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Acoustic signals for electronics

Acoustic signals for electronics Acoustic signals for electronics

Technischer Lösungsvorschlag A2017-007
Unternehmenseinheit: Diehl AKO Stiftung & Co. KG


Acoustic identifier for electronics

The invention is based on an acoustic identification which can be played by an electronic device when it is energised. The sounds are generated by components which are necessary for normal operation but which are not intended to generate sounds.

Usually, electronics from different manufacturers are used in one and the same type of household appliance. In order to identify which electronics are installed, the appliance must be opened or there must be a written note on the appliance.

By means of an acoustic identification, it can be recognised during switch-on whether one of our electronics or that of a competitor is installed in a household appliance. The sound sequences generated by the electronics can be heard by the user outside the appliance.

Usually, error states detected by the electronics are transmitted electronically to the main control and/or a display unit and indicated.

Another application of the present invention is to report a fault condition detected by the electronics acoustically to the outside. Error conditions of the electronics can be transmitted directly to a user. Filtering by the main control and/or display unit, which may have been manufactured by a competitor, is thus bypassed.

Noises are used that would also occur during normal operation of the electronics. These noises are generated by components that are installed on the electronics and are necessary for normal operation. The components do not serve to generate noise during normal operation.

By selectively controlling these noise sources, a defined noise sequence can be generated. A clear meaning can be assigned to the noise sequences.

Using the example of a domestic appliance inverter, the following procedure is possible:

After the inverter is supplied with power, a self-test is carried out. During this test, a relay is switched several times and a motor is energised several times. This produces characteristic noises that can be heard outside the unit. The time sequence of the noises creates a defined noise sequence.

Further noise sequences can be added (see below), which do not occur during normal operation of the electronics and which serve to transmit information to a user outside the unit.

The sounds produced (crackling, clacking or clicking) do not correspond to those usually used for communication/interaction with the user (beeping, whistling, produced by loudspeaker or piezo buzzer).

A combination of sounds generated by piezo buzzer, relay, motor or similar is possible.

A sound sequence can be assigned to a detected fault condition, for example, for

  • Fault A, one relay energised and de-energised three times every second,
  • Fault B, one relay energised and de-energised five times every second,
  • Fault C, one relay energised and de-energised seven times every second,
  • Inverter detection A, characteristic noises of the self-test are generated and the motor is energized twice,
  • Inverter detection B, characteristic noises of the self-test are generated and the motor is energized three times.

The sound sequences could be repeated after a time interval (e.g. 10 seconds)

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