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Author Topic: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets  (Read 77292 times)

randycw

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2014, 10:16:03 am »

...yes a Gizmo "push" would be terrific as I could then do the other simple things like push one stream (even a radio stream) to all stations!  Keep us updated on this!

I am a bit late on the update here, and I think I noticed you have posted on the thread regarding it anyway, but just in case:

The app is called Eos, and there is a thread started in the 3rd party forum.  I have really grown to appreciate the user interface and the features it has, like the zone linking.
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jmone

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2014, 07:47:49 pm »

I'll definitely give it a go when it is out.  

Also FYI, I'm still in contact with the "Wave" developers for the intercom dev and it is "almost" there but not quite there yet for use IMO.
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Mysticeti

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #52 on: June 26, 2014, 06:53:31 pm »

Again, thank you for your help and this thread.  This has proven quite helpful to me and what I am doing in my home.

I now have 4 Nexus 7 tablets controlling the audio and video throughout out house/property.  These tablets have replaced Russound keypads.  I used the Cat5 that was there for the Russound to do PoE to a Qi charger, so the tablets are able to charge while on the wall.  (Your magnet idea works perfect)  Also the tap2wake feature is excellent!

The tablets control MC19.  MC19 distributes the audio to "zones" on the multichannel amps, the amps to in-wall speakers.  This just works great.

The tablets basically stay on the walls for audio control.  The kids pop them off the wall when they want MC19 to stream video to the tablet.

I'll be watching for posts from you for the progress on this front.  If this works out it will be another "must have" feature for me to implement.

Hi Randy,

I was hoping you could share what you're using for multichannel amps and how well your setup works for playing the same source in two adjacent rooms/zones?  Does the music stay synced?

Thanks!
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jmone

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #53 on: June 27, 2014, 12:22:52 am »

I'm pretty sure that Randy is using a single amp to drive the speakers in each of his zones, and if that is the case it would be perfectly in sync (and he uses the Tablets to control the zones).  The sync issue arise when using different renderers for each zone.  MC's Zone Link has the option to adjust sync and while it works well with devices that have a consistent difference in sync, there is no getting around the issue with DLNA devices that can be a whole track off, or the sync gap is different every time!
 
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glynor

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #54 on: June 27, 2014, 02:13:33 am »

Not for nothing, but:
http://www.crestron.com/resources/product_and_programming_resources/catalogs_and_brochures/online_catalog/default.asp?jump=1&model=CRESTRON-APP

Quote
Rava SIP Intercom Technology enables hands-free wireless communication with other Rava-enabled touch screens, door stations, and mobile devices throughout a residence or workplace. Whether you're on premises or away, you can use your iPhone to greet visitors at the front door, intercom with the kids in the game room, or send a page announcement to every room. Rava keeps you in touch, even when you're far from home, allowing individuals to speak to you right from a Crestron touch screen at the press of a button.
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connersw

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #55 on: July 06, 2014, 03:39:47 pm »

The normal use is just in the Inbuilt speaker (which is fine) but we have also used it with a Bluetooth Dock and Headphone Out.

Thought of you when I saw these:  http://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Bluetooth-Adjustable-Brigtness-Bluetooth-enabled/dp/B00GFLC2F4/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1404623322&sr=8-7&keywords=musiclites

I'm sure sound quality is far from fidelity, but might work for a bathroom to get music in the shower.  Better than playing just from the tablet I would think.
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jmone

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #56 on: July 09, 2014, 01:35:45 am »

Interesting device!
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jmone

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #57 on: August 10, 2014, 01:32:35 am »

New version of the Wave intercom app is up and it is working pretty well.
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JimH

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #58 on: August 10, 2014, 07:12:27 am »

New version of the Wave intercom app is up and it is working pretty well.
You'd better get this all working before your kids are grown and on their own.
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jmone

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #59 on: August 10, 2014, 04:09:43 pm »

You speak more truth than you know!
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unclfuzzy

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #60 on: March 31, 2015, 06:41:07 am »

I've read through this thread a couple of times and am very intrigued. I would love to replace the M&S intercom in my house with tablets.  So how is it going a year in?  Are you happy with it? What software are you running now (home tablet, room tablets, PC)? Can a stranger walk in and use it without a training session?

One thing I missed reading through the whole thread twice is how are you putting the 12V on the old intercom wires?  I assume it was originally coming from the intercom "master" that you took out of the kitchen.

I'm not really interested in running a PC for this, but could if it would make things more user friendly and reliable. Though for my purposes I see these more as video intercoms and wall-mount home automation controls than streaming media devices. I do have a MiCasa Verde that I haven't done much with yet, a TabloTV, Sonos, and just ordered a Ring doorbell.  All of which I may eventually want to integrate. 
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jmone

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #61 on: April 01, 2015, 06:18:33 am »

I'm away for easter holidays and will post an update when I'm back (I'm putting in a SIP server for the Intercom).
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Hilton

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #62 on: April 01, 2015, 06:33:00 am »

Interesting. Which SIP server are you going to run? I used to run the free 3CX SIP server when I was using VoiP, I'm back to standard POTS now since I moved.
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unclfuzzy

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #63 on: April 01, 2015, 07:13:43 am »

The intercom system in my house uses 4-wire 22AWG.  For powering tablets, I was thinking I need something like this (distributed power supply to CCTV) at the head end: http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000TBHBSO and one of these (12V -> 5V converter) at each remote tablet: http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00A71CMDU

I'm not sure whether I will just wire the tablets or go with the Qi and magnets.  Not sure it's that important to be able to move them around.
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jmone

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #64 on: April 11, 2015, 10:31:23 pm »

I was using my existing Intercom Power supply (13.8v) with a step down transformer for each tablet but started having issues with it.  I've now replaced it with a Lab Power Supply like attached and can dial in 5v DC directly and it has plenty of current.  I did try one of those cage style power supplies (for lights) but it would not power the tablets.  The good thing about Lab Power Supplies is you can adjust the voltage so even with long runs you can get 5v to the tablets (just test with a Multimeter and adjust the power supply as needed).  Much Much better setup.  I use a bigger version as part of my Ghetto UPS. 
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jmone

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #65 on: April 11, 2015, 10:37:08 pm »

Interesting. Which SIP server are you going to run? I used to run the free 3CX SIP server when I was using VoiP, I'm back to standard POTS now since I moved.

We are in the process of getting the NESS IP Intercom Installed (SIP Based).  The advantage is the Front Door / Gate Stations have a trigger so you can Open / Close locks & open gates etc.  The downside is they are expensive and use dedicated HW that to me delivery only an "average" video pic.  They do have Android and iOS apps so I can use phones and tablets as the client (even over 3g/4g so you can see who is at the door and even let them it).  The jury is out on how good their SW is as the current Android client does not support Lollipop but an update is due out "soon".  Oddly, all these soln still don't have a simple "Page All" feature, so no pressing a button and calling "Dinner" like traditional systems.  As JimH pointed out, I've been waiting so long that my Kids are pretty well all grown up now.  :( or is the :) !
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jmone

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #66 on: April 11, 2015, 10:56:11 pm »

I've read through this thread a couple of times and am very intrigued. I would love to replace the M&S intercom in my house with tablets.  So how is it going a year in?  Are you happy with it? What software are you running now (home tablet, room tablets, PC)? Can a stranger walk in and use it without a training session?
The kids use the tablets to consume Video Content from MC using EOS/Gizmo, and also for Netflix etc as we had some friends over and their kids could use it without any training at all.  We really don't use them for an Intercom due to the lack of a decent app, but we will see how we go with the new NESS system once their up works with Lollipop (that these tablets run).

Quote
One thing I missed reading through the whole thread twice is how are you putting the 12V on the old intercom wires?  I assume it was originally coming from the intercom "master" that you took out of the kitchen.
I'm just using the "old" intercom wiring to run power from where the master was to each of the rooms.  Given to topology that they used to pull this wire I run two "circuits" on different pairs of wires to make the 5vdc available to 4 rooms (eg Red/Back is used by two rooms, and say White/Green for the other two rooms so I've split the current over 4 wires).

Quote
I'm not really interested in running a PC for this, but could if it would make things more user friendly and reliable. Though for my purposes I see these more as video intercoms and wall-mount home automation controls than streaming media devices. I do have a MiCasa Verde that I haven't done much with yet, a TabloTV, Sonos, and just ordered a Ring doorbell.  All of which I may eventually want to integrate. 
These tablets use WiFi for delivery of content and also the Intercom app and you get all the joys that come with WiFi.  I've now 4 Wireless AP's to give coverage in all areas of the House and Yard and use Wifi Roaming Fix to help with the handover to the strongest AP if they walk around (note: it does a drop/reconnect but at least you have the strongest signal at all time instead of the device hanging on to a weak signal).
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jmone

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #67 on: April 11, 2015, 11:02:27 pm »

So overall I'd give the project about a 7 / 10.
+ Looks Good (replaces the ugly old intercom system)
+ Reuses the existing holes in the wall and wiring
+ Good for Media Consumption as a remote for MC (including Video & Live FTA TV) and well as general Media Consumption
- Pretty ordinary (so far) as an "Intercom" due to lack of a good sw client
- I'm still to be fully satisfied with Whole House Audio as while the Airplay Soln pioneered by Hilton, I'm yet to find an Android App that will stay in sync.
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unclfuzzy

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #68 on: April 12, 2015, 06:50:49 am »

I bought the Ring doorbell and it works well enough for my purposes.  Already have Z-Wave deadbolts on the doors so that gives me the ability to let someone in remotely.  Of course, I don't have a nice clean interface to run all that from, but I'm taking baby steps. Now I just have to figure out what I want to do about the remote tablets and the huge hole in the kitchen wall where the M&S system is.

I assume you would end up with different voltages in every room based on the wire runs.  Do you use a separate power supply for each or do you just crank it to the point where they sort of average out close to 5V?  Another $150 per end-point is starting to move the price up a little high for me. 

I was originally looking at something like this for the power supply
http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000TBHBSO

and these to step down voltage at the end points:
http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00A71CMDU

That power supply is putting out 12V and 1amp on each output.  I know almost nothing about electricity (makes pretty sparks!). I expect the voltage to drop to 8-9V at the farthest runs.  Is there enough power left after stepping it down to 5V to trickle charge a tablet?  As long as it can keep up with power consumption it would be fine for me. I don't think I'll make the tablets removable, so needing to be recharged in a short time is not a concern.
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jmone

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Re: Build : Replacing an Traditional Home Intercom System with Tablets
« Reply #69 on: April 12, 2015, 04:17:01 pm »

The specs on the PS look fine to me but I thought so as well on the cage style one I purchsed but it did not have the grunt for my 4 tablets even though the specs were OK.

For the end points, I currently just have my Lab PS running at around 6volts and that gives me around 5volts at all ends (I don't think it is that critical), however you may want to have a look at using something like these Buck Converters to go from 12 to 5v at each end as they are adjustable.  Again, I've not used these exact models but I have used a similar one during my Ghetto Wireless Speaker build.  You may also find a more affordable Lab Power supply than the one I quoted and just have the one device.
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