Nerd Vittles Asks “Why Wait For An Asterisk to Skype Gateway?”

Ward Mundy over at Nerd Vittles has a great post describing how to build your own Asterisk-to-Skype gateway using the readily available SIP-To-Sis software. They note that this is the core of the recently launched Gizmo5 OpenSky service. If you have a local instance of Asterisk and like DIY then this is a great overview of getting it built.

Adding A Cellular Trunk To A Home Office VOIP System: Part 2

Originally published June 6, 2008 at

Welcome back! In Part 1, I took you through the thought process that led me to want to add cellular-based access to my home’s VoIP system. I ended up with the following project goals:

  • Ensure the ability to make outgoing calls should our DSL fail
  • Provide access to 911 service
  • Provide access to 411 service
  • Provide a low/no cost way to stay in touch when I’m traveling
  • Provide a means of making oversea calls from my cell phone without paying cellular carriers oversea long distance rates

In this second and final part, I’ll focus on the little box that makes it all possible.

Continue reading “Adding A Cellular Trunk To A Home Office VOIP System: Part 2”

How To Add a Cellular Trunk to Your VoIP System: Part 1

Originally published May 9, 2008 at

Our Asterisk based home/office phone system provides tremendous flexibility in handling our phone calls. It gave us the opportunity to migrate away from using analog phone lines from a traditional carrier. We now send and receive all calls via IP over our DSL. Of course, the monthly cost of our calling is a lot less. However, it’s not a prefect system – yet.

From the outset, we have worked to make the system more robust. This we have done in many ways, including providing various redundancies in hardware and configuration. Most recently, we have added a cellular trunk to ensure calling capability should our DSL service fail. The process involved in arriving at this decision has proven interesting.

Continue reading “How To Add a Cellular Trunk to Your VoIP System: Part 1”

Small Office VoIP On The Cheap

This post is the second in a series addressing some thoughts about ATAs. The first dealt with cordless phones and can be found here.

I’m not a big fan of analog terminal adapters (a.k.a. ATAs.) If you’re not familiar with them, these are the devices, like the Linksys example pictured below,  provided by companies like Vonage et al that convert your plain old telephone into a broadband phone. They bridge the old analog world into the digital realm. I accept that these devices have been the lifeblood of the residential VoIP provider world. That’s only logical since they’re cheap and easy to deploy. Continue reading “Small Office VoIP On The Cheap”

Dirt Cheap GSM Gateways On E-Bay

It’s been about 5 months since I installed the Portech GSM gateway. It’s working well. I stand by the decision to buy a GSM-to-SIP gateway over one that presents an analog FXS interface. We’ve never had the kind of call quality issues that can result from small FXOs in Asterisk.

However, this morning I noticed that there are now some extremely low cost GSM gateways being offered on E-Bay. Some quad-band models as low as $99. This could be interesting if you just want to experiment with the technology.