Engineer voip

What’s in a bowl of fruit – IPCortex RaspberryPi

bowl of fruit - click to see IPCortex RaspberryPiIt never ceases to amaze me what we can do with technology. The most generous Rob Pickering of IPCortex sent me a RaspberryPi microcomputer loaded with a cut down version of his PBX.

It was the work of minutes to set up a couple of Lincoln area code (01522) SIP trunks and then define some client devices with which to make phone calls. I then downloaded the 3CX SIP client for Android, free from the Google Play Store, stuck in some simple credentials (user name tref etc) and I was away.

The IPCortex bearing RaspberryPi is ipcortex on raspberrypi screenshot currently plugged in to an Ethernet port in our kitchen. Click on the photo to zoom in. I don’t think my wife has noticed yet but no doubt she will. At that point I will move it to the switch in the attic and leave it there for a general play.

The IPCortex lets me configure any SIPipcortex on raspberrypi - click to enlarge client for the RaspberryPi. In this case a softphone was used and we needed to generate some dummy mac addresses – shown in the photo as 0000001 etc. Ordinarily you would input the MAC address of your deskphone.

In one of the images you can see that there are three users set up – Tref, Joe and John. You might need to click on each image to enlarge for a better view.  I took these screenshots lying in bed this morning. It’s just great what you can do from your phone. You can see the internal IP address of the IPCortex/server plus a glimpse at some of the features.

The 3CX is great for a play but I haven’t3CX SIP softclient running on Samsung Galxy S3 and hanging off the IPCortex on RaspberryPi figured out its ideal set up yet. It currently assumes it is the main phone you want to use when dialing out but I have a number of clients I play with on my handset and I don’t want it to be the main one. I have to switch the 3CX off for normal operation of other phones. It might just be a question of me needing to play with the Galaxy S3 more.

The call quality was great. I made WiFi to PSTN, PSTN to WiFi and WiFi to 3G.

I can see possibilities for home workers and consumers with this technology. You could envisage giving the kids an extension hanging off a local number – press 1 to talk to John etc or they could have their own DDI.

The time is not far off where people manage their own call routing – for example forwarding to their own mobile when not at home. If their package includes free calls to mobiles, or just to family mobiles then this would be a no brainer. This functionality could easily be embedded in a set top box along with a media server, which coincidentally (not) is what me next RaspberryPi project is going to be.

That’s all for now. I’ll report back as I get more to say on this subject.


PS no comments about the untidy cable. I couldn’t find a shorter one and my wife will have enough to say anyway when I get home.

PPS Thanks to Rik Wheeler for helping with the setup and being at the other end for the 3G demo calls.

competitions End User

grand TNMOC caption competition – win fantastic 6 month membership of luxury spa worth £300

valves, valves and more valves at TNMOC

Phil Hayes stands in front of Colossus at TMNOCThis week we have a fantastic membership of the Spirit Health Club in Aylesbury to be won. The Spirit Health Club is one of the top fitness destinations in the South East and whether you live in the area or just pass through occasionally on your way to a data centre in Docklands this is the prize for you.

All you need to do is provide a caption for the photo on the right. The picture is of  Phil Hayes (Colossus Rebuild Engineer) stood in front of the Colossus computer at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.

commodore calculator on display at TNMOC The photo was taken at the IPCortex 10th birthday fundraiser for TNMOC last week which brought in a couple of grand for the museum.

The prize has been donated by the Spirit Health Club Aylesbury1. Club facilities include fitness suite, swimming pool, a wide variety of studio classes, sauna, steam room, and spa pool. Lifestyle consultants provide a personal touch by giving one to one guidance to help members achieve their fitness goals. Services available on site (but at additional charge) include beauty treatments, personal training, physiotherapy, massages and reflexology.

All sounds great doesn’t it. Good luck with the caption competition – just leave your entry as a comment. You can have until the end of this week to enter.

The second photo is of the Commodore Calculator on display at TNMOC. It was the first and only calculator I ever owned and I used it extensively around the time I was studying for my O’Levels. I still have it in the attic somewhere though it long ago stopped working 🙁

1Please note that the membership is valid for the Aylesbury branch only – Weston Turville, HP22 5QT.

Engineer voip webrtc

That Alexander Graham Bell moment and WebRTC @IPCortex

I gave a talk at IPCortex’s 10th birthday party bash yesterday. Was really impressed with Rob Pickering’s WebRTC demo. He made a call from a Yealink VoIP phone hanging off the IPCortex PBX to a browser based client, also registered with the PBX.

Then I called the browser client’s DDI from my mobile – surely one of the first PSTN to WebRTC calls (ok ok I know someone else will have probably already done this but it did feel like an “Alexander Graham Bell moment”).

WebRTC is an open source (ie free) project that enables web browsers with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple Javascript APIs. It is supported by Google who have been buying companies with key patents so that they can be made available free of charge to the community.

It is the future of communications. IPCortex are at the front edge of this work and the video below is part of Rob’s demo. We are all having a bit of fun and it was only a very rough and ready implementation but it shows what can be done. Although it is still in the early  stages of evolution expect lots of applications to use the  WebRTC API in time.

Other WebRTC posts you might want to read:

Uber cool WebRTC video conferencing service

ITSPA WebRTC Workshop at Google Campus

Business events

IPCortex 10th birthday bash TNMOC Bletchley Park

I’m off to Milton Keynes this morning. Speaking at IPCortex’s 10th anniversary birthday bash. This evening I’m also being the Auctioneer at their charity fundraiser in aid of The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.

I have lots of experience with charity auctions, though usually from the perspective of someone sticking their hand in the air to buy something. My wife makes me sit on my hands these days.

The first auction I ever went to was at Thos Mawer & Sons in Lincoln. I had been sent to buy a green settee for the TV room. “Twenty quid should do it” I was told. It came to the bidding and zoom – I lost it to someone else – for twenty quid! I didn’t even get a look in it all happened  so quickly.

Feeling that I shouldn’t go home totally empty handed I bought four wooden chairs for a pound (plus 15 pence buyer’s premium). When I got them home they were clearly rubbish and not suitable for our kitchen so I threw them on the woodpile at the bottom of the garden and they got used for kindling. Turns out this is the cheapest way to buy kindling 🙂

I’ve got loads of other auction stories but you will have to come to Bletchley Park to hear them.