Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cleaning up the PBX

I've been using an Intel D945GCLF mini-ITX computer for my home PBX for a couple of weeks now.  However, it has had some periodic problems.  Every so often the caller hears a  delay (no ring) and then the call either drops or he gets a fast busy.

I thought perhaps it was a problem with my provider, AXVoice, but found something interesting when I loaded FreePBX/ Asterisk on my Raspberry Pi.  This problem doesn't happen using the RPi(!)

I'm still trying to run this down - I've installed a couple of different versions of Asterisk with and without FreePBX on the Intel box, using the same configuration as on the RPi but the problem still happens on the former but not the latter...

It may be a LAN issue - I'll move some stuff around and see if the problem follows the changes.

In the mean time, the RPi is working just fine as a PBX...  Go figure.

While I was doing this testing, I thought I might as well clean up the Intel box - it was just sitting in a metal box with a big fan on top of a big old 500 Watt power supply with an IDE disk drive wedged in under some cables. It works, but it's not pretty.  And, because the top is open, I can't set anything on top of it (like coffee cups or cold drinks or bowls of soup...) 

So, I'm cleaning it up. I thought I'd try a couple of components from Mini-Box.  They make a small ITX enclosure and some equally small power supplies for them.  

The box is designed for mini-ITX computers and everything fits nicely.  I'm using a 2 1/2" SSD as a main disk (very little get's written to the disk when I'm not debugging) and don't normally have.  I'm using a 120 Watt power supply that plugs into the motherboard and uses and outboard 12V transformer.  

I added an extra fan and configured it to re-boot on power loss/return (so that the phones come back up after a power outage.)  I probably ought to put this on a UPS along with the router, switch and cable modem.

In any case, (in this case...) it looks much nicer now and at least now the cat won't be able to get into it.

I built another one just like this but with two Ethernet adapters (one on the board and another in the only expansion slot.)

I'm thinking of loading up some firewall or network monitoring software on this one.  

I'll report on that effort here as it gets going.

Now, back to tracking down that pesky call drop problem!

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