Sipura SPA-3000

Posted on Nov 29, 2005

About a year ago, a Sipura SPA-3000 arrived in the post (from Telappliant). I spent a couple of hours looking at the documentation, scanning the in-built web administration screens and then ran away screaming in terror.

It was just too complicated. The voip-info wiki suggested that it could be done, but all of the users were from the US and gave small peeks at what was required to have the SPA work well with Asterisk, but no complete guides. Voxilla acquired, at some point, a web-based configurator for the device, but even that seemed overly complex.

So, the SPA-3000 sat in a corner (it’s not big) and I ignored it for a while. The single POTS card in my mini-itx machine was all I needed for now anyway.

Until this week, when BT will install another phone line, and I have no free PCI slots for another Wildcard X100P clone. Perhaps I could spring for the newer TDM400P, but that seemed like a another £140 to spend, and another reason why I’d have to stay with Linux (for the zaptel drivers).

After some experimentation with the Voxilla configurator, the voip-info page for the SPA-300 and an excellent document describing the UK settings by Paul Hayes, I have it working for both dial-in and dial-out. Things aren’t perfect - I’m pretty sure that the Sipura is telling Asterisk that an outbound call is completed before that’s actually true (two different ring tones can be heard), and the same is possibly true on the inbound path, but it’s a start.

In principle, this means that I could switch away from zaptel drivers and hence Linux (Asterisk with zaptel is the only real reason that I still have Linux on my fileserver at home), though I’d have to buy another SPA-3000.

For up to about four lines, single line devices are perhaps tolerable and the Sipura devices seem pretty flexible. Above four things get awkward, and I imagine that the Digium is selling quite a few boards in the four to twenty port range (i.e. below the point at which T1/E1 makes sense).