Need help!


I am thinking of setting up an infrastructure (detailed below); I am looking for suggestions, ideas, please help.

  1. I have 2 lines that can receive/make calls from/to outside. I want to have some extensions within; from which anyone can dial outside using either of the outgoing lines.

  2. With same setup above, I also should be able to receive call on 1 line and dial out to another outside number via line 2.

Please let me know if anyone of you have already done this. I am pretty new to this area and have just started learning about PBXs, asterisk etc.


Sorry, Asterisk does not currently support use as part of an infrastructure, only hacked-together telemarketing systems. The current version (1.2) requires the use of at least 3 paper clips and 8" of duct tape when installing, although the pending 1.4 release removes the requirement that the paper clips be straightened. There are real technical reasons for this.

…Just kidding, Asterisk will do what you want quite nicely. :smiley:

Get a zap card (digium tdm400 or sangoma a200) with at least two FXO (red) modules. Connect these to your phone lines.

In zapata.conf put them in a context, and also in a group. We’ll call the context [incoming] and the group 1.

in [incoming] put your IVR and whatever else happens to incoming calls

In whatever context your phones are in, put something like

exten => _NXXXXXX,1,Dial(Zap/g1/${EXTEN}) ; this will process 7 digit phone numbers
exten => _1NXXNXXXXXX,1,Dial(Zap/g1/${EXTEN}) ; this will process Long Distance numbers.

As you can see the above patterns use Zap/g1 (zaptel group 1, it will pick a free channel) and dial ${EXTEN}, which is whatever was dialed in the first place (that matches the NXX thing).

You will also want to have extensions. These can be analog zap channels (add FXS (green) modules to the card you bought above), ATAs (has a SIP connection to asterisk, but gives you analog FXS ports to use a phone with) or IP phones.
Personally I recommend IP phones- they are more expensive but they can better control asterisk features like transfer/conference/etc without doing funny things like hookflash and star codes. You just push the button for the feature you want and it happens (with some exceptions).

As for IP phones, if you are on a budget look @ the Grandstream 2000. Pretty easy to configure, it works pretty well if you have the right firmware. Inexpensive too- $90 or so. Ignore the ‘line’ buttons, just set up one SIP account to it and the other line buttons take effect if you handle more than one call at a time. Good support for *, and active wiki page @ Manufacturer supports * use.
Also look @ AAstra phones, they are very well built and pretty easy to configure. Also very easy to remote administer using config files (helps if you have more than 2 or 3 of em). Good quality speakerphone (full duplex). Good support for *, excellent user / administrator documentation (very complete). Vendor supports * use; documentation includes * example configurations.
SNOM phones are pretty good too. I use a Snom 360 on my desk. Lots of configuration options can be confusing, but it is an awesome workhorse. Good speakerphone (full duplex). Vendor supports * use and has an active wiki @ Get the latest beta firmware. Many * administrators use Snom phones.

Hope that helps!

Thanks a lot IronHelix! I appreciate it! I like your sense of humor.

Actually, where can I get all these hardwares, can I buy it in some place like Fry’s or it has to be online.

Can I get any manuals or documents or anything, that would better help me understand the concept and the technology behind it.

Also, I was thinking, to do this entirely in hardware without involving a PC/Server, is it possible? If yes, can you share how?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Best Regards

fxo cards at Frys? not in this lifetime. Most online places dont even have them, you need to use specialty telecom/voip places like or

You could try the Book: Asterisk, The Future of Telephony. You can buy a dead-tree copy (published by O’Rilley) or download it for free from

There is a very extensive Wiki at that has a large amount of Asterisk info. If you have a quick question, the answer is probably there.

If you want this type of thing w/out a PC, that’s called a PBX. Most of them either cost $10k+ or aren’t nearly as good as *. If you mean Asterisk without a PC, there are a few gadgets like this but most are pretty expensive. Your best bet on that front would be to get a small-form-factor PC with a low power chip (Via Epia board for example) and boot it off a compactflash card or usb stick. There are a few distros of linux+asterisk designed to do exactly this.

Hope that helps!

Thanks a lot IronHelix! Your input is very much appreciated. So, I’m on with my project VOIP now… :smiley:

Will keep in touch with this forum, if any help is needed and to share anything that I learn with others!

Best Regards!