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Author Topic: Whole house audio room by room  (Read 14419 times)

Brandt

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Whole house audio room by room
« on: January 04, 2010, 11:57:54 PM »

So i want a microphone and speaker in each room in order to communicate with the HA computer via voice.

Heres what I have in mind ( I know there is hardware out there to do this, but i'm on a budget )

Part of this if from Gordon Meyer, part me...

- Audio out on the computer -> to the radio shack mini amplifier -> telephone line 1 -> all the rooms with individual powered speakers through universal modules to turn on/off room by room

The microphone in each room would go on telephone line 2 back to the computer and into the mic jack

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062620
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HA Dave

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2010, 01:19:56 AM »

- Audio out on the computer -> to the radio shack mini amplifier -> telephone line 1 -> all the rooms with individual powered speakers through universal modules to turn on/off room by room

I used a PC powered speaker as a preamp... the wired to other PC powered speakers. They cost me $5 a set.

The microphone in each room would go on telephone line 2 back to the computer and into the mic jack

I don't think you'll have much luck with that. There are several ways to limit the input to one mic... but you really can't tie several microphones together in one input.
Some are using intercoms... which allows for a wireless microphone and speaker in one unit. I think that may be the fastest easiest way to go. I used Baby Monitors myself. I've  posted all my trials and experiences from links found here.
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Brandt

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2010, 11:53:03 AM »

Thanks, I was looking for your baby monitor hack...

I've been hoarding PC speakers for a while cause I knew I would need them for this.

Also, I think most of the baby monitors I've seen have an auxiliary mini jack now

I've seen some people hack ELK75's for use as an intercom with the computer and an A/B8SS speaker switch
http://alarmparts-us.com/store/shopexd.asp?id=1081

http://www.hacs.com/ab8ss.php


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HA Dave

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2010, 12:12:24 PM »

Thanks, I was looking for your baby monitor hack...

There are a few Baby Monitor setups out there.

I've been hoarding PC speakers for a while cause I knew I would need them for this.

Remember.. that two PC speaker sets running off on one soundcard could draw way too many omhs.. and blow your soundcard. Only feed one powered speaker via the soundcard... then make it work as the preamp to the other powered speakers. I used one that has a headphone jack. You can also use the other side (left) speaker feed.. and use just mono. All voice is mono and that works well for voice. But some people use the speakers for music as well..

X10 has a cheap wireless solution too. I bought a set of these.. but haven't used them ..yet

My speaker that announces warnings outside is switched on and off. However the other speakers I use... remain on full time. I use macros to limit the sounds... my talking clock doesn't talk at night. But other warnings I want to be heard throughout the house.. 24/7. You might find it doesn't take as many speakers as you might think.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 12:18:32 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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Brandt

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2010, 06:49:30 PM »

- Audio out on the computer -> to the radio shack mini amplifier -> telephone line 1 -> all the rooms with individual powered speakers through universal modules to turn on/off room by room
The microphone in each room would go on telephone line 2 back to the computer and into the mic jack
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062620

havent tried the mic part yet, but the speaker part works!! only problem is there is buzz on the phone lines! we havent used the land line in years as we all have mobile phones!

Could be dusty jacks, could be a chewed up cable somewhere?
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Brian H

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2010, 06:59:13 PM »

Could be the phone line is normally a balanced line at about 600 ohms impedance. The RS amplifier is a unbalanced 5K Ohm Input and has an input sensitivity of 1 mV. Could be noise induced on the phone line. You could always try a transformer. I will look at the RS catalog. I remember seeing a 600 Ohm to I believe 5K matching transformer.
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HA Dave

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2010, 07:16:12 PM »

I would have guessed... that the hummm comes from an amplifier... amplifying an amplifier. With the 1st amp being the soundcard... and the 2nd being the RS amp. I'd try turning one down really low (likely the soundcard).

Could be dusty jacks, could be a chewed up cable somewhere?

Yes.. that will cause hummm also. I had a poor fitting stereo jack that had cause noise on my line. The sound card does use stereo jacks... and to line-up correctly.. you will also need to use stereo jacks. Even if your using mono sound.

But keep in mind... I know near nothing about audio. You might want to re-read the post by Brian H.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 07:23:03 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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Brandt

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 09:35:53 PM »

Could be the phone line is normally a balanced line at about 600 ohms impedance. The RS amplifier is a unbalanced 5K Ohm Input and has an input sensitivity of 1 mV. Could be noise induced on the phone line. You could always try a transformer. I will look at the RS catalog. I remember seeing a 600 Ohm to I believe 5K matching transformer.

I've cleaned the jacks all up and traced the wire for any visible deterioration and there was none. The hum must be from separate ground between the amp and the phone line, as it is only there when the amp is connected to the phone line. I don't fully understand how to solve this, other than they need a common ground. I was looking at Audio Ground Loop Isolators, also looked at some transformers on the RS website. I'm not really sure I understand your method.

Where you looking at this:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103994


I found this, but its for tapping the phone line, not injecting:
http://www.unterzuber.com/tap.html
and this:
http://www.solorb.com/elect/phone/tap/
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 09:42:28 PM by pomprocker »
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Brandt

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2010, 11:24:09 PM »

I would have guessed... that the hummm comes from an amplifier... amplifying an amplifier. With the 1st amp being the soundcard... and the 2nd being the RS amp. I'd try turning one down really low (likely the soundcard).

Yes.. that will cause hummm also. I had a poor fitting stereo jack that had cause noise on my line. The sound card does use stereo jacks... and to line-up correctly.. you will also need to use stereo jacks. Even if your using mono sound.

But keep in mind... I know near nothing about audio. You might want to re-read the post by Brian H.

Good thinking, the sound card line out is stereo. the mini amp line in is mono, and the mini amp line out is mono.
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HA Dave

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 12:44:14 AM »

..the sound card line out is stereo. the mini amp line in is mono, and the mini amp line out is mono.
You can solder up a stereo jack as mono.. or mono to stereo. But for them to fit correctly... mono plug in mono jack and stereo plug in stereo jack.
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dbemowsk

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2010, 07:03:15 AM »

Wiring a stereo jack to mono is easy.   Get yourself a 3.5mm stereo cable like for a set of PC speakers and a 3.5mm mono plug from radio shack. On the stereo cable, cut one end off.  When you strip the wire back you should have a bare wire (ground), a red and a white wire.  Strip the ends of the red and white wires and tie the two together.  Solder the red/white wires to the center conductor of the mono plug and the ground wire to the other lug.  Make sure to string the cap onto the wire first.  Half the time I forget that and end up having to redo my solder joints.  Once you are done soldering, there are usually some metal fingers at the end that are meant to wrap around the cable.  Crimp these around the wire with a pair of pliers.  When done, screw the cap on and test. 

Make sure you plug the correct ends into the right jacks.

Hope that helps.

Dan B.
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Dan Bemowski
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Brandt

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2010, 05:29:32 PM »

ah so the problem was that even though we don't have land line service, the lines were still connected to the 'street' in the NID box. I simply disconnected everything and wired together all the matching wire colors and it works! so I got the speech part down. now just have to get the microphone and voice control part working

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HA Dave

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2010, 07:12:56 PM »

.... and it works! so I got the speech part down. now just have to get the microphone and voice control part working

Your the man tonight pomprocker! So what are you thinking of using for voice in?
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Brandt

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2010, 07:18:10 PM »

Yes, if you want to re-purpose your telephone wiring, or use unused lines for something, follow this guide:
http://www.vonage.com/support.php?article=649



Well since I'm using a linux machine to control my home, I am using CMU Flite (Festival Lite) for TTS, and I'm going to try and compile CMU Sphinx for voice recognition. From there I will learn how to train it and all that, and figure out how to wire microphones in each room through an unused phone line.
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Brandt

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Re: Whole house audio room by room
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2010, 01:50:25 PM »

Can anyone suggest an affordable, always-on, omnidirectional room microphone?
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