With Check Operated Control (e.g., Paystation) Patents (Class 379/143)
  • Patent number: 8908842
    Abstract: The present invention is generally directed to a system and associated method for communicating information. In some embodiments, the invention is directed to a general purpose transceiver having a receiver for receiving an information signal and a transmitter configured to transmit an outgoing signal to a central station. A portion of the information signal can include an instruction code, which may be decoded and acted upon accordingly. Other embodiments and features are also claimed and described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Assignee: SIPCO, LLC
    Inventor: Thomas D. Petite
  • Patent number: 8827278
    Abstract: An adaptor for adapting a working element to an end of a power tool shaft. The adaptor includes a central hole passing through the adaptor and has a longitudinal axis, a driving end facing the end of the shaft, and a tool end facing the working element and having a protruding portion, wherein the driving end is provided with grooves, the grooves and bosses formed between the grooves are alternately arranged around the circumference of the driving end, and the bosses have side faces each facing the central hole and located on a plane passing through an edge of a regular polygon and parallel with the longitudinal axis. The adaptor can thus be used to adapt different kinds of working elements to various kinds of driving shafts having different shapes of shaft end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Chervon (HK) Limited
    Inventors: Zhiguo Chen, Xiaofeng Zhang, Baijun Zhang
  • Patent number: 8335304
    Abstract: The present invention is generally directed to a system and associated method for communicating information. In some embodiments, the invention is directed to a general purpose transceiver having a receiver for receiving an information signal and a transmitter configured to transmit an outgoing signal to a central station. A portion of the information signal can include an instruction code, which may be decoded and acted upon accordingly. Other embodiments and features are also claimed and described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2012
    Assignee: SIPCO, LLC
    Inventor: Thomas D. Petite
  • Patent number: 8306200
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for automatic processing of toll free call service alarms are disclosed. For example, the method receives a trouble ticket by a service provider for a toll free call service alarm, and retrieves a calling to number and a calling from number from the trouble ticket. The method determines if the service provider is a responsible organization for the toll free call service for the calling to number, and determines if a customer network for the toll free call service is active if the service provider is the responsible organization for the toll free call service. The method notifies a work center if the customer network is not active.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: AT&T Intellectual Property I, L.P.
    Inventors: Paritosh Bajpay, Mojgan Dardashti, Zhiqiang Qian, Michael John Zinnikas
  • Patent number: 8265241
    Abstract: A method and system for initiating an incident-specific request for assistance from a citizen call station by touching a sequence of positions on a display screen. The citizen call station comprises a display having a touch-responsive mechanism for entering a call sequence of statements including initiating an alert, reporting a concern, and selecting help needed. A transmission mechanism for transmitting the call sequence to a control location is provided. A confirmation of the request, sent from the control location, may be received at the call station. The call station may also deliver information from a central location. The call station may include cameras, various sensors, two-way communications, and may be used to provide information on demand, outside of the normal security concerns.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Inventors: Roger A. Rowe, Karl Turkel
  • Patent number: 7783020
    Abstract: This method is used to send data representative of the location of communication terminals (T) to a call center (ECC) without using information processing means in the terminals and to send via heterogeneous communication networks (RP, RPT). This method consists, in the event of requesting the setting up of a telephone call between a terminal (T) and the call center (ECC) by means of a dedicated calling number, in sending the call center a signaling message for setting up the connection and comprising a selected call identifier and a text type message including data representative of the location of the calling terminal (T) and the selected call identifier. At the call center, the method consists in associating the signaling message received by the call center with the location data contained in the text message received by the call center if the signaling message and the text message include the same call identifier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: Alcatel Lucent
    Inventors: Raymond Gass, Michel Le Creff
  • Patent number: 7567658
    Abstract: The method to verify designation of pay telephone with an exchange carrier determines receipt of private pay telephone designation for a private pay telephone (PPT) by an interexchange carrier (IXC). The PPT is programmed with at least one telephone number to an IXC in its storage memory. Using that stored number, the PPT calls on its connected telephone line to the IXC. The PPT determines, without manual intervention, whether a response from the IXC is indicative of a status of receipt of PPT designation for the PPT to receive Dial-Around Compensation by the IXC. The PPT then generates a record and stores the record of the response from the IXC in the storage memory of the PPT. Finally, the PPT communicates the stored record of the response from the IXC to the private pay telephone provider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2009
    Assignee: Intellicall, Inc.
    Inventors: Larry D. Hall, Donn C. Hotchkin
  • Patent number: 7523073
    Abstract: A method of charging for use of a facsimile apparatus, using an information processing unit provided therein, is disclosed that includes the steps of (a) the information processing unit obtaining the amount of facsimile transmission; (b) the information processing unit obtaining a transmission condition specified by a user; and (c) the information processing unit calculating a charge for the facsimile transmission using the amount of facsimile transmission and a charge corresponding to the transmission condition. The information processing unit stores data on the charge corresponding to the transmission condition for the facsimile transmission.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2009
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takuji Nomura, Kenji Kuwana, Yoichi Utaka, Naoki Takashima, Akio Watanabe, Toshiyuki Tezuka
  • Patent number: 7409049
    Abstract: A network-based verification of call connections is provided between a telecommunications subscriber terminal and a telecommunications service device selected by a service call number. This verification provides a way of enabling secure protection against an undesired selection of a service device and/or the selection of an undefined service device. A system and a method are provided in which during a call set-up, the selected call number is evaluated on the basis of at least one service call number stored in a communication network and/or at least one service call number area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2008
    Assignee: Deutsche Telekom AG
    Inventors: Heiko Dassow, Guido Koeppe, Reinhold Wehner
  • Patent number: 7397907
    Abstract: The present invention is generally directed to a system and associated method for communicating information to a predetermined location. The system includes a transmitter disposed at a first location and configured to transmit a signal containing an instruction code that uniquely identifies an instruction to be carried out. The system further includes a transceiver disposed remotely from the transmitter and configured to receive the transmitted signal. The transceiver circuit includes a line interface circuit configured to interface with a telephone line that is part of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and initiate a phone call over the telephone line. Finally, the system includes a central station remotely located from said transceiver but being in communication with said transceiver via the PSTN The central station further include a decoder configured to decode the instruction code.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2008
    Assignee: Sipco, LLC
    Inventor: Thomas D. Petite
  • Publication number: 20080037742
    Abstract: The Payphone Dial Tone Service System receives control and communication data via a VoIP communication connection that originates at an Analog Terminal Adapter and modem connected to the smart payphone. The Analog Terminal Adapter and modem communicate exclusively with the Payphone Dial Tone Service System of the Payphone Dial Tone Service Provider and transmit a unique code to identify the smart payphone. The Payphone Dial Tone Service System validates the smart payphone and originates an Internet-based communication session to the appropriate carrier or Public Switched Telephone Network gateway. The Payphone Dial Tone Service System also manages the ANI data to ensure proper terminal identification and AMA billing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 7, 2007
    Publication date: February 14, 2008
    Inventor: Edward W. Greenberg
  • Patent number: 7133509
    Abstract: A set activation fee pay telephone permits a telephone customer to place a telephone call from a pay telephone if the customer presents valid billing information, and charges the customer a fixed fee for the call, plus any other applicable network charges. The set activation pay telephone accepts two inputs: a telephone number the customer desires to call and billing information. The set activation fee pay telephone stores the telephone number locally and transmits the billing information to a network element. A determination is made as to whether the billing information is valid. Typically, the determination is made by querying a billing database. If the billing information is valid, then an approval signal is transmitted to the set activation fee pay telephone. Once the set activation fee pay telephone receives the approval signal, it passes the telephone number stored in memory to the PSTN and the call is placed normally.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2006
    Assignee: BellSouth Intellectual Property Corporation
    Inventor: W David Conley
  • Patent number: 7119517
    Abstract: A method features the steps of determining whether a secondary battery collected from a user is reusable when being handed over again to the user after being recharged, by performing a simple inspection on a site where the battery is received and returned to the user. The battery is transferred to another site for additional detailed inspection to further examine whether the battery is reusable when the determination is such that quality up to the specified capacity is not assured if the battery is given back for further usage to the user only after recharging it. The processes described in the above method can ensure the user that the battery has a reusable quality to the specified capacity, while the battery can be given back quickly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2006
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hitoshi Mikuriya, Kenichi Aoki
  • Patent number: 7116768
    Abstract: In an implementation of collect callback, a call-in service establishes a communication link with a caller and initiates a collect callback option for the caller. A switch receives callback data from the call-in service and utilizes the callback data to establish a collect call via a second communication link between the caller and the call-in service.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2006
    Assignee: dX/dY Voice Processing, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey B. Smith, Michael L. Eberle
  • Patent number: 7110744
    Abstract: A proximity service unit for providing at least one predetermined service for use with multiple types of wireless devices. The proximity service unit includes a multiple channel wireless transceiver, a proximity unit validation assembly, and a legacy activation unit. The multiple channel wireless transceiver receives at least two signal types, such as infrared region signals, 900 MHz region signals, 1.8 GHz region signals, and 2.4 GHz region signals. The multiple channel wireless transceiver receives a request authorization code from each of a plurality of respective wireless devices such that the plurality of wireless devices communicate simultaneously with the multiple channel wireless transceiver without air time. The proximity unit validation assembly communicates with the multiple channel wireless transceiver and receives and validates the plurality of request authorization codes received by the multiple channel wireless transceiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2006
    Assignee: Automated Business Companies
    Inventor: Charles C. Freeny, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7088808
    Abstract: A kit for converting an existing pay telephone to additionally provide computer network access includes an upper housing unit that latches to a lower housing of the existing telephone, and a network adapter unit which includes a network computer and a control module that selectively disables a hook switch connection to a payphone electronics module of the existing payphone. A coin scanner and an escrow unit of the existing payphone are connected through the control module to the payphone electronics unit. The network computer, in combination with the control module, provides a stand by mode, a pay phone mode, a data mode utilizing an optional data port socket for connection of an external data device, and a network mode. The kit provides for remote management of network functions as well as payphone functions over a single telephone line. Also disclosed is a complete network access pay telephone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Inventor: Li-Ta Ku
  • Patent number: 7050554
    Abstract: The balance or a portion of the balance associated with a prepaid card with or without a microcircuit is paid into a balance portion collection server, as a donations to charities, after setting up a call between a terminal and the server and after confirmation of the payment by the user at the terminal to increment a counter with the balance or balance portion. In another embodiment, balance portions are paid cyclically into the server or into a connection unit as and when a telephone call runs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2006
    Assignee: France Telecom, SA
    Inventors: BĂ©atrice Parfait, Eric Depret, Michel Mirouze
  • Patent number: 6850607
    Abstract: An intelligent vending system such as a pay telephone provides local/remote diagnostics, fraud prevention, capability of facilitating local coin overtime operation, complete cash box accounting, and detailed reporting. Information regarding each transaction is recorded and is useful in verification, by way of example. The system includes a delta-sigma driver for reducing circuit complexity and improving circuit reliability, and a one-wire, high speed communication controller which facilitates high speed downloading and uploading of data, records, and operating program code. Battery management techniques, memory management, and coin detection circuits add to the system's capabilities and reliability. Firmware security techniques and operating system formats also promote product firmware security and configuration control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: Protel, Inc.
    Inventors: Rolf Meyer, Kenneth L. Bryan, Raymond F. Felch, Tony L. McBride, Gary L. Stirk, Stephen J. Hayes
  • Patent number: 6822422
    Abstract: A battery recycle system includes a vending machine for vending secondary batteries. The vending machine has therein a telecommunication terminal connected to a server provided in a secondary battery for receiving information of minimum quality of a typical used secondary battery. Upon receiving a used battery from a user, the vending machine supplies a charged battery to the user at a reduced cost corresponding to the quality of the used battery. The used battery is charged and stocked for a next user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventor: Rumi Sagawa
  • Patent number: 6775365
    Abstract: A method of providing a call return service wherein a first party, at a first customer premises equipment device, requests a service session with a first party service provider and enters an address for a second party, is provided. The service session signals a second customer premises equipment device at a second party, and a request is made on behalf of one of the parties to provide a directed call return service. The method further includes submitting, to the first party service provider, an authorization from the first party that the second party may direct a return call through the first party service provider while allowing the first party service provider to direct any charges for the return call to the first party.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: Qwest Communications International Inc.
    Inventor: Steven E. Norby
  • Patent number: 6721400
    Abstract: A vending machine for dispensing telecommunications access is disclosed. A customer interested in using the telecommunications access makes a payment into the payment processing unit which forwards the payment information to the central control unit. The central control unit reports the transaction information to a central computer system via its modem connected to a telecommunication channel. Access to the same telecommunication channel or another channel can be made available to the customer via a switchable telecommunications access circuit which is also controlled by the central control unit. The customer connects to the telecommunications channel via the telecommunications access connector. The central control unit provides information on the progress of the vending transaction to the customer via the user interface. The central control unit determines when the transaction is completed by sensing the cessation of usage via the usage detection circuit or via customer action at the user interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2004
    Assignee: PowerOasis, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles C. Schelberg, Jr., Thomas M. Duff, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6707896
    Abstract: A public telephone with a cash payment function is connected to a server of a banking agency through a telephone network and verifies whether a card, such as a credit card, inserted by a user is available for the requested cash service and, as the result of the verification, provides an amount of money required by the user from a currency cassette, thereby facilitating the cash withdrawal for the user. Therefore, an operator can use an inexpensive telephone network, instead of an exclusive line, thereby reducing operational cost.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2004
    Assignees: Kovecom Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hwang-Sub Kwon
  • Patent number: 6697472
    Abstract: To prevent fraud perpetrators from using a public pay telephone to illicitly collect account numbers, authorization codes or personal identification numbers from an unsuspecting user of the telephone, the instant invention disables the keypad of the telephone if an incoming call is being received at the time that the handset is lifted from the phone by the user. In one method, the ringing signal and the off-hook condition are detected and a control output is provided which disengages the dialing tone generating circuits of the telephone until the handset is placed back on-hook. According to an alternative method, after the handset is lifted, a dial tone is sensed and evaluated by a dial tone discriminator to determine whether the dial tone is likely to be a valid dial tone from a legitimate service provider. If the dial tone is determined to be invalid, then the keypad of the telephone is disabled until the handset is placed back on-hook.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2004
    Assignee: WorldCom, Inc.
    Inventors: David Jordan, Frank A. McKiel, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20030103609
    Abstract: A kit for converting an existing pay telephone to additionally provide computer network access includes an upper housing unit that latches to a lower housing of the existing telephone, and a network adapter unit which includes a network computer and a control module that selectively disables a hook switch connection to a payphone electronics module of the existing payphone. A coin scanner and an escrow unit of the existing payphone are connected through the control module to the payphone electronics unit. The network computer, in combination with the control module, provides a stand by mode, a pay phone mode, a data mode utilizing an optional data port socket for connection of an external data device, and a network mode. The kit provides for remote management of network functions as well as payphone functions over a single telephone line. Also disclosed is a complete network access pay telephone.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2002
    Publication date: June 5, 2003
    Inventor: Li-Ta Ku
  • Publication number: 20030043985
    Abstract: A multimedia access terminal for providing telecommunication and remote access services to a customer, in which the multimedia access terminal comprises a microcontroller for executing preprogrammed instructions and generating directives, a payment acceptor electrically connected and responsive to the microcontroller for accepting payment from the customer to pay for access to the services, a network interface device electrically connected and responsive to the microcontroller for connecting with a central service provider server via a global communications network, and a multimedia user interface electrically connected and responsive to the microcontroller for enabling exchange of information with the customer during access to the services upon acceptance of the payment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 31, 2001
    Publication date: March 6, 2003
    Inventor: Robert Wu
  • Publication number: 20020176555
    Abstract: A kit for converting an existing pay telephone to additionally provide computer network access includes an upper housing unit that latches to a lower housing of the existing telephone, and a network adapter unit which includes a network computer and a control module that selectively disables a hook switch connection to a payphone electronics module of the existing payphone. A coin scanner and an escrow unit of the existing payphone are connected through the control module to the payphone electronics unit. The network computer, in combination with the control module, provides a stand by mode, a pay phone mode, and a network mode. Also disclosed are a complete network access pay telephone and a method for converting the existing payphone to add network access.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 23, 2001
    Publication date: November 28, 2002
    Inventor: Li-Ta Ku
  • Patent number: 6480590
    Abstract: A kit for converting an existing pay telephone to additionally provide computer network access includes an upper housing unit that latches to a lower housing of the existing telephone, and a network adapter unit which includes a network computer and a control module that selectively disables a hook switch connection to a payphone electronics module of the existing payphone. A coin scanner and an escrow unit of the existing payphone are connected through the control module to the payphone electronics unit. The network computer, in combination with the control module, provides a stand by mode, a pay phone mode, and a network mode. Also disclosed are a complete network access pay telephone and a method for converting the existing payphone to add network access.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Inventor: Li-Ta Ku
  • Publication number: 20020150221
    Abstract: Request and response messages conforming to Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP) between media gateways 12 and 16 and a media gateway controller (MGC) 22 are examined to enable them to be correlated. The correlated messages are assembled to produce a call detail record (CDR) describing a voice or data call established over an IP network via the media gateways under the control of the MGC.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 12, 2001
    Publication date: October 17, 2002
    Inventors: Douglas John Carson, Stuart McDonald, David Moir Archibald
  • Patent number: 6466658
    Abstract: A vending machine for dispensing telecommunications access is disclosed. A customer interested in using the telecommunications access makes a payment into the payment processing unit which forwards the payment information to the central control unit. The central control unit reports the transaction information to a central computer system via its modem connected to a telecommunication channel. Access to the same telecommunication channel or another channel can be made available to the customer via a switchable telecommunications access circuit which is also controlled by the central control unit. The customer connects to the telecommunications channel via the telecommunications access connector. The central control unit provides information on the progress of the vending transaction to the customer via the user interface. The central control unit determines when the transaction is completed by sensing the cessation of usage via the usage detection circuit or via customer action at the user interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: PowerOasis, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles C. Schelberg, Jr., Thomas M. Duff, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6442260
    Abstract: Method and system for presenting the price of a telecommunication connection on the telecommunication terminal of the committer of the telecommunication connection in a telecommunication system comprising a telephone exchange, a telecommunication terminal communicating with the telephone exchange via a telecommunication network and a billing center which takes care of charge calculation in the network and is connected to the telephone exchange. According to the invention, connection-specific advice-of-charge data is transmitted to the telecommunication terminal at the beginning of the telecommunication connection, using the telecommunication terminal, a price for the telecommunication connection is calculated from the advice-of-charge data; and the calculated price of the telecommunication connection is presented on the telecommunication terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Nokia Networks Oy
    Inventor: Ari-Pekka Simonen
  • Patent number: 6415025
    Abstract: A method for permitting multiple calls in a toll telecommunications network from a pay telephone comprising the steps of 1) receiving a first call in said toll telecommunications network from said pay telephone, 2) determining the identity of a single carrier of said telecommunications network associated with the first toll-free call, 3) completing the first call to a called party, 4) during processing of the first call and prior to a caller actuating the switchhook of the pay telephone, providing dial tone for a second call by the single carrier associated with the first call, 5) receiving a second telephone number in said telecommunications network from said caller at said pay telephone, 6) determining the identity of the single carrier associated with the second call, and 7) responsive to the identity of the single carrier being the same single toll carrier for the first and second calls, completing the second call without additional fee to a called party of the second call by the single carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Assignee: AT&T Corp.
    Inventors: Richard Frank Bruno, Robert Edward Markowitz, Bernard Shapiro
  • Publication number: 20020054666
    Abstract: A multimedia surveillance arrangement comprising a surveillance sensor adapted to communicate by a standard communication protocol media representing at least one sensed parameter according, a plurality of networks interconnected by media gateways and at least one network controller, and a surveillance receiver adapted to receive all or part of said media. The network controller also serves as endpoint for media from the surveillance sensor, is adapted to interact with said received media, is responsive to information contained in the received media, and is adapted to communicate an event message and/or all or part of said received media on basis of said information. The multimedia network controller ca be a SIP server or H.323 Gatekeeper, adapted to interact with said surveillance media, for generating an event message.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2001
    Publication date: May 9, 2002
    Inventor: Kevin Kliland
  • Publication number: 20020044636
    Abstract: A method for permitting multiple calls in a toll telecommunications network from a pay telephone comprising the steps of 1) receiving a first call in said toll telecommunications network from said pay telephone, 2) determining the identity of a single carrier of said telecommunications network associated with the first toll-free call, 3) completing the first call to a called party, 4) during processing of the first call and prior to a caller actuating the switchhook of the pay telephone, providing dial tone for a second call by the single carrier associated with the first call, 5) receiving a second telephone number in said telecommunications network from said caller at said pay telephone, 6) determining the identity of the single carrier associated with the second call, and 7) responsive to the identity of the single carrier being the same single toll carrier for the first and second calls, completing the second call without additional fee to a called party of the second call by the single carrier.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 20, 2001
    Publication date: April 18, 2002
    Inventors: Richard Frank Bruno, Robert Edward Markowitz, Bernard Shapiro
  • Publication number: 20020014389
    Abstract: A low-cost, single solenoid operated relay for a coin escrow assembly used in coin operated equipment. The single solenoid moves a forked electromagnet secured thereto to operate a selector card having a magnet held therein to bias between the collect and refund sides of a hopper in the coin escrow assembly, without the need for complex and expensive electronic circuitry.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2001
    Publication date: February 7, 2002
    Inventor: Peter L. Bach
  • Patent number: 6335970
    Abstract: An automatic coin collection device for a payphone provided with no coin collection signal is disclosed, which has a solenoid to be activated to collect coins so as to start to count time and begin telephone communication. A call tone detector is connected to a telephone line for detecting a call tone on the line. A voice detecting circuit is connected to the telephone line for detecting a voice signal on the line. A micro-controller is provided for analyzing the detecting results of the call tone detector and the voice detecting circuit after dialing to activate the solenoid when a ring back tone disappears and a voice signal appears, or when no ring back tone is detected but a voice signal appears. With this, the user can use a payphone to make a phone call without the need of pressing a pushbutton to collect coins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2002
    Inventor: Shou Tsai Chuang
  • Patent number: 6320945
    Abstract: A pay telephone unit is disclosed that derives all operating power from the tip and ring conductors of the telephone line without the need for a battery. All data is stored in nonvolatile memory requiring no power for data retention, even when disconnected from the telephone line. The unit employs an interrupt architecture that advantageously reduces current consumption in comparison with prior art polling arrangements. In addition, stored power from operational circuitry is diverted to keep the real-time clock operating during momentary disruptions in line power. Diverted power may also be used to permit certain parameter settings, when initiated by the real-time clock, to be changed while the telephone unit is in an on-hook condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Inventors: Ronald J. Honick, Richard A. Padula
  • Patent number: 6320946
    Abstract: A payphone or coin-operated telephone that functions as an information transmittal device that dispenses user-selected information audibly to the user via the speaker in the payphone handset. A variety of information is stored in an information storage unit provided within the payphone unit. The information includes frequently-requested information on topics such as, for example, news, weather, sports, financial market reports, local travel information, local telephone yellow pages, etc. The user of the payphone may incur a nominal charge to retrieve the information from the payphone. A processing unit within the payphone or the information storage unit may update the content of the information with the help of an external information server or the Internet. The information server may be located within a telephone company central office and the central office switch may connect the information server to the processing unit in the payphone for desired data transfer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: BellSouth Intellectual Property Corporation
    Inventors: Mark J. Enzmann, Robert T. Moton, Jr., Samuel N. Zellner
  • Patent number: 6317496
    Abstract: This invention is a guard for preventing the vandalism of the keypad of a telephone. If the telephone is a pay telephone, the invention further prevents, thus preventing entry into the telephone money box from the upper housing area. The telephone guard, composed of an upper housing guard and a keypad guard, is secured by high strength visible fasteners to the upper housing of a pay telephone. The upper housing guard and keypad guard are mated tightly to prevent vandals from prying off the keypad guard. The thickness of the keypad guard is greater than the throw length of the push buttons of the keypad. Thus, the force of a blow to the keypad will be absorbed by the front of the guard rather than the push buttons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Inventors: William W. White, David E. Grudzinski
  • Patent number: 6314169
    Abstract: A vending machine for dispensing power and telecommunications access is disclosed. The vending machine has an optional switchable power circuit that receives power from a power source and delivers the power to the customer's equipment via a power connector under the control of a central control unit. A customer interested in purchasing power or using the telecommunications access makes a payment into the payment processing unit which forwards the payment information to the central control unit. From time to time the central control unit reports the transaction information to a central computer system via its modem which is connected to a telecommunication channel. Access to the same telecommunication channel or another channel can be made available to the customer via a switchable telecommunications access circuit which is also under the control of the central control unit. The customer connects to the telecommunications channel via the telecommunications access connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Assignee: PowerOasis, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles C. Schelberg, Jr., Thomas M. Duff, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6301344
    Abstract: An intelligent pay telephone provides local/remote diagnostics, fraudulent call prevention, capability of facilitating local coin overtime operation, complete cash box accounting, and call detail reporting. Information regarding each call placed from the telephone is recorded and is useful in verifying operator service provider communications, long distance bills, local measured usage charges, and call volume discounts, by way of example. The intelligent pay telephone includes a delta-sigma voice driver for reducing circuit complexity and improving circuit reliability, and a one-wire, high speed communication controller facilitates high speed downloading and uploading of pay telephone data, records, and operating program code. The pay telephone also includes a low impedance, low power hookswitch for resisting damage from weather, as well as a pin fraud prevention circuit for deterring fraud.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: Protel, Inc.
    Inventors: Rolf Meyer, Kenneth L. Bryan, Raymond F. Felch, Tony L. McBride, Gary L. Stirk, Stephen J. Hayes
  • Patent number: 6289088
    Abstract: A method for permitting multiple calls in a toll telecommunications network from a pay telephone comprising the steps of 1) receiving a first call in said toll telecommunications network from said pay telephone, 2) determining, the identity of a single carrier of said telecommunications network associated with the first toll-free call, 3) completing the first call to a called party, 4) during processing of the first call and prior to a caller actuating the switchhook of the pay telephone, providing dial tone for a second call by the single carrier associated with the first call, 5) receiving a second telephone number in said telecommunications network from said caller at said pay telephone, 6) determining the identity of the single carrier associated with the second call, and 7) responsive to the identity of the single carrier being the same single toll carrier for the first and second calls, completing the second call without additional fee to a called party of the second call by the single carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2001
    Assignee: AT&T Corp.
    Inventors: Richard Frank Bruno, Robert Edward Markowitz, Bernard Shapiro
  • Patent number: 6278768
    Abstract: Disclosed is a portable fixture which can be employed in simulating and testing the various functions of a conventional payphone. In general terms, the fixture includes an umbilical cord which can be removably connected to a payphone's motherboard. The fixture further includes a receptor for accepting a phone line, as well as electrical connectors for removably accepting the existing handset. When connected, the keypad of the fixture serves to override the payphone's keypad. Thus, when connected, the fixture mimics many of the operational functions of the payphone. Also disclosed is a diagnostic circuit within the fixture. The circuit is specifically for use in testing the operational status of the payphone's escrow relay device. The circuit is plugged into the payphone's existing escrow relay by way of an electrical connector associated with the fixture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2001
    Inventor: Steven L. H. Klein
  • Patent number: 6263058
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method of providing charge information and to a service control unit (SCP) for carrying out the method. During the establishment of a call from a calling subscriber (A) to a called subscriber (B), the service control unit (SCP) is triggered. From a plurality of network operators (OP1 to OP3) to whose tariff model data it has access, the service control unit (SCP) selects one or more network operators that provide a service for the call. Based on the tariff model data of the selected network operator or the selected network operators and on data about the calling and called subscribers (A, B), the service control unit (SCP) calculates a tariff for the call. It sends a signaling message (SM) containing a tariff identification assigned to the tariff to the terminal exchange (SUBSW) of the calling subscriber (A), which then sends charge information (SCP) to the calling subscriber (A) according to the tariff identification received from the service control unit (SCP).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2001
    Assignee: Alcatel
    Inventors: Wolfgang Lautenschlager, Uwe Stahl
  • Patent number: 6233327
    Abstract: The present invention is generally directed to a system and associated method for communicating information to a predetermined location. The system includes a transmitter disposed at a first location and configured to transmit a signal containing an instruction code that uniquely identifies an instruction to be carried out. The system further includes a transceiver disposed remotely from the transmitter and configured to receive the transmitted signal. The transceiver circuit includes a line interface circuit configured to interface with a telephone line that is part of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and initiate a phone call over the telephone line. Finally, the system includes a central station remotely located from said transceiver but being in communication with said transceiver via the PSTN. The central station further include a decoder configured to decode the instruction code.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2001
    Assignee: StatSignal Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas D. Petite
  • Patent number: 6222915
    Abstract: One variant from a large number of possible services and/or service combinations is made available to the customer via a dialogue of human-machine interaction: a variant which the customer needs to solve his/her problem or to comply with his/her service request. In the process, it is checked whether the customer has access to the terminal configuration required for this variant and verified that the customer's terminal configuration supports the service and/or service combination concerned. For the customer's access to the calling card service, cards of completely different types, personal phone card, prepaid card, “call home” card, etc., are admitted. The type of calling card defines the customer's access authorization to the various possible services and/or service combinations, as well as the manner of billing those services. The present invention is suited for increasing the degree of automation of the services offered by calling card providers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2001
    Assignee: Deutsche Telekom AG
    Inventors: Christel Mueller, Marian Trinkel, Thomas Ziern, Fred Runge, Romeo Peter Wetzel
  • Patent number: 6163603
    Abstract: A coin escrow apparatus for use with a pay telephone includes a housing defining a coin hopper, a coin acceptance chute, and a coin return chute. The apparatus also includes a door mounted within the housing for selective movement between an escrow position for supporting coins in the hopper, an acceptance position for releasing coins from the hopper to the coin acceptance chute, and a return position for releasing coins from the hopper to the coin return chute. The apparatus also includes structures for selectively moving the door between its escrow, acceptance, and return positions. An integrated circuit is provided for unconditionally simulating a relay switch contact normally indicative of successful firing of the escrow coin apparatus to allow the coin escrow apparatus to be used with so-called "smart" telephones without requiring electromechanical components to sense and indicate successful firing of the coin escrow apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2000
    Assignee: QVEX, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph R. McGinty, Steven Michael Faes, Paul M. Evans
  • Patent number: 6154532
    Abstract: A device and method minimize telephone charges by not answering the destination telephone when an incoming call is detected. Preconnection information such as dialed number identification system (DNIS) information, phone type information digits, and automatic number identification (ANI) information is automatically provided by the public switched telephone network to the destination telephone in response to the incoming call. The preconnection information is examined to determine if the rate structure is such that it would be more desirable to have the call billed as if it originated from the destination telephone or from the source telephone. If it is less expensive to have the call originate from the source telephone, the call is answered. If it is less expensive to have the call originate from the destination phone, a signal is sent to the user prompting them to hang up. When the caller hangs up, a return call is placed to the number and the caller answers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Assignee: Transcommunications Incorporated
    Inventors: Dave M. Lockhart, James E. Holstine, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6104792
    Abstract: The invention concerns a method of informing a subscriber in a communication network about the charge for a desired connection, and a service control facility (SCP), a subscriber switching facility, a terminal (TA) and a communication network for carrying out this method. A subscriber signals a call request, which specifies the desired connection, to the communication network via the terminal (TA). The service control facility (SCP), or the subscriber switching facility, then determines tariff data (T) concerning the charge for a desired connection, independently of the establishment of the desired connection. Before the desired connection has been established, the tariff data (T) are sent to the terminal (TA), which displays the data as tariff data to the subscriber, by means of a display unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2000
    Assignee: Alcatel N.V.
    Inventors: Wolfgang Lautenschlager, Uwe Stahl
  • Patent number: 6101247
    Abstract: A currency operated telephone, such as a coin operated telephone, and which is typically referred to as "pay telephone", having a uniquely designed outer housing capable of being wall mounted or supported in an upright or a self-standing position. The telephone housing has an openable hinged closure plate or so-called "flip lid", which carries on its exterior a face plate, and when opened, allows access to the interior of the telephone housing. The exterior of the face plate is arranged so that any information carried thereon is ergonomically visible to a user, whether the telephone is wall suspended or in a stand-alone surface supported position. When the closure plate is lifted and held in the opened position, direct access to a coin mechanism is obtained and access to a coin box, which collects the deposited currency for operation of the telephone, is also enabled. A coin return chute is also integral with the coin mechanism, such that installation and/or repair of the mechanism is easily enabled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Inventor: Gary S. Lalin
  • Patent number: 6097799
    Abstract: A pay phone box structure includes a casing having a first side wall and a second side wall, a first supporting plate fixedly mounted on the first side wall of the casing and containing a plurality of first locking slots, a second supporting plate fixedly mounted on the second side wall of the casing and containing a plurality of second locking slots, a suspension bar secured to the second supporting plate and having a plurality of first locking hooks each detachably received in thesecond locking slots, a pivot plate pivotally mounted on the suspension bar and having an upper end portion and a lower end portion, a cover pivotally mounted on the casing and having a first side wall, a second side wall secured to the pivot plate, a closed wall and an open wall, a sliding plate slidably mounted on the first side wall of the cover and having a plurality of second locking hooks each detachably received in thefirst locking slots, and a U-shaped pivot bar pivotally mounted on the closed wall of the cover and having a
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Assignee: Protel Pacific Corporation
    Inventor: Hsiu-Bin Wang