VoIP Blaster or Cisco ATA 186

Discussion in 'VOIP' started by Antonio, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. Antonio

    Antonio Guest

    Hello, i'm new to VOIP - as a lot of people here - and i'd like to
    know your opinion about which one is better to interconnect the PBX of
    two of my offices! VoIP Blaster os Cisco ATA 186? Is there any other
    solution for this? Is it possible to make the PBX connection only with
    software and analog modem?
    Antonio, Sep 18, 2003
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  2. Antonio

    NOONE Guest

    If you plan to go with VoIPBlaster (VB) (as pointed out by Kyler) and don't
    already know, have a look at:


    I don't know much about Cisco ATA-186 device; however, I do know for sure
    that a VB is only an FXS device that terminates with a telephone device.
    Therefore, you can not connect a VB to a PBX directly to its extension,
    except the CO line of the PBX so that other extensions can share the VB. Be
    forwarned that VB uses a proprietary CoDec (as pointed out by Kyle) that
    you can not turn it off. The Fobbit software comes in three parts, i.e.
    phonebook server, client software, and the driver. If you just want to
    setup a Point2Point between several offices, the fobbit software suites
    your need very well. Just designate a linux machine to run a fobbit
    phonebook server (and this server can also run the client software as
    well), and have other VB computer hosts point to this phonebook server.
    Viola, your offices are interconnected through Internet with VB devices.

    If you want to use VB device with the asterisk (http://www.asterisk.org) as
    well as OpenH323 (http://www.openh323.org) software, have a look here
    regarding the VB driver:


    I did some simple tests using the linux driver from the above site with
    software from asterisk and openh323 about a year ago and it appeared the
    software recognized the VB device to function properly.
    NOONE, Sep 19, 2003
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  3. Antonio

    Antonio Guest

    So you tell me that to connect the two offices may be good, but to
    make calls to other places that will be the worst option. At first i
    would like just to connect the two offices, and as the price of the
    VoIP Blaster is pretty low, i think that may be a good start in the
    VOIP world no?
    Does VOIP connects over a ADSL internet connection? Have you had any
    troble with them?
    Antonio, Sep 19, 2003
  4. Antonio

    Kyler Laird Guest

    Yes, that's what I've determined from my investigation.
    If you can get VoIP Blasters for $10 each and consider them disposable
    (as I did), yes, that's a fine way to get started with the technology.
    (I recommend skipping Fobbit and going directly to OpenH323 for this.)
    I've used OpenH323 over ADSL and cable modem services. The only
    problems I ran into were related to NAT. I made it work with an H323
    gateway, but I think that there have been advances in NAT handling
    since then.

    Note that Digium sells a device, the S100U, that resembles the VoIP
    Blaster in that it has USB on one side and a POTSish line on the
    other. I've been told that it's available separately by special
    request, but I got a couple as part of their "LITE" developer kit.

    At $150 for both an FXO and an FXS, I think this is a better way to
    go than the VoIP Blaster if you value your effort at all. It will
    yield a much more capable system in the long run. (You can interface
    it to your existing analog phone lines!)

    I've also heard that the S100U has some problems (poor shielding?),
    so I suggest that you just get one or two before you make a decision
    on getting a bunch.

    Kyler Laird, Sep 19, 2003
  5. Antonio

    NOONE Guest

    First of all, VB is a discontinue product. If you can still find it on the
    market for very cheap, go ahead and grab some. I got mine US$10/VB when it
    was on-sale.

    A VB is an FXS device that only terminates with a telephone device. It
    requires a computer with a USB 1.0 port as a host to access Internet.
    Having said that and frankly speaking, a telephone device as well as the CO
    line port of any PBX system act as a slave to accept current/volt from a CO
    line to work. A VB device, on the other hand, behaves as if it is a CO Line
    that provides current/voltage to a device that is attached to it. So, you
    CAN NOT directly connect two CO Lines together. Doing so may cause some
    damages to the telco equipment and it is a violation of FCC laws in the US.
    Back in the 1970s, Radio Shack used to sell a small/simple box that allowed
    one to connect to CO Lines so that people can setup two CO Lines to hopp
    out of local region calls and yet still paid for local calls. If you have
    this device, you certainly can connect your VB RJ-11 port to one end and a
    CO Line to the other end of this device so that any VB/incoming telephone
    calls can be forwarded to. If you have a PBX with more than one CO Line
    that supports DISA, you can connect your VB RJ-11 port to one of the CO
    Line port on the PBX and use the PBX DISA capability to forward VB/incoming
    telephone calls to CO/VB Line, respectively.

    As I (as well as other: Kyle) mentioned in the previous posts, a VB uses its
    proprietary codes of CoDecs, i.e. standard G.723, to compress/decompress
    voice data. This G.723 CoDec, perhaps, is compatible with the G.723 CoDec
    used by MSN Messenger and/or NetMeeting and it allowes VB to use up 2KBps
    in each up/down stream. If you ever use MSN Messenger and/or NetMeeting to
    do a voice chat, you will notice that each up/down stream takes about 2KBps
    of bandwidth (I use DU-Meter to check this). So, if your ADSL connection is
    capable to provide > 2KBps in each direction, then you should not have a
    problem to use VB. When dealing with VoIP, one must understand that there
    is a delay issue. This delay can be caused by the route used between the
    two connected points. It also can be caused by how the ISP gets its
    connection or feeding from, i.e. high orbit satelite. So, all in all, you
    also need to check with your ISPs regarding their feeds. My Internet
    connection is serviced by the Comcast broadband and I have no problem using
    VB talking to some friends down in S.E Asean countries who use a 56Kbps
    dialup connection. The only problems are delay and some disconnection
    issues. The disconnection issue has nothing to do with VB. I know this
    because when we used MSN Messenger or any other voice chat, this also
    happened. And, the delay issue is understood.

    Be sure to visit the websites I mentioned on my previous post on this
    NOONE, Sep 19, 2003
  6. Antonio

    Antonio Guest

    Thanks Noone, i aprecciate all your information.
    Antonio, Sep 19, 2003
  7. Antonio

    chris Guest

    The ATA 186 is FXS ports only.
    chris, Sep 20, 2003
  8. Antonio

    shope Guest

    This may not matter if you are just testing the technology - but like more
    networking things there can be big differences between stuff designed for
    home or commercial use.

    1 issue may be that analog standards for phones vary around the world - the
    cisco stuff does seem to some in country versions for lots of places. You
    can also find local repair / maintian help just about anywhere for cisco (or
    for any of the otherproviders of commercial phone gear, like lucent,

    Probably isnt an issue for a test, but if you start deploying on remote
    PBXes (esp if they are in other countries) then you might want to think
    about checking with the telephony switch provider / maintainer about what
    their engineers are trained to work on.

    Also, if you want more complex features you need to check you can support
    them - fax relay is 1 common isse.

    Finally there may be constrinats on what is allowed in each counrty -
    monompoly phone providers and requirements for type approval still exist in
    some parts of the world.
    Is there any other
    shope, Sep 21, 2003
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