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This help page is for version 8.1. The latest available help is for version 8.2.

Phone Dialer (DTMF/SMS)

The Phone Dialer action is used to make calls over a normal phone line via a modem. This action doesn't need an ISP, but rather calls a phone (a human who would recognize the Caller ID), perhaps an automated system, or an attached cell phone through which SMS messages can be sent.

The Phone Dialer can also optionally send DTMF tones (touch-tones) which could be useful for automatically navigating a phone menu system, and any other characters such as SMS message text.

The timeout values are important. Since there isn't a well defined audio protocol with humans and/or phone systems on the other end, you'll need to build in delays. This includes delays for the other party to answer. Be sure to specify enough pause after dialing the number for the number to go through, the other phone to ring and be answered.

The modem script is shown at the bottom of the dialog, and will work with most modems since it is built on the basic Hayes AT command set. Your modem may have other features and/or require other commands. Your modem documentation will list the commands it accepts. If you need to modify the script to work with your specific modem, check "Allow editing of command directly".

For sending SMS messages via a directly connected cell phone, you'll need to modify the script directly. Look in your phone manual for the commands for sending messages. In general you'll be using some form of the AT+CMGS command. Your script might look something like the following example:

AT
ATZ
ATE0
AT+CMGF=1
AT+CMGS="number_to_dial"
message text
{VAL:26}

Note that the {VAL:26} is how you send a Ctrl-Z (End of Message character). The value 26 is an ASCII value that maps to Ctrl-Z. The {VAL:x} pattern is how you send arbitrary ASCII codes. There are many ASCII charts on the Internet. Wikipedia's shows Ctrl-Z as 26 (decimal) here. If you want to format the value as hex instead of decimal, use {VAL:#x}, ie {VAL:#1A} to send Ctrl-Z.

In addition, you can have the action send the text of replacement variables. The variable names and their values are shown in the action by pressing the Variables button. An example would be:
$Details$ which expands to the alert descriptive text. So your script might look like this:

AT
ATZ
ATE0
AT+CMGF=1
AT+CMGS="number_to_dial"
$Details$
{VAL:26}

Scheduling

If the action should not be used 24/7 you can use the Schedule button to specify when notifications should be sent to the given pager.  On off hours the action acts as though it isn't configured at all.  The dark green below indicates 'on hours' and the lighter grey specifies 'off hours'.

Alert Scheduling


Experience from the field

At least one customer found that having any extra lines (even blank lines) after the {VAL:26} would cause the message to not send (this is likely phone specific). Also, ATE0 turns off local echo, which will prevent the system from interpreting echoed outgoing text as response commands from the phone/modem.

We have a few customers in Europe that have connected a cell phone to their computer to send SMS messages without an Internet connection.

A customer in the U.S. did the same thing and gives some tips:

Phone used: AT&T Go Phone - Samsung SGH-a177
The phone powers/charges through the USB cable

Get the data cable. The box doesn't come with a CD so you have to go online at Samsung and get the drivers at http://www.samsung.com/us/support/search/supportSearchModelResult.do

The drivers won't load the modem. You have to download the Samsung Studio (used for transferring data and backing up your address book). After you download and install the 95 MB program and connect to the phone, the drivers will load.

Check your COM port in Control Panel - Modems, and use that in the Phone Dialer action settings.

ALSO, When I disconnect and reconnect the phone, the COM port used by the phone jumps from 4 to 5 and back. So be aware that if you have to cycle power on the box, check the COM port or you won't get notified. One option around this is to setup two Phone Dialer actions -- one goes to COM4 and another one to COM5 and just put up with the email on the failed alert.

Thanks Tim.

PA File Sight

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