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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Communication between off grid buildings
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paulz
Member
# Posted: 29 Jan 2020 23:27 - Edited by: paulz
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I'm setting up a workshop 150 ft. down the hill from the cabin. While I'm in the shop my disabled wife will be alone in the cabin. I would like to set up audio/visual communication between the two buildings. Ideally I would like to have a video screen in the shop that has a view inside the cabin in case she falls. Also if she could verbally be able to ask for help without having to crawl to her phone. She doesn't really need to keep tabs on me but it would be nice to be able to talk back to her if she speaks to me. The cabin is an open rectangle, 12x25, one camera should cover it. Both locations have 12vdc power but I only connect the shop battery for lights and radio. I could run a power wire down the hill from the cabin.

Baby monitor? I know nothing about cameras or audio.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 30 Jan 2020 20:55
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Baby monitor may work. The problem I see with them is usually the screens are very small so unless your constantly checking the screen you won't see much.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 30 Jan 2020 21:25
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Thanks Brettny. I've been researching baby monitors, they do have two way audio so that would be good. And yeah the screens are small. Other thing is the shop is 150 ft. away through dense trees, they are all wireless as far as I can tell so signal would have to get through the trees.

Seems like the best option so far.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 31 Jan 2020 00:48
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I have used radio transceivers around the ranch; ham radio bands, but the basic license is easy enough to get. No video though.

mj1angier
Member
# Posted: 31 Jan 2020 06:57
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How about something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/CasaCam-Wireless-Security-Touchscreen-Nightvision/dp/B07P84YG6 1?psc=1&SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=smacab-20&linkCode=xm2&camp= 2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07P84YG61

paulz
Member
# Posted: 31 Jan 2020 12:05
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Thanks, interesting. I thought about a security system but didn't know they had audio. Says you can 'see, hear and speak to people' from the monitor so I guess that means two way audio.

Nate R
Member
# Posted: 31 Jan 2020 13:25
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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G6YV6VL/

I bought this recently for our dogs, so we can see if and when they are barking while they are in crates when we're not home.
You can choose to hear audio when you turn on the video monitor app on your phone, AND you can decide to speak back with the push of a button. If you have wifi and/or internet, this may work well for you.

SE Ohio
Member
# Posted: 2 Feb 2020 11:30
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A low tech audio-only approach:

One can connect two analog land-line phones using a nine volt battery (!). Standard phone line has 4 lines in it, two can be used for phone the other two can connect a buzzer to "ring" each other. Should be able to find connection info online.

For a few dollars more, a similar approach can be taken with old Army field phones, built in ringer, only two wires needed and a D cell in each phone. I've found my field phones at swap meets for old electronics, they can be pricey on ebay.




SE Ohio

paulz
Member
# Posted: 3 Feb 2020 10:33
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Quoting: Nate R
I bought this recently for our dogs


Thanks Nate. Have internet and wifi at the cabin but I don't think the wifi will reach the new shop.

Quoting: SE Ohio
A low tech audio-only approach:


Ha, that's a neat idea, too bad I threw away about 10 old landline phones. I like the idea of running wire between the two buildings, maybe for more than just this project. I wonder if you could hook it up so the speaker and mic were on all the time? I want her to have the feeling she can yell for me anytime, and I can also check on her every so often.

Thanks guys.

CabinBuilder
Admin
# Posted: 4 Feb 2020 05:13
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Walkie-talkie?

paulz
Member
# Posted: 4 Feb 2020 09:48 - Edited by: paulz
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Yes, maybe. I was just reading that it's possible to connect two Android devices together without internet or cell service, something called peer to peer API I think, if within WIFI range of each other. Said up to 100 meters. Don't know about connecting via hard wire. We have several unused Kindle Fires, I think they have cameras and speakers, maybe microphones.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 4 Feb 2020 12:22
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Maybe a wifi range extender like thisone or this one.... the second is supposed to have greater distance but the first which is an access point seem to extend quite well by the reviews. We are looking at doing this at our cabin as it would give us phone service over most of our property I think.

Could help you with weak signal to the shop.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 4 Feb 2020 13:31
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My Netgear router with WIFI which is located in my cabin get's me good signal even in the powerhouse (75' away) even with all the solar gar & batteries plugging away in there. I can still get good signal at the end of my driveway @ 200' away, but not with everything, lappie yes, phone no.

Maybe you might want to look at an IOT device that uses Zigby which is a meshed system that gives quite long range and low power.


What is the range of Zigbee?
Transmission distances range from 10 to 100 meters, depending on power output and environmental characteristics. Sub GHz channels transmission ranges up to 1km. How does Zigbee compensate for possible interference in the 2.4GHz band? Zigbee products have access to 16 separate, 5MHz channels in the 2.4GHz band.

REF: https://zigbee.org/solution/zigbee/

bill_bly_ca
Member
# Posted: 5 Feb 2020 21:25
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"Deal Extreme", a Chinese jack of all product site, has a two-wire intercom for $26 cdn - Good to 200m

I use it between the house and workshop with RG6 coax I got on the cheap at Habitat.

https://www.dx.com/p/home-office-wired-intercom-telephone-system-with-wall-mount-2-pa ck-2005971.html

paulz
Member
# Posted: 6 Feb 2020 08:42
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Hmm interesting, thanks. Yesterday I tried wifi from both my phone and a Kindle down at the new shop, neither would connect to the router at the cabin. Maybe an extender. Also found enough old phone wire I could string between the two buildings.

Not sure which way to go..

paulz
Member
# Posted: 10 Feb 2020 14:29
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Update: Scored this baby monitor from a neighbor. It's very basic, no video but it has two way audio and may work out. Been testing at my house in the ghetto. With the baby unit in the house I can hear what's going on via the parent unit, which I have walked 3-4 houses down the street with and is still linked up, supposed to go 100 meters in the clear. My wife can just start talking, I have to press the mic button to talk back. Nice part is it's about the size of a cell phone, easy to carry in my pocket. Rechargeable battery too. The baby unit takes external 6vdc, easy enough in the cabin.

Out to the property tomorrow for further testing.
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hueyjazz
Member
# Posted: 11 Feb 2020 11:52
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Being I've always had a passion for WWII history and I collect military rifles of that vintage

I plan to use a couple of WWII EE-8 field phones between cabin and pole barn.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 11 Feb 2020 20:45
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That will be neat!

So tried the baby monitor today, works great! Here's a pic from my not yet finished carport/shop and the cabin window up above. I can hear my wife endlessly harassing the dog in the cabin, and she can hear me perfectly when I hit the mic button. My unit fits in my shirt pocket and weighs nothing so it's always with me when stumbling around the yard. No real need for cameras and screens, looks like we're set.

Thanks for all the ideas guys!
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0211201625_HDR.jpg


sparky30_06
Member
# Posted: 12 Feb 2020 16:25
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Quoting: hueyjazz
WWII EE-8 field phones

those the ones that you crank and can shock the hell out of your friends?

hueyjazz
Member
# Posted: 12 Feb 2020 19:15
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Yup
As a kid my neighbor build a shock box from one. You would have someone crank it and hold wires to see if you could ring a bell that was inline with it.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 12 Feb 2020 20:38
Reply 


Paulz.... glad this is working out for you! Peace of mind that you can attend to your wife's needs if she needs you... great!

paulz
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2020 03:49
Reply 


Thanks Nobadays. I spent most of yesterday spreading gravel on my road and carried it in my pocket. Reception was excellent all the way to my gate and everywhere else I went. I cut the 6v AC adapter off the baby unit cord and wired it to a USB port in the cabin's battery system. Overheard my wife's daily call to her 92 year old mom, the TV going, the dog..I give her updates on my goings on, she likes that and also knowing that I'm OK too.

Just by shear luck this turned out to be best option I could have hoped for.

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