Ping Gordon (and anybody else that used GSM gateways / cards forAsterisk / Trixbox)

Discussion in 'UK VOIP' started by Bodincus, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Bodincus

    Bodincus Guest

    Hi Gordon - and all,

    I have been asked to look into some hardware to add a few (2/4) GSM
    channels to our IP PBX product.

    I've been looking for something cheap and cheerful, and found some
    Portech cards (PORTech DuMV) and external boxes (MV-372) that could do.

    I'm aware you get what you pay for, but I need simplicity, reliability
    and the very basic ability to make occasional outbound calls through the
    mobile network.

    Did anybody here use Portech products?
    What you think?
    Got any problems?

    TIA, much obliged.
    Bodincus, Apr 21, 2009
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  2. I've used a 2-port external Portech box - Ethernet in + 2 SIM cards for
    outgoing calls.

    It looks just like 2 SIP phones to asterisk.

    It needed re-flashing to the latest s/w, and you need to set a weird mode
    inside it (via the web interface) to make it return busy when a channel
    is in-use, so when dialling a mobile number (_07Z.) I was dialling the
    first account, and if busy, dialling the 2nd (and if that was busy,
    defaulting to the normal outbound which for this box was isdn30)

    I've also used a few of the analogue to GSM boxes, but they need an FXO
    port on the PBX.

    Gordon Henderson, Apr 21, 2009
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  3. I've no experience, but at the cheap-and-cheerful end of the market I'd give
    the Asterisk bluetooth module plus a random Bluetooth GSM phone a try. You
    need a Bluetooth dongle per phone, but they're only a few quid.

    But no idea how reliable this is, and whether it'd be practical if you were
    selling hardware.

    Theo Markettos, Apr 21, 2009
  4. Bodincus

    Bodincus Guest

    Theo Markettos:
    Thanks Theo,

    That is a tad *too much* cheap, and probably a bit unstable and
    unreliable. Undoubtedly I'll make some experiments in-house, but I don't
    think such set-up is acceptable on a production system.

    Thanks for the suggestion tho!
    Bodincus, Apr 21, 2009
  5. Bodincus

    Bodincus Guest

    Gordon Henderson:
    Some docs I've read on say you can define it as a trunk -
    As every SIP device, if t'was sitting on the warehouse shelf for a month
    or two.
    Well, I can cope with weird... Reliability? Build quality?
    Aha, I have two of them. Two SIM / two POTS units, but to have a
    reliable FXO in the PBX it's another half grand (Sangoma or others) - we
    need four channels. Also, it's another level of complexity to the system
    - I'd rather have a single device.

    Thanks for the input.
    Bodincus, Apr 21, 2009
  6. Bodincus

    Jono Guest

    Bodincus pretended :
    The Portech box Gordon's referring to, I think, is installed in my
    office....once flashed, it never really missed a beat; certainly never
    had to reboot it in the year it's been in.

    In free-pbx speak, it would probably be set as a trunk. I don't need
    any inbound calls on it as it's used to reduce costs on outbound calls,
    in fact both SIMs are permanently diverted to one of the DDIs, so the
    ports being "extensions" isn't an issue....with one exception...<mental
    note to fix> pickup can sometimes grab one of the outbound
    calls as the Portech's "extensions" ring briefly whilst the GSM is

    Occasionally, ringing followed by NU confuses people if they dial a
    wrong number but you can't have everything.
    Jono, Apr 21, 2009
  7. What's a "trunk"?

    I think it's a mis-used term myself.

    However it's over a year since I setup that device - and I never even
    had my hands on it - it was alldone remotely at a clients site with the
    help of someone on-site do do things like re-flash it, etc.
    As far as I know, it's still working...
    OpenVox A400 card. Works a treat and at a good price too. Use oslec if
    you ever need to connect them to a BT line. That works a treat too.

    (I used the Telecom FM GSM terminals)

    Gordon Henderson, Apr 21, 2009
  8. Yup, that's the one.
    Ah, I'd forgotten that. The portech answers the call, *then* outdials
    over the GSM network - so it can take a few seconds of ringing that the
    portech presents before the GSM network catches up...

    Gordon Henderson, Apr 21, 2009
  9. Bodincus

    Jono Guest

    Gordon Henderson used his keyboard to write :
    yes, though this happens on an SPA3x0x too. Not a major issue. everyone
    knows now and the ringing tone is perceptibly different too, so you can
    tell when the gsm is actually ringing.
    Jono, Apr 21, 2009
  10. Bodincus

    Jono Guest

    Gordon Henderson wrote on 21/04/2009 :
    A bt line, an isdn channel a SIP connection (not phone)....freepbx
    Trunk / CO Line....a phrase used to identify the outbound 'lines'

    Jono, Apr 21, 2009
  11. Bodincus

    Bodincus Guest

    Gordon Henderson:
    Brilliant, two thumbs up on two installs. 100% success rate on install
    and reliability. Good times.
    Not a problem for me, It would be - as per Jono's setup - just to make
    outbound calls to mobiles. Latency is expected when dialling a mobile.
    Bodincus, Apr 21, 2009
  12. Bodincus

    Jono Guest

    Bodincus pretended :
    I think that's two thumbs up on one install...however, I can't fault
    the Portech. It can be quite useful to be able to send/receive texts
    from either SIM - done via a web gui.
    Bought ours from Westlake, I think, btw....not sure if their stock
    check is accurate but there are 4 and 8 port versions available too
    Jono, Apr 21, 2009
  13. Bodincus

    Bodincus Guest

    Gordon Henderson:
    In FreePBX-speak (and in generic telephony terms) a trunk is where the
    inbound and outbound traffic goes through.... but I'm sure you know that.
    Comes from the old age of PSTN-ISDN, and old farts like me prefer to
    keep consistency throughout the platforms...
    Oh, very good indeed.
    Aye. I got the picture then! Fit and Forget.
    Yup, but Sangomas have always been absolutely 110% reliable, and I can't
    fault their hardware echo canceller, whatever line your throw at it (BT,
    Telewest/ NTL, etc...).
    Next time I need to bash together a low-cost system I'll give'em a go.
    I hear you, loud and clear. But that is way beyond what I need... and
    half a grand! Ouch.
    Bodincus, Apr 21, 2009
  14. Gordon Henderson, Apr 22, 2009
  15. Bodincus

    Bodincus Guest

    Er, not sure what you're looking at, but the ones I've used are currently

    This is analogue in, GSM out ...

    No, I wasn't looking at those. I don't want any analog or POTS port, I
    want a GSM <> VoIP gateway. To have the number of GSM channels I want
    (4) it's 400 quid of Cellroute(s) nevertheless, and add another 130 quid
    for 4 FXOs on an OpenVox A400 = £530. Cheaper but far more complicated
    to set up and multiple points of failure.
    It's the OneStream G I want, and it's £ 425 x 2 = £ 850.
    Or the Portech MV-374, £ 624.
    Or two Portech DuMV, 399 x 2 = £ 798 (Ouch).
    Installation and maintenance costs are a factor I have to take in
    account when choosing hardware for my IP PBXes.
    Bodincus, Apr 22, 2009
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