Home VoIP System Part 0: Introduction and materials

2020-06-13 23:50 by Ian

Why build a home VoIP network?

Maybe your cellphone reception at your address is spotty, and you want a hard-line integrated into your network (I presume here that you have a home network). Or maybe your house is large enough that its inhabitants find themselves either screaming down hallways or using their cellphones to communicate. Or maybe you are a level 50+ telecom mage, and want to script home automation for use via outside phone calls. In my case, all of these apply. So I resolved to build a home VoIP network.

I will be using Asterisk for the server with a Digium 1A4B03F POTS interface card. I sprung for the hardware echo cancellation because Digium's hardware EC is top-shelf, and I want to keep the server out of a latency-critical context as much as I can. If you only want a closed intercom system, you can save yourself the $500 outlay for a telco interface card, and ignore all config and discussion related to DAHDI.

The choice of stations was an easy one to make. Since office VoIP phones are so common on the surplus market, you have pretty much your choice of anything older than 5-years. I went with about a dozen Polycom SoundPoint IP 335 VoIP phones at ~$20/each.

My home network is wired as much as is possible. When I laid down the ethernet, I planned for extensive PoE load, and used 24-ga shielded CAT6 everywhere. I am driving it with a Ubiquity 24-port 500W managed PoE switch, but PoE isn't typically necessary.

Once the phones arrived, I spent a night figuring out how to reset and provision them.