Using Asterisk for Volunteer Emergency Response Group?


#1

We have seven operators who field calls in their own homes. There are several incoming lines to receive calls from the public. We share an expensive Siemens ISDN switchboard with a business who has arranged for any incoming calls to our number to be immediately diverted simultaneously to all seven operators – using external lines. Once one answers the other calls are dropped.

We have two problems. Firstly we want to move over to our own private switchboard located at our own premises.

We then want to record all voice traffic on any of the incoming lines. This is not possible (I have been told) with the existing switchboard – it would require separate recorders at each of the seven operators.

At this stage we are not looking to use VoIP as I do not think the reliability of ADSL is acceptable at the moment. We would use PSTN lines all round.

My question is whether Asterisk might be appropriate for this application?

  1. Could it switch incoming calls simultaneously to the seven operators?
  2. Could all calls be digitally recorded?
  3. Would reliability be of the order expected for such a 24/7 operation?
  4. Any idea of cost?

Most grateful for any advice.


#2

1.) Yes
2.) Yes
3.) Yes
4.) a computer and some fxo/fxs cards/boxes to connect your pots lines to your box


#3

I do work for several 911 centers around the area. All equipment eventually has problems I dont care what you use 24/7 emergency response in my opinion also calls for 24/7 tech support that can be there in a drop of a hat. I think asteirsk would be up to the task but I would recommend you duplicate it for easy switchover in times of failure.

We then want to record all voice traffic on any of the incoming lines. This is not possible (I have been told) with the existing switchboard – it would require separate recorders at each of the seven operators.

I think you were told wrong I have used old tape recoeders and now most are switching to digital hard drive based solutions these can record mutiple calls and radio dispatch or what ever the voice is carried on at the same time I will try to get you some info on them


#4

Can you give a very rough idea of costs?


#5

I agree about the support - something I will have to look into later.

I presume the switchover has to be manual?

The problem, as I understand it, is that the switchboard is shared with a business and we would only want to record our own calls coming in on a specific number. As the lines are ISDN it may be that there are no specific incoming wires for our calls - I’m not sure how ISDN channels work.

If we had our own switchboard then I’m sure recording would be much simpler.


#6

Ok i can see that with the isdn it would be a problem. As far as cost you can look at digiums site on the different cards here

digium.com/index.php?menu=pr … y=hardware

Here is a list of known hardware that has been tested with asterisk

voip-info.org/wiki/view/Asterisk+hardware

Sorry I havent had a chance to dig up the info on the recorders yet


#7

No problems - many thanks for the info so far.