in Telephony

using Nortel i2002/i2004 IP telephones with Asterisk

I’ve been busy with patching servers for George Bush’s latest fundraising effort for the Iraq war so I haven’t had much time to write about recent technology developments, but I did find a few hours to attend Ian Darwin’s great talk last night on provisioning IP phones, particularly the Nortel i2002/i2004 series of IP phones, with Asterisk.

While Ian’s talk was primarily geared towards the topic of auto-provisioning phones in general, I found his use of the chan_unistim driver for Asterisk to be the most interesting. Normally, Nortel IP phones only work with Nortel’s proprietary Business Communications Manager PBX, by using a binary UDP-based protocol. You’d think that this would obviate the use of the phones with Asterisk, but chan_unistim provides a way!

I have no idea how the authors of the unistim (Universal Stimulus) driver managed to decode the binary protocol, but Ian demonstrated that indeed it does work. I’m thinking of picking up one of these handsets for cheap off eBay; you can get used ones for under CAD$100. And since I’m an Asterisk-on-FreeBSD guy, if I’m feeling particularly generous, I might even try to package up the channel driver and get it committed to the ports tree.

Speaking of BSD, registration for BSDCan opens in a week or so. If you’re at all interested in {Free,Open,Net,DragonFly}BSD and you live within travelling distance (whatever that means for you personally) I highly recommend this conference. I have been every year since its inception and I think it’s one of the best deals, value-wise, that I’ve seen from a conference.

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  1. nice to hear that!!!coz i have a system with 1000 i2004 sets get out of life and out of support i think it's good to know thatv there is a posibilty to change the core system without the sets,,