Is my Old Atom Netbook Not Grunty Enough?

Hey guys. Been running FreePBX 13 with Asterisk 13 on my old Atom Netbook (EeePC 1000H, which has a 1.6ghz N270) and I’m noticing a lot of call quality issues, even with all the latest updates as of today. Call quality has never been great, but it’s got worse lately, for what reason I am unsure of (I have added a couple of extensions but I doubt it’s that). Even calls between extensions that are all wired into the same switch are intermittently choppy, so that rules out any issues with trunks and internet connections. Outgoing and incoming calls are often worse and almost unusable. I connected via SSH and ran TOP and saw some spiking of CPU usage, but it usually stays around 5-20%, but the FreePBX web UI sometimes say that load is always about 0.5 and it can occasionally peak up to 1.1 (when fiddling around in the WebUI, which is also kinda slow). Only one, maybe two concurrent calls at a time. Network is fast though, zero issues with ping or dropped packets on the LAN.

I currently have two trunks, and around 8 extensions, but only 5 get used at the moment. If there’s anything I should check before simply upgrading it (I have a Pentium M laptop that is no longer in use), let me know, cause it’s driving me a bit nuts.

Make a call between two local extensions. When the call is established connect to the asterisk cli and run the following command

sip show channels

Also run the following command

core show translation

Post here the results.

spend a couple of your hard earned bucks on better hardware.

Done. Log dump here:

I don’t think it’s a hardware issue after looking at that dump. Those logs don’t look right to me. It’s constantly trying to look something up but is failing, and I have no idea what that is about (inbound and outbound do work…)

Change your hosts file and include in the line your hostname FreePBX13.localdomain because asterisk cannot locate it and reports it in the cli.

Might fix your issue, I had weird asterisk problems when it couldn’t resolve its hostname.

If the problem persists, try again to make a call and when the call is active use the following command

core show channel [tab]

when you press the tab button you will be presented with the active channels, choose the one that corresponds to your call and post here the output.

Okay, thanks. Sorry I didn’t reply earlier, been pretty busy. I added that string to the end of the hosts file and it seems to have cleared that up. The only thing I get a lot now is:

[2016-07-02 18:07:11] WARNING[10299]: pjproject:0 <?>:  sip_transactio Unable to register REGISTER transaction (key exists)
[2016-07-02 18:07:52] WARNING[12142]: pjproject:0 <?>:  sip_transactio Unable to register REGISTER transaction (key exists)
[2016-07-02 18:08:04] WARNING[12142]: pjproject:0 <?>:  sip_transactio Unable to register REGISTER transaction (key exists)
[2016-07-02 18:08:24] WARNING[28976]: pjproject:0 <?>:  sip_transactio Unable to register REGISTER transaction (key exists)

I also have a paste of that channel information that you asked for. Just got my Android phone and my PC and did a call and put one of them on hold for most of the time, and the hold music would randomly break up. Not sure why. Dump here:

Edit: Worth noting that I had TOP running whilst I was in the call. It was hovering around 5-10% for pretty much the entire call.

Well that’s a different problem (choppy moh). Does the music on hold have audio files that you have uploaded?
Test if you have quality issues when you are talking.

Just standard FreePBX MOH… it breaks up when talking too. I was just using it to test, it’s a bit hard to test quality by talking to yourself.

When you are making a call, execute the following command

cat /proc/interrupts

Sorry again for the slow reply. Life got in the way.


Not sure if those numbers help or not. Still intermittently choppy, but it did seem to improve after updating my hosts file. Still seeing high CPU usage on my dashboard (seems to idle at 0.5), but I can’t see this via SSH which is weird.

When you are making a call run top and post here the output.
Also from where do you boot the netbook from? Do you use an internal hdd drive or a thumb drive?

Log dump of TOP command here:

I pasted three TOP summaries - one for idle, one for a single echo test call (my VOIP provider provides a test number), and one for two concurrent echo test calls. The echo tests tend to be passable with the occasional audio stutter but I’ll notice heavy choppiness if I say something like “ahhhhhhhhhhhhh” (as silly as that may seem). Get the same thing between two extensions, FYI. Not sure if that’s normal or not. The one thing I noticed is that the RAM usage is quite high.

I’m running it off an 8GB SD Card. Not sure if that is a problem.

If your sd card isn’t a class 10 and up then use a hard disk and try again. Well I would use an HDD in all cases. Other than that I have no more ideas.

Throughput to an SD Card is pretty slow, compared to other technologies available. Also, SD-Cards have a limited number of write cycles they are capable of supporting, so the constant updates to the card are not doing it any good.

You might need to define “RAM usage is quite high” - that means different things to different people.

If you are using enough RAM that you are tapping into SWAP, they you are likely to see the kinds of audio artifacts you are describing.

Good point on the SD card. I’ll clone it to another device and see if it makes any difference (SD card was lying around, consumes no power, etc), although from here it’s not going into swap… It’s a class 2 but does copy at around 8-9MB/s sequential.

From TOP command that I shared:

Mem: 1928460k total, 1557468k used, 370992k free, 241144k buffers
Swap: 786428k total, 0k used, 786428k free, 578828k cached

1.5GB of used RAM, is that normal for FreePBX?

I’d also like to mention that I made a few calls today and it was totally fine. I did update some modules… not sure if that had anything to do with it.

Quick update. Phones have been working fine. Quality isn’t perfect, but I put this down to my network. Looks like the old Atom is still useful after all.