[asterisk-users] Starting out

Tim Panton tim at mexuar.com
Sun Sep 17 12:14:45 MST 2006

On 17 Sep 2006, at 12:25, Timothy Parez wrote:

> Hi,
> I have to decide on hardware to buy real fast (being rocketed into  
> the situation).
> We have 1 computer, we'll install hardware from digium in there to  
> connect with the ISDN phone lines (2)
> It's a normal computer, I have no idea what type of card to take  
> and about the 3.3v vs 5v  PCI.
> The  idea is the following.
> We'll have about 10 internal phones.
> One of the phones should be like a central station, where all  
> other  calls can be monitored (if possible)
> and from that phone the user should be able to press a button to  
> take over a call which is rining on another phone.
> Then we need less advanced phones for the rest of us, but we should  
> still be able to  pick up calls that are rining
> on a phone in the same room. (if possible)
> I live in Belgium and we are using ISDN lines.
> If I had to select phones from this page: http:// 
> www.voipsolutions.be/index.php/cPath/54_24
> What whould you sugest and why ?
> Also from this page: http://www.asterisk.org/hardware
> What would you sugest and why ?
> Stuff we need
> - Call forwarding (to another internal phone, to a classic phone  
> number)
> - Call take over (picking up a phone that is rining somewhere else)
> - Menu system (got this working)
> - Voicemail (got this working)
> - Allowing a employee who's in a hotel somewhere to phone the  
> internal numbers using his softphone over the internet
> - Allowing that same employee to use his sotphone in order to make  
> phonecalls to normal landlines through our server
> - Call monitoring/recording (got this working)
> I know it's a lot to ask and a lot of it is probably documented  
> somewhere (although I couldn't find it in the asterisk manual draft)
> but like I said I have very little time to decide....
> Thank you for any information you might be able to provide.
> Tim.

All the things you want are not too hard to do in asterisk, we have a  
similar sort of set-up, except that
we happen (for historical reasons) to use a PRI isdn line.

The only thing on the list I see any problem with is forwarding - it  
works fine,
but if you mean forwarding an incoming PSTN call to a second PSTN  
number, you will
find that you end up using 2 channels unless you pick an ISDN card  
and driver
that can send the magic message to the providers switch to get it to  
do the work.
- Mine doesn't (Hairpinning I think it is called). With only 4 lines  
for 10
people consuming 2 for a call might be inconvenient.

My other bit of advice is _don't_ hurry the choice of phone.
Phones are a trade off - size/price/features etc. There is no single
'best' phone. My current favorite for an office SIP phone is the  
elmeg 290,
but others will tell you different.

You _can't_ tell what a phone is like until you live with it for a  
day or 2.
So set up your asterisk, make a shortlist of 3 phones and buy one of  
Try them out, pick the one you like, then buy 9 more of them.

Tim Panton


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