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DESCRIPTION JP2012002429

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DESCRIPTION JP2012002429
[Problem] Even when the acoustic coupling value suddenly changes due to an external factor
such as water on a remote control, the problem of call failure caused by acoustic failure such as
howling can be avoided, which is comfortable for the user It is an object of the present invention
to provide a remote controller for a water heater equipped with a convenient hands-free calling
function. SOLUTION: Warning information is displayed to alert the user about the use of handsfree calling when an acoustic coupling value G indicating the degree of sound wraparound from
the speakers 2e and 3e to the microphones 2f and 3f is out of a predetermined range. [Selected
figure] Figure 1
Water heater remote control
[0001]
The present invention relates to a water heater remote control for remotely controlling the
operation of a water heater, and more particularly to a remote control installed on a wall surface
of a kitchen or a bathroom.
[0002]
A remote controller for a water heater, which remotely controls a water heater for supplying
water to a bath tub or a hot water supply tap, is installed on a wall surface in a bathroom in
addition to a room such as a kitchen.
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2. Description of the Related Art In recent years, there are devices that have a function of
performing hands-free communication between a kitchen remote controller installed in a kitchen
or the like and a bathroom remote controller installed in a bathroom. In a remote controller for a
water heater having such a function, the distance between the speaker and the microphone, the
volume of sound output from the speaker, and the like to avoid problems (sound failure) such as
acoustic echo or howling caused by acoustic coupling in each remote control. Or it corresponds
by adjusting the sensitivity of the microphone.
[0003]
In addition, in a speech communication system for performing hands-free communication, it has
also been proposed to use a technique such as an echo canceler in order to prevent the abovementioned acoustic failure. However, the echo canceler requires time to optimize the adaptive
filter, and howling may occur at the start of a call. In order to avoid such a problem, for example,
in the loudspeaker communication device disclosed in Patent Document 1, the acoustic coupling
value immediately after the start of the call is improved by learning the adaptive filter using the
ringing tone before the start of the call. Suggestions are made.
[0004]
Patent No. 4367143
[0005]
By the way, in a remote controller for a water heater, which is often arranged in a place
susceptible to the influence of water such as a bathroom, an acoustic coupling value indicating
the degree of sound wrap around from the speaker to the microphone by water droplets etc.
attached to the remote control. The value may differ significantly from the value during normal
call.
Therefore, in the remote controller for water heater, even if the method of Patent Document 1 is
used, as described above, the acoustic coupling value is largely different from the value at the
time of normal call, or the echo canceler is used. If the variation range of the acoustic coupling
value exceeds the adjustment range of the echo canceller, acoustic defects such as howling may
occur at the start of a call. When such an acoustic defect occurs, the user can not understand the
cause of the normal call and the measures for improvement, and can perform the hands-free call
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satisfactorily until it returns to the normal state by drying etc. There was a problem that it was
impossible.
[0006]
The present invention has been made to solve the above-described problems, and even when the
acoustic coupling value suddenly changes due to an external factor such as water on the remote
control, it is caused by acoustic defects such as howling It is an object of the present invention to
provide a remote controller for a water heater having a comfortable hands-free calling function,
which can avoid the problem of poor calling.
[0007]
A remote controller for a water heater according to the present invention includes a speaker for
converting an electric signal to sound and outputs the same, and a microphone for converting a
sound to an electric signal, and performs hands-free communication with another water heater
remote control A remote controller for a water heater having a function, wherein acoustic
coupling value acquiring means for acquiring an acoustic coupling value indicating a degree of
sound wrap around from the speaker to the microphone, and an acoustic coupling value acquired
by the acoustic coupling value acquiring means are predetermined And notification means for
notifying the user of caution information relating to the use of the hands-free call when the
upper limit value or the predetermined lower limit value is exceeded.
[0008]
According to the present invention, even when the acoustic coupling value suddenly changes due
to an external factor such as water on the remote control, it is possible to avoid the problem of
call failure caused by acoustic failure such as howling, etc. It is possible to provide the user with
a remote controller for a water heater equipped with a comfortable hands-free calling function.
[0009]
It is a control block diagram which shows the connection relation of a bathroom remote control
and a kitchen remote control which are remote control for water heaters in Embodiment 1 of this
invention, a bathroom remote control and a kitchen remote control, and a water heater main
body.
It is the figure which looked at the bathroom remote control in Embodiment 1 of this invention
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from the front.
It is a figure which shows operation | movement of the bathroom remote control in Embodiment
1 of this invention.
It is a figure which shows an example of the content displayed on a display part based on the
comparison result with the acoustic coupling value G calculated by the determination part, and
the predetermined range of the acoustic coupling value G hold | maintained at the memory |
storage part. It is the flowchart which showed the flow of the control processing in Embodiment
1 of this invention.
[0010]
Embodiment 1 FIG. 1 is a control block diagram showing a configuration of a bathroom remote
control 2 and a kitchen remote control 3 which are remote controls for a water heater according
to Embodiment 1 of the present invention, and a connection relationship between the bathroom
remote control 2 and the kitchen remote control 3 and a water heater main body 1 It is.
[0011]
As shown in FIG. 1, a bathroom remote control 2 and a kitchen remote control 3 are electrically
connected to the water heater main body 1. The bathroom remote control 2 is installed on the
wall of the bathroom and instructs setting of a hot water supply temperature, a bath hot water
supply function, and the like. The kitchen remote controller 3 is installed on a wall surface of a
kitchen or the like, and instructs the operation of the entire hot water supply function such as
start and stop of operation of the water heater.
[0012]
The water heater main body 1 includes a power supply unit 1c, a communication circuit 1b that
converts communication signals between the bathroom remote control 2 and the kitchen remote
control 3, and a control unit 1a that analyzes communication signals and controls transmission
and reception functions. ing.
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[0013]
The bathroom remote controller 2 includes a power supply unit 2c, a communication circuit 2b, a
display unit 2d, a storage unit 2m, a speaker 2e, a microphone 2f, a determination unit 2g, a
sound source unit 2h, a reception switch 2i, a transmission switch 2j, an operation unit 2k, And a
bathroom remote control unit 2a.
The communication circuit 2 b is a circuit that converts communication signals with the water
heater main body 1 and the kitchen remote controller 3. The display unit 2 d is an element that
displays character information, a hot water supply temperature, and the like. The speaker 2e
converts an electrical signal such as a guidance sound, a ringing sound, and a reception voice of a
handsfree call into a sound and outputs the sound. The microphone 2 f is for picking up sounds
around the bathroom remote control 2 such as transmission voice of hands-free calling and
converting it to an electric signal. The determination unit 2g is an element that calculates the
acoustic coupling value G by comparing the electrical signal of the sound output from the
speaker 2e with the electrical signal of the sound input to the microphone 2f. The acoustic
coupling value G mentioned here is an index value indicating the degree of sound wrap around
(sound coupling) from the speaker 2e to the microphone 2f. The sound source unit 2 h is an
element that generates an electrical signal of a sound other than a call voice such as a guidance
sound or a ringing tone. The reception switch 2i is a switch for turning on / off a reception voice,
and the transmission switch 2j is a switch for turning on / off a transmission signal. The
operation unit 2k is an element for setting switching of the hot water supply function such as the
hot water supply temperature. The storage unit 2m is an element that holds data such as a
predetermined range of the acoustic coupling value G for determining whether the acoustic
coupling value G is normal or abnormal. The bathroom remote control unit 2a processes the
signals from the operation unit 2k, the determination unit 2g, and the communication circuit 2b,
and controls the display unit 2d, the reception switch 2i, and the transmission switch 2j.
[0014]
The kitchen remote controller 3 includes a power supply unit 3c, a communication circuit 3b, a
display unit 3d, a storage unit 3m, a speaker 3e, a microphone 3f, a determination unit 3g, a
sound source unit 3h, a reception switch 3i, a transmission switch 3j, an operation unit 3k, and a
kitchen The remote control unit 3a is provided. The configuration of each component of the
kitchen remote controller 3 is basically the same as the configuration of each component of the
bathroom remote controller 2, and thus the detailed description is omitted here. However, the
communication circuit 3 b is a circuit that converts communication signals between the water
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heater main body 1 and the bathroom remote controller 2.
[0015]
FIG. 2 is a front view of the bathroom remote control 2 according to the first embodiment of the
present invention. As shown in FIG. 2, on the front of the bathroom remote controller 2, the
display unit 2d, the speaker 2e, the microphone 2f, and the operation unit 2k described above
are arranged.
[0016]
FIG. 3 is a diagram showing an operation of the bathroom remote control 2 according to the first
embodiment of the present invention. The bathroom remote controller 2 having the
configuration described above can make hands-free calls with the kitchen remote controller 3
using the speaker 2e and the microphone 2f. At the time of execution of the hands free call,
sound wraparound (acoustic coupling) occurs from the speaker 2e to the microphone 2f. In the
present embodiment, the determination unit 2g of the bathroom remote control 2 generates an
electrical signal of a ringing tone output from the sound source unit 2h at the start of handsfree
calling, and the ringing tone after being converted into the microphone 2f. The acoustic coupling
value G is calculated by comparing with the electrical signal.
[0017]
The bathroom remote control unit 2a compares the acoustic coupling value G calculated by the
determination unit 2g with the predetermined range of the acoustic coupling value G stored in
the storage unit 2m. Then, when the acoustic coupling value G is within the above predetermined
range, the bathroom remote control unit 2a determines that there is no problem in the call, and
controls the reception switch 2i and the transmission switch 2j to start the call. The control is
made to be possible, and the display unit 2d is displayed to indicate that a call is in progress.
[0018]
In addition, when the acoustic coupling value G is a value out of the predetermined range, the
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bathroom remote control unit 2a notifies the user of the caution information that warns about
the use of the handsfree call. More specifically, when the acoustic coupling value G is larger than
the predetermined range, the bathroom remote control unit 2a determines that acoustic defects
such as howling may occur, and the reception switch 2i and the transmission switch The control
unit 2j controls 2j to stop the call, and displays that the call can not be made on the display unit
2d together with the possible cause of the sound defect and the countermeasure as the caution
information. On the other hand, if the acoustic coupling value G is smaller than the abovementioned predetermined range, the bathroom remote control unit 2a controls the reception
switch 2i and the transmission switch 2j to make it possible to start a call and confirm the state
on the display 2d. Make a display asking for
[0019]
FIG. 4 shows an example of the content displayed on the display unit 2 d based on the
comparison result of the acoustic coupling value G calculated by the determination unit 2 g and
the predetermined range of the acoustic coupling value G stored in the storage unit 2 m. FIG. As
shown in FIG. 4, when the acoustic coupling value G is within the above-mentioned
predetermined range and there is no trouble in the call, the bathroom remote control unit 2a
determines that the hands-free call function is in a normal state, and the reception switch 2i, the
transmission switch 2j is controlled to make it possible to start a call, and the display unit 2d
displays "in a call".
[0020]
When the acoustic coupling value G is larger than the predetermined range and a problem such
as howling occurs when a call is made, the bathroom remote control unit 2a determines that the
handsfree call function is in an abnormal state, The receiver switch 2i and the transmitter switch
2j are controlled so as not to start the call, and the display unit 2d can not start the call. Is water
on the remote control? Please wipe off if it is hanging water. And so on.
[0021]
Furthermore, if the acoustic coupling value G is smaller than the predetermined range, the
bathroom remote control unit 2a determines that the hands-free call function is in an abnormal
state, and controls the reception switch 2i and the transmission switch 2j to make a call. While in
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a state where it can be started, "in a call" on the display unit 2d. If the sound is small, check that
there is no water in the speakers or microphone. And so on. Although control for the bathroom
remote control 2 has been described with reference to FIGS. 2 to 4, this control can be applied to
the kitchen remote control 3 as well.
[0022]
FIG. 5 is a flow chart showing the flow of control processing in the first embodiment of the
present invention. In addition, although the control processing which makes the bathroom
remote control 2 object is demonstrated here, this control processing is applicable to the kitchen
remote control 3 similarly.
[0023]
In step S1, a ringing tone is generated in the sound source unit 2h.
[0024]
In step S2, the electrical signal of the ringing tone generated by the sound source unit 2h is
detected as the reception side signal level by the determination unit 2g.
[0025]
In step S3, the electric signal after the ringing sound generated by the speaker 2e turns into the
microphone 2f and is converted again is detected as the transmission side signal level in the
determination unit 2g.
[0026]
In step S4, the acoustic coupling value G is calculated by the determination unit 2g based on the
reception side signal level and the transmission side signal level.
Specifically, the acoustic coupling value G is calculated as a larger value as the degree of the
sound wrap around (sound coupling) from the speaker 2e to the microphone 2f is higher.
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[0027]
In step S5, the determination unit 2g compares the acoustic coupling value G with the
predetermined range of the acoustic coupling value G stored in the storage unit 2m.
As a result, when it is determined that the calculated acoustic coupling value G is within the
predetermined range, it is determined that there is no trouble in the call.
In this case, in step S6, the receiver switch 2i and the transmitter switch 2j are controlled to be in
a state where the call can be started.
[0028]
If the calculated acoustic coupling value G is out of the predetermined range, it is determined in
step S7 whether the acoustic coupling value G is smaller than the predetermined range. As a
result, when it is determined that the acoustic coupling value G is smaller than the abovementioned predetermined range, caution information (for example, a diagram showing the
possibility that the ringing sound from the speaker 2e is small or the sensitivity of the
microphone 2f is reduced) 4) is displayed on the display unit 2d. In this case, control is passed to
step S6, and control is made to start a call.
[0029]
On the other hand, when it is determined that the acoustic coupling value G is larger than the
predetermined range, the caution information (for example, the display shown in FIG. 4)
indicating the cause assumed to be the cause of the increase in the acoustic coupling value G
Attention information (for example, the display shown in FIG. 4) indicating a countermeasure
against the cause is displayed on the display unit 2d. In this case, in step S10, in order to avoid
problems such as howling, control is performed so as not to shift to the call state.
[0030]
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The place where the remote controller for the hot water heater is arranged is a place where it is
easy to catch water like the bathroom where the bathroom remote control 2 is arranged and the
kitchen where the kitchen remote control 3 is arranged. According to the control of the remote
controller for the water heater of the present embodiment described above, when the acoustic
coupling value G deviates from the predetermined range, the alert information for notifying the
user about the use of the hands-free call is notified. In particular, when the acoustic coupling
value G is larger than the predetermined range, together with the cause assumed to be the cause
of the increase in the acoustic coupling value G, the countermeasure is displayed on the display
unit 2d (or 3d) as the caution information. Be done. As a result, even when the acoustic coupling
value G suddenly changes due to an external factor such as water on the bathroom remote
control 2 etc., the user can be alerted and restored to a normal state. Become. For this reason, it
is possible to avoid the problem of the call failure caused by the acoustic failure such as the
howling phenomenon, and it is possible to provide the user with a remote controller for a water
heater equipped with a comfortable hands-free call function.
[0031]
In the first embodiment described above, when the acoustic coupling value G deviates from the
predetermined range, the warning information is notified only by the character display on the
display unit 2d (or 3d). However, notification of such caution information may be performed
using voice guidance instead of or in addition to the character display on the display unit 2d (or
3d).
[0032]
In addition, the predetermined range of the acoustic coupling value G may be an initial setting
value stored in advance in the storage unit 2 m (3 m), or is acquired by a learning result based on
the acoustic coupling value G during normal call It may be a value. Also, in order to improve the
acoustic coupling value G, an echo canceller may be used in combination.
[0033]
Also, when the acoustic coupling value G does not start the call under a condition larger than the
predetermined range, the call signal may be stopped on both the transmitter side and the
receiver side, or may be stopped on only one side. good. Further, the switching between the start
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and the stop of the call may be performed by the control of the communication circuits 2b and
3b.
[0034]
Further, in the configuration shown in FIG. 1, the determination units (2g, 3g) are provided in
both the bathroom remote controller 2 and the kitchen remote controller 3, but may be provided
only in the bathroom remote controller 2. Further, the ringing tone used to determine the
acoustic coupling value G may be a tone configured at a specific frequency, or may be a melody
having a plurality of frequency components or a guidance voice. In addition, the determination
units 2g and 3g may perform the determination using an acoustic coupling value G by a call
voice during a call. Furthermore, the comparison of the acoustic coupling value G may be
performed using only the upper limit value or the lower limit value of the predetermined range.
[0035]
Reference Signs List 1 water heater main body 1a control unit 1b, 2b, 3b communication circuit
1c, 2c, 3c power supply unit 2 bathroom remote control 2a bathroom remote control unit 2d, 3d
display unit 2e, 3e speaker 2f, 3f microphone 2g, 3g determination unit 2h, 3h Sound source unit
2i, 3i Reception switch 2j, 3j Talk switch 2k, 3k Operation unit 2m, 3m Storage unit 3 Kitchen
remote control 3a Kitchen remote control unit
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