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To be submitted under the department of ECE

( Under the

topic of MOBILE COMMUNICATION – its applications)

Automating Home Appliances -The SMS way

(1) M. Dinesh Kumar

(2) G. Abhiram Raghavendra ECE- III/IV




(3) Sandeep Keshetti



Mobile: 9966507285

Vasavi College of Engineering, Ibrahimbagh,



The great revere achieved by the automation technology is because of its robust nature and the summit of accuracy it maintains. The logic behind the automation technology is the interfacing of many electrical, mechanical and electronic devices through some logic and controlling circuitry. These interfacing and the logic circuitry can be used to switch on the lights automatically when you just switch off your alarm. The modern home is a living tribute to the advancement of technology in the areas of lighting, appliances, security, heating/cooling and home theater. The field of automation has now revolutionized with the invention of the cellular and mobile communication. “Forgot to turn AC off? Don’t fret, send SMS”, this is what the people have to say today! By using a set of protocols and the GSM technology, one can avail the short message service (SMS) to communicate to the remote devices back home. The goal of a good home automation system is to achieve this integration and offer centralized control for your entire home at the expense of just a rupee using the cell phone and the SMS technology. This paper discusses in brevity the possible algorithms, procedural ideas and the devices in the market that help in controlling the home appliances via SMS.


Every relation in this world is either a ‘1’ or a ‘0’. And it is this basic fundamental that persists in almost all the digital electronics. The revolution in this field has gone to the extent of giving intelligence to the machines. When a machine performs certain valid actions automatically, without even asking it to be done, it is said to possess intelligence. But this intelligence imparted to the machines is nothing but a set of instructions that are asked to be executed whenever the interfacing device asks it to do! These instructions are stored into the machine for any further executions for the same task again and again. This type of machine which executes the instructions based on kind of input from the interfacing device is called the controlling device. Automating the devices is now a common phenomenon in the home appliances. The appliances like the air-conditioners, Refrigerators, Fans, Tube lights, Television, Microwave ovens, Washing machines and the DVD players or nowadays for the matter of fact the play stations can be automatically switched on(1) or off(0) by just sending them the required control signals via the IR frequencies. We know that all these devices are connected to the controlling unit device which sends the required control signals. But the question is who tells the controlling device which device is to be switched on or which one is to be switched off?? It is the interfacing device which receives the signals from the super brain the human being and asks the controlling device to act accordingly. With the advent of the cellular and mobile communication technology reaching its summit, people of the world came all the more closer. But the tendency of the human brain to interface the various devices and the technologies is incredible.

Now one can use the short message service (SMS) from any remote place in the world to send a message to the interfacing device which is connected to the controlling device. What more a person can expect? Now he can play with his home appliances from anywhere in the world by just using the GSM (global system for mobile communication) and the SMS technology! So now it becomes very interesting to have an insight into how all this can happen?

Introduction and Working of the SMS technology:

The cell phone is always connected to the cell phone tower over a pathway called a control channel. The reason for this chatter is so that the cell phone system knows which cell your phone is in, and so that your phone can change cells as you move around. The tower can now exchange the packets from the cell phone and the tower from which this is to be done is now confirmed. This control channel is also used for maintaining the call setup. The control channel also provides the pathway for SMS messages. When a person sends a SMS message, the message flows through the SMSC and the GSM network, then to the tower and the tower sends the message to the destination phone as a little packet of data on the control channel. The following diagram depicts the picture of the whole scenario ...

Apart from sending the SMS from one cell phone to the other cell phone we can

Apart from sending the SMS from one cell phone to the other cell phone we can also send the SMS via a messenger service or the email facility through the www (World Wide Web). But for this process to take place, certain protocols have to be followed to connect the www and the SMSC so that the communication can take place like it does between the individual cell phones. Here is an explanation in brief of one such protocol.

Explanation of the term ‘SMPP Traffic’:

SMPP: Short Message Peer to Peer

SMPP is an open message-transfer protocol that enables non-mobile External Short

Message entities to interface with an SMSC. Using the SMPP protocol, a SMS application may initiate an application layer connection

with an SMSC over a TAP/IP or X.25 network connection and may then send short messages and receive short messages to and from the SMSC respectively.

Role of SMSC and the importance of the SMS gateway:

An SMS center (SMSC) is responsible for handling the SMS operations of a wireless network. When an SMS message is sent from a mobile phone, it will reach an SMS center first. The SMS center then forwards the SMS message towards the destination. An SMS message may need to pass through more than one network entity (e.g. SMSC and SMS gateway) before reaching the destination. The main duty of an SMSC is to route SMS messages and regulate the process. If the recipient is unavailable (for example, when the mobile phone is switched off), the SMSC will store the SMS message. It will forward the SMS message when the recipient is available. One problem of SMS messaging is that SMSCs developed by different companies use their own communication protocol and most of these protocols are proprietary. For example, Nokia has an SMSC protocol called CIMD whereas another SMSC vendor, CMG, has an SMSC protocol called EMI. We cannot connect two SMSCs if they do not support a common SMSC protocol. To deal with this problem, an SMS gateway is placed between two SMSCs. This is illustrated in the following figure. The SMS gateway acts as a relay between the two SMSCs. It translates one SMSC protocol to another one. This way can be used by two different wireless carriers to interconnect their SMSCs for purposes such as enabling the exchange of inter-operator SMS messages.

∑ Message entities to interface with an SMSC. Using the SMPP protocol, a SMS application may

The various paths to be followed by the SMS from the source to the destination is understood by the above procedure but ultimately it’s the code assigned to a SMS which guides its path from the source to the destination. So knowing the various digital codes of a SMS is also important because when the interfacing device at home receives the SMS it decodes it to do further processes.


There are two ways of sending and receiving SMS messages: by text mode and by PDU (protocol description unit) mode. The text mode (unavailable on some phones) is just an encoding of the bit stream represented by the PDU mode. Alphabets may differ and there are several encoding alternatives when

displaying an SMS message. The most common options are "PCCP437", "PCDN", "8859-1", "IRA" and "GSM". If you read the message on your phone, the phone will choose a proper encoding. An application capable of reading incoming SMS message, can thus use text mode or PDU mode. If text mode is used, the application is bound to (or limited by) the set of preset encoding options. In some cases, that's just not good enough. If PDU mode is used, any encoding can be implemented.

But the actual text of the SMS message isn't the only thing that's being transmitted. Here are the elements of a complete SMS transaction:

Header: identifies the type of message. Service Center Timestamp Originator Address: the phone number of the sender Protocol Identifier Data Coding Scheme User Data Length: tells how long the message is User Data: the message itself (140 bytes: 160 7-bit characters, or 140 8-bit characters)

Receiving a transmitted message in the PDU mode:


07 917283010010F5 040BC87238880900F10000993092516195800AE8329BFD4697D9EC37 It is all in the form of hexa-decimal octets or decimal semi-octets. The following string is what is the encoded sequence when sending the message containing "hello hello" from one of the phones. This octet sequence consists of three parts: An initial octet indicating the length of the SMSC information ("07"), the SMSC information itself ("917283010010F5").



Length of the SMSC information (in this case 7octets)


Type-of-address of the SMSC. (91 means international

  • 72 83 01 00 10 F5

Format of the phone number) Service center number (in decimal semi-octets).


First octet of this SMS-DELIVER message.


Address-Length. Length of the sender number (0B hex =


11 dec) Type-of-address of the sender number

72 38 88 09 00 F1

Sender number (decimal semi-octets), with a trailing F


TP-PID. Protocol identifier.


TP-DCS Data coding scheme

  • 99 30 92 51 61 95 80

TP-SCTS. Time stamp (semi-octets)


TP-UDL. User data length, length of message. The TP- DCS field indicated 7-bit data, so the length here is the number of septets (10). If the TP-DCS field were set to indicate 8-bit data or Unicode, the length would be the number of octets (9).


TP-UD. Message "hellohello" , 8-bit octets representing 7-bit data.

Importance of the Code:

Depending on the code of the SMS received by the interfacing device back home the required

operations on appliances will be performed (i.e. switched on/off). But all these operations are done

only after the authenticity of the sending and the receiving cell phone devices is verified. Hence this code is very important.


-A Nokia cellular phone

operations on appliances will be performed (i.e. switched on/off). But all these operations are done only

---Cable to connect phone to PC serial port

operations on appliances will be performed (i.e. switched on/off). But all these operations are done only
operations on appliances will be performed (i.e. switched on/off). But all these operations are done only

--Linux operating system on PC -- Gnokii software from to communicate with cellular phone --Your own control program. This control program is a small shell script…For example…

operations on appliances will be performed (i.e. switched on/off). But all these operations are done only


Here is a picture containing the relays on a PCB and other components which guide these relays to switch on/off according to the decoded SMS. The PCB used here acts as the set of controlling device.

The Control of the X10 Devices Using SMS:

The X10 appliance control system is used to control devices connected to the X10 system. These could include lights, an oven, central heating and many more…The following picture depicts the future of home automation using the SMS and other wireless technologies which allow the persons to communicate to any of the appliances back home. It is a very great asset to the modern world and will soon be accessible to people of all kinds. The X10 sends control messages through the existing electrical wiring in a home to control sockets. The control system sends control messages to modules attached to sockets throughout the house. X10 can be controlled by a normal controller, IR timers and computers. These computer get the initiation signal from the SMS.


The X10 Controller

EXAMPLES OF THE DEVICES USED IN CONTROLLING: Here is a picture containing the relays on The X10 Controller 11 " id="pdf-obj-10-24" src="pdf-obj-10-24.jpg">