Would this unusual analog setup be possible?


I have a question about potentially setting up FreePBX as a replacement to an aging analog system (Avaya Lucent Definity 3)

Now right away before all the replies I get are ‘Why on earth would anyone do such a thing?’ and ‘It’s 2019, get with the program’ Here are a few explanations about the situation my client is in:

-College Campus student housing complex with 250 extensions
-Cabling cannot support PoE
-Most tenants do not even use the phone system
-Clientele damages property which makes the owner wary of buying (and replacing often) 250 VoIP phones

I have read a few posts here that detailed how customers with hybrid systems and old analog extensions were using cheap used channel bridges to make the analog phones coexist with their VoIP systems and FreePBX.

Now my question, would it be feasible to setup an entire system that way? For instance purchase several used Adtran 924e, connect them to the 50pin connectors that are currently in the dinosaur PBX and run those off FreePBX or is that a pipe dream and I need a few more coffees today…

Thanks for your time in advance :slight_smile:

Few more infos:

-There is only one DID (front desk, could run a cable to have a voip phone there)
-Voice line is VoIP converted to PRI from a Adtran 904 (guess that would become redundant)
Current features are : outgoing calls, voicemail from a separate avaya voice mail server, main door opening from intercom panel, call accounting for toll calls (separate server, serial connection)

You could certainly do that and there is nothing wrong with that solution.

Exactly. Get rid of the PRI gateway and just have a sip trunk to your Freepbx server.

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You might need to buy/upgrade a license for the PBX to get SIP trunking to work. You need one for each expected concurrent call, but that is likely cheaper than the channel bank solution

Maybe I forgot to clarify beforehand, but the end goal here would be to replace the Avaya PBX entirely, it’s 22 years old and replacement parts are getting difficult to obtain

Then as you intimated already , logically plan to short circuit the path from DID to Asterisk.

Set a cut-over date and make sure you have all your ducks in a row.

I’m not sure replacing a working PBX, no matter how old, with a bunch of channel-banks is a good (cost effective/labor intensive) idea, but if you need to maintain a legacy wiring setup is your only option then . . .

Pretty sure all your tenants on the campus already have a cell phone, maybe its time to just retire the copper system.

you are preaching to the choir … been trying to sell the owner on that for a few years already… whole thing is so unpredictable

Thanks for confirming that it will at least work in principle! I will try and set up a trial in a vacant wing over the summer, the used 924e’s on ebay are pretty cheap

thanks again

Try and sell the principles on replacing the pbx with a dslam.

You get analog phones straight to your sip server

Well I wouldn’t ebay equipment… I would get proper warrantied gear.

But yes, your proposed solution is perfectly viable. it is how a lot of hotels work.

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Agreed. Possibly

The above is just an example. You can probably find it cheaper elsewhere, especially if you are buying five at once.

Sangoma Vega gateways have nice tight integration with FreePBX.

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