General Asterisk Question

Posted on 2006-04-02
Last Modified: 2010-03-18

I am thinking about implementing an Asterisk Server and have a few questions. I am debating if I should use the real Asterisk, or Asterisk@Home, Asterisk@Home is easy to manage and comes with xPL for integration with automation controllers. Is asterisk@home asterisk plus aa nice Web GUI, or is it limited in some way. Also, What is the difference between FXO and FXS? I have two incomming POTS lines. Now, here is where I need some guidance. I have five employees that need to be mobile on site. We already have a Wi-Fi Network and I was wondering if I should use the new wireless VOIP handsets, or get some FXO (I think that is right) modules and get regular POTS cordless phones. Cost is a bit of an issue. Also, not including the wireless phones, thee would be a total of 3 or 4 IP phones, and 2 POTS phones, and one alarm system. I don't know the best way to configure the alarm. Should I put it through the PBX? I am wondering if I should because that is another point of failure. Should I wire it directly into the POTS lines bypassing the Asterisk system? Ok, to recap: if I go with using the POTS wireless handsets, then there is a total of 7 internal POTS extensions, and 3 or 4 IP. If I go with using IP wireless handsets, then there is 8 or 9 IP phones and 2 POTS. There are two incomming POTS lines with consideration for adding VOIP. As well, if I did add VOIP, I would want to make sure that any emergency calls would be going throught the POTS lines.
Question by:Maxwellb
    LVL 22

    Accepted Solution


    I've only ever used Asterisk, so I don't know how much better the @home version is.

    Both of the following terms refer to ANALOG telephony:
    FXS - Foreign exchange subscriber/system - This provides power to a telephone, dial tone etc. An analogue telephone would be plugged into this interface
    FXO-Foreign exchange office. Basically this interface acts like a telephone and provides the on/off hook signals. On your asterix server, this connection would be connected into the wall socket from your telephony supplier (ONLY IF THE LINE IS ANALOGUE!!!!!!)

    Put the alarm and emergency dialing code through the PBX - then it is someone elses problem (the supplier of the PBX) if an emergency does wrong! You don't want to take the risk!

    With wireless handsets, I generally dislike them as range is often an issue. The batteries will need replacing in a few years by which time, the correct batteries will be a pain to obtain etc. Also potential problems with interference. Test with 1 before you commit to this particular idea. If you have blue tooth around, then you probably want to forget wireless, as bluetooth is totally anti-social and trashes most other protocols!

    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    Nice article on this:

    Apparently the same FXO and FXS terminology applies to digital circuits as well!

    Author Comment


    Unfortunately, these people have to have wireless hansets as their Job is mobile at our compnay. Which leads back to the main question, is it better to purchase FXS modules and anologoue phones or to purchase VOIP wireless phones. Remember, cost is an issue.

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