Asterisk Setup Help - New to this

Hi Everyone,

I will try to describe this as best I can. I work for an organization that is basically an ISP for school districts. We would like to implement VoIP in our internal office (15 or so employees). Currently every employee has their own phone and own outside line. We would like to eliminate this. We would like to have 8 outside lines, and route everything through Asterisk. Basically we would have 3 “main” lines ring into the secretary’s phone. Everyone else would have private extensions that they would have to dial a certain number to get an outside line (from a “pool” of 8 or so outside lines). If someone would call in, and the phone wouldn’t pick up after so many rings, we would like the call to be routed to a menu (press 1 to talk to Mary, etc).

Here are features we want:
Call Transfer/Forwarding
Caller ID
Soft Phone

What kind of hardware would I have to buy to implement this (not the server, but the actual Digium equipment)??? Is this possible with Asterisk? I’m fairly competent with Linux, but I am very new to Asterisk, VoIP, and SIP.



What you’re looking to do here can be accomplished with very little technology. You’d need a SIP or IAX phone for each user, a single linux server, and a digium (or compatible) PCI card.

All of the routing, menus, VM, and other features you’re asking about can be handled within asterisk.

Thanks for the reply.

Can you point me to the exact card I would need from digium? I imagine it would be something like one of the TDM2400P models.



First, it depends on if you want the users to have analog phones or IP phones.

If they have analog phones:

  1. Digium TDM24xx card. 2 FXO modules (creates 8 line ports), rest FXS.
  2. T1 card (many work w/ asterisk) and a channel bank. Configure bank accordignly.
  3. SIP-POTS gateway appliance. Provides a number of POTS ports (FXO and/or FXS) and connects to * via SIP. This is like an ATA but goes both ways and has more ports.
  4. Xorcom Astribank USB-POTS USB channel bank. I don’t know of any USA resellers.

If you have IP phones for your workers, then you will only need 8 FXO ports on the * side. Two Digium TDM400’s or one Sangoma A200 spec’d as 8fxo (will take up two slots in your system, but only one PCI slot) will do you nicely.

We would like our employees to have IP Phones. Sounds like the TDM400P is a good deal, and will work nicely for us.

The configuration I mention above… Would it be hard to setup? I’ve never used Asterisk before. We rely alot on our phone system. I would need it to be stable and working correctly.



It would work quite nicely. Setting up * is hard the first time, but it gets easier as you understand it. See the sticky at the top of this forum and chekc out the book Asterisk: The Future of Telephony. Read the section on extensions.conf. Once you understand that you can do anything.

Thanks for the help IronHelix. I downloaded the book you mention from O’Reilly, I’m going to check it out.

One more quick question. Is it possible to route outbound calls through a VoIP provider, and still receive the inbound through the POTS?



Hi Chantman,

yes you can receive calls on POTS and place calls through Internet.