Questions about Elastix and analogue phone at home

Discussion in 'General' started by samiux, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. samiux

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    Hi all,

    I am a newbie to Elastix and Asterisk. I bought a piece of X100P card and installed Elastix on a spare machine for experiment. My home has only 1 analogue line (landline). I am living in Hong Kong and the landline is charge in monthly for unlimited call in local. The line also registered for long distance call function from the telecom provider.

    Now, I want to set the Elastix up for the following purpose :-

    Firstly, I want to phone out or receive call from outside when my wife is talking on the phone. What should I do? Do I need to install another analogue line for the purpose. Or, just buy a piece of interface card? If yes, what type and model of interface card should I buy (your recommendation is appreciated)?

    Secondly, I want to make long distance call from Hong Kong (my home) to other countries (e.g. UK or USA when my wife is there). What should I do? I think I know that I should have DID. If so, what type of DIDs that I need (inbounding or outbounding) for my Elastix and my wife's softphone, hardphone, or mobile?

    Thirdly, my wife may travel often. I want to call her by Elastix system. What should I do then? Do I need to buy inbounding DID (for Hong Kong) and set it up at her softphone that runs under Windows? Or, directly call her on her mobile? In addition, I do run Linux (or say Ubuntu Desktop edition). Or, do I need to buy a hardphone (or IP Phone) for her to plug into the network in other country?

    Lastly, would you mind telling me where to get more basic concept and information or document about the IP-PBX (Elastix)?

    Many thanks for your time to answer my extremely stupid questions?

    Samiux
     
  2. busster8

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    the easiest thing to do would be to set up two softphones. One locally and one on your wife's pc. When she travels, as long as she can connect to the internet, she can call you by dialing the extension number of your softphone. No charges at all.
     
  3. samiux

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    So, may be the best solution is to use Skype (PC to PC) and no need to set up Elastix? Any idea?
     
  4. wiseoldowl

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    Rather than a "piece of" X100P card you might want to consider using an SPA-3000 or SPA-3102 adapter - see HOWTO: Linksys SPA-3102/Sipura SPA-3000 + FreePBX

    You cannot receive a call from the PSTN line while your wife is talking on it unless you subscribe to "call forwarding - busy line" service (not available in all areas - I have no idea if it's offered in Hong Kong, nor what the service would be called there) and then forward the call to a DID (presumably a local number in Hong Kong) that comes into your Asterisk box via SIP or IAX protocol. Or, as you mention, you could get a second phone line.

    To make long distance calls over your Elastix system you also need an account with a local VoIP provider that will let you use your Asterisk server as the endpoint (rather than a hardware VoIP adapter - usually this is called BYOD, meaning Bring Your Own Device, service). Your calls would then go out over the Internet, and anyone calling you on the number associated with that service would come into your Asterisk box. Note that normally (but not always) the VoIP provider will give you both outgoing and incoming service as part of the service offering. The "DID" is the telephone number associated with the service (DID = Direct Inward Dial) so strictly speaking you do not need a DID to make outgoing calls, but it's usually included as part of the "package."

    Put a softphone (the free version of Zoiper is a good choice for use with Asterisk, because you can use IAX protocol and avoid firewall issues) on your wife's computer, and make it an extension off your Elastix system, and you can call her directly from a local extension, and she can access any of your outgoing lines or even receive incoming calls from your PSTN or VoIP lines, if you set it up that way.

    Note that if you use a VoIP provider that is registered with Sipbroker then when your wife is traveling and does not have her laptop handy, she could dial a local Sipbroker dial-in number for whatever country she is traveling in, then your provider's Sipbroker code, then your DID number and in theory it should go through. Or you can register your DID number with e164.org and then she could use *013 as the Sipbroker code and it would go to your system as a free ENUM call. I know you probably don't understand much of what I have just said, but when you are ready you may want to visit the Sipbroker site and learn about their free dial-in numbers.

    You may want to read the e-book "Elastix Without Tears" - it's a free download. Also spend some time in the FreePBX documentation area. A little secret about that site (actually some not-so-good site design) - if you go to the Module Documentation section and then look in the left hand column, additional documentation options appear that don't necessarily have anything to do with modules (such as HOW-TOs and FAQ). It isn't obvious how to find that stuff from the main page but there is a lot of useful information in there.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. samiux

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    wiseoldowl,

    Thanks for your detailed information. Studying ....

    By the way, how do I phone to my wife if she was in travel? Dial her mobile phone directly by means of long distance call or to her softphone via the Elastix? Can I call her mobile phone via Elastix with no extra charge?

    Thanks a lot.

    Samiux
     
  6. rafael

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    You could call the analog line in hong kong and redirect the call to your wife iax/sip extension. So as long as her extension is register on Elastix she would be available to answer the call. Also she could call locally to Hong Kong from any part in the world.

    Regards,

    Rafael
     
  7. wiseoldowl

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    I don't quite understand - if your wife's cell phone has a local (Hong Kong) number and you call it from your PSTN line, then wouldn't that be considered a local call (no matter where in the world she is actually at)? That's how it would work in the U.S. but I know we treat cell phones differently than most of the rest of the world (there is no such thing as "caller pays" calls to cell phones here, except any normal long distance charges that might apply). I'm afraid I'm probably not the best person to answer that particular part of your question.
     
  8. samiux

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    rafael,

    Thanks a lot. Sound interesting!

    I have a lot of thing to learn how the VoIP and Elastix work.

    Would you mind directing me where to get more information on VoIP or sip and how to get a DID in Hong Kong as I have no idea where to get the DID here. By the way, do I need 2 DIDs to call my wife and my wife to call back (one DID for me and one DID for my wife)?

    Thanks.

    Samiux
     
  9. samiux

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    wiseoldowl,

    Thanks for your information. I am still a newbie and need to learn a lot about VoIP and Elastix.

    My only aim is to call from local to other countries and call back (by PSTN or mobile) free of charge or at very low rate.

    My telecom charges me for long distance call from Hong Kong to UK at $0.15-HK/min for landline and $1.98-HK/min for mobile. My wife is in UK at the moment. The exchange rate for HKD to USD is $8-HK to $1-US.

    Any suggestion is welcome.

    Samiux
     
  10. rafael

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    Samiux,

    Elastix lets you build a ip pbx where you have truncks and extentions. Extensions are register via ip protocols such as SIP or IAX. So as a normal PBX you can call throw a trunk (ej your analog telephone provider) and you can communicate with the extensions of your pbx. One of the main diferences between Elastix and traditional analog pbx is that you use ip and for ip there is not much of a difference if you are in a LAN or in the Internet. So for the PBX is the same to recieve the call on the extensions no matter where in the world you are.

    Of course there are differences between a LAN and Internet such as firewalls, bandwith, etc.. but you can the behavior I explain above. So for Elastix there is no difference if your wife is at home or London.

    The best place to start is the Elastix wiki where you would have documentation. Among the docs links you would find Elastix Without Tears that is the best doc written for Elastix out there.

    Best Regards,

    Rafael
     
  11. samiux

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    rafael,

    Thank you for your detailed explanation and I get the picture now. Thanks a lot.

    Samiux
     
  12. rafael

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    You are welcome :)

    I was thinking about what your wife could use when she travel. One option is to use a laptop with a softphone and headsets as an endpoint. Other option could be a cellphone that supports wifi and SIP. That way on free access points you could register the phone to Elastix and use it as a regular cellphone but conected to Hong-Kong.

    any way good luck with your project.

    Regards,

    Rafael
     
  13. samiux

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    rafael,

    If I buy Linksys SPA 3102, how to connect it to the Elastix that behind a router and how to configure it? Do I need two NIC on the Elastix box? My router is making with Zeroshell which is a Linux router distro.

    Many thanks.

    Samiux
     
  14. samiux

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    Hi all,

    How do you compare Elastix with Skype? The pro and con between them in my case?

    If the Elastix can only be connect with softphone, why do I need to set up a Elastix box and not use the Skype directly?

    Any idea or suggestion? Thanks a lot.

    Samiux
     
  15. rafael

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    If you have a firewall between the ATA and the Elastix server you may want to read this: http://www.asteriskguru.com/tutorials/s ... erisk.html

    You do not need to nics on the server, but this may make your life easier so that you don't need nat.

    If your ata supports IAX you won't have problems with NAT and the config would be a lot easier.

    Regards,

    Rafael
     
  16. rafael

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    Skype has a lot of servers that do what Elastix does but without using standards. Elastix uses SIP (an Standard) and IAX (an open speccification) among others to communicate. So in other words you can do what you do with skype, but you have the control of your communication.

    Making things such as connectiong your analog line to a softphone, ip phone, etc anywhare in the world is not posible with Skype. What you can do with skype is call anyware in the world from the Internet, but not the opposite as far as I know.


     
  17. samiux

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    rafael,

    Thanks for the information.

    A salesman of X100P told me that I do not need DID, is that right (for my case)?

    The salesman recommend Trixbox to Elastix, but I like Elastix much for the web interface performance and built-in features. Thanks for the developers of the Elastix.

    For the echo cancellation of X100P, the salesman advised me to use OSLEC or OCTWARE's echo cancellation software. He said that OSLEC does not support multi-core CPU. What's your comment on those softwares?

    For the hang up problem of X100P, I find out this solution.

    If the hang up and echo problems can be solved by the captioned method, I think I will stick on X100P at the moment. If I want to do more advance in the future, what hardware do you recommend? (I have a analog phone line)

    What softphone for Linux and Windows Vista do you recommend?

    Finally, I still do not understand how can I dial to home from other countries (or local) using softphone, cell phone or landline. Can you show me the way to?

    Thanks a lot.

    Samiux
     
  18. rafael

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    It is right

    I would recomended you Elastix ;). Thanks you
    Elastix comes with OSLEC, I would look about the multi-core thing I am not that sure. Any way from our experience it does cancel echo.

    good :)

    You could try Sangoma, Digium or OpenBOX. For my personal uses I have a an open box that support up to 4 ports fxo/fxs. At the moment I just use one.

    In GNU/Linux I am happy with Ekiga that cames preloaded on most distros that use GNOME such as Ubuntu.

    For GNU/Linux and Windows you could try xlite.
    Imagine Elastix as a normal PBX with extensions and trunks. The main differences is that an extension can be any where in the world because it uses ip protocols. So as in a normal PBX where you could call from any extension throw the analog line you can do the same. At the same time you could do the opposite some one calls you throw the trunk and he/she can dial the extension. As said before the cool thing is that the extension could be any where in the world.

    For the "phone" extensions you could use anything that supports protocols such as SIP or IAX. So a "phone" could be a softphone, a hardware ip phone or other things such as cellphones that support SIP. What this cellphones do is they have installed a softphone that support SIP.

    Regards,

    Rafael


    Thanks a lot.

    Samiux
     
  19. samiux

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    rafael,

    I followed the "Elastix without tear" to set up my Elastix box with X100P. However, I had tried many tutorials from the internet to make the echo off from X100P but unsuccessful. I don't know why and I did not try OCTWARE yet.

    I then bought a Linksys SPA3102 and I cannot dail in by analog phone (or cell phone) and cannot out from via softphone. Any recommendation? The cell phone can dial to analog phone and vice versa that attached to the Linksys SPA3102.

    Thanks a lot.

    Samiux
     
  20. samiux

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    rafael,

    Thank you for your valuable and useful information. I initially set up my Elastix box with Linysys SPA3102 finally.

    I find a lot of "buzz" noise from the softphone can be solved by muting it at all. There is a little bit echo on my softphone but it is acceptable. (I am looking for the way to configure the echo problem)

    Next step will set more features to my box. Thank you for Elastix developers!

    P.S. I think I will spend some time on the X100P card to see if it can cancel the echo or not. Or, it is just the softphone muting problem.

    Thanks a lot!!!

    Samiux
     

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