4.4 Autopatch

There are several features available with the FF-800 autopatch that help make it one of the most versatile and flexible patch interfaces available. The following list illustrates these features:

Several of the autopatch commands have custom annunciators. These annunciators are messages that the FF-800 sends to announce the particular command that has been executed. All annunciators come with a factory default message which can be replaced by a custom message if desired. Text Edit details how to create messages, and Message Assign details how to assign messages to a particular annunciator (or annunciators). The following autopatch functions/operations have programmable annunciators:

Autopatch CancelAutopatch
Secondary patch #1Secondary Patch #2
Secondary Patch #3Speed Call Bank 1
Speed Call Bank 2Speed Call Bank 3
Speed Call Bank 4Repeat Call
Secondary patch not availableAutopatch busy
The Message Assign function description also lists the defaults for each message.

There are several timers that affect the operation of the autopatch functions (see Timer Set for details on setting timers). These timers are listed below:

If the FF-800 is to be serviced by a local PBX system, it may be necessary to program the "dial out" prefix. This is the digit or digits that the local PBX requires for access to an outside line. Once the prefix is entered with the Dial Prefix Enter command, the dial prefix must then be turned on using Dial Prefix Enable.

Dial Prefix Enter Access: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg) (630) ; (prefix)
Response: "P B X," + prefix

If the dial prefix feature is required, this function will allow the user to customize the prefix to the requirements of the phone system that will be connected to the FF-800. The prefix can contain up to 6 digits which includes any pause digits that are desired. The "*" digit is the pause digit for the FF-800 system. The DTMF dial firmware will cause a 0.5 second pause to occur each time it encounters a "*" digit.

Dial Prefix Enable Access: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg) (632) ; (on/off)
Response: "P B X On" or "P B X Off"

Turning on the dial prefix enable mode causes the autopatch dial prefix to be sent by the FF-800 prior to all out-going autopatch operations (including speed call autopatches).

Valid Patch Length Access: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg) (634) ; (#digits)
Response: "V P L" plus #digits

The valid patch length sets the minimum number of digits that are required for an autopatch command. If the number of digits for (number) is less than that set by this command, the autopatch will not be executed.

Patch Options Enable Access: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg) (636) (patch#) ; (on/off)
Response: "P O E" plus "On" or "Off"

This command allows the user to deactivate the patch options. If deactivated, the FF-800 will ignore any non-numeric characters that follow the phone number in an autopatch command. The following describes the (patch#) parameter:
0Main autopatch
1Secondary autopatch #1
2Secondary autopatch #2
3Secondary autopatch #3
4Speed dial autopatch (all banks)
Autopatch Cancel Access: GENERAL
{#12} (AA9) ; (hang-up suffix)
Response: "Call Complete" or custom message

After the completion of an autopatch, the Autopatch Cancel command is used to disconnect the FF-800 from the phone line. If a custom hang-up suffix was programmed, it will need to be included with the hang-up code in order to enable the hang-up sequence. This command restores the status of all ports configured as Remote Base (these ports are de- activated by any autopatch or speed dial command).

Auxiliary Patch Cancel Access: GENERAL
{#25} (AB9)
Response: "Call Complete" or custom message

This command is identical to the Autopatch Cancel command except that the custom hang- up feature is bypassed. This command is intended to provide control operators with a means of de-activating the autopatch even if the custom hang-up has been utilized.

Auxiliary Re-dial Access: GENERAL

{#53} (BA6)

Response: "Repeat Call" or custom message

This command is provided to allow users to initiate the re-dial function when patch options are disabled. This allows a re-dial command prefix that is different than and separate from the Autopatch prefix.

Autopatch Extend Access: GENERAL

{#26} (AC0)
Response: "Plus Time"

This command sets the autopatch time-out to the value stored in timer #10. There is no limit to the number of patch extends that can be executed.

Autopatch Access: GENERAL
{#14} (AB1) (phone number) ; (options)
Secondary Patch #1 Access: GENERAL
{#47} (BA0) (phone number) ; (options)
Secondary Patch #2 Access: GENERAL
{#48} (BA1) (phone number) ; (options)
Secondary Patch #3 Access: GENERAL
{#49} (BA2) (phone number) ; (options)
Response: "Telephone Call" + phone number or: user defined message + phone number

Since the FF-800 autopatch system generates the DTMF tones to dial the desired number, this number must be included with the Autopatch command. Numbers must be at least "patch minimum" in length (see Valid Patch Length), and the number is checked against the LOCKIN/LOCKOUT tables before it is allowed as a valid number. The busy conditions must be clear or the command will respond with the "Off Line" message and abort. The (options) parameters are used to specify the re-dial function, number read-back supress, and custom hang-up suffix. If the command passes all tests, the FF-800 saves the status of all ports configured as Remote Base, and turns off all remote base ports. The phone line relay is then activated and the FF-800 waits 1 second before dialing the number. The actual DTMF signal is muted from the repeater audio and is replaced by a single tone beep for each DTMF digit dialed. During the dialing sequence, any DTMF digit will interrupt the dialing operation and abort the autopatch (if the custom hang-up feature is specified, this interrupt is disabled). At this point the FF-800 is in autopatch mode and the user will note that the phone audio is passed as repeater audio as long as there are no valid COS signals into the system. If a valid COS is received, this port is passed to the phone where it is heard at the calling end. Also, the courtesy tones are de- activated while the autopatch mode is in effect.

The Secondary Patch commands basically duplicate the Autopatch command with three exceptions: 1) the secondary commands can be disabled by the Secondary Patch Enable command, 2) the Secondary Patch #2 and #3 commands each activate a user output when executed, and 3) each Secondary command has its own annunciator message that can be individually customized. These outputs can be used to drive a user supplied relay that can switch the phone line to the FF-800 for multi-line access (or the output(s) can activate a tape recorder, or do any other operation that the user desires). Secondary #2 activates output #4 while Secondary #3 activates output #5. The Autopatch Cancel command de- activates these outputs. It should be noted that the outputs are not affected by any patch command if their corresponding secondary patch command is disabled (by Secondary Patch Enable). The secondary patch commands obey the same (options) and syntax as the Autopatch command.

As noted earlier, there are two timers that govern the autopatch -- the duration timer, and the activity timer. If either times-out, the autopatch is automatically terminated. The activity timer is reset by any valid COS, while the Autopatch Extend function must be used to reset the duration timer.

The Autopatch Cancel command is used to terminate the autopatch mode and return the system to normal operation.

The (options) parameter has many facets that allow access to several autopatch options. By including the options in the Autopatch command, the user is freed from remembering and entering several other commands to specify the different options desired for the autopatch. Also, each user can determine which options they desire when they initiate the autopatch (which could differ from call to call). This multi-faceted operation has been designed to minimize complexity while maximizing the available features to the Autopatch command.

There are three distinct options available -- the structure of the options syntax allows each to be specified uniquely such that any or all of the three are available at any time. The "*" digit is used as both a command character, and a separator character. The following describes each component of the (options):

{*} ; {*} {custom hang-up} {*} ; <*>

The first {*} is included for a re-dial command. Re-dial occurs when there is no telephone number included with the autopatch and the {*} is entered to specify a re-dial command.

The second and third {*} are separators for the custom hang-up suffix. up to 3 non-STAR digits can be entered to specify the custom hang-up sequence.

The fourth {*} specifies the number read-back supress feature. If this character is present, the FF-800 will not read back the entered phone number. This status is saved and the number will not read back on a subsequent re-dial operation even if the read back supress option is omitted on the re-dial command. In other words, once supressed, the number will always be supressed on subsequent re-dial commands (the read back supress is reset at the beginning of each new patch command).

These three options can be included or omitted as desired, as long as the order is preserved: re-dial first, custom hang-up second, and read back supress third. The following examples illustrate the autopatch commands introduced thus far:

Each patch command has a configuration option (see Patch Option Enable) that allows the patch options to be selectively disabled. Thus, the main Autopatch command may have the patch options enabled, but any or all of the Secondary Patch commands may have the options disabled.


AB13683716		Standard autopatch
"Telephone Call  3 6 8 3 7 1 6"  the FF-800 then brings the phone line off hook and dials 
the number
"Call Complete"

AB13683716*123*	Autopatch with custom hang-up
"Telephone Call  3 6 8 3 7 1 6"
AA9123			Disconnect with custom hang-up
"Call Complete"

AB13683716*		Autopatch with read-back supress
"Telephone Call"

AB13683716*123**	Autopatch with read-back supress and custom hang-up
no response, Autopatch Cancel not accepted
"Call Complete"

Demonstration of Re-dial:
AB13683716*147*	Autopatch with custom hang-up
"Telephone Call  3 6 8 3 7 1 6"
AC0			Extend autopatch
"Plus Ten"
"Call Complete"

AB1**			Re-dial with read back supress
"Repeat Call"
"Call Complete"		NOTE: even though original call had custom hang-up, it was 
			specified with the re-dial command and was thus not needed.

AB1*456*		Re-dial again
"Repeat Call"		since the number was supressed on the last re-dial, it is 
			supressed again, even though the supress was not specified here.
AB9			Auxiliary disconnect doesn't need hang-up suffix.
"Call Complete"
There are several speed call functions on the FF-800 that allow the FF-800 to automatically dial a number from stored memory. There are 4 types of speed call commands:

  1. Emergency autopatch (10 slots, maximum of 7 digits per slot)
  2. Speed call bank 1 (90 slots, maximum of 7 digits per slot) Speed call bank 2 (100 slots, maximum of 7 digits per slot)
  3. Speed call bank 3 (40 slots, maximum of 10 digits per slot)
  4. Speed call bank 4 (10 slots, maximum of 30 digits per slot)
The speed call functions are not subject to the LOCKIN/LOCKOUT limits imposed on the main and secondary autopatch commands. Thus, the user is free to program any number into any slot (provided that the slot size is not exceeded).

Secondary Patch Enable Access: CONTROL
(cntl) (407) (secondary patch#) ; (on/off)
Response: "A P" plus "On" or "Off"

The user may selectively enable or disable any of the secondary autopatch commands. (secondary patch#) = 1, 2 , or 3 depending on which secondary patch command is desired.

Speed Call Program Access: CONTROL
(cntl) (4001) (slot#) ; (phone number)bank# 1
(cntl) (4002) (slot#) ; (phone number)bank# 2
(cntl) (4003) (slot#) ; (phone number)bank# 3
(cntl) (4004) (slot#) ; (phone number)bank# 4
Response: "Speed Call Enter" + phone number -or- "Speed Call Clear" slot is empty

All speed call slots are set from this command. If the phone number is omitted, then the contents of the indicated slot are returned. A slot can contain any number of digits up to the maximums indicated above. NOTE: the emergency speed call slots are located in bank 1, slots 0 - 9.

Speed Call Erase Access: CONTROL
(cntl) (4031) (slot#)bank# 1
(cntl) (4032) (slot#)bank# 2
(cntl) (4033) (slot#)bank# 3
(cntl) (4034) (slot#)bank# 4
Response: "Set Speed Call Clear"

There is no interrogate option for this function. The indicated slot is erased.

Emergency Speed Call Access: GENERAL
{#19} (AB6) (slot#) ; (options)
Response: "E M G" + slot# or: custom annunciator message

This command performs a speed call function using the emergency speed call slots. Each slot can have a unique annunciator programmed by the user to help identify the nature of the service that is being accessed. The (options) are the same as for the normal or secondary autopatch commands -- however, only the custom hang-up option has any real meaning for speed call commands. The slot numbers reference the first 10 slots in bank 1 (numbers 0 through 9).

In addition to the individual annunciator messages, the emergency autopatch function sets the autopatch duration timer from timer #12 instead of timer #9. This allows the user to set a longer duration for emergency calls if desired.

Speed Call Bank 1 Access: GENERAL
{#20} (AB7) (slot#)
Speed Call Bank 2 Access: GENERAL
{#21} (AB72) (slot#)
Speed Call Bank 3 Access: GENERAL
{#22} (AB73) (slot#)
Speed Call Bank 4 Access: GENERAL
{#23} (AB74) (slot#)
Response: "Speed Call" + slot number or: custom annunciator + number

Each bank in the speed call data base has a separate prefix. However, each behaves the same, provides the same annunciator and timer settings. Since the bank number is implied by the particular prefix, only the slot number is required when these commands are executed.

CC4002003683716	set slot 00, bank 2 = 368-3716
"Speed Call Enter 3 6 8 3 7 1 6"
CC400100911		set slot 00, bank 1 = 911 (emergency speed call #0)
"Speed Call Enter 9 1 1"
CC4002015551212	set slot 01, bank 2 = 555-1212
"Speed Call Enter 5 5 5 1 2 1 2"

CC403201		erase slot 01, bank 2
"Set Speed Call Clear"

AB60			emergency speed call
"Emergency One"		default message

AB7200			normal speed call
"Speed Call"		default message
AA9			hang-up
"Call Complete"
There are two special commands that have been incorporated into the firmware of the FF- 800 to aid users in dealing with special phone interface situations. The Party Line Autopatch is for use on controllers that are connected to what is commonly called a "party line". This type of phone line is used extensively in rural areas and to a lesser extent in more urban areas. The Party Line Autopatch is designed specifically to call an extension on the same party-line to which the FF-800 is connected.

Party Line Autopatch Access: GENERAL
{#42} (999)
Response: "Telephone Call" + repeater ID

This command executes a specific sequence of events to call an extension on the same line. It will only work with phone lines that behave in the following manner: When you dial the phone number assigned to the phone that you are dialing from, there is a message from the phone company instructing you to hang up. After you hang up, the phone (and others on the party line), rings until someone picks up.

If this is how the phone system connected to the FF-800 behaves, then the Party Line Autopatch can be used to ring the same line that the FF-800 is connected to. First, the phone number of the FF-800 line must be placed in speed dial bank#1, slot#99. When Party Line Autopatch is executed, it picks up the phone line, speaks the annunciator message, and dials bank#1, slot#99. After a short delay, the FF-800 hangs up and waits a few seconds for the phone to ring. If the ring is not detected within 6 seconds, the function aborts and the FF-800 returns to normal operation. If the phone does ring, the FF-800 will echo the ring signal to the repeater output until the FF-800 fails to detect a ring for 6 seconds. At this point, the FF-800 again picks up the phone line, and enters the autopatch mode. This command can be canceled at any time with the Autopatch Cancel command.

Patch Busy Override Access: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg) (639) ; (number)

The Patch Busy Over-ride will bring the phone off-hook and dial any included number -- no lock-in or lock-out checks are performed on the number, and no length limits are imposed. This command is intended for use in extreme cases where it is desired by the control or system operator(s) to check a busy line for trouble or in the case of an emergency, when there may be no other means for access to the phone line. The override command causes the FF-800 to enter the autopatch mode and it is de-activated by the Autopatch Cancel command.

Reverse Autopatch Access: GENERAL
{#58} (BB1)
Response: "Call From Telephone" or user programmed annunciator

The reverse autopatch command provides access to the controller via the telephone without using the control autopatch access. After receiving the announce message from the FF- 800, the user enters this command followed by a delimiter (ie., "#*") and the controller will respond with the function annunciator and begin to issue a ring tone on the repeater output (if there is no active COS). Either the Autopatch or Secondary Patch#1 commands without parameters will answer the reverse patch and cause the FF-800 to go into autopatch mode. If the patch is not answered within the Reverse Wait timer (timer#17) the caller will be disconnected without warning. Once this command is issued, the party on the telephone no longer has access to the FF-800 to enter command codes.

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