Digium’s New Phones: Are They Truly Open For Business?

A few days ago on Digium’s blog Malcolm Davenport posted some initial details about the companies new line of SIP phones. Malcolm’s post presents our first formal glimpse into the relationship between the phones and a new module for Asterisk called the Digium Phone Module For Asterisk (aka DPMA.)

You may recall that various folks from Digium were on a VUC call back on Feb 3rd, not long after the phones were announced and shown at IT Expo.

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Asterisk 10 In SSSSuuuuuuuper-Wideband!*

While I am not currently an Asterisk user I still try to stay in touch with what goes on in that realm. Earlier this week Rod Montgomery penned a post at the Digium blog entitled “Top 10 Tricks You Didn’t Know That Asterisk Could Do.”

The post is structured like a Top 10 list. Most of the items included are genuinely useful. However, right at the bottom in the #1 position, he highlights newfound support for very high-sample rate audio, aka Super-Wideband.

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Panasonic Launches New Range Of SIP Desk Phones

panasonic ucm_stg_cnt_051137-300 After a couple of years testing the SMB/SOHO marketplace with the KX-TGP5x0 SIP/DECT series Panasonic has today launched a new range of desktop SIP phones. There are initially three models in this new range, from the entry level KX-UT113 to the top-of-the-range KX-UT136 (pictured). List prices run from $120 to $270.

Compatible with Asterisk & Broadsoft’s Broadworks they seem to have all the features that you might expect, including POE and support for G.722 based wideband audio.

The support for wideband audio is nice. If anything like the earlier SIP/DECT models it’s a little limited because the devices are fundamentally designed around dialing by PSTN numbers, with no facility for handling SIP URIs.

I’ve always like the feel of Panasonic hardware. They got off to a rough start with the KX-TGP5x0 SIP/DECT series, but with the experience of Asterisk & Broadsoft certification behind them I would expect that by now they are now better positioned to address the SOHO market.

New Village Telco VoIP-wear From Cafe Press

In this life you’re going to need some clothing. It’s a simple fact. Since shopping malls are actually a form of torture why not buy your clothing online? While you’re at it you can support one of the most interesting and innovative open source telephone projects on the planet; The Village Telco.

Yes, The Village Telco recently opened a storefront at Cafe Press. You can buy a variety of t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, caps…even baby and dog apparel…all emblazoned with very cool new Village Telco logo.

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How To: HDVoice In PBX-In-A-Flash

I recently received an email from someone asking about enabling HDVoice in PBX-In-A-Flash.

I’m about to implement a PBXact for our small company, and I have a nicely running PBX in a Flash in my home. I’m wondering if I can HD-Audio-ize the home rig.

Here’s why I ask. We currently run a SIPX PBX in my company. Everything in that box, all the sound files, are all HD. When you talk to it with an HD endpoint, everything just talks HD. It’s a no brainer.

In my home PIAF/FreePBX/Asterisk, nothing is HD. How do I go about HD-izing it? I have the G.722 codecs all turned on, but I’m wondering if there is an easy way to make all HD-capable endpoints automatically talk HD to each other, and to talk HD to the PBX itself.

Any help is appreciated!


Fort Collins, Colorado

Since PBX-In-A-Flash is built upon Asterisk there’s a a good chance that this is possible, but its way outside of my scope. Given my employers migration to the OnSIP Hosted PBX I haven’t run Asterisk seriously for some time.

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Embedded Asterisk: HP T5735 Thin Clients

There still seems to be a lot of interest in DIY Asterisk appliances. Make that DIY PBX appliances in general, because the Freeswitch folks are just as active in this regard. My prior article giving an overview of suitable target platforms continues to be well received, even six months after it was originally published.

One of the host platforms mentioned in that article was the HP range of thin clients. Every day I get an email from the HP SMB Outlet listing the refurbished and overstock offering du jour. In todays list I notice that they include a quantity of 24 HP T5735 thin clients offered for $ 149 each.

These little boxes would make great little DIY embedded PBX systems. Here are the specs:

  • AMD Sempron 2100+ CPU clocked at 1 GHz
  • 1 GB DDR-2 memory (1 SODIMM)
  • 1 GB internal flash storage
  • PS/2 mouse & keyboard ports
  • 6 USB 2.0 ports
  • On-board audio
  • ATI Radeon X1250 graphics with support for up to 1920 x 1440, or up to 24 bit color depth
  • 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet

These little beasts are fanless and only draw around 18 watts. There is also an expansion chassis available that allows the addition of a riser for one PCI card.

At $149 each these devices are cheaper than a net-top. Granted, they’re not quite as powerful as a new net-top…they’re plenty enough to host a SOHO PBX or small music server.