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A Remote Telephone-Controlled Home Automation System

Zhi-Ming Lin
National Chang Hua University of Education, Dept. of Industrial Education
#2 Shu-Da Road, Changhua
Taiwan, R. 0. C.
Phone: 886-4-723-2 105, Fax: 886-4-727-7084
e-mail: zmlin(d,vlsicadl .ncue.edu.tw

ABSTRACT

In this paper, we present a Home Automation System using telephone lines. The system consists of two
subsystems. One is the Remote Control system. The other one is the Phone Monitoring system. The Remote
Control system used the Dual Tone Multi-frequency signals to control the operations of various appliances.
The hardware and software are designed based on the standard telephone system. The Phone Monitoring
system provides convenient services for the user to better monitoring the usage of their phones. Experimental
results show that the two subsystems provide better home services and living quality for modern lives.

1. INTRODUCTION

Most often, the users would like to have remote control on some preliminary operations of their home
appliances before they go back to home. These operations may be the turn on or off the air conditioner, the
cooker, the light, the video, or the security system, or even some things that he or she forgot to do before
leaving, etc. It will be comfortable and convenient for people to live in such a modern house with the above
functions. Besides, phone is an important bridge of two parties. Sometimes it is important to keep the
information of conversations to protect the family. In this case, it is useful to have extra functions to monitor
the usage of phones. These functions include automatic warning and recording.
The above needs bring up the idea of Home Automation in modern lives. That includes two major parts.
One is the RC (Remote Control) system. The other is the PM (Phone Monitoring) system. Both applications
introduced in this paper were designed based on the standard telephone system. This means that the above
systems can be installed for public use widely. Both systems were designed based on the DTMF (Dual Tone
Multi-frequency) signals that are produced by the telephone system. The DTMF signals were sent from the
user end to the destination end. The RC system detects the number of phone ring and a set of defined codes to
determine if a remote control signal has been sent out to control the operation of target appliance. If the
control signal is confirmed by the system, the system will send out a control signal to initiate the operation of
the appliance. The PM system will send out a warning signal and automatically record the content of the
conversation if it detects an in or out call of the phone.
In this paper, we will discuss the design of the Home Automation system. We will first introduce the
operations of a standard DTMF phone system in Section 2. Then we will illustrate the design of the RC
system in Section 3 and the PM system in Section 4,respectively. The results and conclusions will finally be
given in Section 5.

2. PHONE SYSTEM OVERVIEW

For a standard telephone system, each telephone set was connected to a phone-exchange-office that
contains the switching equipment. Switches in the office respond to the dial tones from the telephone to
connect the loop between the calling and the called phones. When the connection is established, the two
phones communicate with each other using the direct current supplied by the office batteries. If the called
phone was off-hook, a busy tone will be generated by the office and send back to the calling phone. Otherwise,
a ringing signal will be sent to both the calling and the called phones. When the called party picks up the
phone, the office will remove the ringing signals and a loop current will flow through between the loop of the

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two phones. The connection is released when one of the two phones is on-hook.
There are two kinds of dialing systems, One is the traditional dial-pulse system. The other is the
multifrequency system. In this paper, we used the later one to implement our system. The multifrequency
system receives and responds to the DTMF signals generated by a DTMF telephone. A DTMF telephone is
equipped with a push-button keypad with 12 keys. Each key is associated with a row and a column. There is a
low frequency tone associated with each row and a high frequency tone associated with each column.
Pressing one of the keys will generate the two associating tones. The tones are transmitted the same as speech
signal over the telephone line. Therefore, we can utilize the telephone line to send and receive the DTMF
signals to control the objects.

3. REMOTE CONTROL SYSTEM DESIGN

The hardware circuit of the remote control system includes a power supply circuit, a programmable logic
chip 895 1, a multifrequency MT8870 chip and a multifrequency decoder. The flow chart of the operation of
the remote control system is shown in Fig. 1.
After the connection of the phone line, the system will wait for six rings to determine if the call is a
request of entering the control mode. If the phone is pick up before that, the system will assume it is a normal
phone call. Otherwise, it will pick up the phone and go into the control mode automatically. In the control
mode, the system will wait for three seconds for the user to dial the password of the target appliance. For the
prototype system, the password will be displayed on a 7-segment LED display. If the code is correct, the

i>
system will drive the target appliance and off-hook the telephone seven seconds later.

Phone

Automated pick up
the phone and enter
the control mode

Enter appliance code

7-segment display

On-hook the phone

Fig. 1. The flow chart of the remote control system. Fig. 2. The hardware circuit of the remote control
system.

The designed hardware circuit is shown in Fig. 2. The ring and off-hook detection are employed in one
circuit. The circuit uses an opto-isolator to detect the ringing and the off-hook signals. The input stage of the
opto-isolator consists of an LED. Pins 1 and 2 are connected to a bridge to prevent the opto-isolator from

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reverse DC voltage. The output stage of the opto-isolator consists of a transistor whose collector was
connected to a 1 OK ohm resistor. The other end of the resistor is connected to +5V power source. The output
pin of emitter is connected to ground. The output pin of base is connected to IC 74123 through an inverter.
Pin 4 of IC74123 is connected to pin 14 of the 8951 processor as input to the TO counter of the processor
When the counter counts to six ringing signals, a phone-pick-up signal will be sent from pin 16 of 895 1 to the
input end of a 7414 inverter. The pick-up signal will switch the relay of the phone from the end of the bridge
to one terminal at the end of the transformer. The other terminal of the transformer is connected to the other
input end of the telephone lines. One terminal at the other end of the transformer is connected to ground. The
other terminal of the transformer is connected to the input end of pins 2 and 3 of the MT8870 IC.
The MT8870 IC is a 4-bit DTMF decoder. The IC consists of a frequency filter and a digital decoder. The
frequency filter consists of two band filters. The two mixed frequencies from the phone are filtered out by the
two band filters and decoded by the decoder to a 4-bit digit. The 4-bit digit is then input to pins 36 to 39 of
the 895 1 processor as one digit of the password of the controlled appliance. The 4-bit decoder can decode 16
assembles of multifi-equency generated from the telephone system. The truth table of the DTMF decoder is
list in Table 1.

TABLE 1 THETRUTH TABLE OF THE DTMF DECODER

- Transmitter
Receiver

Receive r

I Recorder
Bridge
Rectifier
1 J I I I Source I
Detector

Fig. 3. The structure of the phone monitoring system

When the MT8870 IC detects the right DTMF signals, the STD signal of pin 15 will change from low to
high. We can invert the STD signal and send the signal as interrupt signal to the 8951 processor so that the
processor can read the password sending from the 8870 IC. Pins 16 and 17 of the MT8870 IC are connected

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to an external RC circuit. The parameters of the RC circuit can be assigned to appropriate values to control
the reading cycle of the password. Three seconds are assigned in this paper for the processor to wait for the
user to input the password. The frequency of the external crystal beside the 8870 IC is set to 3.579 MHz.
Once the password is received, the processor will send a control signal to switch on the selected appliance.
After a designed time delay or if the received password is incorrect, the processor will on-hook the telephone
automatically.

4. PHONE MONITORING SYSTEM DESIGN

The structure of the monitoring system is shown in Fig. 3. The system consists of four subcircuits. That is
a transmitter, a receiver, a recorder, and a detector. Since a commercial radio recorder can be served as the
recorder, in this paper, we design only the parts of the transmitter, the receiver, and the detector.

4 I . The transmitting circuit

The transmitting circuit is shown in Fig. 4. The bridge rectifier will transfer the audio signals from the
phone lines into a kind of variational DC voltage. This DC voltage is also used as the power supply of the
monitoring system. Since the DC voltage of the collector and the base of the TRI transistor is coming from
the variational audio signal, therefore the oscillating frequency is unstable. The TRI transistor is served as a
modulation oscillator. The circuit actually modulates the amplitude and the frequency of the voice sound. The
tuning capacitors include a 5 pF capacitor, the output capacitance between the base and the collector of the
transistor, and the capacitance between the base and the emitter. The output capacitance will change
according to the change of the collector current. The more is the collector current the more the capacitance.
Since the voice signal is input to the base, the corrector current will change with the voltage of the audio
signal. This completes the Colpis FM modulation.
If we connect the antenna directly with the L1 tuning coil, the oscillating frequency will have a 1%, that is
800 Khz, variation. The variation will make the transmitting of the signal meaningless. Therefore, we add a
TR2 transistor as amplifier. Signals are coupling through a C8 capacitor to one end of the telephone lines.
The telephone line is served as antenna in the circuit. The FM frequency is set around 88 to 90 MHz to avoid
the interference from the radio stations.

Fig. 4. The transmitting circuit. Fig. 5 . The receiving circuit

4 . 2 . The Receiving circuit

The circuit of the receiving circuit is shown in Fig. 5 . The receiving circuit is actually an FM receiver.
The circuits of the receiver include a RF amplifier, a frequency mixer, a local oscillator, an intermediate
frequency amplifier, an limiter, an envelope detector, and an audio amplifier. In this paper, it is mainly
implemented by a 7021 IC and a KIA7343AP IC. The interested reader can refer the detailed design to a
supported data book from the manufacturer.

4 . 3 . The decoding circuit

The circuit of the detector is shown in Fig. 6. When there is no ringing or off-hook signals, transistor Q1

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will conduct. The 555 IC will be in single-stable mode. Pin 2 will be high and pin 3 will be low. Transistor
Q2 will not conduct. The relay will not respond. If there is ringing signal or pick-up signal, the base voltage
will down to 20 volts so that Q1 transistor will not conduct. Pin 2 of the 555 IC will change from high voltage
state to low voltage state. This will trigger the 555 circuit. Output of pin 3 will tum to high voltage level. This
will conduct the relay and turn on the bulb if the circuit of the bulb is connected to an 110 volt AC power
source. When we hook up the telephone, the circuit will reset to the on-hook state.

Fig. 6. The circuit of the detector. Fig. 7. The outlook of the completed system.

5. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION

The remote control system provides a couple of convenient services to promoting the living lives of
families. The users have better control on their home appliances. This is especially important if they need
such a control when they are far away from the location of their homes. This remote control style can also be
applied to the control of factories. A careful design can possibly reduce the operation cost.
The phone monitoring system can record the conversation on the phone. The circuit is quiet small and can
be insert in telephone set easily. The circuit can be installed in series with the phone lines. The serial
resistance is below 100 ohms. Therefore, the circuit will not affect the performance of telephones. The circuit
extracts the power from the phone line directly and has low power dissipation. Therefore, there are no battery
and antenna in the circuit. The user can listen to the conversation far to 25 meters. A commercial cascade
player can record the conversation easily. The parents can use the utility to better understand the development
of their children. By the way, the bulb will tum on automatically when the phone is ringing. This function will
be helpful in lighting up the room for picking up the phone when a deep night call is coming.
We have illustrated the design of a remote control system and a phone monitoring system. Both systems
are operated based on the standard telephone lines. People can have better control on their house and their
lives even they are traveling in another country. The completed system is shown in Fig. 7. The test result
showed that the system can provide better home service and security to modem living lives,

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Financial supports from the National Science Council (NSC) of R. 0. C. under Grant NSC 85-2516-S-
0 18-003-EE and from the department of Industrial Education are gratefully acknowledged.

REFERENCES

[ 11 C. L. Chen, The Peripheral Utilities and Circuits of Microprocessors, Taiwan: Hua Tsing Press, 1992.
[23 J. En, The Design ofHigh Frequency Circuit, Taiwan: Chen Hua Press, 1995.
[3] C. F. Tsai, The Principle of Oscillation andDemodulation, Taiwan: Chen Hua Press, 1995.
[4] D. S. Shen, The Design andApplication ofElectronic Circuits, Taiwan: Chen Hua Press, 1995.

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