How are DTMF Tones Generated? Basic Principle and use of DTMF in Communication

What is DTMF (Dual Tone Multi Frequency)? DTMF is a common communication term for touch tone phones. The tones formed when dialing on the keypad (DTMF digits or DTMF number) on the phone can be used to characterize the digits, and some different tone is used for each digit. DTMF signaling is mainly used in DTMF phones, telephone switching system.

Yet, there is always a possibility that a random sound will be on the similar frequency which will trip up the DTMF sounds system. It was recommended that if two tones were used to represent a digit, the probability of a false signal happening is ruled out, thus the name ‘Dual Tone’. This is the basis of using dual tone in DTMF communication. DTMF dialing uses a keypad with 12 or 16 buttons. Each key pressed on the keypad generates two tones of particular frequencies, so a voice or a random signal cannot mimic DTMF signaling tones. One tone is generated from a High DTMF frequency group of tones and the other from Low DTMF frequency group.

• When a button is pressed, both the row and column tones are generated by the telephone or touch tone instrument.
• These two tones will be distinctive and different from tones of other keys. So there is a low and high frequency associated with a button, it is essentially the sum of two waves is transmitted.
• This elementary principle can be extended to a range of applications.

Row and Column Frequency Correspondence

The frequencies generated on pressing different phone keys are shown in the table

 DTNF Frequency
1209

1336

1447

697

1

2

3

770

4

5

6

852

7

8

9

941

*

0

#

Each row and column of the keypad corresponds to a certain tone and creates a specific frequency. Each button lies at the intersection of the two tones.

DTMF Frequencies generated on Key press

The frequencies generated on pressing different phone keys are shown in the Table.

 Button Low DTMF frequency (Hz) High DTMF frequency (Hz) 1 697 1209 2 697 1336 3 697 1477 4 770 1209 5 770 1336 6 770 1477 7 852 1209 8 852 1336 9 852 1477 0 941 1336 * 941 1209 # 941 1477

DTMF signals can be transmitted over a radio to switch ON or switch OFF home appliances, flash lights, motors, cameras, warning systems, irrigation systems and so on. These encoded data can be stored and processed in a microcontroller to perform different tasks.

5 thoughts on “How are DTMF Tones Generated? Basic Principle and use of DTMF in Communication”

1. surya says:

informative

2. keneth says:

Signal is recived in what form from the revicer

3. raam says:

Sir I study in eee last year so I make a project .its name is publi addressing system using power line I had used DTMF in this circuit. Then how DTMF is works in this circuit

4. Amehta says:

I can’t generate DTMF tones using android phone… Than what is a method to generate a DTMF tone!!??
I also use one app for generating tones but it won’t give me proper output ..is it required to use telephone ???

5. izhar ulhaq says:

I can’t generate DTMF tones using android phone… Than what is a method to generate a DTMF tone!!??
I also use one app for generating tones but it won’t give me proper output ..is it required to use telephone ???

and some of simple phone not working