Newbie help with HT813 make/receive from PSTN from smartphone


(Brian Ballard) #1

Hello,

I’m very new to VOIP and telephony in general.

If I can describe what I want to achieve first.

I am based in the UK

I have a BT copper landline with a standard master socket and a landline number (eg 01234 567890)

I have a home wireless network (a Vodaphone broadband/wireless box attached to a Mesh to provide wifi coverage around the home).

What I would like is to turn my (and my wife’s) smart phones into “home phones” - If somebody calls our house, I would like our smartphones (android) to ring and either of us be able to “pickup”. Similarly I would like to be able to make calls from my smartphone that go out from my landline.

In short I’d like to turn our android phones into DECT phones when we are within wireless range of the house. I believe there was a product called the “voice bride” from Inovoxia(?) which seemed to fit the bill but it’s unavailable and had crappy reviews anyway.

I’m not interested in routing calls over the wider internet (eg receiving landline calls when not at home) or fancy functions like voicemail, transfer or conference.

I have a ht813 and ideally I’d like to connect direct to that without having to have another device (eg raspberry pi) connected.

Any advice would be gratefully received! (even if that advice is “give up”)


#2

I’ll consider four general approaches:

  1. No additional server or services.
  2. Devices register to a VoIP provider.
  3. Devices register to a cloud PBX.
  4. Devices register to an on-site PBX.

For (1), you would configure both the HT and the phone apps to have fixed private IP addresses. This could be done with either static IP address assignments, or configuring your router to assign a static address to each of the three devices. You would then configure the SIP apps to send calls to the HT’s address, and the HT to send calls to one of the apps. Outbound should work fine, but incoming calls would be sent to only one app, because the HT has no way to ‘fork’ a call. This requires an app that can be set to not register (the HT is not a SIP server), but still ‘listen’ for incoming calls. Unfortunately, I don’t know which apps can do this. If you can’t find one that does this and otherwise meets your needs, you could modify one of the open source ones (Linphone and CSipSimple come to mind). I also don’t know whether there would be significant battery drain (the idle app must be listening but doesn’t normally receive any packets).

For (2), choose a provider that if you have no incoming numbers with them and don’t make any external outbound calls, monthly cost is zero. You’ll likely still have to make one payment e.g. £5. I’ll use Localphone as an example. Your smartphones would register to one SIP ID and the HT to a second (which you need to open a ticket to get). Incoming calls are straightforward and would ring both apps; the first to answer will get the call. On outgoing, you’ll call the second ID and the HT would use ‘2-stage dialing’ to accept a password and the destination number. You’d use the ‘number rewriting’ feature of the app to automate this.

With a PBX, your application is straightforward, but since you don’t want to use a Pi, here are some alternatives:

For cloud, some PBX providers, including 3CX and Vodia offer free trials, typically for one year. You can also set up FreePBX in the cloud. Choices include simple install-the-distro-and-it-runs providers such as Vultr (typically ~£5/mo.), Amazon or Google ‘free tier’ (some Linux skills needed and some limitations), or really cheap VPSs (see e.g. lowendstock.com) which cost almost nothing but may have poor voice quality or be unreliable.

For on-site, you might run a VM on a PC that’s always left on, run Asterisk on a router with open source firmware, or run FreePBX in a container on a system that is primarily doing something else (home automation, security cameras, file or media server, etc.)


#3

I think you meant “voice bridge”, but it’s not surprising that voice brides get poor reviews, because that’s what most of us have. Quiet brides would be rated much higher.


#4

One minimalist solution is to install openwrt and asterisk on the Vodaphone router (if you can, replace the router if not ) . That would put all the pieces with a trunk to the GS and softphones on the ‘mobiles’ in place, no gooey though, so maybe a pi ZeroW with FPBX would actually be a quicker and possibly cheaper (in time and pennies likely less than 20 quid ) solution

image

(Brideshead revisited in Corona Del Mar ?)


(Brian Ballard) #5

Thank you.

The project seems to be ballooning a little bit.

I suspect I would need option 4 and the ongoing effort of maintaining such a system are not something I want on my plate - I already have to maintain my home brew Arduino based central heating system and my home brew arduino/LORA/pi water purification system!

Thanks for the advice though and maybe one day I will revisit this…


(Brian Ballard) #6

Ahem…no comment :smirk: