PlugPBX turns Marvell SheevaPlug into Asterisk VoIP system

Skype did a great job of pushing


into the mainstream, but if you've considered graduating up from their closed platform to a more open, flexible system such as the open-source

Asterisk project

then you may have found it all a bit intimidating.  How about a straightforward VoIP system served up by a low-power, super-simple

Marvell SheevaPlug

instead?  The

PlugPBX project

promises just that: a custom Asterisk/FreePBX VoIP build designed to drop straight onto a SheevaPlug.

Video demo after the cut

In case you've forgotten, the SheevaPlug is a capable little server stuck inside a wall-wart AC adapter sized casing, with a USB port and ethernet connection.  Announced

last February

- and since updated with a

new, more powerful version

at CES 2010 earlier this month – it uses a fraction of the power of a full-sized server but is entirely sufficient for handling VoIP calls, number-prompt screening systems, intelligent diverts and voicemail-as-email.

The SheevaPlug itself is around $99 and PlugPBX is free and reasonably straightforward to install.  Once that's done, you're free to play around with either just the basic functionality – routing calls over the internet to save money on your regular landline provider – or go for more complex systems; one we're pretty impressed by is adding a Bluetooth dongle to track whether your cellphone is at home or not, re-routing incoming calls to that number if you're away from home.  More details in the video below.



Hack a Day]