What equipment is needed to set up a system?

I am not sure if this is the right place to post this question. If not, please let me know where and how to move it.

I would like to create a system that can be used for a conference call only. It would be a listen only conference call. I understand that I need to have a PC, a FXO analog card to plug the phone line into, and the software to run the PBX.

Is there some resources available online that explain what is needed?

Is there extra equipment needed for a conference call? Can the computer call the conference call with the Admin PIN, or do I need to have a card with a FXS port also so I can call the conference using the phone (I believe so but would like confirmation)? Are there any other items I need to consider?

Thank you in advance for your help!

If it is one way why don’t you use shoutcast or some other type of broadcast service?

You need to have the bandwidth to support all the calls if you use FreePBX, what would the clients be using to listen on the other end?

Other clients would be dialing in on an analog phone also. We would be talking about 10 to 20 clients at most listening in with normally only 6 to 8 clients listening in to the conference call.

Most of the clients may not have internet access at the time to use it so I need a phone based solution.


You need enough trunks to support the concurrent calls. If you use IP trunks you will need the bandwidth.

Certainly FreePBX supports what you want to do. You should read the docs and try to set it up.

It is better for you to ask specific questions.

I will only have one conference call at a time. What type of analog card will I need in my computer?

You said you want 20 people to be able to call in, you need 20 lines, either analog, digital or IP.

I have 20 people calling in from different locations. They will all call one phone number and provide a PIN to join the call. When hosting the conference call, I will need to have 20 lines for them to call into. Is that right? If so, I definitely misunderstood how the conference calling works.

I thought they could all call the one phone line and the software would allow them to connect to one conference call on that line.

Do you have any suggestions on hardware that I can read up on? I don’t want to go and buy the hardware and not get the right equipment.

Each FXO Port can handle one call. So, if you want 20 callers and you want to use FXO Ports, you’ll need 20 FXO Ports and 20 FXO Lines. I think it would be wasteful to purchase 20 FXO lines and to obtain a 20-port FXO Port simply to have an occasional 20 person conference call. You can do the same thing much more cheaply using SIP Trunking from a VOIP provider, as long as you have a reliable and sufficiently large internet connection.

If you, like me, are interested in this from a hobby standpoint, or, like SkyKing you make money off of it, then you can definitely spend hundreds of hours learning about this stuff. Once you’ve learned all about FXOs, SIP Trunking, Channel limits, Linux, Asterisk, FreePBX, you should be able to do what you want to do with nothing more than a sufficiently large internet connection, a sufficiently powerful PC, a proper installation of the software, and an account with a SIP Trunking provider.

However, given your misunderstanding of the channel limits that apply to FXO Trunks (i.e., one channel per trunk), I believe that the time and effort you’ll put into such a task will be vast.

there are many commercial conference calls providers that can give you exactly what you need without requiring you to expend hundreds of hours educating yourself on telephony, asterisk, and FreePBX. Commercial conference calling is very inexpensive today. Alternatively, you might consider hiring a consultant to assist you in setting this up.