Need advise: PBX using Astrisk and free PBX on Raspberry PI, with skype, PSTN (Talk Talk UK), and gsm gateway in the future

I am thinking of setting up a PBX at home. I am reasonably tech savvy but have never set up a PBX before. There seems to be a lot of info out there but I was wondering if someone could:

a) Sense check the idea b) Give me some milestones e.g. first try set this up (detailed instructions not necesary). This way I can test things step by step and not get too over whelmed b) Advise me on whether the hardware will work or what other things I might need c) Give some pointers or links which I could follow

Ultimate goal: Have a system such that I can call home from my mobile or skype and then use the free international and unlimited local calling package I already have at home to make all my calls rather than calling from my mobile. Eventually I would also like to add a mobile gateway which I would use to forward incoming calls to different members of the family depending on what option the caller selects.

Hardware I currently have: - Raspberry Pi - Android phone - PSTN line coming into the house (Talktalk UK) - ADSL router - Ethernet and telephone cabling - Cordless telephones which are currently connected to the PSTN

First I think I want to try and set up a basic voip or skype and have a play with free pbx and my android phone. What do you recommend I do?

Hardware I am thinking of buying: - Cisco Linksys SPA3102

What steps/milestones do you recommend I achieve as I am presently not too sure. I am also happy to try random things which might not help directly but will aide me to understand the system and set it up better.

Thanks.

@boneless,

No relation to Ivar I assume :wink:

FreePBX will be the first to acknowledge that they only “support” FreePBX under Centos. So don’t expect too much support here.

But . . .

RaspberryPI is just Debian compiled for the Atmel processor.

Asterisk and FreePBX work fine under Debian if you acknowledge that there is a slight cultural difference. There are posts here , some by myself, that hopefully will point you the way to make Debian FreePBX aware, as to users, directories and so on.

The Rasperry is seriously underpowered to do anything but a casual one or two concurrent call PBX. Transcoding will make it’s limitations worse, so:-

Only use ulaw/alaw (g711), when you can for Cell Phones, they only use GSM so use that natively with your VSP if possible. and probably forget about Faxes over a couple of pages, ghostscript will kill your OS as it works it’s magick

Build Asterisk and FreePBX from scratch and don’t rely on on a prebuilt .deb’s solution (yet).

Your hardware choices are fine, I cannot comment on your VOIP choices apart from pointing out that Skype does not use any standard VOIP protocol, There are some hacked up “bridges” but I suggest you stick with GoogleVoice if you need that free cloud stuff, this will need chan-motif and iksemel and a few other “bits” compiled in but currently it is still a little tempermental, but getting more stable by the week, (thanks TM1000)

Android phones are not a problem and ZOIPER will fill your needs well, it does both SIP and IAX2 and with SIP you can use udp or tcp as the transport. Be mindful that SIP over UDP on a cell phone is in reality a serious battery killer for reasons that are either obvious to you or not, I suggest that you use tcp not udp from the beginning, but that will take a little googleing. Be aware that many cell phone providers will arbitrarily block/mess with, SIP/RTP protocol connections over their networks (they really don’t like you doing this shit), so you will need to perhaps work out external proxies for raw VOIP to work over the WLAN network, largely it will work on your WIFI nets.

For 30 bucks RaspberryPi is intriguing and seductive but for 40 bucks you can actually build an OpenWRT router on a netgear or buffalo or asus router with FreeSwitch that will do all you need and more with a physical case and possible even an FXS/FXO port built in if you choose wisely. (OpenWRT is built over FreeBSD, not Debian or Centos, FreeSwitch is not FreePBX)

I love your “random things” quote it is a refreshing change from the normal “Make my hardware work here because I haven’t RTFM and refuse to to do so, it’s too confusing !!”

As an anecdote, I did that a couple of weeks ago, it worked fine, but surruptitiously adding coffee fluids to the raw pcb was not a good thing, I will buy a new one again soon. . . .

I agree with Dicko, this was a cool post, ready to role up your sleeves and do some work.

The only thing I disagree with Dicko on is the CPU bandwidth on the Pi. I still don’t have mine but at Astricon I saw 50 concurrent RTP streams up. I think bogomips is equivilent to a high end P3. I can tell you I still have P3 based Asterisk systems supporting full T1’s.

It might be inefficient at integer math so we need to get some transcoding performance.

I was just muttering about the Pi and my tech manager is holding it up, he got his already. Once the holiday craziness is done I will put it through the paces and do a full write up.

You may also want to check in with the folks at PBX In a Flash, they have major Pi on the brain and Ward has been bullish on the Pi since day one.

Welcome to the forums.

I can’t disagree with SkykingOH, as his evidence is purely anectdotal,. as truly is mine, I find that RasberryPI against a redfone for example pegs out at less than a “few” channels. 50 channels over sip is intriguing, but again why? for the same reason I compiled Debian on my DroidX today, it works in principal, but so do salt water fish-tanks, they just don’t make sense in the real world.

Hold on now, what’s wrong with marine aquarium’s. Once you get the nitrate cycle down and the good poopy eating oxygen farting bacteria going in the coral bed you are good to go (as long as ammonia stays in check). Nothing calms Skyking’s old nerves like seeing a clownfish snuggling in an anemonia.

It’s like the LED DMX PAR lights behind my Christmas tree. Why? Because I can.

I am hoping the the Pi works with Aastra scripts in a 20 user or less implementation with 6 concurrent channels. My real dream is to find a PoE switch with enough room in the box to hold the board. That would be the bees knees.

“Par” is incompletely devolved here, it is basically for describing a “PARallel” light source, in effect a point source with a parabolic mirror behind it. , it comes in n x 1/8 inch increments, so a PAR64 is commonly an eight inch diameter 1k/120v “globe” (which it is not) and used for stage work, the plANAR focus can be 1/2/3/4 or 5 depending on the LD’s needs and goes from tight to flood. So by definition a PAR16 is a two inch device, usually low voltage 12 or 24 volts and normally behind a transformer because for physicl reasons a line voltage filament in that form factor would not be practical. this generally precludes reasonable “dimming” ala DMX256 barring a “dimmer bank”

The same GE spec is used for ACL’s (Aircraft Landing Light), 28 volts with a tight focus (the filiment is vertical rather than horizontal in the focus plane). 64/ACL is common in commercial Jets although it does not have a standard PAR base, just screw terminals. you probably use 56ACL (seven inch) “globes” , possibly PAR48’s in a very small plane, either way you probably rely on them when the view is not “lovely”

DMX256 and the later DMX512 is a kind of weird Theatrical protocol for controlling “stage lighting” ( I know, I was involved with the original spec. many years ago. I was designed to run effectively on a 8008 - 4Mhz. microprocessor.) We had the hell of time incorporating interrupts in that protocol when the Z80 almost immediately replaced the interrupt less 8008, yet the underlying 8 bit limit remains a scourge both on light level and the XYZ positional stuff that was later added and wrapped around the original brain damaged protocol. (Ask Cirque de Soleil) Oh well the Italians make a buck out of it.

(sorry, I wandered off the point to be honest we thought we had midi beat, we were/are still so wrong.)

I can assure you that the Aastra scripts work fine with Raspberrry PI but you cannot use the Schmooze version as the license from Schmooze currently very specifically precludes that possibility as of now as per Tony when I last asked. It is only usable within the officail (sic) FreePBX distribution. Further it is no longer supported by Schmooze nor Aastra due to ongoing litigational conflict. I have not heard that this official position has changed yet, even if never openly published. You will also need to rewrite the aastra-daemons to be linux lsb compliant , (which they are not) and be quite rigorous in how it all hangs together in Debian.

I believe I have a .deb package that I built that works with all Debian distros , if you would like it, as far as I know it is is totally open source and OpenBSD licensed and unencumbered by any other usage clause if you care for it. It also patches the most glaring security hole in the “other” aastra scripts.

Sure I would love to try the .deb package. I can get around ok in Debian as we run Proxmox for our FreePBX virtualization platform.

As far as the PAR’s, I heard the term back in college when I was helping out with theatrical lighting. We had a strand century pallete. Quite an animal back then. Anyway I thought PAR was a parabolic reflector luminaire. The dichromatic LED units are cool. I use them as truss washers for some bands I help out with tech stuff.