Question regarding basic implemention

Hi all - please excuse my inexperienced questions here, I stumbled on Asterisk when reading about the Apple TV (oddly enough) and became engrossed in the 300 some odd pages of wonderful documentation about “The Future of Telephony”.

I’m the Technical Coordinator for a small theatre in Waterdown, Ontario and have always been slightly interested in putting in a phone system for about 5 - 7 phones within the building to allow for basic extensions, some amount of voicemail, and if possible internally accessing the paging system. After reading the documentation it seems that Asterisk may be able to assist me in this for not too much money - I currently have a Linux box sitting around which sounds like it would be powerful enough, so I’m trying to sort out what else I would need.

So here’s my questions:

  • On eBay I found a “Unlocked Linksys RT31P2 VoIP Router PAP2”, it says it’s compatible and has two FXS phone switches. Simply put, if I install Asterisk and run a network cable from my linux box to this router, am I in business with two phone jacks, or extensions?
  • I also found a Asterisk X100P Card FXO port PCI, can I assume that I would also need this to plug in to my standard phone line (with Bell Canada, at the theatre) to accept calls?

I realize I’m probably being a bit naive about how easy this is to get up and running, so can you tell me if I’m missing any hardware in my assessment? What’s the cheapest hardware I need to get in order to get a few extensions going?

I really appreciate anyone who can take the time to fill me in… I’m probably going to try just setting up a VOiP system with soft phones for now just to get used to the config.

Thanks again!

Ryan Strauss

If you’re going to use only softphones then the only thing you’ll need is a linux server where you will install and run Asterisk. If you want to be able to receive and make calls throught your PSTN (Bell Canada) then you’ll need a X100 or a TDM400 card. That’s it.
If you want to use some analog phones or a fax machine then you’ll need an ATA (a Linksys PAP2T or similar) or if you go to a TDM400 some FXS modules.
I own a smaill company and that’s all I need :smile:

That’s great to hear, I appreciate the information.

I will be trying out the softphone shortly, however my next step will definitely be to use it with some actual phones, so here’s a couple more questions:

  • If I just want to use Analog phones, I assume I can use any touch tone phone, and what I’d need to do is buy a router, similar to the one I previously linked to, which would provide me with X number of ports, then I’d plug each analog phone into a port, correct?
  • Now, if I wanted to use Ethernet enabled Digital Phones (not sure on the actual name) would I be able to hook them all up to a normal router, that my Linux box running Asterisk is on as well, and then they would connect like regular phones? Is that more or less how it works, or is there more?

I’m very interested in learning about digital phones and how those can be incorporated… I notice a few on eBay for $40, those might be a better option as I already have ethernet jacks all over the place.

Let me know, thank you again for taking the time!

Ryan Strauss

If you’re going to use analog phones then you’ll need an ATA or an FXS card on a TDM card. This option is necessary if you want to use a Fax machine or a phone, but an ATA sometimes is more expensive than a IP Phone. There are digital telephones from Siemens or Nortel but they only work on their PBX.
An IP phone will work on any IP PBX. These will connect directly to your LAN, on a free switch port.

read over this as well

NO X100P’s junkers…for business you really need to get Echo Can and that cuts out the x100p and the tdm400 (cheapo’s)

How many inbound / outbounds calls at one time only the two??

No IRV with movie times???