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Device Control Using Telephone

Controlling devices using switches are common. From a few decades controlling devices using remote control switches like infrared remote control switch, wireless remote control switches, light activated switches re becoming popular. But these technologies have their own limitations. Laser beams are harmful to mankind. Some technologies like IR remote control are used for short distance applications. In such case if we have system which does not require any radiations or which is not harmful, long remote control switch!! Yes here is the solution. Here I am introducing such a system which does not require any radiations, any laser beam which has no limitation of range, I mean it can be used from any distance from meters to thousand kilometers using a simple telephone line or mobile phone.

Here I am using a telephone as a media, which serves main part of this system. By using home phone as a local phone and another phone – either landline or mobile phone as a remote phone we are controlling devices.


  1. You can control up to 10 devices. It may be any electric or electronic appliances or devices with simple to heavy appliances. Each device is given a unique code.
  2. It makes accurate switching, any false switching of device are not done.
  3. There is no risk for false switching.
  4. Your local phone (i.e., home phone or office phone) can be used for normal use by using a DPDT switch. So you need not use a separate telephone line for this device controlling.
  5. To perform any operations through remote phone line, the user needs to dial to the local telephone (to which the interfacing circuit is connected) then the respective code of the device is dialed.
  6. This circuit does not require any complex IC, so any one with little knowledge of electronics can construct this circuit, because it does not need any programmable IC’s or programming.
  7. This system detects the ringing signal from your exchange with the help of ring detector and automatically switches ON.
  8. This device saves your money. This circuit switches OFF after a time of 60 seconds (you can change this switch ON-Time which is discussed in detail in coming section).
  9. Before changing the state of the device we can confirm the present status of the device.
  10. This circuit gives an acknowledgement tone after switching ON the devices to confirm the status of the device.
  11. You can control devices from local telephone. It can also be controlled by PCO.

Taking a tour of the project:

This system uses Dual Tone Multi Frequency (DTMF) technology of our telephone set. Every telephone set will have this facility. We have two type of dialing facilities in our telephone system (i) Pulse dialing mode (ii) Tone dialing mode. Here this system works on tone dialing mode. The DTMF mode is shortly called as tone dialing mode. (Check for availability of tone dialing mode in your telephone set).

This system is divided into two sections

1: Remote Section:

It is nothing but remote telephone set which is present in the remote place. This may be your workspace (office / school) phone or mobile phone or a phone in PCO. Signals are sent through this telephone.

2: Local Control Section:

This is a control system through which you can control your appliances. This contains one telephone line and a control unit. The appliances to be controlled must be connected to telephone line through control unit .Control unit is kept with a sufficient backup.

What is DTMF?

When you press a button in the telephone set keypad, a connection is made that generates a resultant signal of two tones at the same time. These two tones are taken from a row frequency and a column frequency. The resultant frequency signal is called “Dual Tone Multiple Frequency”. These tones are identical and unique.

A DTMF signal is the algebraic sum of two different audio frequencies, and can be expressed as follows:

f(t) = A0sin(2*П*fa*t) + B0sin(2*П*fb*t) + ……….. ——->(1)

Where fa and fb are two different audio frequencies with A and B as their peak amplitudes and f as the resultant DTMF signal. fa belongs to the low frequency group and fb belongs to the high frequency group.

Each of the low and high frequency groups comprise four frequencies from the various keys present on the telephone keypad; two different frequencies, one from the high frequency group and another from the low frequency group are used to produce a DTMF signal to represent the pressed key.

The amplitudes of the two sine waves should be such that

(0.7 < (A/B) <>(2)

The frequencies are chosen such that they are not the harmonics of each other. The frequencies associated with various keys on the keypad are shown in figure (A).

When you send these DTMF signals to the telephone exchange through cables, the servers in the telephone exchange identifies these signals and makes the connection to the person you are calling.

Fig (A): The row and column frequencies

Fig (A): The row and column frequencies

When you press the digit 5 in the keypad it generates a resultant tone signal which is made up of frequencies 770Hz and 1336Hz. Pressing digit 8 will produce the tone taken from tones 852Hz and 1336Hz. In both the cases, the column frequency 1336 Hz is the same. These signals are digital signals which are symmetrical with the sinusoidal wave.

Figure (B): A Typical frequency DTMF signal

Figure (B): A Typical frequency DTMF signal

Along with these DTMF generator in our telephone set provides a set of special purpose groups of tones, which is normally not used in our keypad. These tones are identified as ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’. These frequencies have the same column frequency but uses row frequencies given in the table in figure (A). These tones are used for communication signaling.

Figure (C): The frequency table

Figure (C): The frequency table

Due to its accuracy and uniqueness, these DTMF signals are used in controlling systems using telephones. By using some DTMF generating IC’s (UM91214, UM91214, etc) we can generate DTMF tones without depending on the telephone set.

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