What hardware do you suggest for this...?

I want to bring a T1 digital voice into my home with about 24 lines on it. I have cable (5mbs) already. And I will be getting a dedicated server with Red Hat to install Asterisk.

What I want for Asterisk to do is dial out to a number, put them on hold, dial out another number and ask them to select 1 to connect, then Asterisk would connect the two parties together and make a record of the call after the call ends. It will also need to have the ability to cut off, interupt, the call at a certain duration time.

So, what cards and other hardware would I need for the T1 connection? Bellsouth said I would need a PRI enabler and T1 card. What do you suggest? A server, these two cards, and then I’ll be in business??

Thank you for any help.

Are you trying to setup a calling card service?

No. But the possibility to diversify into other businesses is not out of the question later.

For now I want to set up a click-to-call for our web site. They enter their phone number and click “call operator”. Then Asterisk calls both the caller and the callee and connects them together for a consultation. After about 9 minutes Asterisk beeps in on the call a 1 minute warning. Then after 10 minutes Asterisk hangs up the call and records the date, who, and duration in the database.

I’ll handle all the programming. I just want to know what hardware I’ll need to get Asterisk server to dial out through T1 to two analog phones, connect them like a conference, and with full management rights. And this will need to be done for as many as 10 lines (5 conversations).

I was told possibly a PRI Enabler and T1 PCI Card by the Bellsouth people. Would I also need any switches or ATA’s?

It would be helpful if someone would simply write senario cases with step-by-step solutions. ie… PC Server w/Linux (T1 card, PCI enabler installed) - T1 line from wall to T1 card, Asterisk controls T1 card and gives dialing instructions. Analog phone to PRI enabler (PRI communicates to T1 card through Asterisk)…etc… or maybe a very good diagram. When I’m finished I’ll be putting up an Asterisk for Idiots 1.2.3… Tutorial.

you’re asking for a lot of details with still very little information. If you really want help spec-ing out your system, there are plenty of people you can hire to do that. Other wise, in general you need phone lines and/or VoIP termination providers to handle your phone calls (as you know), and then if you expect any of the sales calls to be handled locally you’ll need IP phones, ATA’s, FXS or equivalent for the telphones…


Ok, I think I have it. A diagram trying to explain what I’m doing. You’ll see questions marks where I’m puzzled.


It is ALMOST just like a calling card type business except the calling card is Internet based here. i.e. they purchase time online but can only call our operators (consultants).[/img]

To answer your original question. You will need a T-1 card, such as the Digium TE110P, (digium.com/en/products/hardware/te110p.php). This will get you connected to the PSTN. You will then need a PC capable of handling your call load. This can vary depending on what you are doing with the machine, but the PC you have listed in your diagram should handle this load nicely.

Alternativly, you may want to consider using VoIP, and skipping the T-1. It could possibly save you some money, assuming you have enough bandwidth on your current Internet connection.

Depending on your level of technical expertise, you may want to consider speaking with a consultant. They will be able to analyze your situation specifically and determine the best way to accomplish what you are trying to do.


Thanks for the reply. We will be doing VoIP in addition to the plain old telephone. Problem with the VoIP alone is getting lesser technical customers to using it. The only thing they know how to do is to surf, email, turn on their TV, and make a phone call. Downloading a softphone or anything other than point and click is too much. We also use text chat, video chat and other avenues to cover the entire spectrum of communication options to use this service.

We are speaking with Bellsouth consultants for the T1 side. And even though I don’t have a Linux box to learn I have installed VMWare virtual application to run Asterisk on my Windows box to get the basics down. Hoping to have VoIP working tonight. After that I should know a little more about the VoIP possibilities.

And yes, I will be getting a TE110P for my Linux box when the time comes. Thanks for the help.

VoIP termination would actually allow you to send calls to the PSTN. A VoIP provider works as a gateway, accepting VoIP calls from you and relaying them on to the PSTN network.

These providers can save you money because they usually charge only per minute rates, the taxes are much lower (as in zero), and most of them act much quicker than the telcos. Typically, if you have the bandwidth, this option will save you money.


So are you saying that using a VoIP provider, a customer can use a POTS phone and call a number that goes through them to a VoIP softphone, and visa-versa? I wouldn’t need to connect to PSTN myself and I can use a VoIP provider to do it for me? So in my diagram I can replace Bellsouth with a VoIP provider via my cable Internet? Then I wouldn’t even need a TE110P card. But how would I control the phone call to do things like interupting the call and such?

BTW I got VoIP working local from PC to PC. Pretty cool stuff and very easy. I see a lot of people having problems understanding and I’m glad I can pick it up quickly. I’m using xten’s X-lite softphone.