Altinex | DA1916SX | Automatic ISDN switch

Automatic ISDN switch
US006466251B1
(12) United States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
(45) Date of Patent:
Troibner et al.
(75) Inventors: Manfred Wilhelm Troibner, 4785
(List continued on next page.)
Clague Rd., North Olmsted, OH (US)
44070; Randall William Zinn,
Primary Examiner—Curtis KuntZ
Westlake, OH (US)
Assistant Examiner—Melur Ramakrishnaiah
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Calfee, Halter & Griswold
(73) Assignee: Manfred Wilhelm Troibner, North
Olmsted, OH (US)
Notice:
Oct. 15,2002
Covid Switchers product information, http;//www.covid.
com/switchershtml, Accessed Aug. 23, 1999.
(54) AUTOMATIC ISDN SWITCH
(*)
US 6,466,251 B1
LLP
(57)
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
ABSTRACT
An automatic ISDN switch for connection to at least one
ISDN-BRI line and a plurality of different videoconferenc
ing locations for automatically switching the at least one
ISDN-BRI line to one videoconferencing location of the
(21) Appl. No.: 09/379,096
plurality of different videoconferencing locations, compris
(22) Filed:
ing: a control unit for being placed in circuit communication
with each of the plurality of different videoconferencing
Aug. 23, 1999
locations, the control unit generating a location signal cor
responding to a particular one videoconferencing location of
(51)
Int. Cl.7 ................................................ .. H04N 7/14
(52)
US. Cl. .................... .. 348/143; 379/202; 370/260;
the plurality of videoconferencing locations; and a switch
370/261
bank in circuit communication with the control unit for
(58)
Field of Search ............................ .. 348/14, 15, 16;
379/9314, 202; 370/260, 261, 259, 262,
524
(56)
receiving the location signal, for being placed in circuit
communication with the plurality of different videoconfer
encing locations, and further for being placed in circuit
communication with the at least one ISDN-BRI line, said
switch bank automatically switching the at least one ISDN
BRI line to the particular one videoconferencing location of
References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
the plurality of videoconferencing locations corresponding
5,591,984 A
1/1997 Drucker
to the location signal generated by the control unit. In one
5,818,513 A
10/1998 Sano et 211.
embodiment of the present invention, an automatic ISDN
5,861,907 A
5,987,009 A
1/1999 Wada
* 11/1999
AwaZu ..................... .. 370/260
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
FR
JP
WO
2 709 628
410164538 A
99/16178
9/1993
*
6/1998
.......... .. H04N/7/14
4/1999
switch automatically determines the location of the target
videoconferencing location and switches the incoming
ISDN-BRI lines to the target location without requiring any
manual routing of ISDN-BRI lines. In another embodiment
of the present invention, an automatic ISDN switch is in
circuit communication with an external communication
device via a communications link, with which a user causes
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
RelCom Automatic Line Routing Switch product informa
tion, http://www.relcomtech.com/, Accessed Oct. 5, 1999.
Covid CVD 5300 ISDN Matrix Switches product informa
the switch to automatically switch the incoming ISDN-BRI
lines to the target location without requiring any manual
routing of ISDN-BRI lines. Both embodiments eliminate the
need for manual patch panels and dedicated, costly ISDN
BRI lines to all locations.
tion, http://www.covid.com/cvd5300.html, Accessed Sep. 9,
6 Claims, 14 Drawing Sheets
1999.
mm
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x 1m
US 6,466,251 B1
Page 2
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Covid CVD 5314 ISDN Matrix Switches product informa
tion, http://WWW.covid.com/cvd5300.html, Accessed Sep. 3,
1999.
Covid Videoconferencing Products information, http://WW
W.covid.com/videoiconhtml, Accessed Sep. 9, 1999.
Covid CVD 5314 Autosensing ISDN Matrix SWitch product
information, TELECONFERENCE, Sep.—Oct. 1999, p. 65.
Covid CVD 5300 Series ISDN Matrix SWitches product
information.
Covid 5300 ISDN Matrix SWitches product description.
SpecialEdition: Using ISDN, by James Y. Bryce, 1995, Que
Corporation, pp. 81—95.
“Chapter 8: Wiring and Powering Your ISDN System”
SpecialEdition: Using ISDN, by James Y. Bryce, 1995, Que
Corporation, pp. 185—214.
“Visual Communication System in Closed Areas Using an
Extended ISDN Protocol” by Kojima, et al., Digest of
“6—in 1—out RGBS Auto SWitcher MX2206RM” Product
Information, Altinex, Inc.
“RS—232 Control” Product Information, Altinex, Inc.
“Miscellaneous Cables” Product Information, http//ww
w. altinex. com/Solutions/cables/MiscCablescenter htm, Jan.
19, 2001.
“Miscellaneous Cables” Product Information Altinex, Inc.
“DA1916SX: 2—in 1—out VGA Auto SWitcher With Loop
Output” Product Information, http://www.altinex.com/Solu
tions/switchers/dal916sxcenterhtm, Mar. 22, 2001.
“2—in 1—out VGA SWitcher W/Loop Output DA1916SX”
Product Information, Altinex, Inc.
“DA1916SX 2—In, 1—Out VGA Auto—SWitcher With Loop
Output User’s Guide”, Altinex, Inc.
“RC5203CC: Contact Closure SWitch for ALTINEX Auto
SWitchers (DA1914SX, DA1916SX, DA1917SX)” Product
Information, http://www. altinex.com/Solutions/accessories/
Technical Papers of the International Conference on Con
rc5203cccenterhtm, Mar. 22, 2001.
sumer Electronics (ICCE) , IEEE, Jun. 21, 1994, pp.
170—171.
“DA1917SX: 2—in 2—out VGA Auto Switcher/Distribution
Ampli?er” Product Information, http://wwwaltinex.com/So
PCT International Search Report for International Applica
tion Number PCT/US00/22980, mailed Dec. 12, 2000.
“2—in 2—out VGA Auto SWitcher/Dist. Amp DA1917SX”
lutions/switchers/da1917sxcenterhtm, Mar. 22, 2001.
“MX2206RM: 6—in 1—out RGBS Auto SWitcher” Product
Product Information, Altinex, Inc.
Information,
“DA1917SX 2—In, 2—Out VGA AutosWitcher/Distribution
http://www.altinex.com/Solutions/switchers/
mx2206rmcenterhtm, Jan. 19, 2001.
Ampli?er User’s Guide”, Altinex, Inc.
“MX2206RM 6—In, 1—Out RGBS Auto SWitcher User’s
Guide”, Altinex, Inc.
* cited by examiner
U.S. Patent
0a. 15, 2002
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US 6,466,251 B1
1
2
AUTOMATIC ISDN SWITCH
is not an acceptable option because it has problems of signal
quality consistency, security, and accessibility, as Will be
discussed beloW.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The ?rst prior art option, installing multiple data lines for
each possible location, is very costly and inconvenient. One
implementing the ?rst prior art option Would be charged for
The present invention relates generally to switching of
communication signals, e.g., integrated services digital net
Work (“ISDN”) signals. A preferred embodiment of the
the installation of each set of three ISDN lines (recall that
With the majority of corporate or industrial videoconferenc
present invention is an automatic ISDN sWitch that auto
matically detects the presence of an ISDN device at one of
a plurality of locations and automatically routes all audio,
video, and data to that one location While locking out all of
ing installations—as compared to typical home usage—each
10
lines), the digital monthly services charges for each set of
the other locations connected to the sWitch. The ISDN
sWitch of the present invention has numerous applications,
including by Way of example videoconferencing using a 128
kbps (128,000 bits per second), 256 kbps, 384 kbps, or 512
kbps ISDN con?guration.
three ISDN lines for each location, even When lines are not
used, and the cost of the (3) CAT-5 Wires to each location
15
typically semi-permanently installed in a dedicated location
With dedicated, permanently installed communication lines.
The recent evolution took the form of making videoconfer
encing equipment mobile. In the past feW years, most
videoconferencing equipment on the market has been mar
keted as being mobile and by far the majority of videocon
ferencing systems sold over the past feW years have been
mobile systems.
20
25
tions. Moreover, under these stringent installation methods,
?exibility of conference locations is not an option due to the
fact that the Wiring must be permanently installed.
Additionally, the ?rst prior art option is inconvenient to
use With a mobile videoconferencing unit. As knoWn to
30
Which is the basis for a number of different speci?c com
munications con?gurations. One ISDN videoconferencing
communications family of standards is knoWn as H.320
to be needed in 3 different rooms, it Would be necessary for
a total of 9 data lines be run (3 ISDN 2 channel lines from
point of presence to destination). The cost and type of
cabling must be considered for such an implementation;
expensive CAT-5 or CAT-6 Wiring is speci?ed. The cost of
this option can become prohibitive With only a feW loca
There are a number of standard communications meth
odologies that can be used in videoconferencing. Currently,
the most Widely used videoconferencing communications
medium in the United States and internationally is ISDN,
beyond the initial point of termination. Thus, to implement
this ?rst option using current Wiring standards, it is neces
sary to run multiple data lines from the point of presence (the
phone room in typical installations) to each possible desti
nation. If, for example, a 384 kbps ISDN con?guration Were
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Videoconferencing has recently undergone an evolution.
Prior to this evolution, videoconferencing equipment Was
location requires access to three tWo-channel BRI telephone
35
those in the art, each videoconferencing system has an ISDN
netWork interface (e.g., an NT-1, an NT-3 or an Triple NT-1)
that acts to terminate the ISDN line(s) used in that system
and an ISDN video codec. Each 64 kbps ISDN line has its
oWn unique telephone number. As also knoWn to those in the
art, the ISDN video codec must be programmed With the
(ITU-T) promulgated by the International Telecommunica
telephone number(s) for each ISDN line(s) used. Thus,
tions Union (formerly knoWn as CCITT). One implementa
tion alloWs 384 kbps transmission of information using three
individual ISDN-BRI (Integrated Services Digital NetWork
Basic Rate Interface) telephone lines. This form of video
moving a mobile videoconferencing unit from one location
40
conference transmission is also knoWn or described as
“six-channel transmission” in the videoconference industry,
because it uses six ISDN channels, each of Which carry 64
kbps of digital information. Each ISDN-BRI telephone line
includes tWo separate 64 kbps lines or channels, as they are
45
standard encompasses video (e.g., videoconferencing),
audio, and control using one or more 64 kbps ISDN lines. A
videoconferencing applications use as many as eight 64 kbps
ISDN lines.
One obvious bene?t of using mobile ISDN videoconfer
encing equipment is that one videoconferencing unit can be
used at a number of locations in the same facility. HoWever,
connecting ISDN devices to an ISDN line is complicated by
the fact that ISDN lines must be properly terminated With an
industry standard netWork U-interface, such as an NT-1, an
numbers associated With the ISDN lines and program those
numbers into the video codec. HoWever, this autodetection
process can take 5—10 minutes and is not alWays successful;
the system might fail to detect the telephone numbers. Also,
executing the autodetection process still typically requires
MIS personnel to perform.
referred to in the videoconferencing industry. The H.320
majority of corporate videoconferencing installations cur
rently use six 64 kbps ISDN lines, using three tWo-channel
ISDN-BRI lines; While other applications such as medical
to another requires that six telephone numbers be pro
grammed into the ISDN video codec, Which typically must
be done by busy MIS personnel. At least one ISDN video
codec in the art, i.e., a unit from Polycom Inc., includes
softWare that attempts to automatically detect the phone
The second prior art option is to install a patch panel in the
50 telephone closet or another location With Which one can
physically manipulate the termination point of the ISDN
line(s). This option has a great deal more ?exibility than the
?rst option, in that one can Wire multiple rooms for access
and simply ‘patch’ the data lines to the destination at the time
55
of need; hoWever, it suffers from relatively high cost and is
inconvenient as Well.
More speci?cally, the second option requires that all
communication lines be brought to the point of presence and
terminated in a patch bay. Located near the incoming patch
cally a U-interface) may be connected to a BRI line.
bay, typically underneath, is a patch panel. Simply put, the
electrical connection betWeen the patch bay and the patch
Businesses requiring use of ISDN lines in more than one
panel resembles the old sWitchboard banks that telephone
installing
location have
multiple
haddata
tWolines
acceptable
for each possible
prior artlocation
options:
or (ii)
operators Would use to directly electrically connect a caller
to a destination. The same antiquated manual process used
NT-3, or a Triple NT-1. Only a single device (more speci?
installing a patch panel at the point of termination With
Which one can physically manipulate the termination point
of the ISDN line(s). Athird prior art option, daisy-chaining,
60
65
to route telephone calls, before and during the 1950’s is
currently used to route ISDN lines With the patch panel.
Because ISDN technology requires termination at each end
US 6,466,251 B1
3
4
to properly operate, the patch panel routes the ISDN lines to
a single termination point and isolates all other signal access
locations. The patch panel has the bene?t of giving the user
digital ISDN line one is required to specify a single termi
nation point for that ISDN line for the installation to occur.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
security, in that the data lines can only be connected to a
single destination; therefore, eavesdropping through another
According to the present invention, an automatic ISDN
room is not possible. Another advantage of the patch bay
over the ?rst prior art option is that there is ?exibility in
sWitch is provided that avoids the need for patch panels,
provisioning data lines; more data lines can be added
personnel to sWitching patch panel Wires. The present inven
costly dedicated ISDN lines to all locations, and use of MIS
Without changing the Wiring plant. In the alternative, manual
sWitches are used instead of the manual patch panel in this
prior art option.
There are dif?culties With the patch panel method of
connecting ISDN lines as Well. One of the primary draW
backs of using a patch panel to route ISDN lines to various
destination locations is inconvenience. SWitching the ISDN
10
15
lines from one location to another requires that a technically
capable person be noti?ed and available, in advance, When
According to one aspect of the present invention, an
automatic ISDN sWitch automatically determines the loca
tion of the target videoconferencing location and sWitches
the incoming ISDN lines to the target location Without
requiring any manual routing of ISDN lines. The ISDN
sWitch of the present invention comprises a sWitch bank in
circuit communication With a control unit. In short, the
control unit determines to Which location the ISDN line(s)
from the telephone company should be sWitched, and the
and Where an ISDN line is needed so that the appropriate
cables can be manually connected or sWitched ahead of time.
Another primary concern is cost of implementation. It is still
sWitch bank sWitches the ISDN line(s) from the telephone
necessary for a videoconferencing application implemented
With this second option, using current videoconferencing
company to a particular location. In a ?rst embodiment, the
control unit comprises autodetect logic that automatically
detects the location of videoconferencing equipment and
Wiring conventions, to run multiple data lines to each
possible location. Yet another concern is that an error in
patching can prevent the system from functioning at all.
tion also includes a novel Wiring con?guration that signi?
cantly reduces the cost of Wiring ISDN installations.
transmits a signal to the sWitch bank indicating to Which
25
location signal the ISDN line(s) from the telephone com
One common method of connecting multiple devices to a
pany should be sWitched. The autodetect logic can use any
single line, daisy-chaining, is not a realistic option for ISDN
number of Ways of detecting the location to Which the ISDN
lines, because of termination issues. This issue can be
understood in contrast to the plain old telephone system
line(s) from the telephone company should be sWitched,
including by Way of example, but not of limitation, detecting
(POTS).
that a connector has been inserted into a receptacle, detect
In a normal home telephone environment, using POTS
telephone lines, it is common practice to attach multiple
telephones to a single line by connecting them one to another
ing that tWo conductors have been electrically shorted,
detecting that the impedance betWeen tWo conductors has
changed, detecting that the electrical characteristics of at
least one conductor have changed, detecting that videocon
ferencing equipment at a particular location has been poW
ered up, a particular telephone extension being dialed from
in a daisy chain format. Daisy-chaining devices causes
several potential problems, such as an obvious decrease in
35
sound volume. This is acceptable When using ordinary
telephones connected to POTS telephone lines because
the particular location, etc. The control unit can be con
nected to the various locations by any suitable connection,
e.g., by Way of example but not of limitation, via one or
human ears are much more ?exible and less demanding than
computer equipment, i.e., our ears can still understand What
is being said despite changes in signal quality and volume
more of the folloWing circuit communications means: one or
caused by daisy-chaining. The termination point can be at
any telephone connected to the POTS telephone line, and
more conductor(s), connector(s), computer netWork(s), ?ber
optic link(s), optical signals(s), radio signal(s), electromag
netic signal(s), telephone line(s), sonic link(s), ISDN lines,
hybrid ISDN lines, existing Ethernet cable(s), poWer line(s)
can change from usage to usage as different handsets are
used. Thus, With ordinary telephones connected to POTS
telephone lines, the termination (or end point of the Wire)
45
does not have to be de?ned in advance as long as certain
minimum requirements are made (e.g., limiting the total
number of devices daisy chained together). In addition to
(using, e.g., an X-lO interface), etc.
In a second embodiment of the present invention, the
control unit comprises a communication circuit supporting a
communications link to a communications device to alloW a
changes in signal quality and volume, daisy-chaining causes
user to directly select the location to Which the ISDN line(s)
other problems. For example, When a conversation is taking
from the telephone company should be sWitched, including
place on the telephone, it is possible to eavesdrop by picking
by Way of example, but not of limitation: a keypad located
up another extension. Another concern is that a physically
in one or more locations to Which ISDN line(s) from the
damaged Wire or jack can prevent all telephone sets after that
telephone company could be sWitched (e.g., videoconfer
point from functioning.
These problems With daisy-chaining are a great deal more
55
pronounced With a digital protocol, such as ISDN. The
signal sensitivity in a digital line must be constantly main
tained in order for accurate and consistent data transmissions
to take place. If, during a videoconferencing session at one
and different from the one or more locations, a telephone
extension through Which a user might select the particular
location, a computer terminal through Which a user might
select the particular location, a Web site through Which a user
location, another videoconferencing unit is connected to the
same ISDN line, the signal loss caused by that other con
nection being made (made possible only because of the
might select the particular location, an electromagnetic link
through Which a palmtop computer might be used to select
inadvised use of daisy-chaining) may cause one or more
channels to be lost, or the entire call to be disconnected.
Also, ISDN lines must have a ?xed, predetermined termi
nation point. Unlike the procedure for ordering a standard
home telephone line, When provisioning (or ordering) a
encing locations), a pass key reader in one or more of the
locations, a keypad located on the enclosure for the control
unit and/or the sWitch bank, a keypad at a location different
from Where the control unit and/or sWitch bank are located
the desired location, etc. The control unit can be connected
65
to the communications device by any suitable connection,
e.g., by Way of example but not of limitation, via one or
more of the folloWing circuit communications means: one or
US 6,466,251 B1
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6
more conductor(s), connector(s), computer netWork(s), ?ber
sWitches the ISDN lines to that location Without requiring
any manual routing, patching, or sWitching of ISDN lines.
It is yet another advantage of the present invention to
optic link(s), optical signal(s), radio signal(s), electromag
netic signal(s), telephone line(s), sonic link(s), ISDN lines,
hybrid ISDN lines, existing Ethernet cable(s), poWer line(s)
alloW a signi?cant cost savings by using hybrid ISDN lines
(using, e.g., an X-lO interface), etc.
in Which more than one ISDN signal is passed through a
Any combination of one or more of the implementations
of the ?rst embodiment can be combined With any combi
nation of one or more of the implementations of the second
single ISDN cable.
embodiment to provide enhanced functionality.
According to the novel Wiring con?guration of the present
in Which more than one ISDN signal is passed through an
existing cable for use in an Ethernet application.
invention, tWo or more ISDN lines are used With a single
cable. In one embodiment, a plurality of ISDN-BRI lines are
It is further still another advantage of the present inven
tion to alloW a signi?cant cost savings by alloWing all three
ISDN-BRI lines in a 384 kbps videoconferencing applica
tion to be passed through a single CAT-5 or CAT-6 cable.
These and other advantages of the present invention Will
It is still another advantage of the present invention to
alloW a signi?cant cost savings by using hybrid ISDN lines
combined on a single hybrid line to provide enhanced
throughput. These lines are “hybrid” in the sense that they
ignore industry standard Wiring conventions (AT&T Bell
15
Laboratories Std. No. 568-B for videoconferencing) for
become more apparent from a detailed description of the
invention.
CAT-5 and CAT-6 Wiring used in an ISDN videoconferenc
ing application; i.e., more than one ISDN-BRI line is passed
through a single CAT-5 or CAT-6 single cable. In the case of
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
a 384 kbps videoconferencing system, the three ISDN-BRI
In the accompanying draWings, Which are incorporated in
lines (six 64 kbps lines) can be passed through six of the
and constitute a part of this speci?cation, embodiments of
the invention are illustrated, Which, together With a general
eight available conductors in a CAT-5 or CAT-6 cable (or a
cable suitable for Ethernet applications), leaving tWo lines
for the autodetect logic and/or the communication circuit in
the control unit. The novel Wiring convention of the present
25
description of the invention given above, and the detailed
description given beloW serve to example the principles of
this invention.
FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of a very basic,
invention arose out of an aWareness that, using Wiring
conventions for videoconferencing, a major impediment to
the marketing and installation of videoconferencing systems
is the cost and complexity associated With installing neW
semi-permanently installed prior art 384 kbps videoconfer
encing system;
Wiring required With typical videoconferencing installations.
FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of a prior art multiple
This aWareness, coupled With a knoWledge that most con
ference rooms and offices are Wired With a single unshielded
location system implementing a prior art option for using
one videoconferencing system at multiple locations—
installing a patch panel at the point of termination With
tWisted pair (“UTP”, Which actually has four such tWisted
pairs) cable for Ethernet applications, and that that Ethernet
cable is rarely used in conference rooms, and further coupled
With insight that UTP cables suitable for Ethernet applica
Which one can physically manipulate the termination point
tions Would also be suitable for a plurality 64 kbps ISDN
system implementing the communications sWitch of the
lines in violation of vidoeconferencing Wiring conventions,
present invention;
of the ISDN line(s);
FIG. 3 is a schematic block diagram of a multiple location
led to the concept of using the hybrid ISDN lines of the
FIG. 4 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of
present invention. Thus, according to the present invention,
the multiple location system of FIG. 3 shoWing an ISDN
sWitch and novel cabling of the present invention for use
existing UTP Wiring found in most conference rooms could
be used as-is for 384 kbps or 512 kbps videoconferencing
With a 384 kbps videoconferencing application (i.e., for 128
kbps, 256 kbps, or 384 kbps videoconferencing);
applications.
The novel Wiring con?guration of the present invention
can be used for any number of applications requiring more
than tWo 64 kbps ISDN lines. For example, in the case of a
FIG. 5 is a schematic block diagram of a generic auto
45
matic sWitch of the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a schematic block diagram of an automatic
512 kbps medical application, four ISDN-BRI lines (eight
64 kbps lines) can be passed through the eight available
sWitch according to the present invention With autodetection
of the desired location using a communications link routed
conductors in a CAT-5 or CAT-6 cable (or cable for Ethernet
along With sWitched communications lines;
applications), and the autodetect logic and/or the commu
FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram of the ISDN sWitch
nication circuit in the control unit must use another com
of FIG. 4;
munication path (e.g., telephone lines, RF signal, etc.) to
tors in the CAT-5 or Ethernet cable are used for both
FIG. 8a is an isometric vieW of the ISDN sWitch of FIGS.
4 and 7 mounted in a 19“ rack;
FIG. 8b is a front vieW of the front panel of the ISDN
detection and the ISDN signals.
sWitch of FIGS. 4 and 7—8a;
either autodetect or receive a communication about the
desired location, unless some of the eight available conduc
FIG. 8c is a schematic block diagram of a breakout cable
It is therefore an advantage of the present invention to
provide an ISDN sWitch that does not require human inter
vention in the form of manually sWitching one or more
ISDN lines to a particular location.
for the ISDN sWitch of FIGS. 4, 7, 8a and 8b;
FIG. 9 is a schematic block diagram of a portion of the
sWitch bank of the ISDN sWitch of FIGS. 4, 7, 8a, 8b, and
8c;
It is therefore another advantage of the present invention
FIG. 10 is a schematic block diagram of a portion of the
to provide an ISDN sWitch that automatically detects a
control unit of the ISDN sWitch of FIGS. 4, 7, 8a, 8b, 8c, and
location requiring the use of one or more ISDN lines.
It is a further advantage of this invention to provide an
ISDN sWitch that automatically detects a location requiring
the use of one or more ISDN lines and that automatically
65
9;
FIG. 11 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment
of an automatic sWitch according to the present invention
US 6,466,251 B1
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8
With a communication circuit for communication With the
various locations via communication links routed With
switched communications lines and autodetection of the
ISDN-BRI lines 48a—48c provided by the local carrier. The
ISDN lines 32a—32c, 34a—34c, and 48a—48c are all an ISDN
U interface. The three ISDN lines 26a—26c are an ISDN S/T
interface. The netWork interface 24 converts the ISDN U
interface into an ISDN S/T interface.
desired location using those communication links;
FIG. 12 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment
of an automatic sWitch according to the present invention
With a communication circuit for communication With the
various locations via communication links routed other than
With sWitched communications lines and autodetection of
the desired location using those communication links; and
The prior art system 10 in FIG. 1 is a single location
system. The ISDN lines 32a—32c, 34a—34c, and 48a—48c are
the only lines to Which the system 10 can be connected. To
implement the ?rst option for a prior art multiple location
10
system—installing multiple data lines for each possible
location—one merely duplicates particular components of
FIG. 1 (ISDN lines 34a—34c and 48a—48c; RJ-45 Wall-jack
connectors 36a—36c; patch bay 30; and Wall plates 38a—38c)
15
support multiple locations.
FIG. 13 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment
of an automatic sWitch according to the present invention
With a communication circuit for communication With at
least one communication device via at least one communi
cation link.
for each location. A single, larger patch bay can be used to
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring noW to FIG. 2, there is shoWn a prior art
multiple location system implementing the second prior art
option—installing a patch panel at the point of termination
Before describing the details of the present invention, a
With Which one can physically manipulate the termination
description of several generic prior art videoconferencing
systems may be helpful in understanding the advantages of
point of the ISDN line(s). The system of FIG. 2 is similar in
many respects to the system in FIG. 1, eXcept the single
line patching area 70 in FIG. 1 is replaced by a multiple line
patching area 72 of FIG. 2 and (ii) the videoconferencing
the automatic ISDN sWitch of the present invention. Refer
ence is had, therefore, to FIG. 1, Which shoWs the very basic,
semi-permanently installed prior art 384 kbps videoconfer
encing system 10. The videoconferencing system 10
25
includes a monitor 12, at least one speaker 13, a camera 14,
and a microphone 15 in circuit communication With a video
encoder/decoder (“codec”) 16 via connections 18, 19, 20,
and 21, respectively, as is knoWn to those skilled in the art.
“Circuit communication” as used herein is used to indi
cate an communicative relationship betWeen devices. Direct
electrical and optical connections and indirect electrical and
equipment (monito, speaker, camera, microphone, video
codec, netWork interface, and associated connections; all not
shoWn in FIG. 2) is mobile in the system in FIG. 2 rather
than being semi-permanently installed as in FIG. 1.
The multiple line patching area 72 of FIG. 2 has a patch
bay 74 that is identical to patch bay 30 in FIG. 1, and a patch
panel 76, not found in the system of FIG. 1. As in FIG. 1,
three incoming ISDN-BRI lines 48a—48c provided by the
optical connections are eXamples of circuit communication.
local carrier are connected to the patch bay 74. These
TWo devices are in circuit communication if a signal from
ISDN-BRI lines are in circuit communication betWeen the
one is received by the other, regardless of Whether the signal
35
is modi?ed by some other device. For eXample, tWo devices
separated by one or more of the folloWing—transformers,
patch bay 74 and the patch panel 76 as three manually
sWitchable ISDN-BRI patch cables 78a—78c. The patching
area 72 of FIG. 2 has siX groups of three ISDN-BRI output
lines 80A—80F. The three ISDN-BRI lines routed to location
optoisolators, digital or analog buffers, analog integrators,
A(80A) are shoWn as 34a—34c (as in FIG. 1) and the Wiring
betWeen the patching area 72 and the Wall plates (not shoWn
other electronic circuitry, ?ber optic transceivers, or even
satellite—are in circuit communication if a signal from one
in FIG. 2) are identical to that shoWn in FIG. 1 for each
location. The mobile video conferencing equipment can be
reaches the other, even though the signal is modi?ed by the
intermediate device(s). As a ?nal eXample, tWo devices not
directly connected to each other, but both capable of inter
moved to as to be connected at location A to lines 80A, at
facing With a third device, e.g., a CPU, are in circuit
communication.
The codec 16 is in circuit communication With an ISDN
netWork interface 24 via three ISDN lines 26a—26c. The
codec 16 is a videoconference system codec and encodes all
location B to lines 80B, at location C to lines 80C, at location
D to lines 80D, at location E to lines 80E, or at location F
45
eighteen ISDN-BRI lines eXit the patch panel 76. The patch
panel 76 also has eighteen jacks: A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3,
C1, C2, C3, D1, D2, D3, E1, E2, E3, F1, F2, and F3. Each
out-going audio, video, and data signals and decodes all
incoming audio, video, and data signals. The codec 16
encodes the electrical signals representing the visual image
of the eighteen jacks is connected to one of the eighteen
individual ISDN-BRI lines exiting patch panel 76. For
eXample, jack A1 82 is directly electrically connected to line
34a, jackA2 84 is directly electrically connected to line 34b,
and jackA3 86 is directly electrically connected to line 34a.
captured by the camera 14 and the audio received by the
microphone 15. The codec 16 also simultaneously decodes
encoded visual signals and encoded audio signals received
via the netWork interface 24 to generate the video signal on
to lines 80F. Thus, in the patch panel in FIG. 2, a total of
55
In the prior art system shoWn in FIG. 2, location A is the
active location and lines 34a—34c are in circuit communi
line 18 displayed by monitor 12 and the audio signal on line
19 played by speaker 13. The netWork interface 24 (e.g.,
cation With the three ISDN-BRI lines 48a—48c, respectively.
NT-1, NT-3 or Triple NT-1) is in circuit communication With
a patch bay 30 via three ISDN lines 32a—32c and three ISDN
The ?fteen lines 80B—80F to locations B—F are left open,
i.e., not in circuit communication. To make another location
lines 34a—34c. The ISDN lines 32a—32c are connected to
the active location, e.g., location C, one must remove
ISDN lines 34a—34c via RJ-45 Wall-j ack connectors
ISDN-BRI patch cables 78a—78c from jacks A1 82, A2 84,
and A3 86 in the patch panel and reinsert them into jacks C1
88, C2 90, and C3 92.
36a—36c passing through Wall plates 38a—38c in Wall 39.
RJ-45 connectors 40a—40c connected to the end of line
32a—32c complete the circuit communication to the RJ-45
Wall-jack connectors 36a—36c.
The patch bay 30 is typically located in a telephone closet
Referring noW to FIG. 3, a multiple location system 90
according to the present invention is shoWn. The system 90
is in circuit communication With a device 91 requiring
or computer control room and provides an interface for three
access to at least one communications line. More
65
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