Potential New user - General Questions about capability

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by Psychlist1972, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Psychlist1972

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    Hi All

    I have been evaluating IPPBX software for my home network. I spent a good amount of time looking at flavors of asterisk, but didn't want to take the linux plunge unless I really had to.

    3CX free pbx looks like a good piece of software, but I need to know about a few scenarios before I install it. I have read through the manual (mainly skimming with a dive into some appropriate sections) and looked through these forums before coming up with questions. However, if I missed a reference, please feel free to point me to it.

    My Background
    I am a software developer with some reasonable networking experience. Nothing too deep there, but enough to rack and run four servers and run all the cat5e around my house.

    Infrastructure Setup
    • - Wired (CAT5e in walls) and wireless home network.
      - Windows Server 2003 boxes centralized in my basement, adjacent to inbound PSTN.
      - One PSTN line to outside world; no outside VOIP service currently.
      - Caller ID, Call Waiting service frome phone company

    Needed Capabilities
    If any of the functions below require a version other than the free (or are/aren't possible), please let me know. I would like to start off by using this basically like a normal old house phone setup. Meaning:
    • - I would like to have inbound calls ring all extensions (looks like ring groups would do that)
      - If anyone picks up any extension in that group, the other extensions stop ringing (not sure if this is supported)
      - One central voice mail box to start. Inbound calls go here after x rings, without having to enter an extension (not sure if this is supported)
      - If someone picks up an extension while voicemail is recording, recording stops and the call resumes as normal (this is unusal in a pbx situation, so I'm not sure if this is supported here or not)
      - And, of course, I'd like all that while still retaining the ability to call extension-to-extension :)

    VOIP Gateway Recommendation
    From reading through the posts here, it looks like the GrandStream 4104 is the least expensive "good" gateway that is on the "supported" list. I looked at the cheaper GrandStream HandyTone products and found lots of "couldn't get it to work" posts here, despite it being listed on the supported list. I also noticed that the setup seemed to have a lot more steps than the 4104. If anyone has any other suggestions on that, please let me know. I don't want to waste $50 and get something that is a real pain, but I'd also prefer not to spend an additional $150 for functionality I'll never use (while we may someday go VOIP, we will almost certainly never have more than one PSTN line, for example)

    Development Interface
    • - What customization/scripting/interfacing can I do to the PBX software?
      - Can I, for example, enumerate and access the voice mail messages from a custom program running on a remote PC?
      - Can I query to see if there are new messages (or better yet, get notified that there are new messages) in my own .NET code?
      - Is there a documented .NET-friendly API or web service API?

    I plan to have a mixture of softphones and hardware phones, as well as a couple custom WPF applications all interfacing with this.

    Thanks for your time
    Pete
     
  2. 5qg4

    5qg4 Active Member

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    Yes

    Yes

    Yes

    No

    Yes
     
  3. Psychlist1972

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    Great, thanks for the quick answers.

    If anyone has any ideas on the gateway question and the developer interface, that would be helpful as well.

    Thanks again!
    Pete
     
  4. Psychlist1972

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    After doing some more research, I've decided to give the Grandstream HT-503 a shot. It is listed as the successor to the HT-488, but has additional codecs, caller-id and some other features including echo cancellation. Cost is under $60 for 1 FXO and 1 FXS.

    I searched around here and elsewhere, but I think the HT-503 is too new for anyone to have messed with it much. So marketing blurb-research it is :)

    Pete
     
  5. Costas3CX

    Costas3CX New Member

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    If you are really into keeping your 3cx box, best you go with a gateway that many people have tested and had good results. THis is the SPA3102.

    My friend Henk will surely vouch for this gateway. 1FXO, 1FXS, just about all you need

    I have tested with the 502 back in July if I remember and have some guides prepared. Don't know if they guys handling our website put them up on the website yet but I send them ages ago. Anyway, never heard anyone test yet with th 502 so I don't know how lucky you will get with it.

    If you need any help, let me know. I am sure if you go through with getting the 503, that the 502 guide will be 99% similar

    Regards
     
  6. Psychlist1972

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    Thanks. I've seen lots of "Stay away from the SPA" posts, and several problem posts, which is why I have stayed away from that. Perhaps the number of posts is more of a factor of a higher number of users of that device on this forum?

    I also have to admit a certain amount of trepidation with the Linksys boxes. I have had a couple pieces of Linksys networking equipment (a router and a switch) which both failed in the past. After I did some research on those failures, I found them to be common, and Linksys wasn't interested in helping out at all.

    If the 3102 is good, and they've gotten better with their hardware over the years (after all, I'm willing to give their phone a shot), then I'll try it out. Price point is about the same as the grandstream, so that isn't an issue.

    As to the larger question, I'm not sure that I'll stay with 3CX. I need to evaluate and see if it will meet my needs. Unfortunately, I need to buy hardware to evaluate (as is the case with most options, except asterisk, which will let me do some level of eval with a voice modem). It also has to pass the wife test, so I'm really restricted here to hardware in the sub $100 range unless I want to try and sneak something in the door ;)

    Pete
     
  7. Psychlist1972

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    Actually, I'm pretty sure it is Henk who wrote "Stay away from the SPA" in a few responses in the forum?

    Pete
     
  8. Mirzab

    Mirzab Member

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    It was indeed Henk that wrote that but it was meant in jest when you read the full context, and I was in part the cause.

    Linksys as a company, in my opinion, performs very poorly on any aspect of customer service. Unfortunately over the years I have used many of their products with no real complaints, and tend to go with what I am familiar with.

    I chose the SPA3102 to integrate my PSTN line into my 3CX box. It was several days of murder and long sleepless hours but with the assistance of this forum, I was able to get it configured and working. Now that it is working the performance is flawless - you would have a difficult time identifying if your call, in or out, was on the PSTN line or one of my VoIP providers.

    It has even met with my Wife's tentative approval :lol: , so I live to annoy her another day.

    I, myself, would buy it again due to familiarity. Henk likes them (I think). I would recommend it but with a warning - "Can result in lack of sleep & high blood pressure, but all will be well in the end" :wink:
     
  9. 5qg4

    5qg4 Active Member

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    I prefer Greadstream. Since the technical support should be very good. Even they can help us to fix the issues or not. I have tried the HT488, GXP2000, GXW4104 and GXW4004. All of them are passed our internal test. For HT503 should be almost the same admin interface with HT488.

    P.S. We found the issue which we cannot put GXW4104 and GXW4004 together at same LAN.

    One more important thing "Grandstream - one of 3CX Technology Partners"
    http://www.3cx.com/partners/technology-partners.html
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    YOu got to buy what satisfies your requirements.

    Again looks like I been quoted out of context, pitty might have to shut up in the future.

    The linksys kit is very good, it is now cisco anyway, I run SPA (serveral shapes and forms). Like all good gear it can be fiddly to setup but once setup they just work.

    We here in the "outback of australia" have regular power outages so that power cycles the SPA, but I have one SPA3000 that has not been turned off since it was put into production (I believe it is 1.5yrs ago) it just works.

    But I be quiet now.... :lol:
     
  11. Psychlist1972

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    Thanks all. That helps to clear some questions up.

    Henk, no need to be quiet :)

    Pete
     
  12. Psychlist1972

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    FWIW, I ended up purchasing the Grandstream HT-503 today. I really waffled on the Linksys, but in the end, decided to take a risk. Both seem to support my needs, but I still have a little devil on my shoulder telling me to stay away from linksys boxes (except their phone, which I hope works!) based on past experience.

    It should be at my house by Thursday evening, in time for me to mess with it Friday evening and this weekend.

    Thanks again for all your help.

    Pete
     
  13. nickybrg

    nickybrg Well-Known Member
    3CX Staff

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    I think you made a very good decision - (and maybe that thing on your shoulder was not a devil but in fact a beautiful angel that may have saved your life :) ). I would have dont the same combination - Gateway / ata = Grandstream and Phone = Linksys.
     
  14. Psychlist1972

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    Thanks. I will say that it has hardly been smooth. See my comments in the "First SUccessful Implementation with HT 503" thread. :)

    Pete
     

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