I work from home as a computer consultant. I spend a good deal of time on conference calls, and needed a second line to handle these calls. I explored my options, and decided to go with Magic Jack. You know the adds. Phone service for just $19.99 a year. That's $1.70 a month. WIth Magic Jack.
The quality is good, and the product works. But, to cut down on costs, they don't let you dial toll numbers to conference calls (if they know about it). Many of my conference calls only have toll numbers, so I needed a way to around this limitation.
Enter Google Voice. At first I thought about using my USB headset to make calls using the VoIP features of Google Voice, but the quality wasn't that great, and people complained. But I found out that you can make Google Voice call your phone, then connect you with another phone, anywhere in the US, for free.
So, I started doing that. If I needed to call a toll conference call, I'd tell Google Voice to call it, but connect it to my Magic Jack number. My phone would ring, I'd pick up, and then I'd hear ringing on the other end. It was as though i called it directly, but Google Voice did it for me. Perfect.
Except it is a pain in the butt to log into Google Voice every time I need to make a call. Enter Voiceberry Pi.
Voiceberry Pi, when complete (it's in an alpha stage now, but worthy of an instructable all the same), will be a small appliance that sits on your desk, and is much like a phone. It will allow you to dial a phone number, like you would on a phone, and then it will tell Google to connect that call using your phone. Google Voice will call you, and you are connected to your line.
Other features for the future, and some gotchas will be detailed in the final step.
Step 1: Hook up the Display Part 1: The Shift Register
You can follow the steps in my other instructable on hooking up the shift register, then come back here.