the price seems to be about 400$ per phone.  $2K, plus a 
> 500$ server, then how to get the 6 B1(pots) lines into it.
> I had thought of using a channel bank, but what a pain in the ass
> that 
> is becoming.  For one, they are expensive, and I then have to buy the
> T1 card for the phone server.  I though, why not go with an FXO card.
> I wish there was an X400P card with 4 ports on it, but, que sera.  I 
> can get them for 100$ apiece, or $50 for the knock offs on ebay, but 
> that means 6 pci slots.  Not easy, I could use one of the pci
> extender 
> boxes, but now I am worried about conflicts.  Or dialogic analog 4 or
> 12 port cards for about 1500 to 1800$.  :(  This is getting
> expensive.  
> Part of the idea was to save some money.  The other part was to use 
> open software as much as possible, and support the FOSS community
> where 
> ever possible.
> Here comes the question, wait for it :)
> Has anyone had success with the dialogic 4 port cards, running 2 of 
> them in a server with * in a buisiness environment as stated above.
> I am begining to think that I may be better off just going with a 
> proprietary system and cough up the 6K and get it over with.   There 
> are a couple of solutions that will share the cat5 cable, that's 
> something.
> Any ideas?  Suggestions?  Does anyone know of a solution provider out
> there who will be able to set this up for me for the 6K the phone 
> system is going to cost me anyway?
> Michael Rowley MD
> FP
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Chris Albertson
  Home:   310-376-1029  chrisalbertson90278 at yahoo.com
  Cell:   310-990-7550
  Office: 310-336-5189  Christopher.J.Albertson at aero.org

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