One of the biggest hurdle in working with SS7 is getting a link in a form to work with. Normally at most CLEC’s, it comes in on a 56k DDS line or if you are lucky its one of the channels (56k) on a DS1 line. Sangoma has the A101 card as well as MTP2 driver for linux that works great at getting the SS7 link into something you can use. If you have a DDS version of the link you’ll need a bit of Adtran or other gear to convert this to a DS1 and map it to a channel so the A101 can talk with it. Once you get the link to a PC thats where the magic happens.
Most people can’t just unplug there link and ordering one just to toy with isn’t usually an option. Hopefully your switch will have an ALC function that will allow you to create a private link. I’ve built a ALC function with support for both signaling calls and database queries. Its a complex process and very useful.
If you have questions now is the time to ask. Next few segments will move quickly.