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Single-computer SIP server for demos

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by Shanksworthy, Aug 26, 2011.

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  1. Shanksworthy

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    Hi, I'm new to the forum and new to SIP in general, and looking for some guidance on the following:
    I'm tasked with the challenge of setting up a "portable" SIP server for our sales department, so that they can demo our phone algorithms on the road without WAN or internet access.

    The demo will be performed with 2 SIP phones (or possibly Androids w/SIP clients) both within range of the WiFi signal of the laptop hosting the SIP server.

    Presumably, setting up the 3CX Phone System software on a laptop will be easy to figure out. What I'm a little fuzzy on, is the hardware I'd need to connect to the laptop to provide WiFI access to the SIP phones. I'm assuming I need some sort of access point, but what what is the most minimalistic and portable hardware for achieving this? Any tips on setting this up (keeping in mind that I'm a complete layman on the topic of networking)?
     
  2. nbailey

    nbailey Member

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    install on your laptop, (stick with i3 minimum imo, 4GB ram 500GB HD with Win 7 don't use XP) wireless router for connecting WiFi phones and connecting to the internet. Shouldn't have issues unless you hook up to different internet connections when you setup, if it is a completely isolated network you should be fine like this. I travel with my laptop and 3CX installed on it for training all over the world and it works fine.

    Thanks,

    Nate
     
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  3. Shanksworthy

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    Thanks Nate. So just to confirm, this can be completely self-contained, i.e. it will work even without access to any internet or WAN, correct?

    Is it more-or-less plug and play, or are there any potential hidden setup issues I should be aware of before starting?
    Otherwise, I'll just go out and purchase a router with the smallest form factor I can find.

    ***EDIT*** This is the router/AP I was thinking of purchasing:

    http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX29789(ME).aspx
     
  4. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    Any inexpensive wireless (compact, in your case) router will do the job. They usually start about $29. If you think you'll need more than four LAN ports then there are some with eight. Since you won't have it connected to the net you won't even have to worry about setting up port forwarding, although that can be done very easily.

    It will be acting as a switch with wireless access point, and DHCP server (if you leave that enabled), only.

    You will have to connect the PC to the net for the initial installation.

    Give all devices (the ones you will re-use from one site to another) a fixed IP. Leave DHCP for any mobile or "new" SIP devices that are tested at only one setup.
     
  5. Shanksworthy

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    I confirmed that for the most part, I'm able to set up a self-contained SIP network without access to the outside world. However there's one major caveat, and this may be a showstopper:

    3CX PS seems to require internet access every time it starts up, e.g. after a reboot, otherwise it will not allow any of my devices to register their extensions! E.g.

    1. Disconnect router from the internet
    2. Reboot
    3. After reboot, 3CX Phone System services have started, but no extensions are registered. All attempts to register extensions fail.

    If I then re-connect the router to the internet and re-start the 3CX services, then it will allow my devices' extensions to register. Beyond that I can unplug my router from the internet and it will continue to work fine, until the next reboot.
    This is a major problem, because I need my phone demo to be completely self-contained after initial setup, i.e. no access to WAN or internet. I can't see any obvious reason why it would require internet access on startup in order to be able to register the extensions, but that seems to be the case.

    Can anyone think of a reason and/or resolution for this?
     
  6. Shanksworthy

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    Resolved (for now, anyway).

    My "pocket router" can be powered from a USB connection, which means that when my PC is powered down, so is the router. For some reason this is problematic. Connecting the router to AC power or reconfiguring to use a static IP address (as someone previously recommended) seems to resolve the problem, and I can now register extensions without internet access.
     
  7. nb

    nb Support Team
    Staff Member 3CX Support

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    Hi There

    INstall on ATOM Processor CPU
    I have one of these
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSHWdRgU4o0

    More portable than this you cannot get :) You dont need a monitor - Rdp to it.

    3CX is installed and working. Put windows 7 on with latest updates and go. Of course if you start adding myphone users and web activity things will start to get slower. This is good for a maximum of 8 sim calls. 8 users. Not more. And Windows 7 must be stripped down from features that consume unnecessary cpu and memory usage. Also sometimes these pc's go in some like "sleep mode" when not in use to consume less energy. Then when it recovers back it needs some more time to get on it's feet than a normal processor.

    3CX does not need INTERNET connection. 3CX needs NETWORK CONNECTIVITY. It needs windows to give an IP. If the network card is unplugged, the phone system service will start and then after some time stop.

    What needs internet are VoIP Providers of course. But for the scope of your demo you will not need this at that point.

    If the phone system did not start you have something very wrong at the network layer. When you unplug your router in your case you unplug your whole network. Because your router is a wifi ap, router, switch, dhcp server and everything.

    3CX Phone system does not start in 2 Conditions only A) port 5060 is in use by another application on your computer B) Dead IP

    But this is obvious. If the pocket router gets power from the USB of a pc and the pc is turned off how do you expect the power to flow if the power supply is also off? The USB is a charger when the computer is on. There are no batteries inside.

    So you will need to get a power supply for the router. Because you need one for the pc anyway.

    3CX depends on proper LAN networking.

    A static ip address is needed because your router does not have a DHCP service with reservations. Which is Typical in an all in one cheap device that does nearly everything else. There is a limit on what they can do however I would check - You might find this feature. If you do, configure it to give the same IP to your PC's Mac address. So everytime a network is detected, the server gets the same IP Address. In your case the pc gets a different ip everytime one of them powers down and then the phones fail to register because they are configured with the previous IP address the pc had got the last time.
     
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