Newbie Question: OSHW suggestions

Newbie here, and need some guidance/suggestions for a new system.

Situation:
Home/small business. Already have fibre-optic internet. Want to use that to make phone calls. (SIP phone? VOIP? DECT?) A cordless handset (or two) would be useful.

What hardware would be needed to get going to start telephoning? Ideally, this would be open source hardware compliant and the software would be Free software.

A microprocessor capable of running this is going to be based on proprietary Intei, AMD, or ARM designs. I’m not aware of open designs for suitable mother board PCB layouts.

I’m not aware of any open implementations of DECT, although the patents have probably expired.

Typically home experimenters would consider the Raspberry Pi for this, but I don’t think there are official PCB level schematics, or any permission to copy the design. There is a lot of Broadcom and ARM intellectual property in the processors. The BIOS will contain proprietary firmware. That is for a SIP based system.

1 Like

great info. thanks @david551

How about this then: stick a Digium D50 into the internet socket somehow and then start phoning (somehow)? Wait till freedom comes to phones… The Open Source Hardware Association don’t list any phones in their register of certified projects.

I don’t know how well the Digium products support this, but most phones have always supported direct connections, it is the users that have wanted the centralised ITSP model, partly because of the need to communicate with “legacy” networks, but also for security. People get annoyed when attackers directly call their phones.

The user interface for a point to point call tends to be klunky, because of the lack of a full keyboard.

In any case the Digium phones are definitely not open hardware.

(Internet email also started point to point, but commercialisation led to the current, centralised, pull model.)

1 Like

Although I’ve never actually really played with this, and a back to back user agent, like Asterisk, may be overkill, you should be able to configure Asterisk to provide a centralised numbering service but redirect calls so that even the signalling ends up point to point. Combining that with dynamic addresses may be fiddly, but I think you can read the contact address and use that in the redirect.

@david551 - if you could just suggest a voip/sipphone cordless handset, something with which to get started/phoning, what would you suggest?

Your favourite Android phone. I have no experience of SIP applications for such and the router needs to be set to optimise for multimedia, as standard Wifi has far too much latency for good VoIP.

The application will need to be set to never sleep.

1 Like