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Mesh Phonebook

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Mesh Phonebook
Anybody setup a mesh phonebook server?

I have a R-pi 2 running a TFTP server on the mesh with a phonebook.xml file available
This is compatible with a Grandstream 3240 and you can set it to update the contacts every x hours.

Some standardization is necessary.
I made account 1 direct IP calls.  Account 2 is my PBX (n8jjpbx)

The cheaper Grandstream phones like the 1630 would not dial direct IP from the contacts list.  Grandstream told me they submitted a ticket.  We'll see.

N2MH's picture
Notion of a Central Server

Isn't the notion of a "central server" contrary to why people dial by ip address in the first place? I've seen comments to this effect elsewhere here on the forums as well as private email.

If a central server is acceptable, then one can bring up asterisk, (a "central server") and create some real clever and useful dial plans and do a lot of what an xml phonebook can do. These dial plans are available to any phone registered on asterisk and are not proprieitary to one brand of phone or another, or even if the phone is not capable of accessing a phone book.

The only "drawback" is that custom config files have to be generated by hand, probably no different from an xml phonebook. This will have to be done outside the gui on a standard FreePbx installation. The good news is that the hooks are already in the standard FreePbx  config files.

Examples are available for anyone interested.

73, Mark, N2MH

So I wasn't proposing a big PBX.
This is a phonebook of mostly direct dial IP addresses.  It loads them on your phone so you don't have to fat finger them in.
It also can accommodate PBX extensions, but since there are many different PBX's in different areas.  It is problematic.
N2MH's picture
Real Answer

John, I'm sorry for not answering your question in the first place. Allow me to rectify that. I'll try to answer by relating my experiences with the phone that I use.

I run Yealink phones. They have a built-in directory function. You can configure it from the phone itself if you wish. Once configured, you can export it to a file and import it into other Yealink phones. The file is an ascii text file which you can edit with your favorite text editor using the format already in the file. This feature may also be present in the phones that you use. I have done this file export, edit, import procedure and it does work ok. I have not done it for direct ip dialling, so I don't know if it will work for that. Be aware that this is a manual process.

I have seen this feature on other phones that have been visible out on the Mesh. And, each vendor has their own idea of what this directory file should look like.

Yealink also supports some sort of xml file format as well as ldap. I don't know the format of the xml file and suspect that it is proprietary to Yealink. ldap should be universal and usable by any phone out there that supports it in the first place. It has a standard format but the downside is that it requires an ldap server on which it runs. In their documentation, Yealink describes setting up an sqlite server which then runs ldap and then serves directory entries to a phone that requests it.

I think for the purpose that you want, you may want something a lot more lightweight. I don't know of anything myself. So, I think you need to look into a proprietary solution for your chosen phone type. This may preclude mixing phone types, especially for multiple phone vendors.

Of course, all of this only applies to placing outbound calls. It does nothing for incoming call display. For this, you will have to administer each of your phones accordingly to indicate something useful on the phone it is calling. And, something that will fit the width of the display on the other end.

73, Mark, N2MH

al0y's picture
Mark, your idea for manipulating the file, and re-producing it for every phone you have  is great.

However, when having EMCOMM in mind, and due to the fact that we have a big variety of phone makes and models on the mesh network, and to avoid having a single point of failure for the phone book, I always like to go back to the basics. 

When it comes to phone numbers and directories (and direct IPs for what it's worth), I will actually build one of those OLD WHITE "PAGES" as in I will print this out on a paper and punch in the numbers when I need to dial someone.

however, building a server to serve these numbers for me when the need arises or when having to deploy in a field is just an extra layer of complication that I would prefer to avoid. 
Not only that I will have to build a server for each make of phone (based on their directory file), but I will also have to configure each phone to pull that information from the server itself. 

Back to basics is the way most of EMCOMM should work! 

Just thought I would drop my $0.02 here!
Hello All, Yes I was thinking of building an Enum server. I could build it on a public server for testing. Also you could use for testing. If you want to build your own Enum server click here for a PDF.


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