Monday, 23 March 2009

New Asterisk Appliance for the lab

The kind People at PIKA Tech have shipped me their latest Asterisk appliance, which supports Analogue (FXO and FXS) and ISDN 2e (BRI) cards. It's based on Asterisk and the Digium Asterisk GUI, with recent support for FreePBX available (

The package arrived in a very neat box with an additional box containing a 4 port BRI (8-channels), a 4 port FXO card and 4 port FXS card.
The picture above shows the intial unpacking stage of the main appliance. In the main box is the appliance, power supply (external mains transformer with EU and UK power leads), Cat5e cable and a rather curious serial lead with some ribbon cable attached (later I discovered this was for connecting to the internal serial port to connect to the console). The box also includes a rather neat little branded screw driver, which I initially looked at then put to one side thinking that's neat - not sure what that's for?

Like all engineers I didn't look for any installation manual or user guide, I just went straight for the unpack everything, figure out where it goes later strategy.
At this point I want to confess to being a FreePBX and Asterisk tinkerer and I also build my own Appliances based on the PIAF and Trixbox builds using MBX chassis with Solid state disks. So I was very excited to see what could be done with some real appliance engineering in a low power genuine solid state appliance for small offices. The appliance I put together are for up to 4xE1 (120 channels) 150 Extensions and 120 concurrent calls - but you pay the price for this size. The PIKA appliance fits the smaller office install around75 phones and 32 concurrent calls.

My next post will take you through the fun of setting this little baby up in my lab.

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