Steve Stroh steve at stevestroh.net
Mon Mar 27 21:21:20 PST 2006

Thanks for the reminder, Bill. I updated my blog posting to include the 
information if you want to see the context - 

Excerpt from original post:

The "half" exhibitor was Brian Capouch, a well-known Asterisk developer 
whose full time job is minting telecom engineers with extensive 
hands-on experience with Asterisk. At VON's Asterisk "booth" 
(pavillion?) Capouch was showing off a $25 Netgear Wi-Fi access point 
onto which he has ported Asterisk. This AP has a USB port, the radio 
section is a Mini-PCI card (easily upgraded) and the processor runs at 
200 MHz. Access to the system is via Wi-Fi (antenna is connectorized so 
an external high-gain antenna is easy.) Voice mail files are stored on 
a cheap USB memory stick - 256 MB will hold a lot of voice mail. To 
interface to Plain Old Telephone (POTS) equipment such as telephones, 
Analog Telepone Adapters (ATAs; convert Ethernet to POTS) have four 
Ethernet ports on the system to connect to. (The "booth babes" hanging 
out near Capouch dissed the Grandstream 101 VOIP (Ethernet) phone - 
they claim that @ $50, it simply doesn't sound that good.

Update 3/27/2006 - More info from Brian Capouch regarding the cheap 
NetGear Wi-Fi Access point onto which he had ported Asterisk:

I call my abstraction the "phonenode." I'm thinking of using it as the 
name for my distro. It's a combination network node and mini-PBX.

I'm working on a zero-configuration version, too; just drop it in, it 
calls home and configures itself. You then hit a button on the browser 
and go, or pick up the phone and make a call.

The project is based on "openWGT," which was done by a German student 
beginning with the "openWRT" code. I took it, added in code to set up 
for Asterisk (as well as the webcam stuff, customized drivers for the 
Atheros chipset to allow for ACK-timeout tweaking, and some other 
custom stuff that makes life easier) and from there generated the 
firmware image that is on my boxes.

The model number of the Netgear box I'm using is WGT634U. It's still in 
production but bound to be near EOL. Available refurbished from a 
pretty wide variety of places; justdeals.com is my favorite right now. 
They sell thousands of them, btw, from what my salesman tells me.

I've also gotten them at CompUPlus and a few other online vendors, one 
of them selling through Amazon.

We're working on the documentation. A student at George Mason has has a 
basic page up at phonenode.blogspot.com and I have the domain name 
phonenode.org. I'll be working with him over the next few weeks to do 
the best I can at documenting what I am doing with the boxes.

Another piece in the puzzle of do-it-yourself-telephone companies is 
number lookups - see www.freenum.org. John Todd is the genius behind 
that one, and also an important figure in the Asterisk community. 
freenum, as well as a related effort at e164.org, are trying to 
establish the fabric that will be needed for "universal 
interconnectivity" amongst all the flood of new mom-and-pop telcos.

It's very exciting. . .

[I'll say!!! - SKS]



On Mar 22, 2006, at 10:58, wa7nwp at jnos.org wrote:


> I learned last night there's a NetGear AP selling for around $25 that 
> has
> a USB port and has been hacked for embedded Linux.  It will be good to
> find the exact model number (hey Steve S...) and check it out.


> Bill


Steve Stroh
425-939-0076 | steve at stevestroh.net | www.stevestroh.com

More information about the Seatcp mailing list