Phone line busy kit

So these relays work by placing them in-line with my phoneline, and will tell me when the phone is in use (not just ringing), correct? Their disclaimer states you can only use the relays behind a PBX or Key System, so I guess that means I can't use it as I don't have a PBX?
I "think" that these will work on public phones lines, they just have that as a legal disclaimer.

But, a safer and maybe easier/quicker to obtain device is a Radio shack recording control. Meant to start/stop a cassette recorder when the phone is off-hook. Use the remote jack as a contact closure to your SECU16. Correct, they are not ring detectors, they are detecting the current that flows when any phone goes off-hook. This is assuming you can wire it close to the phone company demark, so that it will sense all phones. Otherwise it just monitors whatever phone is plugged into it.

BTW, your CGI IRC thingy doesn't work for me here at work, so I cannot get into chat from here.
I might go with one of those kits then as they are cheaper and work well. As for the cgi gateway, I was forced to move my server sooner than expected due to more HD problems, right now everything is running on a linux system, running on my XP box using Virtual PC, I will update the cgi in a minute so you can use it again.
It appears that those kits leave the LED on, so you should be OK. Some of those type of kits actually flash the LED, whoch would drive you crazy trying to monitor it.

No hurry about the CGI IRC, I was just letting you know. I was assuming i had work firewall issues.

My mom used one of those radio shack recoder devices to catch my father cheating on her. Worked very well. The reason i bring this up is because It started the recorder no mater what phone was in use. She only had to plug it into an existing phone line and did not have to get close to the phone company to use it. So electron should be able to use it wherever he wants.

Also... I have not tried the IRC chat yet but im guessing its going to block me out since im behind a military firewall. In order for it to work electron needs to change the URL to not include IRC. I mentioned this to him yesterday but hes slow :blink:
Radio Shack used to have a box that plugged in to the phone line, did not require a battery, and lit an red LED whenever a phone was off the hook. You could tie into that LED and connect to a SECU16 or similar.

Unfortunately, it appears that RS no longer carries this. I've got one around somewhere, but I can't find it.

I've been planning to do the same thing - whenever I get around to it. :blink:
Once you have somethi9ng setup to tell ou inf the phone is busy or not, how are you going to use the info? Muting/pausing TV or something like that?
mostly automatically mute tv/audio equipment when phone rings and/or is off the hook. Smee, that device you are talking about is what I have seen before, it just plugs in and that's it. I really don't want to deal with batteries (or finding another power source).
Another use:

I have a device that calls (its) home every morning (3AM or so) to get updates. A month or so ago, it crashed while phoning home and kept the phone off the hook. I did not realize this until most of the next day had passed - I was waiting for a phone call that never came (since the line was busy).

If I monitor when the phone goes off hook, I can have HS make announcements if it doesn't see the phone on the hook after some period of time.
I have a HS PCI Modem and HSPhone that I use for simlair functions, but it's not as good. It can only respond to on X ring or CID available and does not respond to when you lift the receiver to place a call.

Currently, when the phone rings, HS mutes the TV and Receiver, pauses the DVD player, CD player, JRMediaCenter and wakes my touchscreen (for CID display). It also does the normal CID announcement. I additionally would like it to pause whatever's playing on TV (Dish DVR), but that may screw things up if the phone rings while we're not home and someting is getting recorded, so for now, we just rewind to the point we left off after we get off the phone. And of course, we have to un-mute/pause everything once we get off the phone.
It would probably be easier to replace the LED with an optoisolator. This is a typically a one-for-one swap and you don't have to worry about power requirements and surges, etc., from relays.

There are many of these circuits out there on the web. Many of them have warning messages associated with them. Remember that you are playing with relatively high voltages (ring), although the current is pretty low. You are exposing those voltages if you are not careful. If you do something wrong (or pick the wrong example), you could possibly start a fire. This is not likely to happen, but it's something to bear in mind.

Also, you are probably not officially allowed (illegal?) to connect any of these to the phone line. This probably includes the kits mentioned above, too. If nothing else, you may need to worry about the ring equivalency - if you mess up and it puts too much load on the line, your phones may stop working or the phone police may come looking for you.
I use the Sandman relays without any issues. They are cheap and easy to connect. They are line powered and work great with my SEC16. I have the ring relay and the off-hook one. I use the ring with my NetCallerID so it announces only when ringing. I use the off-hook for a lot of other items.... most mentioned in this thread.