Just for holiday fun I got my macmini a new incoming Skype line that can be picked up by any extension, transferred to any extension in our Asterisk PBX. The macmini hosts the Skype Client and Asterisk PBX. You could do the same with better results on a Linux server.
Here’s the basic recipe:
2)USB-Skype RJ11 Adaptor with stable drivers for my OS
3)Recent version of Asterisk on a stable machine
In particular, I used the following brands/versions:
1)Grandstream Handytone-488 18.104.22.168 for its FXO port
2)CuPhone PPG with TjInit 1.11
3)Asterisk 1.2.1 on MacMini with OS X 10.3.9
Because this was my first experience with the HandyTone, I spent a great deal of time banging my head on my desk trying to get the logic (or apparent lack of) of this crucial piece of the puzzle.
The CuPhone USB adaptor just works as advertised right out of the box. I played with it in a number of configurations and if you don’t need a pbx, it simply makes your standard favorite analog telephone into a Skype phone. Incoming calls to my extension ring just as usual, as do direct incoming skype calls, ie. the phone rings and you pick it up and start talking. When dialing out, you lift the receiver and your skype contact list pops on the desktop, you highlight the contact you like and press ‘##’ to initiate a call. There is a serious issue with DTMF on outgoing calls, they only work occasionally. But my main focus was accepting direct incoming skype calls. The other irritating thing on outgoing calls is the need to hit ‘#’ to bypass skype inorder to make normal calls to other extensions. That’s where asterisk comes in handy, let asterisk do the hard stuff…
With all the pieces put together, you could put the macmini in a closet with the screen off. But since it’s a macmini, I won’t, because it can handle the phones and a whole lot more.I already have a working skype account and working asterisk pbx. Here is the basic setup I have added to receive skype calls to all desks:
Added the CuPhone’s TjInit software and start it just before I startup Skype
CuPhone is connected to a full power USB port
Grandstream HT-488 is Powered up
A phone cord connects from the ‘Phone’ jack on Cuphone to the ‘Line’ jack on the HT-488 (FXO port)
My good ole two line AT&T 732 analog phone is in the HT-488 ‘phone’ jack (FXS port)
A Cat5 cable connects from the HT-488’s ‘WAN’ port to my network switch
The HT-488 treat’s the incoming skype calls as a standard PSTN and transfers (after the minimum 1 ring) calls to my Asterisks ‘inbound’ context and I have it blast all extensions in the office, to be picked up by the first person available, or the call is sent to the office default voicemail box. But obviously you could do anything you can do with a normal PSTN call.
If anyone would like examples from my working ‘sip.conf’, ‘extensions.conf’ or settings for the HT-488, let me know.
If I were doing this again, I’d save $10.00 on the CuPhone by getting the single CuPhone RJ11 Usb Device, and I’d probably spend an extra $20.00 and use the Sipura 3000 instead of the Grandstream HT-488 (seems like there’s more support) but I’m set for now. (out of playtime and playmoney)