Asterisk + Google Voice = Happy
A few years ago I setup an Asterisk (*) server at my house which ran for many years on a NSLU2. It was used as a proof of concept and included IAX2 and SIP connections (over VPN) to other people’s * servers. An elaborate dialplan and connections running all over the place made everything messy but fun.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I started working from home. I had a few choices about telephony in my office. I could have used the home phone but I definitely don’t want to give that number out to customers and coworkers. Then there’s the cellular phone that the company is picking up the tab on anyway but I’d like to conserve those minutes for customer emergencies. So it seemed that I had only a few choices left. I could have had the phone company “turn on” another circuit for me or I could roll my own. My inner geek was screaming at me. Now was the time I could use my * knowledge for good! Of course my * knowledge had dribbled out of my left ear over the last year or so since I really played with everything so I ran into a few roadblocks. Luckily I know people who are much smarter than me (and that I trust with sudo access to my server).
On my desk I’m running a Grandstream GXP-2000 (four line phone but how many people can I talk to at one time?) and I’m running CSipSimple on my Android device. I can call myself (and my wife) directly over the internal setup without touching an external line but what fun is that? I needed access to the PSTN so I could contact customers over the twisted pair. Well, I already have a Google Voice account with phone number that I had been using for work-related contacts, as well as some personal contacts, so it was an obvious choice. At Ohio Linux Fest one of the speakers talked about connecting * to Google Voice which further inspired me to make this happen.
Luckily for me the * community maintains instructions for doing such things right on the * wiki! It was almost as simple as copying and pasting the examples from the wiki to my config files. I did run into a few problems but did I mention I know people?
After a few tweaks (okay, probably more than a few tweaks but I’m telling this story) phones were ringing everywhere. I can dial out, dial in, and communicate with others everywhere now.
I’d like to take a moment to send good karma to Jared for helping me get everything straightened out and working.
I guess I should go call someone now…
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