Asterisk setup for art/documentary project


I’m currently doing some research for a project that involves some small-scale telephone connectivity within a gallery space. I considering a PBX for my implementation, but also not sure if there is a relatively simple and low-cost solution for this project. Here is what I would like to happen:

[color=#000080]I need two telephones in the same building that are able to call each other (they don’t need to be able to make outside calls at all). A person at phone #1 will call phone #2, and if there is somebody staffing phone #2 they will pick up and the conversation will be recorded and saved as an audio file. If there is nobody at phone #2, the answering service will kick in and the person on phone #1 will leave a message (which will also be saved as an audio file).[/color]

From what little research I’ve done, I’m wondering if it might be possible to do a simple install of Asterisk on a VoIP router, something like the Linksys/Cisco RTP300. The hitch with with that plan is how to deal with storage, or whether Asterisk can even run with that functionality on a router. I’m leaning toward a router because it would be a sort of all-in-one solution. I’ve looked into running a system on a desktop PC but it seems like the hardware interfaces are pretty pricy. At this point I don’t know my budget for this project (or if I will even have a budget), so I’m trying to keep costs as low as possible.

Any notes on a good path to pursue? “You’re wasting your time” is also an acceptable response if it doesn’t look likely — from what I’ve seen between hardware costs and development & troubleshooting time it seems possible that it might not be worth the energy.

(For anyone curious, the project is part of a larger exhibition happening in Minneapolis, MN this summer called “We Work Here: A Conversation on Art, Labor, and Economics in the Twin Cities.” This portion of the exhibition would involve a series of “job interviews” where visitors would be interviewed about their experiences related to work. I will also be compensating participants for their “work” via drawings or other creative products, so if anyone can be of real assistance here I will also offer an illustration as compensation.)


You need a server. As far as I know you can’t install Asterisk on a router (the concept of doing that doesn’t really even make sense to me).

Perhaps someone else will correct me, but I don’t see how you’d do it without a server (even if it’s a virtual server rented from Rackspace or something).

You can put asterisk on routers. Take a look at the alternative firmware for routers called dd-wrt. The routers have to be the right ones though.

I wouldn’t think it would be worth the trouble to do it that way though. For your needs it seems like any old pc would suffice. Your mainly using the asterisk box for the recording and storage. The demand of two sip phones should be very minimal.