TITLE: Remote Starter, Control and Security System For Vehicles With Internal Combustion Engines S FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to a device for remotely controlling the function of specified systems of a vehicle having an internal rf~mhll~ti--n engine. In particular, the device allows for remotely controlling a vehicle's starting and ignition systems, and heating and cooling fan systems and also provides a remotely controlled security system for 10 the vehicle.
BACKGROUND OF THh, ~VENTION
A wide variety of different types and forms of remote starting amd control devices have been proposed by others for use in vehicles with internal combustion engines.
15 Such devices have ramged from fixed starters amd controls placed within a building or home and hard-wired into a vehicle, to portable radio frequency ~ ll;lf~ that may be used to transmit signals to a receiver placed in the vehicle. While such devices have met with limited success, they also suffer from a number of inherent lliffi( lll~iPc Fixed and hard-wired systems are both expensive and ill-,Vll~.,l..~,llL to 20 use, whereas newer portable radio frequency ~1,,. ,~",; 1 ~ . ~ have very limited range and may make a vehicle susceptible to theft. ~ol ' - ' ' automobile thieves may wander through car parking lots using electronic equipment to "capture" a radio =
~ 2~ 744~2 frequency signal transmitted by a hand held transmitter. When the automobile operator has left the vicinity of the car, that "captured" signal can be repeated thereby allowing for 1 ,~ ,;, d entry or starting of the vehicle.
5 Similarly, a variety of different vehicle security systems have been proposed and developed. Like the newer forms of remote starters, most vehicle security systems operate through the use of a portable radio frequency transmitter. Often such systems also include a manual arming and disarming switch located within the vehicle itsel~
10 Such security systems also suffer from their own inherent and difficulties. Those systems that contain a manual switch within the vehicle enable a thief to enter the vehicle amd disarm the system. Other systems that utili~ a portable radio frequency transmitter may, like remote starters, enable thieves to "capture" the arming and disarming frequency in order to re-transmit that frequency later to disarm the system.
15 In addition, in most cases an activated alarm results in the sounding of a siren and the flashing of the vehicle's lights, which is only effective if the vehicle is not left in a remote or deserted area.
~17~82 SUMMARY OF TEIE INVENTION
Accordingly, in one of its r~ O,l;~ the prevent invention provides a device for remotely controlling the function of specified systems of a vehicle having an internal ~ -.",1. ,~1;",. engine, the device . ..".~ (i) a Illh,lul~lu~ avL control for 5 monitoring amd controlling the function and operation of said specified systems of said vehicle; (ii) receiving means to receive a plurality of remotely transmitted command signals; (iii) decoding means to decode and ul,ll,~ . said received signals and to thereafter deliver said decoded and Allll,~.,l;, .t.J signals to said IlliUIUUlU~ VI control; (iv) a main housing unit for containing said ll~iClU,UIUCC~:lUl 10 control, said receiving means and said decoding means; and, (v) an integrated security system, said security system including alarm means, said alarm means armed and disarmed by said lllil,lUulU~,Ci,~ul control upon receipt of UUIIC~JUIll,lill~5 remotely transmitted command signals; wherein said remotely transmitted command signals are numerical pager signals, said numerical pager signals transmitted by a paging 15 ~ " network and activated through the operation of a touch tone telephone hand set, said numerical pager signals received by said receiving meams, decoded by said decoder means, amd then directed to said Illil~lV~)lUC~ lul control to control the filnf tionin~ of said specified systems of said vehicle.
20 In a further embodiment, the invention provides a device for remotely controlling the function of specified systems of a vehicle having an internal .~.,l,l,~l..." engine ~ 8 2 including means to Snlt~ ti~ y arm and disarm alarm means when the operator of said vehicle moves a pre-determined distance away from said vehicle.
Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the S following description taken together with the a- c~,.l.~a..yil.g drawings.
BI~IEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
For a better .,.,.1~ --l;.,g of the present invention, and to show more clearly how it may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, by way of example, to the 10 dCIu~ lyill~ drawings which show the preferred ~IllI:odi~ lL~ of the present invention in which:
Figure I is a sketch of the remote starter, control and security system ~cording to the preferred r,~ O~ 1 of the present invention; and Figure 2 is a block diagram showing the various functions, ~ and operations of the remote starter, control and security system of Figure 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
In Figure 1, the remote starter, control and security system according to the present invention is noted generally by the reference numeral 1. Device I is comprised 20 generally of a main housing unit 2, a beepe} control module 3, a photo sensor 4, a photo transmitter 5, a beeper 6, and a remote relay 7. Main housing unit 2 includes a series of electrical conductors 8 for connecting the unit to the vehicle's various operating systems and power source. Primary power for device 1 will be drawn from the vehicle's battery 48. However, device I also includes a re-chargeable internal battery 35 that will provide power in the event of an i~ u,uLioll in the vehicle's 5 power supply. Battery 35 is - ' .",..~;. ~lly re-charged directly from the vehicle so that it will remain in a fully charged state. It will be appreciated that main housing unit 2, beeper control module 3, photo sensor 4 and remote relay 7 will all be physically located and attached to the Yehicle whereas photo transmitter 5 and beeper 6 are portable and would normally be carried by the vehicle's operator.
Referring now to Figure 2, a block diagram is provided to show the various functions, structure and operations of device 1. While device I is comprised of a number of different and separate COIu,u~ ', its principle functions and operations are carried out by a Illi~lU,UlUCC~UI control 9. Mi~ lu~lu~ ul control 9 includes an 15 electrically erasable memory (EEPROM) which will retains data regarding the last commands which have been received. This will ensure that in the event of a power iuk;ll~l~Liull device I will be placed back into its same level of operation upon a resumption of the power supply. There are three primary methods to send instruction signals to lui-lUulUUC;,~ul control 9. These three methods are through the use of 20 beeper 6, through the use of photo transmitter 5 or through a remotely generated pager signal.
2:~744~2 In the preferred ..,.I,c-~",~ the primary instructions provided to ~ llU~ UI
control 9 will be by way of a remotely kansmitted pager signal that is received by a receiving means 10 located with main housing unit 2. It is significant to note that, unlike some previous devices, receiving means 10 is not a tone pager. Rather 5 receiving means 10 is am integrated receiver, built directly into main housing unit 2, that is only capable of receiving numerical signals transmitted over a paging network 49. Device I does not rely upon the generatiûn or reception of audio pager tûnes or signals. Receiving means 10 captures pager signals in electronic form amd sends them to a decoding means 11. Decoding means 11 decodes the numerical pager 10 signals" ~ . them, and then delivers only the decoded and ;."1I,..,I;.~t~.1 signals to lllh,lu,ulucG~ul control 9. It will therefore be appreciated that through operation of a standard touch tûne telephone hand set 50, a pager signal may be transmitted by a paging ~ network such that an electronic code entered into a touch tone telephone can be received by receiving means 10. Decoding means 15 11 is enable to decode the electronic paging signal and deliver that decoded signal to l~ _ ~)l U~ UI control 9 so that the instructions in the paging signal can be carried out, whatever they may be. Only decoded and s~lfhrnti. s~trd signals are sent by decoding means 11 to ~ u~lu~,~,,,,ul control 9 thereby preventing ~..,,..~I,i,.,, ~l signals from being received and acted upon. Decoding means 11 also preferably 20 contains a signal noise software filter, error protection and a filter for non-digital characters (such as -, *, # etc) to reduce signal error.
2t 74~82 As indicated, the pager signals sent amd received are numerical signals, as opposed to traditional tone signals. Through the use of numerical signals an unlimited number of i~ u~,liuu~ or command codes can be delivered to .lli~,lu~ ,ul control 9 through use of a standard telephone hand set. Whereas previous pager signal S operated devices could only receive a single instruction and had limited ~rrli~z~ti-~n, device I is capable of receiving and acting upon numerous different signal commands. This represents a significant a~ over the prior art amd allows device 1 to control many more vehicle systems and functions than was previously possible.
Accordingly, upon the actuation of a series of keys on a touch tone telephone, a variety of specified systems of the vehicle or its engine can be controlled. By entering a pre-determined sequence of key strokes on a telephone hand set, and by l,lvddc~.,li-lg the ~;UIIC*J1 '- 'J numerical code over a paging network, an operator 15 is able to remotely start or shut off the engine of his vehicle, control and operate the heating and cooling fan 60 systems of tbe vehicle, and arm and disarm the security system. For purposes of security and accuracy, the remotely transmitted numerical pager signal will preferably be a digital signal. While the operation and control of these primary systems will be discussed, it will be understood that other vehicle 20 systems could equally be controlled by Ulil,lU~/IU~ UI 9.
21~ 2 As discussed, one of the primary A~ for device I is expected to be the remote starting of a vehicle. To remotely start a vehicle an operator would typically key a pre-determined sequence of digits into a touch tone telephone that has accessed a numerical pager netwo}k. Following receipt of a decoded numerical pager signal, 5 ~ lUlUIU~ aUl control 9 will activate the vehicle's ignition system 61. In these regards llliUlU~lU~C~ul control 9 also includes a timing means 12 to operate the vehicle's starter motor for a pre-determined time interval. In çA~njl1-AtiAIn with timing means 12 is a monitoring means 13 which monitors the engine to determine whether it has been started. On the initial attempt to start the engine, IlliUlU,UlUC~ UI control 10 9willactivatethevehicle'sstartermotorfora,u~)lu~ t~ly 1 second. If atthatpoint monitoring means 13 detects that the engine has started, no further action will be taken. However, if after the 1 second interval monitoring means 13 indicates that tbe engine has not started, a second starting attempt will take place where the starter motor will be activated for ~ lu~ ,ly I 1/2 seconds. Similarly, a third attempt 15 at starting the engine may be necessary where the starter motor is run for about 2 seconds. A fourth, fifth and sixth attempt with a 2 1/2 second stalting interval may also be i",l.l~ .". ..~. .1 If the vehicle does not stAArt after the sixth attempt, the system will abort any further attempt to stalt the engine. Typically, once the vehicle has started II~ _IU,UIU~,Ca:~UI control 9 will also activate the heating or cooling system by 20 starting the vehicle's electric fan, thereby allowing the vehicle to warm up (if the 2174~82 heater has been left in the "on" position) or to cool do~vn (provided that the air UUlldi~iUU.,I was left in the "on" position).
In the preferred f~ml ' .~, monitoring means 13 comprises either a means to 5 monitor voltage ll"l l.. f,..,.~ in electrical conductors that are connected to the alternator or tachometer of the engine, or a means to detect the continuous ~r~n~mi~ n of electrical pulses through the ignition wires of the engine. In some cases both ~...l-o.l~ .". of monitoring means 13 would be employed, ~vith each serving as a back-up or check for the other.
In the first ~ml-- " ' of monitoring means 13, Illi~,lULllU~ UI control 9 is wired directly to the output side of the vehicle's alternator 28 in order to monitor voltage n....l..~ produced by the alternator. The n....l.,~l,....c in voltage coming from the alternator can be monitored and compared against ~ikUll,,,.d~,d alternator n... ,, IA 11 ~
15 that are created by running or operating engine (as opposed to an engine merely to being turned over by a starter motor) to determine whether the engine has in fact been started. Alternately, and u~u~i~,ulally for diesel powered vehicles, Illi~,lU,UlU~ UI control 9 may be connected to the vehicle's tachometer to monitor voltage n". 1..~l;..,,~ at the tachometer and thereby determine whether the engine has 20 been started.
~ ~17~4g2 In the second emho(1im~nt of monitoring means 13, an electrically conductive wire is wrapped around the ~ ,ul~lf~ llue of one of the ignition wires of the engine to create an electrical coil 25 about the ignition wire. As the ignition system of the engine fires and a high voltage pulse is sent through the ignition wire, a current will 5 be induced into coil 25 oulluuudillg the wire. Mi~u~luc~o~ul control 9 is able to morlitor that induced current so as to determine the pulse rate of the ignition wire, and hence the firing of the spark plug connected to that wire. In this fashion, Illh,lulJlùc~ooul control 9 is able to determine whetber tbe engine has been started or whether the ignition system is merely firing due to the operation of the starting I 0 system.
Typically a remotely started engine will be allowed to operate from 10 to 20 minutes.
The precise time of operation is controllable by a technician who initiates a 10 or 20 mirlute run command when the system is installed. Depending upon the climate and15 use of the vehicle, a shorter or longer period of time may be necessaN, in order to ourrlui~ .ly warm or cool the vehicle after it has been sitting unused for a length of time. Timing means 12 also seNes tbe function of u~ lly shutting down a remotely started engine a pre-determined time after it has been started, unless tbe operator uses a telephone to enter an additional command code to reset timing means 20 12.
2~ ~4~g2 As a security feature, if an individual enters the vehicle that has been remotely started a switch 14 that is connected to the vehicle's brake system and wired to llfiwu~Jlu~c~ul control g will cause the vehicle's engine to shut down if the brake pedal is depressed. In order to by-pass this security system, the operator need only 5 insert the key into the ignition switch and turn the ignition to the "on" position ' ' '~/ upon entering a remotely started vehicle. In this case device 1 will not activate the starter motor.
As a further safety feature, device I includes a hood switch lS (also wired into 0 lllh,lUIJlU~ Ul control 9) which will prevent the engine from being remotely started if the hood is open. This safety feature will help to prevent injury to persons who may be performing ",~ "~ e on the vehicle. In addition, Illl~.lU~)lU.,C~i~UI control 9 will ~lltt~m~ti~lly lock the vehicle's doors upon receiving a remote "start" pager command to help prevent lln~llthrri7~d persons from driving away with the vehicle.
Device 1 can also be used to remotely start a vehicle having a manual ~
When installed in a vehicle having a manual L~ ;...l, device 1 will include a dashboard switch 56 and a parking brake switch 57. Preferably dashboard switch 56 is a push button or spring loaded switch that will assume a non-engaged position 2û when released. To allow a manual l~ ll~iai~;(JIl vehicle to be remotely started, a series of specific steps must be undertaken by the operator, prior to shutting off the 48~
vehicle's engine, to prepare the vehicle for remote starting. First, the operator must bring the vehicle to a stop. Next, with the engine running, the parking brake must be engaged, thereby also engaging parking brake switch 57. The vehicle's irAn~mi~ei~-n must then be shifted into neutral and the ignition switch turned offwhile 5 manually holding dashboard sv~itch 56 in its engaged position. That is, dashboard switch 56 must be engaged when the ignition switch is turned off. If parking brake switch 57 and dashboard switch 56 are not engaged while the ignition switch is being turned off, Illi~,lU~JlU~ UI control 9 will not permit subsequent remote starting. This forces the operator to perform a series of defined steps so that he uul~ ;uu~ly is 10 aware that the vehicle is being prepared for remote st rting. In addition, parking brake switch 57 will prevent the vehicle from being started without the parking brake engaged. As a further safety feature, a llall~".,~;.". sensor 58 may be used to determine whether the l, a. .~ .., has been placed in neutral. If tr~nemieeion sensor 58 indicates that the ~ , is not in neutral, Illi~,lU~JlU~ UI control 9 will not 15 allow for subsequent remote starting. This feature will prevent remote starting when the vehicle is in gear.
Aside from remotely starting, heating and cooling a vehicle, the second primary function of device I is as an alarm or security system for the vehicle.
20 Miu~ul~u~ ul control 9 is also central and vital to the operation of the vehicle se~urity system. The security system includes alarm means 16 which is also ~:~7448~
initiatable through receipt of a numerical pager signal by receiving means 10.
Similar to the manner in which the remote starter is activated, an operator can arm or disarm the security system by merely entering a pre-deterrAIined code through a touch tone telephone system which has accessed a numerical paging network. The 5 transmitted pager signal is received by receiving means 10 and decoded by decoding means 11 to provide the a~ u,ul;..t~, instructions to Illi~lUlJlU~ UI control 9. Upon receipt of the proper code, Illi~lU~JlU~ ooUl 9 will energize or de-energize the security system and also ~ y lock or unlock the electric locks 27 of the vehicle. In the preferred rl..l).)ll..,.~..l alarm means 16 includes a siren 17 and a means 18 to 10 activate the headlights 63 and flashers 64 of the vehicle when the alarm has been activated. To prevent de-activation by a thief, means 18 is an integral part of Illi11U,UlU~ UI control 9 and wired into the vehicle's lighting system such that when the vehicle's headlights and flashers have been activated by means 18, they cannot be turned off by the vehicle' s lighting system switches. They can only be deactivated 15 by turning offthe alarm.
Alarm means 16 also preferably includes a visual indicator such as a flashing light emitting diode 65 that provides a means to quickly and easily determine whether the system has been armed. Typically the light emitting diode would be positioned on 20 the dashboard of the vehicle near the front windshield to make it easily visible. The diode can be wired to either remain on constantly or to flash when the security ~7~g2 system has been armed, thereby providing a visual indicator showing the status of the security system.
As for the remainder of the security system, various sensors are utilized that are not S unlike those used in other alarm systems. Fo} example, a door sensor 19, a vibration or shock sensor 20, and a glass sensor 21 would typically be installed in the vehicle and wired into ~ U~JlUC~ UI control 9. If the vehicle is then struck by amother vehicle, lifted for towing, or if the integrity of the doors or windows is violated when the security system has been armed, siren 17 will sound and means 18 will activate 10 the vehicle's headlights and flashers to attract attention. In addition, a hood sensor 22 and a trunk sensor 23 may also be il3~.o.~0. ' into the security system in order to initiate an alarm in the event of ~ ;i entry into either the hood or trunk of the vehicle.
15 Yet a further aspect of the security system of device I is useful in cases where the vehicle has been stolen. In such instances the vehicle owner can enter a pre-determined code, by way of a touch tone telephone, into a numerical paging network instructing Illi~,lU~/lU~ UI control 9 to initiate an alarm. When the alarm is initiated, siren 17 is activated as is means 18 causing the vehicle's headlights and flashers to 20 be turned on. Preferably siren 17 will operate at a sound level of a~,ull ' ly 90 to 100 decibels making it practically impossible to remain within the vehicle when 217~4~2 the siren is in operation. In this fashion a thief can essentially be driven out of the vehicle through remote activation of the siren. The owner can therefore effectively make the vehicle ullJ~ ,dl,lc causing the thief to abandon the vehicle along the side of the road. At that point the alarm and flashing lights will draw attention, assisting S in the quick recovery of the stolen vehicle.
In addition, while sending the pager code instructing llliulu~lu~ vl 9 to activate the siren, the vehicle owner also has the option of J~u~ u~ g one of the major operational systems of the vehicle's engine. For exarnple, the ignition system or the 10 fuel pump 24 can be shut down to cause the engine to stall, where local laws and traffic regulations allow. Otherwise, when a thief tums off the ignition switch with hopes of disabling siren 17, Illi.,lUI.lU~,C~Dvl 9 will thereafter prevent any re-starting of the vehicle until the alarm has been deactivated through the proper pager command. MLu,u~u~ Ul 9 prevents re-starting by electrically isolating the starter, 15 iglution system and fuel pump. In an altemate r~ IC~ , a pager code can be sent to cause IlI;~lU~JIU~ UI control 9 to shut down the vehicle's engine when the ~ c ~ r, drops to ~ero, signifying that the car has stopped. A ~rec-.1t)mrtt r monitor is utilized to detemmine the status of the ~l,c~.1..,.,. t... in this ~mho~1imrnt 20 The ability of I~ ,lUIJlu~aUI control 9 to respond to numerical paging signals transmitted over a paging network can also be used to activate the vehicle's door 7~82 locks. Door locks 27 are preferably wired into UU.,IU,UlUVV;~Ul control 9 allowing the to control operation of the locks i~f~ ..lf~ ly from the alarm system. Where an operator leaves a vehicle and realizes at a later time that he or she has forgotten to lock the vehicle's doors (or where the operator wants to ensure that 5 the vdoors are locked) the appropriate signal can be sent over a paging network to instruct Illiv1UlJlUCv;,,U1 control 9 to lock the vehicle's door locks 27. In the event that an operator locks his or her keys inside a vehicle, door locks 27 can be unlocked simply by entering the correct code into a touch tone telephone that has accessed a numerical pager network. The properly entered code will instruct l.l;vlu~luv~ vl 10 control 9 to unlock door locks 27. Further, if the operator has lost the keys to the vehicle, entering the ~U~1U~ tv code over a pager network v~ill allow the operator to both unlock the doors and remotely start the vehicle's engine.
Finally, a further feature of device I that can be accessed through a standard touch 15 tone telephone is the operation of the vehicle's headlights, flashers and interior light 66. Again through entering tbe appropriate code through a touch tone telephone, a numerical pager signal can be transmitted that will instruct l~;VlULllUV~ Ul control 9 to turn on (or turn off as the case my be) a vehicle's headlights, flashers or interior lights. This feature can be useful in the event that any of those lighting systems have 20 been left on ih1f~ tvll~ly. This can also be helpful to locate a vehicle in a large parking lot, and can be of assistance for personal security.
~17~2 Since all opcrating functions of device I can be performed through use of a touch tone telephone, it will be appreciated that an operator can also provide the d~ ul instructions to Illi~.lUl)lU~ .UI control 9 through the use of a mobile or cellular telephone. For example, when d,u~ludCllillg a vehicle late at night, an operator can 5 dial the appropriate code into his or her cellular telephone and cause the vehicle headlights and/or interior lights to be turned on.
Accordingly, through entering the appropriate codes into a numerical pager network, the vehicle operator can access a v~lide variety of specified systems and control the 10 function of those systems. The operation of device I can be ~c ~ ,1 easily and simply through any standard telephone, including a mobile or cellular telephone.
Ful a~ llulci, due to the improved ~ l l s,vstems available for paging net~vorkstoday, the range over which ill:~LIu~,~h~us can be sent to Ill;C,IUlJlU~ .Ul control 9 is Si~llir~ lLly larger than for currently produced hand held controls or tran~ rc 15 Pager signals are also omni-directional and do not need to be "aimed" at the vehicle as in the case of many pre-existing radio frequency or light ~ devices.
Since the numerical pager signal is received by receiving means 10, decoded by decoding means 11, and directed to III;~IU~JIU~,C~Ol control 9 in an electronic format, there is no possibility of the system being susceptible to interference, such as may 20 occur with existing security systems thdt utilize tone pager signals in an audio format.
~ 217~82 As eluded to previously, in a situation where the vehicle owner parks the vehicle and arms alarm means 16, Illh~lU,UlV~ UI control 9 will electrically isolate the vehicle's starter motor, ignition system and fuel pump. When the security system is armed the vehicle cannot be started since the starter motor, ignition system and electronic fuel 5 pump will be isolated from the vehicle's power source. Fu~ lllul~;, since there are no manual controls within the vehicle for operating device I, a potential thief cannot easily disable device 1. The ûnly practical way to disable device I is to physically remove it or disconnect it from the vehicle. To combat that situation, and as a further level of security, device I also includes am external remote relay meams 7.
10 Relay 7 is located at some position within the vehicle remote from device I and serves as a secondary back-up meams of protection in the event that a thief were to break into the vehicle and remove or disable IlI;~,lU~)IU~ VI control 9. Relay 7 is controlled solely by a radio frequency ~r~nemicei-n produced by a radio frequency transmitter 26 connected to llf~lu~luc~D~ul control 9. There are no wires commecting lS relay 7 to main housing unit 2. Relay 7 is, however, wired to the vehicle fuel pump and/or igrution system. In the event that III;~IU,UlU~ iWI controller 9 is removed or disabled, relay 7 will no longer be controlled by radio frequency transmitter 26, resulting in relay 7 becoming "open" thereby disabling of the vehicle's fuel pump and/or ignition system. It will thus be appreciated that relay 7 adds a further level 20 of security to the vehicle beyond the numerous levels controlled directly by Illh~lVUlU~ UI control 9. As relay 7 is not wired directly to Illi~lU~/lUl~ VI 9, it can ~ ~17~4~2 be located practically anywhere within the vebicle making it extremely difficult and time consuming for a thief to locate. Relay 7 can also be i...,~ ., ' into otherstructures of tbe vehicle or disguised as some other part to make it even more difficult to detect or locate.
s While in the preferred ~Il.bodil~ many of the vehicle's systems are controlled by means of a numerical pager signal, as indicated, device I also includes a photo transmitter S and a beeper 6. Photo tramsmitter S and beeper 6 provide additional means to present commands to ~ ,lUIJIUU~ UI control 9. Dealing first with photo 10 transmitter S, in the preferred ~,.,I,o~ transmitter S is a small hand held tramsmitter that would typically be clipped onto a key chain. Photo transmitter S is battery powered and contains two small buttons 46 and 47 that generate a coded infra-red light signal when depressed. The transmitter is used solely to arm and disarm the security system. Operating in ~ n with photo transmitter 5 is a 15 photo sensor 4 that is typically positioned on the vehicle's dashboard. Photo sensor 4 is preferably a photo diode or photo transistor that receives the coded infra-red light signals sent from photo transmitter S. Photo transmitter 4 is conmected to .uli~,lv~luC,~aaul control 9 such that commands received by sensor 4 can be directed to the llfi~.lu,ulu~ aul so they may be carried out. The buttons 46 and 47 are 20 configured such that depressing one of them transmits a "system arm" command while depressing the other transmits a "system disarm" command. Accordingly, ~ 2174~82 through pointing photo transmitter S toward photo sensor 4, the vehicle's operator will thus be able to either arm or disarm the security system. When the security system is armed in this manner door locks 27 will also be activated to lock the car, following a one minute delay.
Photo sensor 4 also serves the additional function of providing a means to remotely re-program uu-,~u~u~ u control 9. Through use of a system IJIU~lalIUII~,~ 67 (shown in ghost outline in Figure 2), a qualified installation technician will be able to send coded infra-red light signals to photo sensor 4, thereby providing new or 10 varied l,.u~,,."",.",~ to I~ ,lu~lu~,C~aul 9. In the event that the vehicle owner looses photo tramsmitter 5, a techlucian can also provide a IC~ldC~,.ll~,.l~ transmitter and re-program device 1 to recognize that l~ transmitter without having to physically access main housing unit 2. In a further ~ ol1.."~.,1 lll;~.lVIJIUl.~ Ul control 9 may be re-~ ull~ through the use of a portable or lap-top computer 51 that may be commected to 111iClU~)lU-,.,i7~UI control 9 by means of an input jack 52.
The third method by which an operator may provide instructions to IlliClU~)lUC~
control 9 is by way of beeper 6. Beeper 6 is preferably in the form of a small, generally IC~ shaped, device that is similar in size to a pager. Typically 20 beeper 6 would be carried by the vehicle operator in a pocket or worn on a belt.
Beeper 6 is powered by an internal battery 41 which may be a standard alkaline ~ ~7~4g2 battery or may be of the re-chargeable type. Working in ~ l; with beeper 6 is a beeper control module 3 situated within main housing unit 2 and connected to lU~lU~Caa~Jl control 9. Beeper 6 p}ovides a means to A.~ A~ IIy arm and dis-arm alarm means 16, and also provides an interactive indication or c.-nfirrnAtinn 5 means to notify the operator of the receipt of certain command codes by Illi~,lU~ control 9. Beeper 6 will also notify the operator in the event that the vehicle's alarm has been set off. The function and operation of beeper 6 and beeper control module 3 will now be explained.
10 Beeper control module 3 contains a radio frequency signal transmitter 33 that transmits a radio frequency signal from between a~ , 27 MHz and 900 MHz. This signal can be received within a practical operation range of about 1 kilometre by a radio frequency receiver 36 contained within beeper 6. When the vehicle's security system has been armed, radio frequency transmitter 33 sends out 15 a first or "system armed" signal that is captured by radio frequency receiver 36 causing beeper 6 to activate a tone generator 40 that produces a short single tone or "beep" to acknowledge that the security system has been armed. When the vehicle security system is d~,à~ 1, a second or "system disarmed" signal is generated by transmitter 33 and picked up by receiver 36. Receiver 36 then causes tone generator 20 40 to produce a series of 2 short tones or beeps acknowledge that the system has been disarmed. A third, or "system alarm", signal is generated by radio frequency transmitter 33 in the event that alarm means 16 is activated. In an alarm situation, transmitter 33 generates a continuous signal that causes tone generator 40 to produce a continuous tone or beep, thereby notifying the vehicle operator that the alarm has been activated and that the status of the vehicle should be checked. Further signals 5 can also be generated to indicate other command activations.
This continuous ~ lalll;aaiull produced by radio frequency transmitter 33 can also be received by police or security agencies in order to notify them that a vehicle is in the process of being stolen. In the preferred ~.,.1,~.1""1 .,1 the "system alarm" signal 10 generated by radio frequency signal transmitter 33 is coded such that it is possible to recognize the unit il1~ntifi~ti-1n code number of the particular device 1 that is 1 " , ~", . I ~, . .g the signal. This allows for the correlation of the unit i.~ ; ri. .~ , . ", code number with the make, model, colour and owner of the vehicle for which the alarm has been activated. Receivers and decoders placed in police or security vehicles are 15 then able to receive the signal generated by transmitter 33 and identify the particular vehicle from which the signal is emanating. With the continuous 1"."~, . . :.~ . . .1~ of the signal during an alarm state, police or security personnel can proceed toward the vehicle by driving in a direction wherein the signal strength increases. In other cases, where multiple police or security personnel are involved, 1 l; ~ methods may 20 be used to located the vehicle. To stop the continuous tone generated by beeper 6 ~174~8~
in an alarm situation, the operator can disconnect battery 41 from the tone generator through operation of a switch 42.
In a further ~mho~1im~nt of beeper 6 a liquid crystal display 43 is provided that, in conjunction with a decoder, can provide a visual display ~ lldil~ to the radio frequency ~ " ,i~;. " ,~ picked up by receiver 36. Signals generated from transmitter 33 can thus be decoded and visually depicted on the LCD display to identify the status of various vehicle systems. For example, liquid crystal display 43 on beeper 6 could indicate whether the vehicle engine is rrmning, whether the heating or cooling system is on, whether the doors are locked, whether the lights are on, etc. In yet a further rmho~iimrnt tone generator 40 could be replaced with a synthesized humanvoice module that could provide a verbal, . ."l i,, . ,-~ ,. ", of the status of the various vehicle systems as their status is changed through the operation of device 1.
Similarly, in the preferred ~",l~o~ device I also includes a speaker 38 to announce system status commands within the vehicle. These commands may be by way of tones or ~y~ d speech.
Beeper 6 also contains an ultrasound receiver 37, and beeper control module 3 contains an ultrasoumd transmitter 34. Ultrasound transmitter 34 and ultrasound receiver 37 provide a means to s~llt~lm61ti~11y arm alarm means 16 when the operator leaves the vehicle. Ultrasound transmitter 34 ~ ly transmits an ultrasonic 2~7448~
pulse signal having a frequency of d~ u~ llaL~ly 40 KHz. The range of this signal is limited to ~ ,u~u~ ..t~,ly 2 meters from the vehicle. When beeper 6 is brought within d,ulJlu~ l.,t~,ly 2 meters of the vehicle, ultrasound receiver 37 will receive ultrasonic l"..,~",;~ from transmitter 34. However, when beeper 6 is moved 5 beyond this alJ~Iu~ illlaL~ 2 meter range, ultrasonic receiver 37 fails to receive the ultrasonic signal generated by transmitter 34. When this ultrasonic signal is no longer received by receiver 34 a furtber radio frequency transmitter 29, also located within beeper 6, is activated. Transmitter 29 generates a first radio frequency signal, designated an "arm" signal, that is picked up by a radio frequency receiver 31 located 10 in beeper control module 3. This signal is then sent from receiver 31 to Illh~lU~)I UC~,."ul control 9, resulting in the arming of alarm means 16 and the locking of door locks 27. Accordingly, it will be appreciated that this structure will serve as a means to ~lltom6ltir~lly arm alarm means 16 and lock the vehicle's doors when the operator leaves the vehicle and moves more than a~ Iwdllla~ly 2 meters from it.
Similarly, when beeper 6 is brought within a~lwdlll~'~,ly 2 meters of the vehicle, ultrasonic receiver 37 will pick up the ultrasonic signal generated by transmitter 34, causing radio frequency transmitter 29 to send a second or "disarm" radio frequency signal to beeper control module 3. As a security feature this signal is specially coded 20 to prevent amyone from scanning the command being sent. The second or "dis-arm"
signal is capb~red by radio frequency receiver 31 and delivered to Illi~,lU~)lV~ WI
~ 2174482 control 9, thereby resulting in the disarming of alarm means 16 and the unlocking of door locks 27. That is, beeper 6 will also serve as a means to All~ y disarm alarm means 16 and unlock the vehicle's doors when an operator approaches to within d~lu~ ,ly two meters of the vehicle. In the preferred ~",l,o.~ a 5 manual over-ride switch 44 is ill~Ul~ into beeper 6 to deactivate the ultrasonic control system.
As an alternate or additional means to help locate the position of a stolen vehicle, Illi~lU,UlU~DDUl control 9 can include an input jack 53 for connecting to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver 54 and a cellular telephone 55. GPS receiver 54 can be used to transmit a locating position signal to Illi~lU~IU~ DDUI control 9, which in turn can transmit that signal to the operator or to authorities via cellular telephone 55. In an alternate r:l . .1 .ol1;. ". GPS receiver 54 can be an integrated receiver built directly into main housing unit 2. Rather than using a complete cellular telephone 15 55, a cellular telephone transmitter, also integrated and built directly into main housing unit 2, could be utilized.
A further ~.,.lloll;.,-- .~ of the invention is ,U~AU~ UIaIIY useful in the case of a car jacking. Once the vehicle has been started ultrasonic transmitter 34 continues to 20 transmit an ultrasonic signal, however at an interval of one pulse al)~ulu~silllal~ly every two minutes. This will allow Illl~lU~JIUC~DDUI control 9 to periodically verify the ~ 21744~2 presence of beeper 6. If the engine continues to run and beeper control module 3 does not receive a periodic second or "dis-arm" radio frequency signal from transmitter 29 (uull~,alJulldillg to the periodic l~,."~ . of the ultrasonic signal by ultrasonic transmitter 34) alarrn means 16 ~vill be activated. Alarm means 16 will 5 also be activated in the event that the vehicle engine has been turned off and beeper control module 3 fails to receive the second radio frequency signal from transmitter 29 within two minutes, while the security system remains in the dis-arm mode.
While methods of arming and dis-arming alarm means 16 through the use of photo 10 transmitter 5 and beeper 6 have been described, it should be noted that arming alarm means 16 through the use of a numerical pager signal will prevent disarming through use of either photo transmitter 5 or beeper 6. That is, when alarm means 16 is armed through receipt of a proper numerical pager code by UIJIU~,C~ ,Ul 9, the vehicle security system is placed in a "priority armed" mode that cannot be overridden by 15 either photo transmitter 5 or beeper 6. If either the photo transmitter or beeper are stolen or lost, the operator v~ill be able to arm alarm means 16 tbrough a pager signal without fear of the lost or stolen devices later being used to giun uuob,uu~,t~ l access to the vehicle. In addition, if alarm means 16 is activated remotely after the vehicle has been stolen, the thief will be unable to use either the photo transmitter or beeper 20 to deactivate the alarm, or for that matter, to unlock locked doors.
~ 21~82 It is to be understood that what has been described are the preferred c~lb~dil~ t~ of the irlventiorl and that it is possible to make variations to these emho~imrntc while staying witbin the broad scope of the invention. Some of these variations have been discussed while others will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. For 5 example, while device I has been described for use in association with a vehicle having an internal c~mhllcti~-n engine, it will be ~ ' that such vehicles could irlclude cars, trucks, heavy equipment machinery, airplanes and boats. It will also be ' that the internal ~-~ mhlleti~-n engine may be powered by gasoline, diesel or other forms of fuel.