giovedì 10 dicembre 2009

The telephone and its several inventors.

A traditional landline telephone system, also known as "plain old telephone service" (POTS), commonly handles both signaling and audio information on the same twisted pair of insulated wires: the telephone line. Although originally designed for voice communication, the system has been adapted for data communication such as Telex, Fax and Internetcommunication. The signaling equipment consists of a bell, beeper, light or other device to alert the user to incoming calls, and number buttons or a rotary dial to enter a telephone number for outgoing calls. A twisted pair line is preferred as it is more effective at rejecting electromagnetic interference (EMI) and crosstalk than an untwisted pair.

The telephone consists of an alerting device, usually a ringer, that remains connected to the phone line whenever the phone is "on hook", and other components which are connected when the phone is "off hook". These include a transmitter (microphone), a receiver (speaker) and other circuits for dialing, filtering, and amplification. A calling partywishing to speak to another party will pick up the telephone's handset, thus operating a button switch or "switchhook", which puts the telephone into an active (off hook) state by connecting the transmitter (microphone), receiver (speaker) and related audio components to the line. This circuitry has a low resistance (less than 300 Ohms) which causes DC current (48 volts, nominal) from the telephone exchange to flow through the line. The exchange detects this DC current, attaches a digit receiver circuit to the line, and sends a dial tone to indicate readiness. On a modern telephone, the calling party then presses the number buttons in a sequence corresponding to the telephone number of the called party. The buttons are connected to a tone generator circuit that produces DTMF tones which end up at a circuit at the exchange. A rotary dial telephone employs pulse dialing, sending electrical pulses corresponding to the telephone number to the exchange. (Most exchanges are still equipped to handle pulse dialing.) Provided the called party's line is not already active or "busy", the exchange sends an intermittent ringing signal (about 90 volts AC in North America and UK and 60 volts in Germany) to alert the called party to an incoming call. If the called party's line is active, the exchange sends a busy signal to the calling party. However, if the called party's line is active but has call waiting installed, the exchange sends an intermittent audible tone to the called party to indicate an incoming call.

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