Loudspeaker and Paging system

I wasn't entirely sure if the FreePBX forums were the best place to ask this question, but I know the community is large and there are some real experts out there so I figured I would ask. 
My company has been running asterisk for about two months now, and we are in need of some sort of loudspeaker system so the bosses can pick up their phones and make announcements to the shop or call someone to their offices. Basically the layout is we have a small office at the front of our building, and then a fairly large warehouse in the back that takes up the majority of the building. The company that owned the building before us had 5 large overhead speakers installed throughout the warehouse. Right now they are not connected to anything. 

We would really like to take advantage of these speakers and integrate them in to the FreePBX/Asterisk system so that the two bosses don’t have to search for 10 minutes to find someone, or announcements can be made quickly and for everyone to hear. Is there an additional piece of hardware we need so the speakers can interface with the FreePBX system? I saw the intercom was default to extension 15 in FreePBX. Do we use that or set up some other kind of extention? Is their a module we need? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

If you have a ATA or are willing to add it to the configuration (like a Linksys SPA2102)


Something like that?

Using this how-to and the sound card on my Asterisk 1.6.2x and FreePBX 2.7x box I was able to get it working through a home stereo’s aux line in.


Personally I prefer to use a gateway. It will integrate directly to the loudspeaker amplifier. It’s a bit more expensive, but very professional and stable.


We are interested in something that will be both durable and stable and the valcom solution seems like a good one. SkyKingOH would you mind giving me a quick rundown of how the device would integrate in to our system? Do we just mount it in our rack, plug the speakers in the back, and plug it in to our switch? I tried to read about it on their website but the description is pretty limited. Thank you

Yes, you mount it in the rack, connect the speakers and you are ready to go.

The step you left out was configure it. It is a SIP device and you configure an extension on your system then put the credentials in just like any other SIP endpoint.

I’ve just used a phone as the audio source. Most phones with a headset jack deliver audio to the jack upon auto answer. Lacking that, a 5 minute mod consisting of attaching a couple of wires to the speaker for audio output does the trick.


Bill -

I strongly disagree with hacking up an interface of a paging system to a headset or other type of jack.

1 - The impedance is not correct
2 - Levels can’t be easily adjusted
3 - It’s ugly
4 - It’s a hack

Just my two cents.

I’m all for being thrifty, but not to that extreme. Somewhere between the hack and the gateway should be a fairly priced alternative.
I’m sure the client doesn’t want to see a hack either, but an elegant solution at a fair price.

What is a fair price? Those gateways are under $500. I was paying that in 1979 for analog paging systems from Valcom, seems like a fair price to me.

Depending on the installation size is a factor and depending on the fact that people know they can hack things is anoter.
If you are simply interfacing with an external audio system, my guess would be that there should be out there something in the $100-$200 range.

Our clients don’t like intercom/paging.

If you can find something at this price I will buy them!

I will give you a hack I can live with:

Buy a Cisco E&M adapter (they are 600 ohms so no impedance issue)


The a router to put it in:


Total solution cost $120.00 and you can use the router for other stuff like put FXO/FXS and as your edge router (DSL or Ethernet WIC).

My 2 cents.

I posted a link to the CPA-7B. These go for less than $250 on amazon.com. It’s powered.

Just add an ATA (or maybe you already have an open port?).