Newbie ATA selection Advice

Wish this forum had a newbie Forum :smile:

I have Asterisk up and running and testing well and am at the point of hooking it up to the POTS service at my home.

Ultimately, I want to use asterisk to become more familiar with it.

But my current use is very modest. I want to use it to route incoming calls, act as voice mail, notify my cell phones of new voice mail, and e-mail the voice mail.

I don’t really need voip…yet.

So I was looking at the Grandstream HT 486 with one FXS port and a PSTN pass through, versus the HT 503 with both FXS and FXO ports. Not sure I need the FXO at thise point.

Would anyone care to tick off their viewpoints of the pluses and minuses?

thanks for any feedback and time ou take to reply,


If I understood you correctly where you want asterisk to be able to process incoming calls from your PSTN line, then you definitely need an FXO port and not a PSTN pass through. In this case, you either need a HT-488 or a HT-503. If you read the HandyTone Series - Analog Telephone Adaptors page, this HT-488 product had reached End-of-Life on May 30, 2008. Does this sound line a discontinued product? Unless you will be needing to send a high-quality audio recording through your VoIP channel, both HT-488 and HT-503 products don’t seem to support a 16-bit high-performance G722 CoDec.

Thanks for your reply. This is extermely helpful because as usual, things are pointed out that I hadn’t even considered.

And thanks for correcting my confusion regarding FXS and FXO.

I hadn’t wanted to spend much money until I saw where I could go with this home PBX idea, so I was looking for the most affordable yet basically capable ATA I could find.

Regarding the G722 codec, if I understand this correctly this consideration would only be applicable with VOIP and not POTS service, since POTS doesn’t reproduce at those quality levels.

I hadn’t really considered using VOIP, but that may well become into use here, and if so, the better quality would be worthwhile.

Would you suggest the Linksys SPA3102 then?

What other ATA’s might you or others suggest?

Thanks again for any input. I appreciate your taking the time to help me out.


I’m using an ht-503 right now for my pots line at my house to connect to asterisk and it works just fine for incoming calls. For outgoing calls, I cannot for the life of me get it to work as a trunk in asterisk, so I have it setup as an extension that I call, it then answers with a dial tone and I can then call out on my pots line. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably go with a Linksys SPA3102.

Don’t get me wrong though, I do like the Grandstream stuff and I am currently using a GXP2000 phone at home and I love it! I also picked up a couple BT200’s for others in my family so we can all call each other and not incur long distance charges. I’m just not a fan of their ATA’s.


I don’t have a need to use an ATA with an FXO port, so I personally won’t know how a good an SPA3X is. However, friends who use SPA3K told me that this device is one of the best ATA to bridge VoIP2PSTN and PSTN2VoIP calls. I supposed an SPA3002 is of no difference here. If you decide to get a unit of an SPA3X, please be sure to check out the Voxilla forum for some discussions on this product.

We use the Linksys SPA3102 at our office, to bridge a backup pstn line to our Asterisk server and I’m completely satisfied by it, it works very well for us, without a single problem until now.
The configuration could be a little difficult because it has many functions and setup parameters, this howto should help you in case you decide to buy one SPA: , it helped me too :smile:


Marco Bruni

Thanks all for your helpful tips! Keep them coming is you are so inclined!