Use Sound Card for Paging

I have searched for the last week or so and tried many things tor try to get paging to work through my sound card of my FreePBX Distro server.

I have also downloaded the latest on a test box with no avail.

The main procedure I have followed was to create a custom extension with console\dsp in the dial context, then adding that extension to the paging group. This did not work. I also used the feature code to direct page to that extension which returned a busy signal.

I also saw in another post to make sure either the oss or asla module was loaded in modules.conf. I Tried both separately and neither worked. At one point I did see an error message that it couldn’t load the oss.conf file.

With troubleshooting I have read to check either the alsa.conf or oss.conf and I haven’t been able to find either.

If someone could share there insight / experience that would be great. Just another note, I realize there are SIP paging modules some around the $175 range (cheapest I’ve been able to find) but in small businesses that adds up really quick.


You only need on SIP analog paging gateway.

You can also page through the station speakers.

What version of FreePBX?

PBX Firmware:5.211.65-12
PBX Service Pack:
At the bottom it also says:

I also tried it using the 5.211.65-14 newest distro download with the same results.

Paging works just fine when paging to our Polycom VVX400 Endpoints. We use the commercial Endpoint Manager.

So yes we need analog paging to output to a sound system within the large building so people can hear pages when they are not near their desks or a phone.

Sounds great, you only need 1 paging gateway. I like the Valcom VIP201. It has 8 analog zones. It runs about $350

This is a tiny office with a large building. I see that a paging gateway is one solution to the problem. But I need one paging zone and thats it. Not 4. A paging gateway seems to be your solution in other posts as well. $350 is a deal breaker here. No it’s not a ton of money but not worth it so say “Bob answer the phone”

To me this doesn’t seem like a hard thing to do. Many of the posts I have seen are from a few years ago with a decent amount of success but much of that info is old. Is it not possible any more? and if so what makes it no longer possible?

If you’re on a tight budget there are a number of “cheaper” solutions. They’re cheaper from a money perspective, but more expensive in that they require more time and effort to make work on your part.

The old chan_alsa/sound card setup is still possible, you just have to go through and write the small bit of custom dialplan to make it work, make sure the correct modules are loaded, and ensure the sound card rates and permissions are all correct.

I have also seen setups where a cheap ATA is installed, setup for auto-answer, and connected to a telephone input module on the paging amplifier. This may or may not be an option for you depending on your current paging equipment (if your amp doesn’t have a telephone input you can’t simply “make it work” as the impedance values won’t match and you’ll end up with problems.)

In general I can fly through some config file changes even if there are a decent amount so I would be ok with that. Do you know the custom dial plan and what needs to be done in order to get chan_alsa/sound card setup working?

Unfortunately the amp does not have a telephone input. Well it has a “tel” input but not in that way it just means a paging input and is either a balanced or unbalanced connection.

As for other cheaper solutions were there more or just the two you mentioned here. I have seen the Snom PA1 mentioned on a forum and seems pretty reasonable but wondering if it will do what we need. Also I saw a Grandstream Video encoder that mentioned sip but again I don’t think it will do what we need.

Possibly will help.

(It appears that the switch to the new forum was done in a way that breaks Google searches for old posts. While it lasts, looking at the cached copy still works.)

Otherwise, has lots of stuff, some of which may be useful.