February 2009 Archives

Asterisk on a NCD Thinstar 564.NET (532.NET) - Installation

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After having set up the thinstar box  the next step consisted of the installation of Asterisk 1.4.23.1 from source.

I installed unixODBC, unixODBC-devel, the mysql ODBC driver and the mysql server + libraries from the Suse 10.3 CD. After that I compiled the UW IMAP 2007 toolkit to have access to the IMAP voicemail feature of Asterisk.

Asterisk itself took 2 hours to compile, not really terrific...

show translation is also really low end:

thinstar*CLI> core show translation
         Translation times between formats (in milliseconds) for one second of data
          Source Format (Rows) Destination Format (Columns)

          g723 gsm ulaw alaw g726aal2 adpcm slin lpc10 g729 speex ilbc g726 g722
     g723    -   -    -    -        -     -    -     -    -     -    -    -    -
      gsm    -   -   27   27       58    30   26   129    -     -    -   58    -
     ulaw    -  91    -    1       33     5    1   104    -     -    -   33    -
     alaw    -  91    1    -       33     5    1   104    -     -    -   33    -
 g726aal2    - 119   30   30        -    33   29   132    -     -    -    1    -
    adpcm    -  93    4    4       35     -    3   106    -     -    -   35    -
     slin    -  90    1    1       32     4    -   103    -     -    -   32    -
    lpc10    - 161   72   72      103    75   71     -    -     -    -  103    -
     g729    -   -    -    -        -     -    -     -    -     -    -    -    -
    speex    -   -    -    -        -     -    -     -    -     -    -    -    -
     ilbc    -   -    -    -        -     -    -     -    -     -    -    -    -
     g726    - 120   31   31        1    34   30   133    -     -    -    -    -
     g722    -   -    -    -        -     -    -     -    -     -    -    -    -


I also included chan_sccp to be able to access my Cisco 7960 phone.

Performance: Using 1 voice connection from ISDN to the Cisco phone, the CPU has approx 20 % load and no clicks or lost packets on the line. Remember, no format conversion is done in that case (alaw -> alaw).

Power consumption: 9 watts with the hard disk, 7 watts without. Not bad for an asterisk server.

I completed it with MySQL ODBC storage for the call data records and an Apache Webserver to be able to look these records from everywhere in the world...
At a company I saw many of these Thinstar terminals in a recycling container, ready to disassemble. I asked whether I could get some of them and yes, I was lucky.

thinasterisk1.jpgAfter opening the case I saw a Cyrix Geode GX processor, operated at 300 MHz, a 64 MB S0DIMM-RAM and a 32 MB Flash module, containing the Windows CE operating system.

I thought I could make an asterisk box out of it. There were two problems:

  1. The maximum RAM you can put into the S0DIMM slot is 128 MB, so a swap partition will be mandatory. Swapping on Flash is not something you really want to do.
  2. The 32 MB flash "disk" is far too small to install a Linux operating system and asterisk.

I decided to use a 160 GB 2,5" hard disk for storage and an AVM Fritz! ISDN card (PCI) to build up my test system. On the picture above you can see the mounted hard disk (it is fixed via screws on the front panel), the installed 128 MB notebook RAM module (66 MHz or 100 MHz (which is compatible to 66), a 133 will NOT work!) and the installed ISDN interface card.


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Pascal Gienger
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