Phone Busy Indicator Circuit

This circuit may cause problems for some when used. You may want to build a different circuit.

Have you ever been using the modem or fax and someone else picks up the phone, breaking the connection? Well, this simple circuit should put an end to that. It signals that the phone is in use by lighting a red LED. When the phone is not in use, a green LED is lit. It needs no external power and can be connected anywhere on the phone line, even mounted inside the phone.

Circuit diagram
Phone Busy Indicator Circuit

R1 3.3K 1/4 W Resistor
R2 33K 1/4 W Resistor
R3 56K 1/4 W Resistor
R4 22K 1/4 W Resistor
R5 4.7K 1/4 W Resistor
Q1, Q2 2N3392 NPN Transistor
BR1 1.5 Amp 250 PIV Bridge Rectifier
LED2 Green LED
MISC Wire, Case, Phone Cord

1. This is a very simple circuit and is easily made on a perf board and mounted inside the phone.
2. LED1 and LED2 flash on and off while the phone is ringing.
3. Do not worry about mixing up the Tip and Ring connections.
4. The ring voltage on a phone line is anywhere from 90 to 130 volts. Make sure no one calls while you are making the line connections or you’ll know it. 🙂
5. In some countries or states you will have to ask the phone company before you connect this to the line. It might even require an inspection.
6. If the circuit causes distortion on the phone line, connect a 680 ohm resistor in between one of the incoming line wires and the bridge rectifier.


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