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PBX Network at Telephone Collectors Show via MESH

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N2MH's picture
PBX Network at Telephone Collectors Show via MESH

This weekend, June 7th and 8th, Telephone Collectors International will have their annual show in Lancaster, PA. Among the antique and not so antique phones there  will be an eclectic mix of telephone switching equipment on display. And, this switching equipment will actually be up and running on an impromptu network at the show. Telephone calls can be originated on any piece of equipment and terminated on any other piece of equipment.

Karen, KD2KHJ, and I will be at the show. We will have Stanley and my van, Mario. Installed in Mario is an asterisk pbx running AllStar. We will link this pbx into the show network via a point-to-point mesh link. Stanley will be the interconnection point into the show network. Mario's pbx will also be connected into my Icom IC-7000 which will be tuned to the local NOAA weather station. This feed will be available as an extension and be available to callers. (In the old days, think 976-1616).

I think this is a good way to get some experience with interconnecting mesh/pbx equipment into an external network such as might be found with a served agency.

If you are in the area, stop by the show and we can talk mesh or old telephone equipment. Show information can be found on the TCI web site:

Mark, N2MH


K5DLQ's picture
K9CQB's picture
So cool.
I wish I go. It's not that far of a drive for me. It sounds like a lot of fun!!!
-Damon K9CQB
N2MH's picture
Show Report

Karen and I went to the show and had a good time. We parked our van in the parking lot and brought Stanley inside the show. We promptly set up a link between the van and Stanley. Very shortly after, the Grandstream phone that is part of Stanley was in operation. Once the link and telephone were working, we then established a trunk between the van and the show's distribution pbx. The show's distribution pbx had connectivity into all of the other pbx's on the show network. (In telephonese, this would be called a "Tandem" switch.) This trunk enabled the various pbx's on the floor to place calls to extensions on the van pbx and vice-versa.

One of the things I set up in the van was an audio feed from the local NOAA Weather Radio audio (from an IC-7000) into the van's pbx and making it available to the show network on an extension.  Also available were a number of test extensions, one of which gave the pbx identification in CW. Some regular extension telephones were in service as shown below.

I met a number of hams at the show. One of them was Martin Hariss, K2MH. :-) All told, I think there were about 7 or 8 hams that I could tell were hams.

A quantity of AREDN brochures were brought to the show. Some pictures follow:

This was my demo.

- Stanley is on the right. The Loco facing right is on 2.4 GHz and provides the link to the van. The Loco facing left is a node in Access Point mode on 5.6 GHz. This enabled my Smartphone to have a sip extension.

- In front of Stanley is a prototype of PiWxRx. This is a raspberry pi controlling an SDR dongle tuned to the NOAA/Weather Canada weather channels and can appear as a sip extension on a pbx.

- To the left of Stanley is a Grandstream 1625 telephone modified for 12V POE. This is part of the Stanley package.
- To the left of the 1625 is a Polycom ip conference phone.
- To the left of the ip conference phone is a Polycom analog conference phone.
- The laptop is connected to the van pbx and is used to monitor its operation.
- In front is a collection of AREDN brochures and some documentation on some pbx work I've done at home.

This is Martin, K2MH's demo. It is a step-by-step switch from the United Kingdom and is called a "Director". As shown, it is only a 2-line intercom with outgoing trunk access. There is no incoming access from the network at this time. This equipment was taken out of service in the mid 1980's and sat on a shelf for 30 years until being restored by Martin.

All in all, this was a good exercise in interconnectivity to an established telephone network. In order to pull this off, I had to make use of some custom port forwarding in the gateway node to the show's ip network. Inside the node, there is a file which is a very good template on how to do this custom port forwarding.

WU2S's picture
Excellent demo!
What a great demonstration! It looks like this was a lot of fun. Thanks for demonstrating a useful aspect of AREDN mesh networking.

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