How to change from PartnerMail to Asterisk?
June 16, 2006 12:35 PM   Subscribe

I would like to upgrade my company's aging phone hardware from a Lucent PartnerMail system to Asterisk. Can anyone point me to a site, or worklog detailing something of this nature? We would like to keep our existing phones, and I'm not sure if and how it would support these phones.
posted by jackofsaxons to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Um. You probably won't be able to keep your current phones with Asterisk. Asterisk is a Voice over IP system. The phones that work natively with Asterisk function completely via Ethernet, like your computers, whereas the Lucent system uses a proprietary expanded Plain Old Telephone System (POTS). On the other hand, you can use softphones, just like Skype, to replace your old phone handsets. People can just use their computer headsets and soundcards and a software program to dial out and in.

If you don't know anything else about it, install Asterisk@Home on a spare computer and see if you can get it configured. Then you have a platform from which to test your hardware and how the new setup would work.
posted by SpecialK at 12:49 PM on June 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

I was hoping there was some sort of punch down to rj-11 adapter thing-a-ma-jigger that I'd be able to use... but I guess not...

Thanks though!
posted by jackofsaxons at 12:51 PM on June 16, 2006

jackof -- I believe there is conversion hardware that will let you use regular ol' rj-11 stuff with it, but it's expensive as balls. i mean, it looked like it'd cost the same as a regular ol' pbx system.

still, I'm guessing asterix gives you more features, etc.
posted by fishfucker at 1:05 PM on June 16, 2006

AAMOF, jackofsaxons, there is such an adapter: the IAXy. If you can break through the jargon on that page, you'll know whether it's a good solution for you.
posted by xueexueg at 1:06 PM on June 16, 2006

No that is not necessarily true. Asterisk is not just a VoIP system. It can be interfaced to analog systems too. Look here for info on FXO and FXS, which can interface with the analog telephones of yesterday. Just digging into asterisk's site gives a lot of information on scaling and HOWtos and such.
posted by dyno04 at 1:08 PM on June 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

Yeah I just discovered all of this info after posting this question.

Normal phones would work with FXO/FXS but these are Lucent system phones, so I'm guessing no.

However, I did come across a few articles on setting up you Asterisk in front of an old pbx, to retain your original hardware.

Thanks again for the input guys!
posted by jackofsaxons at 1:16 PM on June 16, 2006

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