PBX/Asterisk Funtimes

34 views
Skip to first unread message

Chris 'Fish' Roberts

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 1:02:04 AM1/9/11
to London Hackspace
Hey,

First time posting on the list, so an intro: I'm a geek who used to
live in London, then moved to Canterbury to study, now moving back
once I've finished my degree. My parting gift to Canterbury will be
helping start a hackspace here (http://canterbury.hackspace.org.uk),
so I'm currently infiltrating you guys to get a feel of how things
work (and don't). I'm a fully paid up member, and came for my first
visit last Tuesday (for rather longer than I intended cause my train
got cancelled, but never mind). I'm quite eager to work on some
projects with you lot, mostly because I'm inspired to and partly
because I want to see what it's like to work on stuff with physical
space. tl;dr: hi!

I'm a bit of a VoIP nerd. I've set up several Asterisk systems
before, which are always fun, especially when you integrate it with
other stuff.

What I thought might be fun is to set up a PBX on babbage (or
something) that you can call into, and do various things with the
space, similar to robonaut - maybe act as a phone proxy so people
don't have to give out their personal numbers. It would also mean we
could join in on the call ins ( http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/Call-in
), join up to the telephreak PBX, and all manner of Fun Things.

Another source of amusement could be being able to call in and yell at
the people in the space if you can't physically get there ...

We *could* hook it up to the landline, possibly with a X100P, however
it's a heck of a lot easier just to get a (free) landline number from
SIPgate, or possibly pay £7 a month for one from aql.com (which can
recieve SMS as well, that's another avenue of awesomeness we could go
down). We could get an IAX2 line and that will allow us to handle
multiple incoming calls at once (if it's required)

But yeah, much potential phun to be had. I don't know if anyone has
actually tried doing this yet (I did have a look on the list... there
has been mentionings of it but no evidence of anyone actually doing
it).

I'm quite happy to get it all set up and documented, if there are no
objections, if anyone else fancies helping that's great too.

Tom Scott

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 6:55:14 AM1/9/11
to london-hack-space
I've been wanting to do something like this for a while, but lacked the necesary skills. I love the idea that you could dial into the hackspace, and do things like remotely unlock the door (with PIN codes/caller ID security etc).

I'd be in favour of putting it on the proper landline. If nothing else, we could use it as a call screener - all we get on the land line are robocalls, and having a "To confirm you're a human, press 1" message would be great. And if they don't prove they're a human, we could always divert them to a time-wasting bot...

So - I can provide a proper voiceover microphone and audio editing kit if you want to use them. I think Nokomis once said she was good at doing voiceovers...

-- Tom

Darren McDonald

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 7:01:14 AM1/9/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
I've always fancied writing/setting up a retro telephone bbs :)

Simon Howes

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 7:03:47 AM1/9/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com

Why not do one which also allows connects via tcp/ip?
Then everyone can play nice. I'll get out the ansi animation editor... its been a while ;)

ynohtna

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 7:19:40 AM1/9/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
My background experience contains lots of PBX, BBS and similar stuff but it's been so long I'd have to rely upon 8-bit induced flashbacks to summon any of it.

However, I did find a SD floppy disk labelled Ice Zmodem amongst my sampler stuff the other day. Chat & music whilst downloading!


A.

Darren McDonald

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 7:44:31 AM1/9/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
yeah, that would be easy enough, but ive no idea how you would
integrate it with a phone line. Is anyone here old enough to explain
how it used to work?

On Sun, Jan 9, 2011 at 12:03 PM, Simon Howes
<simonh...@googlemail.com> wrote:

Peter Corlett

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 8:10:24 AM1/9/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
On Sun, Jan 09, 2011 at 12:44:31PM +0000, Darren McDonald wrote:
> yeah, that would be easy enough, but ive no idea how you would integrate
> it with a phone line. Is anyone here old enough to explain how it used to
> work?

You use a FXO device. For Asterisk, I recommend a SIP ATA such as the
Linksys SPA3102, which costs about �50 including delivery. These are
normally of American origin and thus have RJ11 ports, so you'll either need
to buy adaptors, pinch them from an old modem, or bodge it. I took the
latter approach :)

If you want to do it on the cheap, you can get a Digium X100P which is
pretty much just a WinModem that plugs right into a PCI slot, but they're
complete and utter crap. You're welcome to take mine away if I can find it.

Watch out for the very real risk of fraud from connecting a VoIP system to
the PSTN. There are people actively scanning for and brute-forcing SIP
servers.

Chris 'Fish' Roberts

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 8:24:48 AM1/9/11
to London Hackspace
Well, we can hook it into the landline - that could be a later
project :-) Once we've got the hardware to do it. X100P's aren't
particularly expensive (£25-£35 on eBay last I checked).

BBS you may want to set that up as a separate project. You can build
one that is network based (and accessible with telnet over TCP/IP),
and later hook it up to a POTS line (or rather asterisk..)

Doing stuff like unlocking the door you might want to be careful of -
callerID is easily spoofed, and PINs are hackable especially with a
wardialer (iWar, for example).

Setting up an Asterisk PBX with a DID, and a basic voice menu would be
a good start. Which is quite easily done. I'd even be happy to do a
talk about it if people are interested in learning how it's done :-)
> >>> could join in on the call ins (http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/Call-in

Alex Smith

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 8:29:52 AM1/9/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com

On 9 Jan 2011, at 06:02, "Chris 'Fish' Roberts" <ch...@naxxfish.eu> wrote:
I'm a bit of a VoIP nerd.  I've set up several Asterisk systems
before, which are always fun, especially when you integrate it with
other stuff.


I have done system automation based around Asterisk - but not for a couple of years. I'd be happy to help out.

I do also have a POTS -> SIP router somewhere which I'll donate... 

 We could get an IAX2 line and that will allow us to handle
multiple incoming calls at once (if it's required)


aql are not unknown to donate things like this to Nice Causes...

A

Kussic

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 1:00:09 PM1/9/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
I have no clue how to play with PBXs, hell I tried to install Asterix once and got fed up halfway through so I'd be seriously interested to observe and learn from the others. I can hack a VoIP network like there's no tomorrow but I don't know how to set one up :)

-Kussic

Jasper Wallace

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 1:07:31 PM1/9/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
On Sun, 9 Jan 2011, Darren McDonald wrote:

> yeah, that would be easy enough, but ive no idea how you would
> integrate it with a phone line. Is anyone here old enough to explain
> how it used to work?

Modems, lots of modems. I was never really part of the modem based BBS
scene, but have worked at an organisation that did internet access in
there hotel/conference center by having a modem bank and then dial in from
the rooms.

If you want a good old school BBS thats internet accessible i can
recommend mono.org - I've not logged on in years[1] tho.

[1] lol, my account still works:
Last session from '81.251.217.195', 9 years and 22 weeks ago.
--
[http://pointless.net/] [0x2ECA0975]

Peter Corlett

unread,
Jan 9, 2011, 1:23:18 PM1/9/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
On Sun, Jan 09, 2011 at 06:07:31PM +0000, Jasper Wallace wrote:
[...]

> If you want a good old school BBS thats internet accessible i can
> recommend mono.org - I've not logged on in years[1] tho.

Mono is relatively modern, dating from the 1990s. If you want proper 1980s 8
bit retro, try Viewdata. http://www.viewdata.org.uk/ should get you started.

At least CCl4 still works, because I've just tried it.

Chris 'Fish' Roberts

unread,
Jan 19, 2011, 10:22:11 AM1/19/11
to London Hackspace
OK, unless anyone has any massive problems with this, I'll go build
Asterisk on babbage (and of course suitably document it on the wiki as
I go).

I might peer it with my PBX so I can test it, but I guess we can set
up sip accounts on it for anyone who's interested in playing.

If we happen to have any VoIP phones/SIP gateways that we can put into
the space that might be a good next step for this ...

Paul Dart

unread,
Jan 19, 2011, 11:22:51 AM1/19/11
to london-h...@googlegroups.com
OpenBTS plays nicely with Asterisk. We (russss) have a USRP that runs it, I had it running of my laptop with asterisk running locally, but linking it in might be nice.

Jasper Wallace

unread,
Dec 6, 2011, 12:18:09 AM12/6/11
to London Hackspace

['scuse the thread necromancy]

Did anything ever come of this? I'm playing around with some sip/voip
stuff atm.

--
[http://pointless.net/] [0x2ECA0975]

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages