Is an FXO or other card required in hardware build

Discussion in 'General' started by parker b, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. parker b

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    I am custom building a server to install Elastix 1.6 on to replace my current PC that was originally provided by fonality. The question I have is this: I was told, back in the day, by fonality that at least 1 card (such as an FXO) was required to be installed for the VOIP system to operate properly. This had something to do with 'synchronization or timing' as I recall. I will not be using any analog lines, only ethernet for the VOIP so do I really need an add-in card or was I being over sold? Thanks!

    p.s. I do have the original FXO card installed in the existing PC but I'm trying to get a completed build done prior to the migration. I don't want to take anything down but simply cut-over.
     
  2. jman

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    Most binary distribution of asterisk (dahdi/zaptel) will load their dummy module which provide timing source. Therefore, you do not need physical fxo card to get the asterisk running. However, at that point you will not have proper FXO to work with for your trunk.

    You do have other type of trunks that you can work with (like sip and iax).
     
  3. parker b

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    Cool. I do assume, however, that it is possible to add an FXO at a later date and Elastix will recognize it in the 'hardware detection' section?

    My client only wants SIP at this point but I'd like to know if the option to add analog phone lines can be added later. I just assumed that could be done with a power down and the addition of a compatible fxo/fxs card. Is that true?
     
  4. jman

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    Most installation will auto detect your FXO/FXS card. There are some cases where the new card will not be detected. However, I would not worry about that issue now.
     
  5. trymes

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    I can confirm that you don't need the card and that you will be able to add analog ports later, whether via PCI card, USB Channel Bank, or SIP Gateway. Each type has its own pros and cons.

    Tom
     
  6. parker b

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    @trymes

    Any article/link you know of that discusses pros/cons on this subject? Thanks!
     
  7. trymes

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    If you mean an article about the relative merits of the different options for FXO, etc, I do not. However, the pros and cons are often mostly related to the form-factor:

    1.) PCI card - requires a PCI slot. Requires you to shut down the PC to add or remove. Sangoma has excellent support and quality, but requires additional software (wanpipe).
    2.) SIP Gateway - Depends on Network for service. Separate power supply (Must be backed up on UPS), Network problems will interrupt service.
    3.) USB Channel bank - (I'm thinking Xorcom Astribank, here). These use Zap/Dahdi and seem to be pretty slick, but I do not know how they compare on price (I haven't shopped any of this stuff, we use a PRI and no major FXO/FXS). I also don't know if they require a separate power supply, and thus UPS backup, etc.

    Not much detail, but I hope that helps,

    Tom
     
  8. parker b

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    Thanks, that was helpful. I can tell you that channel banks are $750+ and you can get the PCI cards new for around $80 with 4 port FXS/FXO or combo - That's a big enough price difference to merit taking down a system for 15 minutes (from what I read Elastix supports automated hardware detection of certain PCI cards without additional software).

    Again, thanks for taking the time to post that!
    Parker
     
  9. trymes

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    Glad I could help. I think that you will find that the PCI cards make more sense for smaller numbers of ports. As you get over 8 ports, the cost differential narrows substantially, and the additional wiring needed for many cards (top break out the Centronix connector) when compared to the Astribank makes up for any remaining difference, I would wager.

    Of course, if you're talking about clones, then forget about it. I would not personally use one for anything but hobbyist use.

    om
     

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