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SPA-3000 Review/Guide: Affordable Home PBX 160

Posted by timothy
from the press-4-to-hear-the-monkeys-scream dept.
Kerbo writes "Seems every few days there is another news item about Asterisk PBX or Asterisk@Home, the open-source PBX system and associated installer package. You may have even been wondering what equipment you need to get started. The Geek Gazette has posted a review of the Sipura SPA-3000 ATA/Gateway with a complete setup guide on configuring it to work with Asterisk. This makes a very cost-effective way to get started by using your existing phone line as a trunk into the PBX."
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SPA-3000 Review/Guide: Affordable Home PBX

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:40PM (#12479148)
    It consisted of two tin cans and a string, and it worked mighty fine!
  • how is a single phone line going to be useful for running a PBX?
    • by dotslasher_sri (762515) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:43PM (#12479181)
      Sir,

      Hand over your geek card. We do things not because we have to, but because we can. ;)

      • it was a serious question, ive never dealt with telco-type stuff before and the features that asterisk and the other offer are very interesting, but i dont see the point of using with only a single phone line over VOIP (which is what everyone seems to have their knickers in a twist over).
        • Re:ignorant question (Score:5, Interesting)

          by liamo (699840) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:17PM (#12479517)
          Well, my setup at home is probably typical of the home Asterisk user.

          I have a POTS line and I have a VOIP account, both of which terminate on my Asterisk box.

          In addition to my normal house phone I have a GrandStream SIP phone. Either phone can make or answer calls and each phone can call each other. (Handy for calling downstairs from the office to order another beer!)

          I get voicemail, call hold, call parking, music on hold.

          Although I haven't set it up yet, I can have it answer my fax calls, convert the fax to a PDF and email it to me.

          I get the ability to route my calls depending on where I'm calling. For example, calls to cell-phones, 1800 numbers and emergency calls go out my POTS line. All other calls go out on my VOIP account. As most of my family live in the US (I live in Ireland) I make a huge saving on the cost of those calls.

          By way of a proof-of-concept for my employer (in the financial services industry) I even wrote a Telephone Banking application in Perl for Asterisk.

          Although I make savings on my calls and get added functionality, the main reason I use Asterisk is for control over my telecoms. Apart from that, it's cool!

          • Another ignorant question - would it be possible to tie my Skype account to this? I've recently decided that I like Skype, figured it might be handy to tie the two together.
            • Yes[1]. You'll need a hardware Skype phone (there are several available now), and a POTS card. You basically plug the POTS card into the computer, and plug the computer into the Skype extension jack (most Skype phones seem to have them).

              The way the nice ones work[1], you use # to flip between a telco dialtone and a Skype "dialtone".

              [1] Disclaimer - I know one person in real life who has done this and he was vaguely connected to a Skype phone manufacturer. While I plan to do something similar, I have n

          • Who do you use for voip that you can terminate on your asterisk box? If you see this, reply or email me please, I can't get vonage or packet8 to work...
        • Well, you only have one analog line, but you have a lot of VoIP "lines" over your broadband connection.

          A PBX @ home makes a lot of sense in conjunction with a DSL/cable link. Install maybe one or two analog phones on the PBX, but then deploy as many VoIP phones as you want - and not necessarily only in your house! ;-) Then hook up to VoIP providers, etc. Its flexibility is virtually unlimited.
        • Re:ignorant question (Score:3, Interesting)

          by walt-sjc (145127)
          In addition to the features pointed out by other posters, telemarketer avoidance is a HUGE benefit. IMO, the donotcall list is a failure due to all the exceptions (think back to the pre-election timeframe...) I've been running * for over a year now, and have quite a nice dial-plan / feature list. I have it integrated with an intercom, mp3 server, phones in various places (garage, basement, etc.), speed-dials for family, callerID rewriting (put a REAL name on the number), time-of-day inbound restrictions (no
    • Re:ignorant question (Score:5, Informative)

      by grasshoppa (657393) <`gro.oc-onpt' `ta' `ydenneks'> on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:44PM (#12479185) Homepage
      There are a few ways this could be helpful:

      1) Voicemail. Someone leaves a message, the pbx emails it to you.

      2) VoIP usability. Once the line makes it into my pbx, regardless of how, it's mine. I go on vacation? Cool, I just pack up my phone and take it with me.

      Those are just two off the top of my head, I'm sure I could think of more were I to really focus on it.
      • Re:ignorant question (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bimo_Dude (178966)
        IMHO, the most interesting use for home is the ability to use CID. Using CID, you can create "blacklists" for those annoying sales calls, as well as caller-id-blocked calls and unknown callers. At the same time, you can configure it to listen for en extension being dialed, which can be used to give you (or anybody you give the "secret extension to") the ability to bypass the "bleep-bleep-bleep" message and actually ring the phone.

        Another interesting use is integrating it with X10 or other home automation to

      • Re:ignorant question (Score:2, Interesting)

        by pinkocommie (696223)
        Buy a VOIP Line (packet8 etc), take it to a country that doesnt offer VOIP lines (india? pakistan? uae?), plug it into the internet, plug the sipura up with a local line and voila you can call anyone in that country as a local call?
      • Re:ignorant question (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        If you live with other people you could use extensions to direct each call to the right person, and set up a separate voicemail box for each one. You could also set up a single phone number for your business even if it's just 3 telecommuters, which might make it look more professional.

        Plus, telemarketers would never ring a phone.
    • Re:ignorant question (Score:2, Informative)

      by Cynshard (752469)
      Super Caller Id [stromcarlson.com]
      • that, sir, is hot shit. thanks.
      • by Nos. (179609)
        Now imagine a setup like this for a salesperson. There phone rings... as normal (PBX, Asterisk, whatever). Now, as the phone rings, an app on their computer takes the Caller ID and runs it through their database of existing customers. As our salesperson answers the phone, they can see every piece of information about that client. If they're not in the database, it could do a 411 lookup or something to pull any information it could. I thought about setting something like this up, but have just never got
    • I've thought for a while of pulling in a Vonage line, but keeping my home POTS line too.

      What I'm interested in doing with Asterisk isn't necessarily having 2852085092209384 phone lines coming into my house, but doing extension-to-extension calling at home. It's a pain to have to walk downstairs to talk to someone.
  • But why? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kenja (541830) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:41PM (#12479158)
    Given that most geeks get few enough phone calls to render an answering machine pointless, why do they need a PBX system?
    • I suppose it's the same reason I'm setting up network bootable terminals in my house (combination LTSP and win2003 TSC), which I really don't need...

      because we can?
    • Given that most geeks get few enough phone calls to render an answering machine pointless, why do they need a PBX system?

      An answering machine allows me to ignore people I don't absolutely have to talk to.

      A PBX system allows me avoid interaction altogether by setting up an interactive system (i.e., "press one now").

      Combine this with internet groceries and shopping, an income based solely on doing well in everquest, and many of us will never have to leave our mother's basements. Ever. BUWAHAHAHAAAAA

    • A home PBX is to the average person's actual phone needs as a Hummer is to the average person's actual driving needs.
    • Given that most geeks get few enough phone calls to render an answering machine pointless, why do they need a PBX system?

      How about to get FEWER calls?

      My Asterisk system is set up so that incoming calls if coming from my cell phone go directly to voicemail main menu so I can pick up my messages on the road more easily. Incoming calls from friends whom I am able to identify by Caller ID ring the house phone as usual. Incoming calls that are not from a known Caller ID go to a menu (you know... press 1 for
  • by TrIp0d (671393)
    Will the secratary it takes to operate it be a tax deduction?
  • Asterisk. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Good to see that asterisk is in the news more and more. It is great a great pbx with so many ways to configure.
  • i wonder.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pandora's Vox (231969) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:43PM (#12479182) Homepage Journal
    how long this will last now that Cisco bought Sipura.... cf: http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/2005/corp_042605.ht ml?CMP=ILC-001 [cisco.com]
  • Price (Score:5, Informative)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:46PM (#12479200) Homepage Journal
    I couldn't find the price in the article-- may have missed it. Went to the Sipura sight and they don't sell directly to end users. They do have links to sites that do sell to end-users and I found it for $99 [voipsupply.com]

    • Froogle search: SPA-3000 [google.com].

      Nothing in the article, and nothing in the comments above, fully explains the benefits of Asterisk for a small business or home. Transferring calls to a second line? Voicemail to email? What else?

      Froogle search for the Digium [digium.com] card: Wildcard TE110P [google.com]

      T1 hardware: 24-Port FXS Analog Gateway (SIP) [voipsupply.com].
      • Transferring calls to a second line? Voicemail to email? What else?

        I'm planning on sorting calls between the phones for the three members of my household based on caller ID. (No caller ID or calling from a number that doesn't match a list of known patterns? You go straight to the menu system, and unless you have a passcode [given to friends and family], you go to voicemail).

        There are also scripts available for wasting telephone salestypes' time, and quite a bit of other miscellany.

        I'm tempted to get a T
  • by ultimabaka (864222) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:46PM (#12479207)
    Assuming the software works as well as private PBX systems, (which it doesn't yet seem to, based on the websites linked), it could save major dollars to larger corporations. My own company (Arch Insurance) easily spent thousands on our hardware PBX system, and we're not that big a company. I can imagine what, say, an AIG might spend every year just on this. Definitely worth exploring further.
    • I don't think AIG would want to implement an Asterisk solution solely for cost savings. As it stands, doing it in-house means that instead of spending thousands of dollars in licensing costs, you end up spending thousands of dollars in employee time implementing it. And if the system should for whatever reason go down in the middle of the night, who's going to come in and fix it? What's the SLA and is it guaranteed? Will it to five 9's of reliability?

      There's probably some good money for the first compa
    • by walt-sjc (145127) on Monday May 09, 2005 @03:55PM (#12480588)
      Um, Asterisk IS a PBX. It already works BETTER than most any other small-business PBX out there for a fraction of the cost. I've been running it over a year and it has NEVER crashed.

      Digium (the company behind Asterisk) is obviously targeting the "larger than SOHO" business market - 18 ports and up. They sell a 4-port T1 card that gives you 92+ voice channels (depending on your circuit type.) Sangoma also is getting into the Asterisk / voice market with their own T1 cards.

      Telco is it's own little world. You can be a really good networking / server person and be a fish out of water when it comes to deploying a PBX. Some people really don't understand that, then get all frustrated when they try to deploy an asterisk system all by themselves, have problems, then start bad mouthing it. But you don't have to go it alone. There are lots of consultants that can help. You wouldn't buy a $750K Nortel phone system and install it all by yourself would you?

      For SoHo people, google for "asterisk at home." It can be fairly easy.
  • by wcitech (798381) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:47PM (#12479214)
    My wife and I fix computers, and something like this would be very useful (so useful in fact that I think I'm going to build it.) Even with only one phone line, having the ability to create seperate mailboxes, and conditional voicemailboxes (eg. a different message after 6:00, or on saturday, or during lunch). Hooray for Do-it-yourselfers!
  • by yorkpaddy (830859) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:48PM (#12479218)
    No one calls me
  • by Fyz (581804)
    Join Asterix@home today, and use your idle computing power to help druidic scientists explore the possibility of creating super soldiers through chemical means!

    And, coming soon, Obelix@home, which will attempt to genetically alter recipients to be permanently endowed with these abilities.

    Warning, may cause lowered intelligence, anti-authoritarianism and increased risk of obesity.
  • by caryw (131578) <`carywiedemann' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:50PM (#12479245) Homepage
    My company just went completely VoIP. We were originally entertaining the Asterisk PBX option but decided against it for the time being.
    I can not seem to find a piece of hardware that will generate a dial tone on 16 or 24 different ports. I'm looking for one switch-type looking device, preferably rack mountable, that will take however many phones lines, and connect them via whatever to an Asterisk PBX.

    As of right now we put a bunch of the Sipura SPA-1001M [geekgazette.com] in our back room plugged into our router and punched down to the 66 block going to all of the phone sockets in the offices.

    Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.
    --
    Fairfax Underground: Where Fairfax County, VA comes out to play [fairfaxunderground.com]
  • A SOHO solution? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by el_womble (779715)

    I hope this is pitched as a SOHO solution. I also hope it fails. Trying to bolt a phone menu system on to POTS is like trying to bolt a security system on to Windows. Sure you can do it, but you shouldn't - it just makes the user experience dismal and worries consumers. It's bad enough that they charge you to keep you on hold, never mind charge you to put you through to the right dept. Our tech team uses an Asterix system to put you through to the right dept. There are 4 of them in the there and they all an

    • Re:A SOHO solution? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by kraiken (530674) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:22PM (#12479559) Homepage
      I'm kind of sorry that the above could be seen as flamebait. It does contain at least some points that are worth clarifying.

      Asterisk is one of several different VoIP open-source / freeware software PBX solutions. One of the things you can do is program a phone menu system into it. It is I admit somewhat of a black art still to actually configure Asterisk but if you can get the hang of it, it is very powerful. If you don't like it, try one of the others. It runs on many platforms, some with hardware limitations and of course the underlying security as a whole. Once a call is in your PBX you can then of course program it to do anything that you can devise.

      I personally think the hardware adaptors are expensive for any number/combination of ports (FXO - foreign exchange office and FXS - foreign exchange station - see http://www.voip-info.org/ [voip-info.org] for a wiki), especially here in the UK if you source locally. I do like the Sipura/Vegastream adaptors for their hardware simplicity though. It may be much better to consider IP phones such as GrandStream or SnomPhone if you are starting from scratch. A mixture of the two is of course what most people will do if they have relatively expensive analogue DTMF telephone handsets.

      YMMV especially if you have to deal with a non-US type telephone system as you will need some kind of adaptor at least a one point in your network.

      Obviously your IT guys just don't want to be bothered all the time. If you get past the menus then you must have a good (read important) reason to require their time. Time is money especially to four guys supporting many more poeple than perhaps they should. Not many have escaped IT cutbacks.

      --
      This is just being lazy
  • Better Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by XanC (644172) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:53PM (#12479278)
    Article on one page, with screenshots, no ads.

    http://geekgazette.com/index2.php?option=com_conte nt&task=view&id=28&Itemid=26&pop=1&page=0 [geekgazette.com]

  • Here's what concerns me. I'm sure it is a newbie question. If I've got a VOIP provider, what happens when my computer starts cranking some serious bandwidth in or out of my cable modem connection? Do I need to invest in some different home cable router to prioritize the VOIP traffic?

    I mean, I can't have someone on the phone making a call, all the sudden to go into low rez choppy digital speech because someone else decided to download the latest Linux distro.
    • I don't have a VoIP line yet, but my understanding is that most VoIP providers give you their 'box' (called an ATA), that you plug your phone line and Ethernet into. Most, however, sit between your LAN and your cable modem, I guess, and prioritize your VoIP traffic. Or so I understand.
      • You are correct. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Colol (35104) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:13PM (#12479479)
        What you'll get when you sign up with the likes of Vonage, Packet5, or the other services is an ATA to connect both your WAN connection and your phone to. With the bare-bones ATA, you plug it directly into your cable or DSL modem, and connect any other devices (routers, etc) downstream of the ATA. This lets the ATA (a) avoid problems with NAT by being outside NAT and (b) keep your call quality up there by enforcing QoS limits on all non-VoIP traffic. The ATAs are also generally smart enough to loosen up the restrictions when the phone's not actually in use.

        Vonage (Packet5 may be now as well, I can't recall) also offers an all-in-one solution that's a router and an ATA in one box. You can also pick up the combos yourself (Linksys makes 'em), but they tend to be tied to one specific service -- so do your homework before you sink the cash on a combination ATA and router.
        • The QoS on the stock ATA I got from Vonage sucks. I ended up doing my own traffic shaping with a little Linux box. Of course, attempting to throttle incomming traffic rather than shaping it upstream, is never going to be perfect, but at least I can do it better than Vonage's ATA: it basically throttled ALL incomming traffic all the time, to a dismal rate, regardless of any VoIP calls in progress at the time.

          YMMV.

    • A couple of years ago I worked with VOIP systems utilyzing Edgemark equipment that prioritized voice traffic. They must have gotten swallowed up as I can find no current info on them. Telverse was the vendor (now level 3)
    • If you're doing audio-only, then the bandwidth requirements are so low, an old dialup line would probably be enough (bandwidth-wise, not latency-wise). So don't worry about that.

      As for big downloads killing your VoIP channels - the size of the file you're downloading does not matter. What matters is how many simultaneous downloads are happening at the same time. I.e., loading a large web page with lots of graphics is a lot worse than a single multi-GB DVD ISO.
      In any case, you can play a little bit with ban
    • 1) Find a old (486+) PC with two ethernet ports.

      2) Purchase and Install OpenBSD

      3) Purchase Building Firewalls with OpenBSD and PF, 2nd ed by Jacek Artymiak (ISBN: 83-916651-1-9)

      4) Use bandwidth shaping as described in chapter 10.

      5)Enjoy your new router.

      This should give you high priority bandwith for the VoIP. It cannot control how your ISP allocates bandwith (of course), but I think that this would help the average user happier with both voice and data share the same bandwith.

      • Or just plunk down $55 and buy a Linksys WRT54G, put your favorite open-source linux firmware on it (sveasoft, etc) and enable traffic prioritizing. Much more reliable, and faster than a 486 which tops out at about 2 megabits/sec.
  • by Jakewk (66712) on Monday May 09, 2005 @01:55PM (#12479300)
    As someone who started a small business and employed a PBX-in-a-box system can attest, this type of innovation is a godsend to small businesses and start-ups. The real key to this technology taking off however, will be service providers incorporating it into their offerings to small businesses. I think that there could be a very lucrative business model selling services to small-biz/start-ups that allow them to have big-biz type amenities (PBXs, etc...) at lower prices (enabled by OpenSource software). I *believe* that the guys who perform small-biz networking on the cheap could easily add this technology to their offerings and it would be rapidly adopted by their customers. "Hey Jim, I just got done installing the extra PC and the WiFi network for you. I was wondering if you've ever thought of installing a professional phone system. You know, there are these OpenSource technologies that will provide close to full PBX functionality with a third of the cost. Interested in hearing more about it?"
    Very easy sale.
  • by kriston (7886) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:02PM (#12479367) Homepage Journal
    There is a cheaper/better FXO/FXS from Grandstream, the Handytone 488. This is a new item and can be bought for under $90. It is extremely small (a little smaller than the SPA-3000) and handles all the popular codecs. Its configuration is a little easier to understand than the huge Sipura menus. It works right away without SIP registration (Sipura needs a setting in order to work without SIP registration) which allows you to test it by placing calls to IP numbers directly.

    Sipura units seem to have much more provisioning support but Grandstream supports the same provisioning protocols. This can help with large deployments where you want to automatically assign extension numbers from a central server.

    Again, this a new product that just went into production and might save you a few bucks over the Sipura in quantity. See http://voipsupply.com/ [voipsupply.com] and http://www.grandstream.com/ [grandstream.com] for some more detail.

    Kris
    • FWIW, grandstream phones are NOT well thought of in the * community. The 488 is a brand-new thing for grandstream whereas Sipura has been doing ATA's for a LONG time. I believe Sipura actually designed the original cisco ATA-186/8.

      So they may be cheaper, but I kind of doubt that they are really "better" IMHO.
      • Please do not confuse the phones and the ATA devices. The Grandstream phones are cheaply-made, I know because I have one and I'm not happy with it. I was NOT talking about phones--I'm talking about the the FXO/FXS ATA devices which are rather well though-of. Please don't confuse the two.

  • I've had a PBX at home for 2 years now.....look around any old office building thats getting renovated - you'll find at least two PBX's getting tossed out.

    Nortel Cics or Mics are the most common, they work great, have zero noise/fans. Autoattendant (on most models - or with the Star Talk Flash), voice mail, Fax reroute etc. Great little systems, why go Asterisk?

    I love all tech - just cause it's old/experienced don't abandon it.
  • by lpangelrob2 (721920) on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:21PM (#12479548) Journal
    I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one that saw "PBX" and said, "WTF is a PBX?"

    Short for private branch exchange, a private telephone network used within an enterprise. Users of the PBX share a certain number of outside lines for making telephone calls external to the PBX.

    Most medium-sized and larger companies use a PBX because it's much less expensive than connecting an external telephone line to every telephone in the organization. In addition, it's easier to call someone within a PBX because the number you need to dial is typically just 3 or 4 digits.

    A new variation on the PBX theme is the centrex, which is a PBX with all switching occurring at a local telephone office instead of at the company's premises.

    From the Webopedia [webopedia.com].
  • TalkSwitch Phone System [talkswitch.com]

    Now all are VoIP upgradeable. Plus they can expand to suit your growing business' needs. /sales pitch
  • What is this news for elephants?!
    Jeeze.
  • could I buy this product, configure Asterisk and have it forward calls received on my landline to a SIPphone?

    "no, *you* couldn't configure Asterisk" is probably the right answer, but pretend for a second that I could. Is this possible?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 09, 2005 @02:47PM (#12479776)
    Sometimes there is a lot more happing in a simple setup.

    I have 1 POTS line, 3 IP phones, and a plain old cordless plugged into an FXS port on my asterisk server. Keep in mind this is a collection of parts that have grown from testing. All that would be needed for this is either 2 analog phones with FXS, or 1 analog and 1 IP phone etc etc you get the idea.

    I get a regular phone call, my home phones all ring, there's no answer, it goes to voicemail, people can pick who they want to leave voicemail for. I get a copy of the .wav file emailed to me as well. Nothing mind boggling.

    2 of the IP phones are at home, 1 is Overseas where I have family. My wife returns back for a visit every year. Most of the year it is the line she uses to keep in touch with family (once she plugs in the second box over there for me, she can use it to dial out to her friends over there as a local call as well)

    While she is back visiting, she can try to call me via IP. Failing that, dial 9 and the number and dial out from our landline to my mobile phone, for example (which, coincidentally, is not always great when you're "killing time at the pub") . When she is away, she uses this to keep in touch with others here, and to continue and other local business calls she needs to make.

    I can also dial home, hit a key to dial out before voicemail rolls in, and reach my overseas IP phone.

    This isn't an overly complicated setup, cost little money to setup, and created an extremely useful way to keep in contact. Don't turn on all the bells and whistles and you don't scare callers (Do they *really* need dial by name?) The situation I use it in is nothing off the wall, and it's simple to use. This doesn't even *start* to cover the practical applications it has WITHOUT being an overbearing system.

    For a small consulting business, or mobile worker, there's a huge benefit. Even for a family, there's a major convenience. And according to my call detail records, in under a year I've already paid off anything spent in savings from overseas calling (and more). The rest of the ongoing savings can go to my beer fund. You can call it pointless if you want. My pint glass and I would disagree with you though.
  • by Da_Biz (267075) on Monday May 09, 2005 @03:11PM (#12480028)
    I test VoIP products for my company, and have found that QoS needs to be managed at a basic level. If you're in a household that has slower DSL, or limited upstream bandwidth (for instance, Comcast Cable Modem in Portland), it would be wise to have your router process and remark (DSCP) all of the traffic between your IP phones and the router as EF.

    Granted, your ISP probably doesn't care if your traffic is marked EF, but would prevent PCs on your local network from clobbering your bandwidth during a call.

    Also, check out OnDo SIP Server from Brekeke. I play with it in my VoIP lab, and find that it's a find piece of software for quick n' dirty SIP setups. It's free for non-commercial users.

    The slightly more adventurous can try Asterisk@Home which has a streamlined setup.
  • Seems every few days there is another news item about Asterisk PBX or Asterisk@Home...

    ... and on Slashdot, they're often the same ones!

  • And I thought I was pretty knowledgable about technology.

    Do most people need a PBX at home? Hell, I'd be happy if I could get something that did Fax to PDF and voicemail while sitting between the incoming analog telephone line and my (inside the house) telephone network. Do I need a computer and all this crap for that?
  • Can someone help? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Palal (836081)
    I have a POTS line and a whole bunch of phones around the house. I need to have my outside line route to the PABX and then the PABX would route to each individual extension. How would this be accomplished?
    • It is rather simple but not cheap. Most house are setup in a star paten at the DMark into you house. You could setup the box and run wire from you box to the demark and have lots of cut together wires. Not Pretty but Cheap. But it will require losts of FXS ports. One for each line or extension. Each Extension cost around $100.00 there are cheaper options at time and of curse alot more expenise options as well but I have been having trouble find a system for less then $75.00 per port. SIP phones are d
  • by theManInTheYellowHat (451261) on Monday May 09, 2005 @04:31PM (#12481026)
    I have been checking out PBX's and phone systems for a while and I manage a couple of them right now.

    The real cost of the phone systems are in the desksets which vary in features and cost but in a medium small office the PBX is a small percentage of the cost.

    Consider a 30 station setup with 8 lines. The 30 phones would be somewhere between 6000 - 12000 depending on model. (you probably would not do elcheapo $75 ebay phones).

    The {insert brand name here} PBX would be more but the asterisk would be probably $2000 (including cards). And then, no matter what system you choose, comes the programing, which should be about the same no matter what.

    The thing that asterisk provides is the ability for everyone to use it. It is also exteremly accessable.
  • Talk about convenient. This topic just came up yesterday. My mom called, asked me what type of PBX she should purchase for home use. And to think that someone had this very thought in mind today! Wow. Thanks everyone.

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