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Thread: API to call a pager

  1. #1
    Automated Home Sr Member Alexc's Avatar
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    Default API to call a pager

    I have successfully managed to use IFTTT to send emails to a dedicated Cortex email box which is then picked up by Cortex to control various objects. This is working quite well, although it can take around 10-15 minutes for the process, so it's not immediate.

    What I am now considering is getting Cortex to send a notification to my pager (one of those cheap papers where the caller pays). If I could dial a number, then send a few digits before hanging up, the call wouldn't be answered by the pager company and I would receive digits on my pager, which would be a code for an event.

    Has anyone done anything similar, and what was the method? A bit of online research has brought up Twilio and Plivo where I could use an API to their service. I'm not clear on API really, except using the Android app on Cortex! It might be easier with a modem connected, but I'm not sure.

    Thanks

    Alex

  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    I haven't any experience with pagers, but your description suggests that you can simply dial its number with a few extra digits appended all in one go (i.e the extra digits will be ignored by the connectivity aspect) and then hang up perhaps after a short pause? So does one need to have some control over the length of this pause?

  3. #3
    Automated Home Sr Member Alexc's Avatar
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    I think it would be...

    Dial number - wait for answer - pause 1 sec - digits dialled eg 22# - pause 2 sec - hang up

    Is this possible?

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    Automated Home Guru MichaelD's Avatar
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    Haven't seen a pager since the 1990s when everyone seemed to have one. We didn't call interfaces 'APIs' back then, so you may struggle to find what you want.

    Couldn't you use SMS instead, its a bit less ancient and better covered by APIs?

  5. #5
    Automated Home Sr Member Alexc's Avatar
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    Advantage of a pager (and, yes, you can still buy them) is that it always works! Too much no-signal with a mobile, too many messages coming in, and bulky. The pager is for emergencies (especially at 50p a call)!

    Perhaps my solution would be through Skype?

  6. #6
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    I think the problem will be in the level of control required. For example in the Cortex telephony you can dial an arbitrary number and cause a hang up after a while but to put well defined short pauses in between digits and hanging up prematurely is beyond the scope I think. Similarly with Skype-out the call progress is pretty much handled automatically and these days there is in theory no documented access to its Windows API so I've no idea if it even supports such levels of control. If you do find a web based service with an open Web API for controlling the telephony process in detail then I believe it would then just be a matter of using the Cortex Web API client to send the necessary commands. So if you do find such we can help you with that aspect.

    The alternatives as suggested are SMS - but it cost money so can get expensive if you are getting lots of notifications, or internet based services such as e-mail, which then need you to have internet access and may not be so instant. If something else hits me I'll be sure to post, but as I say I think its going to be difficult without some kind of good level of control over a telephony device.

  7. #7
    Automated Home Sr Member Alexc's Avatar
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    Thanks Karam. I think I'm trying to do something where the benefits are probably not worth the investment in time and energy. I have SMS working well (using email to text at a fairly low cost) so I'll stick to that for now. Thanks again.

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