IP04 Adventures - Day 2

Today, I explored the IP04's Asterisk setup a little closer. I had my IP04 loaded with one FXO port (for connecting to the PSTN), and three FXS ports (for connecting to extension phones). The default configuration for Asterisk recognizes this configuration for the purposes of initializing hardware, but otherwise does not have settings to handle the FXO port. In fact, the default dialplans look on the device as containing up to eight FXS ports, and no FXO ports at all. Obviously, I will have to change this.

I plugged a telephone into one of the FXS ports, and after the requisite warmup period, got a dialtone. I dialled extension 2008 and promptly connected to the introductory audio clip. Good. The box works, and has a clear audio output as well. Extension 2020 records six seconds of audio from the extension phone and then plays it back. Again, the recorded audio sounds clear, so I conclude that all is well with the box.

But, one thing puzzles me: when I dialled 2008, the recording gave me instructions as to various tests I could perform by pressing digits at the proper time, but did not actually do anything when I pressed the digits. So, I go back to the dialplan in /etc/asterisk/extensions.conf to find that the 2008 extension only plays the soundbite, but does not include the logic to actually execute the tests. The logic is buried elsewhere, disconnected from any extension, and I'll have to modify the dialplan to reconnect it.

A quick peek at rowetel.com finds me a short introductory lesson on the configuration and use of the IP04, including some information on the available dialplans and instructions on how to extend them. With this information in hand, I decide to make an extension-to-extension call. I plug a second phone into another unused FXS port, and dial 3 on the other phone. Surprise! The new phone rings! I pick up the receiver and hear myself talking into the other handset. And that was my first successful extension-to-extension call.

Back to rowetel.com, and I find information on the package management tool (the "BAPS Package System"). Beside the apps that came installed on the IP04, David Rowe has supplied a number of (to my mind) essential applications for download. With an internet connection on the IP04's ethernet port, the device can download and install named applications (with dependency checking) from the rowetel archive site. I added the leds, ntpclient, ssmtp, and nano packages to my IP04, and will have to properly configure the ntp client and smtp outbound server as I go.

And, with that done, I now settle down to reading "Asterisk - The Future of Telephony" to learn how to properly configure my new toy. More on that, next time.