Category Archives: Phone

Telephone Ring Generator Using Switching Supply

The telephone ring generator shown above generates the needed high voltage from a simple switching mode power supply (SMPS) which employs a CMOS Schmitt Trigger square wave oscillator, 10 mH inductor, high voltage switching transistor (TIP47 or other high voltage, 1 amp transistor) and a driver transistor (2N3053). The inductor should have a low DC resistance of 1.5 ohms or less. The switching supply must have a load connected to prevent the voltage from rising too high, so a 22K resistor is used across the output which limits the voltage to about 120 DC with the phone ringer disconnected and about 90 volts DC connected. The output voltage can be adjusted by changing the value of the 150K resistor between pins 10 and 11 which will alter the oscillator frequency (frequency is around 800 Hz as shown). The supply is gated on and off by a second Schmitt Trigger oscillator (pins 12/13) so that the phone rings for about 2 seconds and then the circuit idles for about a minute between rings. These times can be adjusted with the 10K and 300K resistors connected to pin 12. The push button shown is used to manually ring the phone. The 25Hz ringing frequency is generated by another Schmitt Trigger oscillator (pins 1/2) which controls the H bridge transistor output circuit. The 6 transistors in the output stage (4 NPN, 2 PNP) should be high voltage types rated at 200 volts collector to emitter or more. The ringer will only draw around 10 mA, so the output transistors can have a low current rating but must have a high voltage rating. I used TIP47s and small signal PNPs of unknown numbers that I had on hand, but other types such as NTE287 (NPN) and NTE288 (PNP) should work. Both have a 300 volt C-E rating and cost about $0.95 from mail order houses.

The two 470 ohm resistors connected to the output serve to limit the current in case the output is shorted. I never tried shorting the output to see how effective the resistors are, but I did lose a couple transistors and then decided to add the resistors. They should limit the surge to around 120 mA which should be low enough to prevent damage. The circuit draws around 250 mA when the ring signal is present so if you want to operate it from batteries, six ‘D’ type alkaline cells are recommended. It probably won’t work with a small 9 volt battery.

Copyright 2006: [url=]Bill Bowden[/url]

Telephone In-Use Indicator

See image above

Copyright 2006: Bill Bowden [url][/url]Parts:1x 3 volt battery
2x 3.3 MOhm resistors
1x 680 KOhm resistor
1x 100 Ohms resistor
1x 0.1 uF capacitor
1x 2N3904 NPN amplifier
1x 2N3906 PNP amplifier
1x LED

Telephone Audio Interface

Audio from a telephone line can be obtained using a transformer and capacitor to isolate the line from external equipment. A non-polarized capacitor is placed in series with the transformer line connection to prevent DC current from flowing in the transformer winding which may prevent the line from returning to the on-hook state. The capacitor should have a voltage rating above the peak ring voltage of 90 volts plus the on-hook voltage of 48 volts, or 138 volts total. This was measured locally and may vary with location, a 400 volt or more rating is recommended. Audio level from the transformer is about 100 millivolts which can be connected to a high impedance amplifier or tape recorder input. The 3 transistor amplifier shown above can also be used. For overvoltage protection, two diodes are connected across the transformer secondary to limit the audio signal to 700 millivolts peak during the ringing signal. The diodes can be most any silicon type (1N400X / 1N4148 / 1N914 or other). The 620 ohm resistor serves to reduce loading of the line if the output is connected to a very low impedance.

Copyright 2006: [url=]Bill Bowden[/url]

Old phones as an intercom

From: (Markus Wandel)

I have recently thought about this and come up with a kludgy but workable scheme.

Talking over the phones is easy. You put DC current through the phone and it transmits and receives audio. So two phones and a current source (about 25mA) all in series will give you a talking circuit. A suitable current source can be as simple as a 9V battery and a series resistor whose value is adjusted (with both phones offhook) till about 25mA flows. You can then bypass the battery and the resistor with a capacitor to couple the audio straight across and get a loud and clear connection.

What is much harder is signaling the other end. To ring the bell you need to put 90V (RMS) 20Hz AC into the phone (nominally). Lower voltages will work (down to about 40V) but different frequencies won’t. You can’t ring the phone at 60Hz. I have a ringing circuit in a PBX I built but it consists of a 20Hz sinewave generator, a push-pull power booster and a big transformer. Much too elaborate for a simple 2-phone intercom circuit, and anyway the ringing voltage could painfully zap a kid.

So forget the bell and look into other forms of signaling. This is what I have come up with:

As before, set R to give you a talking current (both phones offhook) of about 25mA. Start with 1K ohm. Leave it in if the phones work well enough; the current is not very critical. The capacitors C are audio bypass capacitors and should be about 0.47uF.

When the phones are onhook they present an open circuit, and the 24V battery voltage is not enough to overcome the 30V series drop of the Zeners and no current flows. When both phones are offhook they present a very low resistance and the talking current (determined by R) flows.

When only one phone is offhook it places its low DC resistance across the Zener diode on its side so that the full 24V supply is applied to the other side. This overcomes the voltage drop of the other Zener diode so the other Sonalert beeps. The wonderful thing about Sonalerts is that they make a loud noise with only a few milliamps of current so the series resistor R doesn’t matter. Especially nice is a pulsing Sonalert which goes “Beep beep beep” automatically. While the far-end Sonalert is beeping, you hear the beeping in the near-end receiver (at low volume thanks to the bypass capacitor across the far-end Sonalert) to confirm that the line is working and the other end is being signaled.

The power supply can be three 9V batteries in series but since 80% of the power is lost in series resistor R rather than in powering the phones it seems a little wasteful. A 24V wall wart with clean filtering would be better.

The signaling components can be mounted inside the phones. Only two wires are needed to go to each phone, and the power supply can be mounted centrally, out of harm’s way. If R is adequately big (1/2 watt) and has enough ventilation then both lines can be indefinitely shorted out without any fire hazard and there is not enough voltage anywhere to hurt anyone.

I have tested this with 500-type phones and two different types of piezo buzzers (pulsing sonalerts and non-pulsing brand X ones) and it works great. You should be able to get all the needed parts including piezo buzzers at Radio Shack. I love telephones. Too bad I don’t have any kids who want an intercom line.

Copyright 2006: Bill Bowden