Overhead paging

I have a rhino T-1 card insalled, 2 port. I want to use one port for the PRI and one port to plug into a rhino paging unit that is connected to our overhead paging system. When this is working a user would dial code to perform a page that will go out over our paging system. For example, currently we are using a fonality system and for a user to page they dial 1051 and then hear a beep and then they can page. My question is how do i get free pbx to use one port for PRI and one for paging?

PBX Firmware: 1.815.210.58-1
PBX Service Pack:

James, Koncreat is wisely converting this over to the FreePBX Distro

PBX Firmware: 1.815.210.58-1
PBX Service Pack:

Koncreat take a look at your extension settings and either add a Zap or Dahdi Extension (use any open extension number that makes sense) (dahdi or Zap depending on your hardware) and specify it use Channel 25, I think that should give you the connectivity you need.

Then you will want to create a paging group “1051” and add your newly created extension to that group.

I am doing this to get away from fonality. I want to setup freepbx and replace our fonality system and do away with their annual support fees so calling them for support is not an option.

Don’t that can be done practically. That’s not what a pri port is designed for. A pri is used to connect to the PSTN digitally and has no audio component that could serve a PA system.

A couple of more practical ways would be to use the speaker out on the sound card (if your server has one), but, in my opinion, the best way is to use a paging gateway which is essentally a SIP phone to which you assign an extension number. In a pinch, I’ve even used a phone to provide this. In some phones, you can get the audio directly out of a headset jack with a 1/8 in. phone plug. I’ve even opened up a phone and connected up to the speaker to get audio out.


As i said we currently have a Fonality system that does this so it can be done. The paging covers about 400,000 square feet so using your solution wont work. Since Fonality is a proprietary system i can’t see their configuration.

  1. Not sure what a Rhino paging system is.
  2. Never seen a Paging system that takes a T1.
  3. Fonality solutions use Sangoma cards.
  4. Solutions in order of cost.*
    a. Audio port as mentioned above. out to a paging amp
    b. Sip paging amp
    c. Add a card with an FXS port to your server and use a paging amp that connects as a phone.
    d. Channel bank to break the T1 out to analog channels, analog channel to paging amp that connects as telephone

*Not sure if b is cheaper than c or c is cheaper than b.

The Rhino paging allows the current paging system to a link to our current Fonality system through the T1 card in the Fonality system, yes the Fonality has a different brand of T1 card but the premiss is the same. The current system uses one T1 port for our PRI and the other is attached via a cable to the Rhino paging unit. The Fonlity is setup so that the Rhino unit is basically an extension setup in the system so that when a user dials 1051 it goes to that extension and then out trough the Rhino unit. I believe this achieved through a config file setup but i have not idea which one or what i would put in the config file.

I think what you are calling a “Paging unit” is actually a Channel bank.

The channel bank serves one simple purpose. Take a digital timeslot from a T1 -> spit out an analog channel for a telephony device. Nothing more nothing less. So to “page” you would need a paging amp that connects to a phone port. You would connect it to one of your analog ports and asign it an extension.

The fonality system connects to Rhino channel bank through a T1 card on the fonality system. The Rhino connects to the overhead paging system using an analog connection. What we want to know is how to config the system to associate 1051 the number i want to use for paging to send that over the T1 module that connects to the Rhino channel bank.

All the channels on the T1 card have channel numbers. 1-48.

Likely 1-23 are your PRI channels. 24 the D channel for the PRI and 25-48 are the channels on the second span. If you were on channel 4 off of the channel bank it would be channel 29.

So you create an extension of 1051 and point it at 29.

We are using channel 25 but when we create an extension we cant see how to link it to channel 25. I am thinking there is a config file we will need to change but not sure what or how.

Out of curiocity don’t the Fonality boxes come with a support contract? Being that it is a propriatary UI, propriatary code and nothing to do with FreePBX at all.

Somethings to consider.

Fonality distributes modular channelbanks

The modules each provide 4 channels.

These channels can be FXO or FXS

If the channel you are using is FXO it won’t work.

FXO and FXS are set by module type not configuration.

Your best bet for support on this would be to contact Fonality since they have access to the code.

Fair enough…

As I said above, make sure 25 is an FXS and not an FXO

i had a pressing issue come up and had to let this go until today. I have created a zap extension, 21399, and assigned it to channel 25. I have created a paging group, 1051, and assigned it to extension 21399. The T1 card is a RHINO card and i have worked with them to set the card up.

Span 1: PRI CPE
Switchtype: National (NI2)
B Channels: 1-23
D Channel: 24

Span 2: FXS

Channels 1-24 (25-48) all configured to talk to an FXS channel bank.

When i plug in the card to the channel bank and dial 1051 i do not hears anything from the overhead page. Any ideas?

I got it working!! Thanks for the help.