Anti-robocall Call screening device

I would like to implement the following, or alternately this may be a good product for the other side of Asterisk.

I want to put a box between the incoming analog phone line that can act both as an answering machine, and a call screener.

I want a device that does this directly, or with the help of a computer. I think that this is close to what Asterisk can do, but I’m not sure of the hardware it would require. I am looking for a single line capability.

Device is inserted into the phone line downstream from the connection at the house, so that all calls go through it.

Phone rings.

Device takes the line off hook. Plays a pre-recorded message “We are screening our calls. If you are real person punch in the first 4 letters of Aardvark.”

It waits for N seconds. No punch, hang up.

If the caller enters tones, they are converted to numbers and compared to the passcodes file. If they match, a ringing signal is passed through to the household system. If the household doesn’t pick up in R rings, it acts like an answering machine.

That’s the basic functionality.

Additional functionality.

  • Time of day. Between certain times, goes direct to voicemail instead of ringing on the household side. Option for special message.

  • Multiple passcodes. E.g. I have a family code that doesn’t change. Punch that and it goes through 24/7.

  • Call logging. The callerid info is logged, along with whether they attempted a passcode, the code they attempted, or they hung up without an attempt.

  • Call block: After a call if I punch a block code then the previous number is added to a block list. Future calls are logged, but not rung through.

*Call direct to voice mail. Like above but future calls go direct to voice mail.

  • Remote retrieval of voice mail. I can call in, and get messages.

  • Distinctive ring. Depending of which pass code they entered I get a different ring tone.

Can this be done with a POTS modem and a laptop? This would require both a serial/usb line to the modem, plus a line from the audio in/out patched into the PHONE jack on the modem.

As a product this should have similar costs to a router or an old fashioned US Robotics modem. If you priced these at $50 to $100 per unit, you’d have a hard time keeping up with the demand.

No, This can’t be done with a modem using Asterisk, You would need to have a supported interface card.

You would need to have a card or adapter that provides you with both a FXO and a FXS port to interface with both the PSTN and the phones in the house.

I don’t see any problems with your desired features being implemented with Asterisk once you have a compatible interface but I don’t think you are going to get both a FXO, FXS, and computer to run Asterisk for $50.

There are already products, like Truecall that have features like this, and using such a product is likely to be the only way of meeting your cost target, even if you don’t have the level of control over the detailed behaviour that you would have with Asterisk.

The 50 buck target was if someone took it to a product level. If I ran it myself, I’d try to repurpose a laptop.

Just sent a note to the Truecall people. Who else does this?