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General => Users => Topic started by: thatcrazyperson123 on October 02, 2008, 03:24:44 am

Title: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: thatcrazyperson123 on October 02, 2008, 03:24:44 am
Hey, I'm new here (if you haven't noticed).  I understand how to set up a Linux MCE whole-house system, I just have some questions.
1. For the phone system, I have an analog POTS line direct into my house.  To integrate this into the Linux MCE system would I need an FXO card? Is it even possible?
2. We are getting the heating redone.  I want Z-wave, X10, or any other Linux MCE controllable thermostats, but I want ones that don't cost too much (and don't point me in the direction of setback controllers!), but if you have any suggestions that would be totally awesome.
Thanks!
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: bulek on October 02, 2008, 10:27:32 am
Hey, I'm new here (if you haven't noticed).  I understand how to set up a Linux MCE whole-house system, I just have some questions.
1. For the phone system, I have an analog POTS line direct into my house.  To integrate this into the Linux MCE system would I need an FXO card? Is it even possible?
...
Thanks!
One option is FXO card, another interesting is using Sipura standalone SIP FXO/FXS/SIP gateways... You can use them on other setups quite easily... I use 3000 and 3102...

HTH,

regards,

Bulek.
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: posde on October 02, 2008, 11:15:02 am
Hey, I'm new here (if you haven't noticed).  I understand how to set up a Linux MCE whole-house system, I just have some questions.
1. For the phone system, I have an analog POTS line direct into my house.  To integrate this into the Linux MCE system would I need an FXO card? Is it even possible?
as bulek pointed out, either a plugged in card, or IMHO a better solution, an external box. The external box does not have any interrupt problems, no driver problems.

Quote
2. We are getting the heating redone.  I want Z-wave, X10, or any other Linux MCE controllable thermostats, but I want ones that don't cost too much (and don't point me in the direction of setback controllers!), but if you have any suggestions that would be totally awesome.

It would help, if you detailed where you are living, and what kind of a/c or heating system you have.

rgds
Oliver
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: tschak909 on October 02, 2008, 03:36:12 pm
Honestly, I don't see why you don't just go VOIP in the first place. Cheaper in the long run by a long shot. And certainly easier to configure with this system. :)

-Thom
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: skeptic on October 02, 2008, 05:42:56 pm
Is there a list of compatible voip services?  Can you keep your same phone number (in the US)?  And is there a way to use your existing phones/fax machine if you go to voip?  I'm sure these are answered elsewhere, but whenever I search I end up going in loops and just get all confused.  Too many new terms for me to follow.
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: tschak909 on October 02, 2008, 06:54:42 pm
There are a number of services that we have built into the setup wizard. I use Broadvoice. and Yes, broadvoice supports all the things you're asking. Very good price, and excellent service.

-Thom
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: skeptic on October 02, 2008, 07:15:52 pm
There are a number of services that we have built into the setup wizard. I use Broadvoice. and Yes, broadvoice supports all the things you're asking. Very good price, and excellent service.

-Thom


Cool, I'll check into Broadvoice.  Is there a way to get a list of the services with built-in support?  If there isn't a list somewhere, I'm guessing it's possible to go into setup as if I already have service and see the options there?
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: tschak909 on October 02, 2008, 07:24:23 pm
Yes, if you go into the setup wizard into the phone section, you'll see buttons for the services we support natively. If you go into the web admin, and set up phone lines, you'll see a pull down to select a service, there too.

-Thom
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: colinjones on October 02, 2008, 11:41:45 pm
Skeptic - be aware that if your core has a private external IP address, eg 192.168.x.y or 10.x.y.z, in other words it isn't directly on the Internet, then getting SIP to work for VoIP is a bit of a bitch unless you know what you are doing!

Let me know if you want help with that. In the meantime, I am going to see if I can find a logical place for a wiki page on this and add it in. Will post back here with the link once written.
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: thatcrazyperson123 on October 03, 2008, 02:06:13 am

It would help, if you detailed where you are living, and what kind of a/c or heating system you have.

rgds
Oliver
Thanks everybody who has posted so far :)!
I'm living in the U.S., and I have electric central heating.  As for A/Cs, we have individual ones in every room, and I figure that would be pretty hard to integrate into Linux MCE...
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: tschak909 on October 03, 2008, 02:15:43 am
Not really, we can control pretty much anything, we just need to know what you HAVE climate-wise. Can you describe it for us?

-Thom
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: thatcrazyperson123 on October 03, 2008, 03:02:27 am
Not really, we can control pretty much anything, we just need to know what you HAVE climate-wise. Can you describe it for us?

-Thom

The thing is I'm getting a new heating system, thermostats and all, because our old one is very... inefficient.  I'd just like to get some opinions as for what would be the most cost-efficient and usable with Linux MCE.  As for the air conditioners, some of the rooms have newer remote controllable frigidaires, while some have air conditioners with knobs to control them  :P...

Thanks in advance for everything :)

Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: tschak909 on October 03, 2008, 03:08:16 am
I would suggest looking at a Z-Wave thermostat. :)

-Thom
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: skeptic on October 03, 2008, 04:20:10 am
Skeptic - be aware that if your core has a private external IP address, eg 192.168.x.y or 10.x.y.z, in other words it isn't directly on the Internet, then getting SIP to work for VoIP is a bit of a bitch unless you know what you are doing!

Let me know if you want help with that. In the meantime, I am going to see if I can find a logical place for a wiki page on this and add it in. Will post back here with the link once written.
I don't know what the issues are, here is my setup:

After I switched ISPs I had to switch from the unrecommended 1 NIC, static Internet IP setup to the more typical recommended 2 NIC, NAT dynamic IP setup.  I am using dynamic dns so my domain name always resolves correctly (for my e-mail/dns servers) if that helps.  I also seem to have a lease time of at least a day, if not much much longer.  I haven't really looked into it, but I haven't seen any problems associated with stupid short lease times such as 6 minutes that I've heard about.

If the issue is that of port forwarding, not changing IP, that shouldn't be a problem either.  I have full control over my router, and I'm familiar with port forwarding which I already do.  My core has a static 192.168.1.x IP so no worries about the port forwarding getting messed up from the core IP changing.

My main motivation is to dump the $45 a month POTS line and replace it with a sub-$20/month VIOP, so I'm not in a huge rush.   Integration into LinuxMCE is just a nice side benefit.  I can wait for the wiki, then be happy to guinea pig it for you.
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: colinjones on October 03, 2008, 05:22:09 am
skeptic - I need to do a bit more research to remember how I did it! So I will just outline the issues and the general approach I took to fixing them

There are 2 basic protocols involved, one is SIP itself and the other is the real time media protocol that actually carries the voice traffic.

Getting SIP working is relatively easy (although having a dynamic address may cause a few stability issues - theoretically Asterisk can handle it by using the DNS name and dynamic DNS like you described, but I haven't tried it so I don't know how successful it is) Essentially you just need to port forward in the way you would expect.

The voice traffic is the hard bit, because SIP is only used to initiate the session and signal. The voice session is not fixed to well-known ports on either end. There is an Asterisk config file somewhere that defines the port range used, and the recommended range is 10000-20000 (wow!) The way I set it up is to forward all those ports to the core and it worked straight away. It feels uncomfortable, but it is certainly true what someone said on a board somewhere, that if someone is port scanning you, they will scan all the ports so opening 10000 ports isn't really any more exposed than just one. They can't attack the external LAN as long as your router has antispoofing (pretty much most do I think)

I also created a core input rule to cover those ports, but I don't know if that is actually necessary. There is also an Asterisk config file option somewhere that tells it to tell the peer to discover the IP address itself, but embed the internal IP address in the SIP message - i think that option is needed as well.
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: posde on October 03, 2008, 01:34:49 pm
colinjones,

there is a wiki entry on the provider 1und1, which details what needs to be setup, if you have your core not connected with a public IP address.

re Z-Wave thermostats: Tschak, the Z-Wave thermostats only do setbacks, and not full control of the heating. IMHO, a setback of 4 degrees celsius should be enough, but thatcrazyperson123 explicitly stated he does not want it.

rgds
Oliver
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: tschak909 on October 03, 2008, 01:37:41 pm
there are z-wave thermostats for central air, etc.. not just for radiator couplings.

-Thom
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: colinjones on October 03, 2008, 11:57:26 pm
Oliver

Now you mention it, I remember I did start by reading that article. I noticed that the [global] section it mentions doesn't exist, it is supposed to be [general] so I have fixed that bit up.

Not being sure I continued reading on more general Asterisk sites and because I have a fixed IP I ended up dumping the externhost and externrefresh and used externip instead. Finally, I put these in the /etc/asterisk/sip_nat.conf file instead (as this is an include file) and added the nat=yes option although I'm not sure that this last option is necessary, but it is the one I was referring to that tells the peers whether to use the IP address in the packet header or that embedded in the payload with the To and From verbs.

Do you think I should create a new, more general wiki page for setting up these types of VoIP with this info? I'm just concerned about giving people red herring info when I'm not 100%... but it definitely worked for me...
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: posde on October 04, 2008, 12:11:39 pm
colinjones,

yes, do a general page, and modify the 1und1 one accordingly, i.e. remove the stuff in there, and just point to your new page.

Makes a lot of sense to me.

rgds
Oliver
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: hari on October 04, 2008, 01:00:43 pm
there are z-wave thermostats for central air, etc.. not just for radiator couplings.

-Thom

yes, intermatic ca8900 (or sth like this) for US and some UK company for 220V systems.

best regards,
Hari
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: skeptic on October 04, 2008, 10:37:50 pm
colinjones,

yes, do a general page, and modify the 1und1 one accordingly, i.e. remove the stuff in there, and just point to your new page.

Makes a lot of sense to me.

rgds
Oliver
Agreed.  I'd be happy to test it out and work through any issues I find.  I probably will not have time to get to it for a month or two but I will get to it and report back (or update the wiki) for corrections/additions.

It would also be convenient to include the list of pre-configured providers in the wiki, although it's possible to get that list by pretending to install and noting the providers listed.
Title: Re: Just a couple stupid questions...
Post by: posde on October 05, 2008, 07:28:47 pm
colinjones,

just let me know, once you have created that page.

rgds
Oliver