PBX for Similation


I’m pretty new to software PABX’s where normally I would just go for the obvious choice of an Avaya or Samsung Unit, but I’m putting together a solution for a training program where for 5 days the student are in scenario based simulation (Humanitarian- Disaster context).

Currently we have been working in a closed LAN for email etc (internet not available) and using VHF Radio for talk.
I would now like to add the to the Sim the use of real phones ie each fictitious organisation would have a phone in each base of operations that they could call back to their HQ (virtual command center) or could call the other organisation that are part of the same simulation I think around 20-25 extensions would be required.
For ease of use I was hoping that some sort of hands free could be used as well as working on IP network as each hut being used as a base has a Ethernet connection as well as wifi access.

Would FreePBX cater for this type of scenario ? and if so where do I start ? what is the hardware requirements, etc.

Thanks everyone.

Hi @Shugg66

Super Easy.
Get a suitable PC/Server,
install FreePbx
Do a bit of Config.
You can then simulate anything you need to telephony wise.

Not sure on machine spec, but quad core or i5/i7
You will want to record everything so BIG drive for storage (or off-box)
4 to 8 Gig Ram should do you

but someone with more knowledge will give a better spec perhaps.

But what you are attempting is VERY easy.


Good I’m glad its possible, so does the phones need to be of a certain kind ? or will cheap IP phones suffice.
The solution is not looking for all the bells and whistles of hunt group, call group or messaging etc its very basic requirements and as agile as possible.


Hey @Shugg66

No, Any SIP phones or Smartphone with SIP clients on them would work.

OR even PAP/ATA devices to allow connection or Regular OLD landline phones.

OR any combination of the above

But Remember that SIP is not the same as VOIP.
So Skype phones or older Digital PBX phones may not be (aren’t) suitable.

UK or USA.?
I can offer hands on assistance if required, as I am bored.
if you are in the UK I may have some 2nd user equipment that may suit your purpose.
And could build the PBX With or For you.


Or way less than that - especially for a test machine.

I’ve got a couple of 20-year-old Pentiums that I’ve run FreePBX on and, for a test bed, it works fine. Wouldn’t want to run a call-center on it, but for a two or three phone test server, it will be fine.

I am in Australia but the course is in Indonesia, the next residential session is not for another 6 months so I have plenty of time, and thank you for the offer Hv I will most probably need assistance, I have a meeting tomorrow with some of the faculty and will get a clear picture of what their requirements are etc.

I take it I need Asterix to run as the backend ? or for this project its nor required due not requiring outside lines/access or internet.



Woo! Yay, someone else from here 8)

JCB - easiest thing to do is to just create a virtual machine somewhere, install FreePBX Distro on it, and start playing. You’ll find that most of your questions are immediately answered as soon as you start using it.

Out of curiosity, are you doing anything with Serval? That ties into your scenario really well (it’s being spearheaded by a couple of guys at UniSA, and I can put you in touch with them if you’re around that part of the country)

But 25 phones.?
That’s why I though I reasonable machine would not be a bad move.
Hey we throw those machine away in London.!
Well at least others do and I pull them from the Recycling.

What a find today, 8gig ram i5 dell 7010.
Powered it on, Bingo…
gotta love consumer waste.

Anyway @Shugg66 @xrobau has it nailed, set up a vm on your current PC to get a feel for the interface and requirements.

Yes you Still need Asterisk.
That is the Core of the telephone system,
then FreePBX wraps around and manages that.
But the Distro does the lot.

Good luck on the project,
Happy to assist just holla.



No Rob I dont believe they are doing anything with Serval, the actual simulation is designed and managed by Save The Children UK, Ive just competed it myself and the IT component was very very basic, which would be as expected in a real life emergency scenario.

I’ll download the software and give it a bash, I guess the next challenge is finding very portable handsets that are cheap and cordless.

thanks all

An interesting project.

Integrating VHF radio is a problem as you need to implement a “push to talk” interface to reasonably use a VOIP solution which is generally assumed duplex, but that could likely be be coded given knowledge of your current hardware.

In a stressful situation cell phones can be unavailable, but the communication needs to be saved until they are and then delivered.

An network connection similarly is helpful of course, but won’t always be available, so again a “store and forward when possible” system would be useful.

So as a backend reliable engine might well be possible with Asterisk/FreepBX

I offer my services if you care to expound.

I honestly think you’re looking at the wrong solution to your problem. Serval is what you guys want, not FreePBX.


Hi Rob
I agree from a disaster response (real), the technology once ratified and approved would be fantastic, but for the needs of a simulation it would be overkill unless very cost effective.

It would be great to be put in touch with them though if you have a contact.

Well. Free is pretty cost effective. It’s all open source. And for handsets, apparently these work quite well.


Have a look around the Serval website, and there is a Contact button there, too.

Edit: Just in case you’re confused, Serval works now. It’s under active development, but all the core functionality works… Store and forward of messages, Audio, IDs, the whole thing.

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