2010-06-21

The wires in some telephones is extremely thin and it is nearly impossible for me to get a decent long lasting connection. Case in point, the Red Phone. After a brief conversation over Skype with a fellow hacker and Linux Outlaw, the connections on the phone started falling apart. Bummer: I was researching non-proprietary forms of VOIP communication and I really needed a microphone and speaker.

To the hardware store for supplies!

After purchasing a phone plug crimping tool, some phone plugs, and a modular jack. It was time to get cracking. The wires were stripped and phone plug was crimped on.

Woops! I should have paid attention to which wires connected to what. Oh well; a few seconds of testing later, I was wiring the speaker and microphone jacks to modular phone jack.

Hiyah! It's all put together and ready for some yammering! Wow, look at the wear on that touchpad. Damn freedom hating Toshiba.

With the connections being quite solid, it was time to test the device. On a 900 Mhz laptop with no battery and 128 Megs of RAM I installed a Mumble Server. From their website: "Mumble is an open source, low-latency, high quality voice chat software primarily intended for use while gaming." On a separate laptop, with the red phone connected, I installed the Mumble Client.

After a bit of trouble shooting and configuring, I had my client machine connected to the server and I managed to sucker talk another Linux Outlaw into helping me test the machine. Using the information I provided the test helper connected to the Mumble server and Shazaam! I was talking to someone, over the internet, who was about 3500 miles (5600K) away, with no noticeable latency and quite decent quality.

Success!

Now I need to test the system with someone much farther away to see what sort of latency issues will arise, and I also need to test with a group of people to see at what point bandwidth becomes an issue.

Now quit reading, and go talk to someone.

Comments
2010-06-21 rod c. johnson:
Well I got mumble installed but I'm not quite sure of the settings. If you can give me a server and a time I'd be willing to test latency from Greece.
2010-06-21 rod c. johnson:
Well I got mumble installed but I'm not quite sure of the settings. If you can give me a server and a time I'd be willing to test latency from Greece.
2010-06-21 rod c. johnson:
I posted once without answering the math question and then once again after answering the math question. Looks like both posts got accepted.
2010-06-21 jezra:
was the answer 0?
2010-06-22 MumbleDog:
In the interests of full-disclosure: note that while Mumble will do it's very best to assure as little a latency as possible is introduced (if you don't mind having two machines with the soundcards in them solely dedicated to Mumble, "exclusive mode" in the new snapshot is the ultimate in near-zero-latency) no amount of clever hackery is going to make up for the speed of light. You're *going* to have latency at longer distances and there's not a product out there that'll stop that. :(

At short distances though, Mumble is amazing. A great test is talking to someone in the same room, where you can hear them via Mumble and directly from their lips to your ears, then compare that to competing software. You go from "echo" to more like "two people saying the exact same thing at the exact same time",
2010-06-22 jezra:
"Exclusive" mode sound nice.

While I am fully aware that there will be latency when talking to someone who is almost 7000 miles away, I still want to know what the latency is like. I don't care about testing at short distances, that what yelling really loud is for.
2010-06-26 NYbill:
hmm... i wonder who that second test sucker was? ;) any time, pal.
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