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Step by step instructions for configuring a MeshPhone

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KE0RSX's picture
Step by step instructions for configuring a MeshPhone

Hi, everyone,

I'll admit it. I feel dumb right now. I've been watching a couple of videos on Youtube, where the person uses an AREDN mesh with N2MH's MeshPhone configured. In one video, he links to an updated configuration file, but you have to be able to access the AREDN mesh that it's stored on. At this time, my mesh (three or four units) doesn't have any access to other meshes around the country. So I'm not able to get to the files/instructions.

So, would it be possible to find the step-by-step instructions for setting up the MeshPhone system, along with the configuration files?  My plan is to set up a Raspberry PI with either AsteriskPBX or FreePBX (whichever works better with N2MH's MeshPhone), and connecting that to one of the mesh nodes.

Thank you in advance.
Have a great night. :)
Patrick W0PCD (formerly KE0RSX, but I haven't updated my login and profile information yet).


I also would like step-by

I also would like step-by-step instructions for setting up the MeshPhone system, along with the configuration files?


nc8q's picture
Re: Step by step instructions for configuring a MeshPhone

Hi, Patrick

The first thing I noticed about your post is the omission of the number of IP phones on your local mesh network.
Are you asking about hooking up an IP phone to your mesh node (? a mesh phone ?) or
are you asking about configuring your PBX to use the features of N2MH's 'MeshPhone' ?

I got interested in Asterisk (Actually rasPBX, which is FreePBX on a Raspberry Pi) because I
inherited 2 IP phones that could not dial out by IP address.
Thus, to utilize these phones, I needed a PBX. :-|

Locally, we have 6 hams with IP phones; some have multiple phones: home, workshop, ham-shack, Go-kit,...;
we have 2 hams with IP phones that link via tunnel from a non-adjacent county;
we have 3 hams with IP phones that link via tunnel from an adjacent county.
We also have some 'soft' phones registered on our PBXs;
e.g. Linphone or GS-Wave on computers, laptops, tablets, and/or cellphones.
Thus it was apparent to us that a PBX would be helpful.
We have 4 PBXs, some are 'truncked'.
Do you want/need a PBX?

'MeshPhone' was attractive to some of us and on 2 of our 4 PBXs we run the 'MeshPhone' configurations.
I especially like the 'dial by callsign' coupled with the 'SIP:<callsign-phone>' dial by advertised service name.
i.e. I don't need to edit my 'dial-by-callsign' configuration when a neighbor moves his (PBX unregistered) IP phone to another node.
Do you want/need 'MeshPhone'?


KE0RSX's picture
Hi, Chuck,

Hi, Chuck,

At the present time, we don't have any phones on the mesh network. The goal would be to have a PBX on the network managing phones for various agencies, along with our mobile command center. I became interested in this, because of a YouTube video that I saw, where the person had their mesh node set up on a mountain and called their phone inside of their house. They were using the FreePBX (raspbx) and smartphones running Linphone.

So, I guess the short answer is I need both the instructions on how to set up the phones on the node, and how to configure the PBX, using N2MH's configuration file. The YouTube videos that I watched were done by Comsprepper, who appears to be on the same AREDN mesh as N2MH, or at least a node that is connected to N2MH's. Here is a link to his playlist.

Hopefully I answered your questions. If not, I'll look back in a couple of days, and try to be more clear.

Have a great day. :)

nc8q's picture
"...we don't have any phones on the mesh network"

Hi, Patrick:

"we don't have any phones on the mesh network"

Then you have no use for Asterisk, then you have no use for 'MeshPhone'.

"I need [both the] instructions on how to set up the phones on the node,"

First things first. Get phones.

I hope this helps, Chuck


I think you are referring to my YouTube video.  If you are not connected to the wider mesh via tunnel or RF link MeshPhone will not be much use.  You can support local dialing with a simple Asterisk installation.  Send me an email if you have additional questions (

KE0RSX's picture
Thank you.

Yes, it is your YouTube videos that I was watching. We're just getting started with the mesh network, and I wanted to have this set up for when we get it up and running. In the short term, our plan would be to use Linphone on desktops and smartphones for the VoIP services. And as we can implement digital phones in various locations around the county, we'll add those into the mix. Ultimately our goal is to get our nodes into the bigger AREDN mesh network. So, I'm assuming that in the short term, we only need the local dialing with the mesh phone coming at that point.

To be honest, I thought that MeshPhone was what would configure our local dialing, and never even considered that it was the equivalent of long distance calling between different subnetworks in the AREDN network.

Thank you again. :)

It sounds like in short-term

It sounds like in short-term you will only need a RasPBX with extensions.  When the time comes to connect your nodes (island) to the wider mesh and add MeshPhone you will need your area code and extension information.  This info is required for editing the MeshPhone files.

Step by step instructions for configuring a MeshPhone ??

It seems I have all the same questions as the original poster.  I have RasPBX loaded and one Grandstream 1625 and was planning to use LinPhone or a similar app on my iPhone.  At this point my local mesh is a couple of Aredn nodes on opposite sides of my garage.  No mesh backbone yet here in NW Ohio.  So no - I don't NEED a PBX, but I am trying to learn the technology for the day when I might be able to assist putting together a real mesh network in our area.

I consider myself pretty technologically adept (was an MCSE at one time), but I am frustrated with trying to figure out what the best practices are for Aredn implementation of FreePBX.  For instance - should I choose PJSIP or Chan_SIP (or something else) for extensions?  The videos I find for Aredn PBX on YouTube help, but assume a base level of experience with PBX that I don't have.  I can't imagine that it is necessary to be an expert with all the nuances of PBX to be able to configure a very basic system to get started...   On the other hand, maybe this MeshPhone would be useful as I would like to be able to tunnel to other mesh networks?

Any help or direction would be GREATLY appreciated!  Thanks!

nc8q's picture
Aredn implementation of FreePBX

Hi, Mark:

You seem to be 30 miles from the other active mesher in NW Ohio, James, W8ERW.
Since you don't have a connection to an AREDN Mesh, let us hold off on how to
ARDENize a PBX. ;-) I use RasPBX primarily with a Grandstream GXP-1630. So, we
have this much in common already. To 'register' an IP phone I use the default
'extension' protocol 'Chan_SIP' in FreePBX. 1st let us get your 1625 and a
softphone (smartphone, tablet, or desktop) working. I've tried Linphone, Zoiper,
and GS-Wave. Since you have a GS 1625, maybe start with GS-Wave softphone.

'tunnel to other mesh networks?'
Options will exponentially blossom from here:
Meshphone: Worldwide direct dial, local and international conference calls,
date/time/extension/, test tones, Wx radio, dial-by-callsign, ...
Simply, Meshphone is several .conf files added to FreePBX. Easy-peasy to
'cut-n-paste'...once you obtain the .conf files. :-|

I have a very slow (cheap) ISP connection (~2 Mbps), but I can
grant you a temporary tunnel so you can see our local version of
AREDN-ized and Meshphone-ized PBXs. My email addresses at qrz dot com and
callsign at arrl dot net are valid.


Aredn implementation of FreePBX

Hi Chuck - thanks for the quick reply.
I have managed to figure out setting up a couple of test extensions on the FreePBX, and tied one of these accounts to my phone. Of course with one phone I can't do much, but I get a busy signal if I dial it's number - so that seems like some progress!  Next up will be figuring out how to get GS-Wave or LinPhone talking to my FreePBX.  I will take you up on the offer for a temporary tunnel once I work through these issues.  Thanks!

w8erw's picture
MESh, IP Phones, RasPBX etc.

Hi Mark,
I've not gotten into the IP phone aspect although many of us now are using Hamshack Hotline to accomplish much of the same functionality.  I'm in  Fremont, just East of you.  We have quite a few AREDN Meshers in Sandusky and Seneca Counties and several are using Hamshack Hotline on the MESH network.  I have 9 tunnel connections to me here from various users in both counties including the EOC's.  Let me know if you have further questions.  There are also a few AREDN Meshers in the Toledo area.  


MESh, IP Phones, RasPBX etc.

Hi Jim - nice to hear from you.  Things are slowly moving forward around the Toledo area for the Aredn Mesh, but I am sure it will take a while.  In the meantime I might get back in touch with you about setting up a tunnel connection once I figure out enough to know what questions to ask!  Thanks!  Mark

w8erw's picture
NW Ohio AREDN Mesh

Hi Mark,
Have you gotten any equipment yet?  If not, I'd suggest you read as much as you can here on the AREDN website.  There is a trove of information and discussion on hardware and application.  Personally, I like one of the more recent products, the MikroTik hAP AC Lite.  Not the easiest to set up, but it's powerful, compact and works very well.  If you wish to just explore and minimal cost, I'd have a look at the  GL iNET AR150.  This is palm sized little rascal with a lot to offer at a small cost.  If you have a look at the Supported Hardware page, clicking on the name in the list (green Items), often that will take you to with some excellent pricing.  I'd also tell you to have a look at Hamshack Hotline.  These folks are offering a VOIP service to Hams only (4 digit calling, no access to the PSTNwhich is free other than the telephone device you will need.  Many of us are using the service and it's another great tool in the ARES bag of tricks.  Hamshack Hotline works well behind the AREDN Network too.



Currently I have the following equipment:
Ubiquiti Nanostation M2
Ubiquiti Nanostation M2 Loco
MikroTik hAP Access Point
GL.iNet GL-USB150 Microrouter
Grandstream 1625 phone
Cheap SV3C IP camera  
I've got a Netgear GS-105E managed switch coming from Amazon so I can start playing around with VLANs. 
Plenty of new shiny things to play with!

I just finished my first version of a Go-Box with the MikroTik AP, a raspberry pi pbx, a POE, and the necessary power supply and converters so I can directly connect the camera, phone, and dtd one of the Ubiquiti nodes.  For now it is really just a test bed for me to learn about all this without having wall warts and cables strewn all over my desk.

Eventually I envision setting up the MikroTik-AP here at home (with the necessary VLANs, etc) as a permanent home Aredn node, connected for the foreseeable future to the wider Aredn Mesh world by internet tunnel.  If and when a mesh backbone is assembled in the Toledo area, then I would add some kind of node with a directional antenna to connect.  For now the Nanostation nodes, phone, camera, etc will be (hopefully) put to use for temporary mesh configurations like the Toledo Air Show or other special events.

I will definitely check out Hamshack - sounds very interesting.

Thanks!  Mark
Iphone and GL-USB150

The USB150 works fine when plugged into my windows PC.
I got the necessary cable to connect it to my Iphone5.
The Iphone does not recognize it using Safari.
Has anyone made this work?


k6dlc's picture
  I just order another phone

  I just order another phone to play with, Grandstream 1625 phone. I have a Cisco 7961 that is brick now. There is no Cisco OS and was unable to change the TFTP configuration,  I have one of my raspberry pi with Free PBX install. I wish there was a place to download CISCo OS. I no longer working, retire.

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