Basic hardware assistance

Essentially, I am looking to Asterisk as a way to build my own box that does more than purchasing a standard answering machine system. I realize this is probably overkill for what I am going to use it for, but I have old PC parts lying around the house that need to go somewhere. Let me explain my set up and perhaps someone can point me in the right direction to get something like this assembled.

I have a standard analog phone line with phone service, no VoIP. We are not interested in VoIP for various reasons and it will say with analog. Because I am going to be running this through the standard phone jack system, would it be possible to use a regular modem PCI card (I have one around with both line in/out ports) with Asterisk or am I forced into purchasing a special external card/device?

I don’t need multiple phone extensions with each a separate port. The current home set up does have 3 extensions on that phone line, however, they are all chained together so multiple people can answer the phone in different places. Essentially, the set up for the Asterisk box will be quite simple, however the majority of the tutorials online are for a much more complicated set up than what I have or need.

On a side note with Asterisk, can you record phone calls? (of course, with an audio greeting as people call first letting them know they MAY be recorded)

Thanks for any assistance on this! I know I can set everything up myself, I just am finding myself overwhelmed with the complicated phone system set ups rather than the simple system that I need.

edit This is the modem I have: … 6825180003

I presume you are building an Asterisk PBX System hosted on an old computer running on a Linux OS. If so, your 1st step is to ensure Linux has fully supported a NetoDragon chipset used by the above card. If you find this chipset isn’t supported under Linux OS, then your next best chance is to either use an ATA with a built-in FXO port, i.e. Linux/Cisco SPA3102, etc., or a DIgium supported PCI card with a built-in FXO port.

Honestly, if I were you, I would just abandon the idea of making use of an old desktop computer and turn it into any PBX System. The reason is simply any desktop computer consumes too much of electricity (100+ Watts). Instead, I will just start looking into any inexpensive Linux embedded system with lots of RAM and at least a built-in USB2 port. For this, I would use an inexpensive Seagate DockStar. The reason is simply a Seagate DockStar only consumes a little less than 3Watss of electricity, let alone a lot of works has been done to turn this device into an Asterisk as well as FreeSWITCH PBX System (just search through Google). Once you decided to use this approach, then start looking into any USB2FXO dongle supported under Linux to use on your DockStar. This way, you can connect the FXO port to your PSTN line and to any available USB2 ports on your DockStar.

That is a good idea, but the thing that I am a little sketchy with is simply, what does that device do exactly to get an OS to function, ie, install Asterisk? Am I missing something? Would I need to “mod” the device to install the OS? Overall, that seems like the best idea provided the USB2FXO dongle won’t be too much money. I have a 160GB SATA drive lying around for the Asterisk and storage install.

Also, would this function for the analog connection for input and output routing? … &CatId=564

Thanks for the very comprehensive reply. I appreciate it!

As I mentioned before, you can find needed information through a Google search. OTOH, you may want to read posts on this discussion thread first to find out what people have done with their DockStar devices. It is a long discussion and you will find a lot of things has changed since the discussion started, so don’t skip the posts because every now and then new things got added. You will find some DockStar owners use a Debian/Ubuntu ARM embedded Linux distro on a Seagate DockStar device. Personally, my preference is OpenWRT.

That depends on the owner. Honestly, from a hardware point of view, I have mine un-modded other than installing additional boot loader. My device can still boot the original firmware.

Honestly, I haven’t seen/heard anyone has done this before. When I saw your post, things just clicked and decided to let you know the possibility with a Seagate DockStar device.

My Seagate DockStar uses an old 1GB USB memory stick which consumes almost no electricity. I don’t have a Kill-A-Watt device to measure how much electricity a Seagate DockStar + a USB memory stick consumes; however, a friend who has this device measured his Seagate DockStar device + an 8GB USB memory stick to use a little less than 3Watts (about 296mWatts). If you add an external HD, the electric consumption will increase to power the external HD.

Honestly, I wouldn’t know. But, your 1st step is to make sure this USB device is supported under Linux.

I have some research to do, but I would have liked a direct sata connection on that device, however the 1.2GB ARM cpu is super sweet. I have some decisions to make :smile: Thanks for the responses!

A Seagate DockStar doesn’t have a SATA port. If there is such a thing called a USB2SATA adapter, then I believe this will do at the expense of a USB2 speed.

I took a quick look for such an adapter, but I would need a PATA cable as well. This is by far the nerdiest project I have ever attempted!

Bingo! … B000YJBL78

I think we have a winner!

Just one more question: based on the set up and positioning of things in the house, I will need to run a wireless network connection. Per the modem directions you gave, as long as I find a wireless g/n USB card that runs on linux, will it work with little hassle other than plug and play?

[quote=“NITRO1250”]Bingo! … B000YJBL78

I think we have a winner![/quote]
Make sure it is supported under Linux. Without that, this device isn’t going to work.

Honestly, I wouldn’t know the answer to this because I don’t use a WiFi connection even though I have some WiFi facility nearby. The information I put out here was conceived instantly upon reading your post and coupled with what I have done with my Seagate DockStar device. As such, this is like a new frontier to me and you will need to experiment with it should you choose to do so. After you finished reading all the posts on the discussion thread I mentioned earlier, I believe you should have a better understanding how to proceed with your project using a Seagate DockStar device.

When it comes to tackle a project like this where no one has ever done it before, make sure all the needed hardware items are supported under Linux and also make sure there is at least one Linux distribution to support the new platform. In the later case, besides its original firmware (based on a PogoPlug Linux OS), we have at least Debian, OpenWRT, and Ubuntu to support a Seagate DockStar device. With so many different Linux distribution, one needs to decide which one is best to use. For me, I chose OpenWRT OS distribution for my Seagate DockStar device for a number of reasons as follows:

[ol][li]I have several different NAT/Firewall routers and they are flashed with a self-built OpenWRT firmware. Using the build environments provided by OpenWRT, the task of configuring, building, and maintaining a copy of OpenWRT source codes for many different Linux embedded systems is made so easy. So, adding a support for my Seagate DocStar can be made as simple as adding a new build environment and isn’t a big-deal issue.[/li]
[li]Unlike Debian and/or Ubuntu Linux distros for an ARM platform, OpenWRT uses a uClibc library that is specifically designed for a Linux embedded system for size and speed optimizations. In this case, the codes will be smaller, more efficient, and faster.[/li][/ol]