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Re: [Linux-aus] Hello everyone! and Grant Request

On Sun, 26 Jun 2005, Tim Ansell wrote:



Date: Sunday, 26 Jun

Project Name: Budget Asterisk Phone Interface (BAPI)

Aim of Project:

For those who don't know, Asterisk is the premier Open Source VOIP
solution. I have found for Asterisk to be the most useful both hardware
for interfacing with the telephone system (FXO) and for interfacing
with the telephones (FXS) is required.

Cheap FXO devices currently exists (of the order of $AUS 25 per line).
As well many VOIP providers offer cheap PSTN termination services which
make FXO devices even less important (OzTel currently charges $AUS 2.95
per month per line).

FXS devices are still very expensive however (the cheapest being around
$AUS 70 per line). A FXS line is required for every internal phone, so
while it Asterisk might be able to get away with a small number of FXO
lines it needs numerous FXS lines.


The clear benefit of this project is that cheap FXS devices become
available. This could dramatically increase Asterisk's penetration into
areas which would not normally consider VOIP PBX to be cost effective
savings, such as small business and general home usage. It will also
help further the goal of moving to a completely open system, one which
includes open hardware.

Quick question: how are you going to deal with compliance and certification to Australian Standards for these devices?


Please consider all these requests separately. I have just proposed
everything I could think of related to this project as I have little to
go on from previous applications.

I would like funding to cover the cost of producing the prototype PCB
boards. I need to produce a double layer PCB with 8 milli-inch tracks
with a solder mask. The two best places I have found are


Which both charge $US 33 per PCB. I believe it will take me between 4
and 8 prototypes before the final design is finished. This means the
cost will be around ~$US 200. I did hear that some people at the
linux.conf.au might also be able to do this cheaply, but have lost
contact with them.

I also would like some help with the cost of parts. I have managed to
source most of the chips as "free samples" in sufficient quantity to
not need to buy any. However I need to purchase other SMD components
such as resistors and capacitors. Most of these however only come in
groups of 50 or 100 (at $AU 0.10 cents each). So far I have spent
around ~$AU 200 buying parts for usage on this project. I will soon
spend another ~$AU 50 for more parts. I was hopping to get a small fund
(maybe $AU 200-$AU 500) which I can use to buy (and re-emburse) these
parts. Specialised SMD to DIP converters and similar for prototyping
could also be purchased from this fund. Any expensive parts brought and
are left over would be available for other projects.

As I have only recently started participating in hardware side of the
Open Source world, I am lacking a few tools for working on it. A
quality soldering iron would be a welcome addition (current using a
cheap $14 soldering iron). Other welcome tools include an Oscilloscope
(a second hand one would be cool - been using the Uni's currently),
universal chip programmer and a quality digital multimeter (using
another cheap one). All these devices vary quite a lot in price and
second hand are just as good.

As the Open Source software for producing PCB is still primate I have
been using a piece of software called "CadSoft Eagle". While this
product is not "free as in freedom" there is a version which is "free
as in beer" (which runs on Windows, Linux and MacOSX). This should
allow everyone to view and produce PCBs from the design.
While I have been using the free version, I am running up against it's
restrictions. I would like to purchase a full copy of the Standard
version for Students which costs $US 298.50, I understand if people
think this is inappropriate usage of the money.

It's a pity you are not in WA, the University Computer Club has a lot of
these resources available for use in it's clubroom (thinking soldering
irons and such).   I wonder are there similar groups in SA that could
help out?

Mark -- Mark Tearle - mtearle@linux.org.au