Walkie Talkie with Baby Monitor (iVox) feature?

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Old 08-26-14, 08:06 AM
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Walkie Talkie with Baby Monitor (iVox) feature?

Need some advice here.

I'm thinking about picking up a set of walkie talkies mainly for use as a "baby monitor" or "iVox" hands free feature.

It's not actually for monitoring a baby, but I wanted to put one in my car and keep the other one either with me if I'm out somewhere, or at home. I'm usually parked less than less 2,000 feet away from my car not a lot of obstruction (no tall buildings or anything as I'm out in the rural small town).

The reason I'm looking into this option is because I've been trying to figure out a way to have my car alarm notify me when it is triggered. Since most car alarms don't have the technology to notify the owner the moment it's been set off, we can't ever respond ASAP to it, usually just many hours after the incident has occurred.

And if you think about it, one could look at a car as like a baby. When someone molests it, it cries and shouts. Why shouldn't owners be alerted immediately that your car is in trouble just like a baby when he/she is crying and in need of attention?

So anyways, my questions are:

a) I'm looking for one that has the longest battery life. I saw most of them seem to run on LiPo batteries or even 3 AAAs, but they last only about 8 to 9 hours. I don't even know if that is even for standby or how long would the battery last if it was on iVox/hands free/baby monitor mode? I'd imagine that uses more power than simply being in standby waiting to be contacted by the other walkie talkie. Since it has to listen for noise and then when noise is detected, it transmits over to my walkie talkie, I'd imagine that takes up more battery power than if it were just on standby mode. So, I'm hoping to find one that has a really long battery life (12 hours +).

b) obviously one that has the best iVox/baby monitor/hands free feature where it can pick up noise sensitivity best and transmit to my set inside my home or wherever I am. I don't care much for other features on it really as I said this is going to be used to just ALERT ME when my car alarm goes off.

c) since one will be in the car at all times, during the hot summers and cold winters outdoors, it can get pretty hot and cold inside the car. So it should also be one that is rugged or sturdy enough to bear the extreme temperature ranges.

Please advise or send some recommendations/links. I'd appreciate that a lot thanks. I've already been looking at the Motorola ones...they have a whole bunch that seem to have that iVox/baby monitor function but not sure really which one is the best quality?
 
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Old 08-26-14, 08:25 AM
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The one in the car could be run from the car battery. The one used with you could be used with an adapter when you are near a receptacle.
 
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Old 08-26-14, 08:31 AM
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Oh? I did not know they can run while being plugged into an external power source. All walkie talkies or just some makes and models?

Can you recommend any good ones with the baby monitor feature? Thanks.
 
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Old 08-26-14, 08:57 AM
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Check out a few models on the internet. I'm sure some have a 12 VDC charging optional base or plug in.
 
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Old 08-26-14, 10:11 AM
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Or use a wood block as a substitute for the batteries. You cut the block or dowel to match the shape and size of the batteries. At the two points where the radio picks up power from the batteries you put a pan head screw with a wire under it. The wires run to a DC wall wart of the correct amps and voltage.
 
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Old 08-26-14, 01:55 PM
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Wall wart will not do much good for the one left in the car at all times.

I'm not a fan of anything which has the potential of jamming a frequency if something goes wrong. Granted the range is limited, but someone could use it to monitor a call for help from a neighbor and be blocked.

Baby monitors do tie up a frequency but that is allowed on that radio band. You are considering a different set of frequencies.

I'm pretty sure that some alarms will trigger a pager when they go off.

I just noticed that you are in Canada, so you need to check the Canadian version of the FCC for radio usage.
 
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Old 08-26-14, 02:35 PM
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Is this thread an extension of this: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/pa...ml#post2311437
 
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Old 08-26-14, 04:03 PM
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Wall wart will not do much good for the one left in the car at all times
In the car you would use a DC to DC converter.
 
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Old 08-26-14, 04:34 PM
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Hi Chandler, as I've continued to do more research looking into other options, it seems that sensors technology is not viable as it's not readily made for consumers. They are extremely rare and expensive for what I need it for. I guess I was asking for Star Trek-like technology with force fields, tractor beams, and long-range sensors all on a car!

So it just dawned on me a week or so ago that a baby monitor could be a good substitute for this "alert/notification" method. But then I thought, I don't actually want to carry around a baby monitor with me as that would look sort of weird. Then that led me to walkie talkies that have handsfree/iVox/baby monitor functions on them. Now we're getting somewhere as this is more feasible it seems to be a good notification set up.

Most car alarms do not come with a feature to notify you when the car alarm is triggered and the ones that apparently do have very bad customer service or reviews/feedback based on my research, so I'm staying away from those for now. I don't feel like switching out my car alarm and paying $500 for one of those. I think using a simple walkie talkie set up for under $100 bucks will do the trick.

I've just got to make sure the battery is long-lasting enough for me. I need it to last at least 12 hours without plugging it in and using the car battery (as I've stated in past posts that I do not drive long enough each day to fully recharge my battery so it's always on low charge + plus my car cams are already using the battery power although that will soon change as I've now got a portable battery that can power them but still waiting for the adapter plug to be mailed to me).
 
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Old 08-27-14, 04:55 PM
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I called Uniden and Motorola and both are harder to contact than the US Pentagon. They just give you the ring around and nobody calls back or picks up the phone ever.

Uniden though responded to my email in a seemingly uninterested tone with just the words, "Sorry we don't have." ?

Okkkkkk.

Is VOX the same thing as a baby monitor basically or are they different? I've seen some models actually have a display indicator that says BABY which means baby monitor mode but most don't have that, just VOX. Not sure if they are the same thing or if they operate differently?
 
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Old 08-27-14, 06:21 PM
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VOX = voice operated transmission.
 
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Old 08-27-14, 07:13 PM
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yes i know that VOX is voice operated meaning it's handsfree and u don't have to press a button to transmit. What I'm wondering is if that's EXACTLY the same thing as a baby monitor?

I'm assuming the baby monitor operates in the same way in that it's always ON listening for any sounds and if a sound is loud enough, will transmit it automatically to the other walkie talkie.

Do you know if VOX or the baby monitor feature on some walkies are constantly on draining battery power or if they can go on some sort of save mode or standby mode if no sound is detected for a while, then wake up as soon as a loud sound is detected?

I just want to make sure that using the VOX or baby monitor feature isn't going to drain the battery 5x times than the battery time advertised. I just don't know enough about these things to make a decision to purchase one or not.

Most batteries last about 8 hours they say for walkies...but not sure if that means 8 hours in total including standby or 8 hours of ACTIVE use?
 
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Old 08-28-14, 12:11 AM
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so when I asked Uniden via email if they had any baby monitor feature on their 2 way radios, why would they don't have it when most of their radios I checked on their website have VOX?

Isn't VOX basically the baby monitor feature on 2 way radios?
 
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Old 08-28-14, 02:38 AM
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Baby monitors are always on. You are "monitoring" the room. VOX will only kick in when noise is detected, and is not used in baby monitoring. At least not in the common sense. There may be high end monitors which use VOX, but the cost would be up there, too.
 
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Old 08-28-14, 03:46 AM
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I searched "smart phone car alarm" and was amazed at how many systems are out there.
 
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Old 08-28-14, 07:07 PM
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Chandler, so would that mean that baby monitors (not actual baby monitors, but I mean the baby monitor FEATURE IN some walkie talkies that have it) would use battery faster since it's always on monitoring the room vs VOX which will only kick in when noise is detected?


Rick, yes you are right. When it comes to smart phones, there's more options out there now as it's a new thing. The problem is, I don't have a smart phone, I don't need one really, and now I'd have to get a smart phone + data contract + this new car alarm system + their yearly subscription fee all just for the purpose of wanting remote access / alert notification of car alarm and surveillance. Even after all that, not entirely sure if I can get that to work here where I live. But you are right, there does seem to be quite a few options for smartphones. That's probably a last resort option for me at this point. A simple pager, or key fob beeper, or even walkie talkie will be cheaper, faster and better option. Also, most of these smart phone car alarms are for REMOTE STARTING / LOCKING / UNLOCKING / CAR ALARM....being able to do it from the push of a button from your smartphone, but not all of them have the "live alert notification / view status of car" sort of thing. Also many of the viper/python/other snake name brands have had some bad reviews and poor customer service ....if something doesn't work or goes wrong, you're on your own. Being that I don't live in NA right now, I highly doubt I'd get any help or support from them being in asia right now.

I think for buying a brand new car, and living back home where I know I'll settle long-term, the smartphone option will be the way to go and I'll have to research about that. Thanks.
 
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Old 08-31-14, 06:19 PM
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Anyone know which brand/model would have the best sensitivity for VOX?
Did lots of research and seems that the issue for many of them is ppl say they aren't sensitive
enough even on the highest sensitivity setting...you have to literally shout directly into the walkie talkie. I'm not planning on using a headset but would I be able to connect an external mic to make it work better at picking up noise?
 
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Old 08-31-14, 09:32 PM
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For example, what do you think of the BaoFeng UV-3R model for what I need? I saw the UV-5R models too but i think those are even more useless for me if the VOX is exactly the same as the UV-3R. I don't want to spend more money if it has other features and better features, but the same VOX feature. I'd only spend more if the VOX feature is actually better on the UV-5R than it is on UV-3R, but I'm guessing they are probably the same.

I saw that they have VOX and sensitivity levels 1 to 9, but not sure how well it works for transmitting something like a car alarm noise? Does it only recognize voice and block out other sounds or will it pick up something like a car alarm or anything loud and transmit it?

I don't know enough about 2 way radios to make decision. I feel that since I pretty much just need the VOX/baby monitor function, everything else on the 2 way radio to me is irrelevant. I won't be using it to do anything else other than to serve as a full-time noise monitor for me.

Could I make a better choice with another brand? Actual baby monitors are not good for me as they are too limited in range.

It seems that I have to use a 2-way radio for this even though I don't actually need any other function...so I'm paying just so that I can use the VOX/baby monitor function. That's why I hope to find the best possible one since that's all my money is banking on.
 
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Old 10-13-14, 07:55 AM
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I'm dying to know what kind of car this is for ??
 
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Old 10-13-14, 03:21 PM
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Don't ask.......oh well...its a 2013 Chevy Spark.
 
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Old 10-19-14, 08:01 AM
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update:

So I finally got my VOX accessory earpiece/external mic shipped to me. I was able to test it out using my theory.

IT WORKS.

I put the microphone and clipped it inside my engine bay (off to the side where it won't come in contact with anything) and slid the wire through the side door panel. Inside my car, I have plugged it into the jack of my radio. When I turn it on, it automatically says "VOX" so it's already ready to go. The other radio is turned on and i keep it with me. When i turn on the engine or even drive, the vox transmits the noise to my radio. So obviously I keep it turned off when im driving since I don't need it to transmit anything.

When I park the car, I turn the radios on in VOX mode and it picks up the car alarm noise. Anytime my car now makes an alarm noise, I can be notified ASAP wherever I am (in the house, in the mall, at work etc). It works brilliantly!

This is a simple and relatively cheap DIY car alarm alerter/notifier for those of you who do not have a car alarm that uses smart phone apps to alert you.

The only thing I'd recommend is to buy rechargeable AAs. The stock battery pack that comes in those radios are only about 700mah or 800mah. When fully charged, the units only last about 1 day on standby before the batteries die out. So I'm using 2400mah AA eneloop batteries and on a full charge, it lasts about 3-4 days on 24/7 standby.

So to answer my own question from the very beginning: YES, it does work and it works really well as an alternative to not wanting to buy a whole new car alarm system that can communicate with smartphone apps.

I know that most ppl on this forum are VERY helpful and try to help when they can, but for the others, looks like I proved you wrong and my theory was right. I told ya so :P

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Old 10-19-14, 08:34 AM
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Glad it worked out. I don't know where anyone said it WOULDN'T work, maybe I missed it. It does get kind of confusing when you use terms like baby monitor and VOX interchangeably though.

Common baby monitors are always on and transmitting ANY sounds. Maybe some have a VOX type feature I dunno.

VOX is no transmitting until sound over a certain level is detected. Many military radios use that feature in my experience. Some of the better FRS radios designed for hunters and such do the same. Oh, and motorcycle radios. You can adjust them so the wind and engine noise don't activate it.

VOX is not the same as a baby monitor though. Sometimes when monitoring a child, you want to listen for when sound STOPS. VOX wouldn't really work well for that.

I have to say...Sparks sure look different in China than they are here. 4 exhaust tips for a tiny 4 cyl engine? 1 per cylinder I guess...lol. Is that considered a mid-size car over there?

And purely out of curiosity, what space are you parked in for the pic? Wish my garage looked like that!
 
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Old 10-19-14, 10:00 PM
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here is the pic:
-leave one radio in the car attach via velcro so doesn't slip off
-run external mic wire through sidewall of car
-clip the microphone inside the engine bay, i used electrical tape
as well to secure it and made my own boom mic (spongy material)
to help keep out dust or particles from getting inside the mic pinhole.
(it was a bit wet due to the weather today when i opened the hood, but
inside the engine is completely dry).

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Yeah, I just learned about VOX literally about 2 months ago or whenever it was that I started asking about it, that's why I was asking about baby monitors or VOX as I wasn't sure if they were the same thing or not. Of course later on I figured out they aren't the same as baby monitors are constantly on (as you said, sometimes there for listening for when there is NO sound), whereas VOX transmits only when sound is detected without the need to press the talk button.

Actually I'm working overseas right now in korea. This car is known as the Daewoo Matiz Creative (basically a 2011 Spark) and it's a compact car. In korea you get special discounts on toll fees, parking, and annual car taxes for compact cars (engine size under 1,000 cc), usually 50% off. They also wave the registration fee at the time of purchase. I've done quite a few mods to the car on top of prior mods that were done it by the previous owner. That picture was taken when I was at one of my local shops getting some LEDs installed. Yeah, I wish that was my garage lol. Here, they don't have any space for garages so only the very few and privileged can actually own a garage. The rest of us have to park anywhere we can on the streets jammed with other cars and drunkards who prowl the streets at night as 99% working korean men all drink soju and get drunk after long hours at work.

It's actually the NORM here to have dents, scrapes, and all kinds of damages on your car as 8 to 9 out of 10 cars I see all have some minor to major damage on the body of the car and people just leave it cuz they know if they fix it up, they'll just get another ding later on. That was unusual to me as where I come from (Canada), maybe only 1 or 2 out of 10 cars have major scrapes, dents on them. The rest of our cars are pristine. I had owned a car back home for 5 years and never had any incidents or dings on my car except for 1 rock chip i received on the highway for driving behind a 16 wheeler. When I got the car here in Korea, within 2 months, I already had a smashed rear window (replaced), paint splattered over half my car, and about 6 to 8 dings and dents on my car. I've covered most of it up with touch up paint and scratch removers, but the minor dings are only visible from a certain angle or direct sunlight.

Thanks again for your advice and help.
 

Last edited by guy293482; 10-19-14 at 10:56 PM.
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