This is a weird question, I know, but... I have an alarm system which I can call into and send commands to, I.E. to arm/disarm/listen to the ambient noise. However, for this to work obviously it has to pick up the line, which prevents me from using voicemail for anyone who calls me.

Instead of getting a separate phone line, I was wondering, if I plug my G5 into the phone line and plug this device's telephone line in to the telephone line out of my G5, is there any way the G5 could only tell the alarm system the phone is ringing for certain caller ID numbers?

  • 2
    I probably get weirdest question of the year award for this one :-) – Josh Dec 20 '10 at 18:35
  • So, assuming you could get the G5 to recognise the caller id and only respond based on that, what would you then expect the G5 to do? Answer the call and route it out to the alarm system? – pauldunlop Dec 20 '10 at 19:17
  • @Chops, what I was hoping to do was to disable the line pass-through of the modem unless the caller ID matches a given number... but it may very well be impossible. – Josh Dec 20 '10 at 20:22

I can think of a variety of methods to do what you want, but none of them are easy solutions. You'll probably need to write some code. This question should be tagged PBX, but that is too obscure for this site.

You'll probably want minicom installed to control the G5 modem. Get it via fink or macports. If you can use minicom to check the number without answering, then you are mostly done. If it doesn't match, ignore it. If it does match, you'll need to find some way for minicom to answer/forward/pass the incoming call out the modem out line. I'm not yet sure how to do this.

If minicom needs to answer the call in order to determine where it came from, then the situation is as above, but you might need two modems. If it is a call for the security center, pass it out one modem. If it isn't, pass it out the other, which goes to your home phone I presume.

If minicom cannot determine the number, or if can but has to answer in order to check it and this is problematic, then I would get a caller ID display, put it in next to the G5, and use a webcam to read the numbers off the caller ID. OpenCV would help with this part, or any script-able optical character recognition (OCR) software. You can get gocr from fink or macports too, and that might be sufficient. Determine the number and if it should go to the security console, have minicom patch it through.

But, why do you need to call in?

If your G5 is at home and online, it might be easier to not call into the security system, but SMS or email yourself, have the G5 fetching the mail, and taking action based on that (perhaps that action is using minicom to connect to the security system, but you don't need a phone line to the outside world in this case).

  • Wow, that's a crazy solution, thanks! I'll play with minicom and post back. – Josh Dec 20 '10 at 23:39

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