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🖥️ActiveHome Pro => SDK => Third Party Add-Ons & Software => Topic started by: HA Dave on March 02, 2007, 05:54:47 PM

Title: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: HA Dave on March 02, 2007, 05:54:47 PM
Overview: Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BXVC

I now have BXVC pretty much "whole-house", running three "baby monitor microphones". Though it took some time for me to figure out, it is amazingly simple. I can now trigger macros through AHP, as well as just turn lights or modules on and off from just about anywhere in my home.

The ONLY BXVC problem I had, with the entire setup, was getting my voice to BXVC from through-out the house. What I needed to learn to do this, I read here from other members at this very forum and is included in this post.


How-to:


Switching microphones:


Tips (and info worth repeating):


Requirements:



edit: I just did a search for BVC and microphones and realized that BVC (because the name change was after the post) was never mentioned. This edit should help with future searches.

[TTA Edit: As per our PM conversation, SPLIT off from the main BXVC Daily 'Coffee Klatch' along with some minor re-formatting.][/list]
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BXVC
Post by: HA Dave on March 04, 2007, 06:20:53 PM
I created some pictures of how I modified a monitor receiver  (http://davesdomainonline.com/microphone/babymonitormod) (it would work the same on an intercom).

I also posted images of a sample "follow me command" that allows me to switch microphones using BXVC.

Images attached.
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BXVC
Post by: aahwhatever2 on April 09, 2007, 01:38:16 AM
OK...sorry if i sound stupid....

But what do you use "voice" for with your system?  Do use it too replace using a remote?  If so, how well does it work?

Thanks!
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BXVC
Post by: HA Dave on April 09, 2007, 05:45:16 PM

But what do you use "voice" for with your system?  Do use it too replace using a remote?  If so, how well does it work?


This thread is a "break-off" from the BXVC (Bill's X10 Voice Commander) thread (click this link).  (http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=9918.0)

Bill (of BXVC)  (http://www.wgjohns.com/bxvc.htm) wrote a program that runs on a (windows) computer that is connected to and running the X10 AHP (Active Home Pro) interface. Using Microsoft's SAPI5 speech recognition (built in to XP or a free download from MS) I control my X10 modules, and receive verbal reports from my computer, based on timers and X10 sensors.

Yes....it works.... and it's awesome!
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BXVC
Post by: HA Dave on September 29, 2007, 11:15:52 AM
Woo-Who

Bill's Voice commander just gets better and BETTER!!!!

Check out BVC with IR (http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=13870.0msg75588#msg75588)
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BXVC
Post by: KDR on September 29, 2007, 01:44:41 PM
Nice write up Dave_x10_L and the pictures are a very nice touch (very helpful). One of these days I will get my system close to what you have. The really nice thing is if I have any problems I know where to find you ;D

(http://www.bdshost.com/X10/lpup.gif)---(http://www.bdshost.com/X10/lpup.gif)---(http://www.bdshost.com/X10/lpup.gif)---(http://www.bdshost.com/X10/lpup.gif)---(http://www.bdshost.com/X10/lpup.gif)----KDR
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BXVC
Post by: Knightrider on October 21, 2007, 10:38:20 PM
Excuse me for asking, But wouldn't hardwired microphones work better?  Just route them into a cheap mixer with a gate/limiter.  I know the baby monitors are a wireless alternative, but i wouldn't mind patching some walls for a more reliable system.
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BXVC
Post by: HA Dave on October 21, 2007, 11:53:09 PM

Excuse me for asking, But wouldn't hardwired microphones work better? Just route them into a cheap mixer with a gate/limiter. I know the baby monitors are a wireless alternative, but i wouldn't mind patching some walls for a more reliable system.


Hardwired microphones with a mixer and a gate/limiter is the recommended (according to HAL) system. I have also read about special microphones that can filter out background noise.
 
It's all vast overkill..... IMHO. I am not trying to demean the pricier systems by any means. There may have been a time when that much technology was needed. But all that is currently needed.... all that CAN BE USED... is 8 bit mono. (How hard is that?) That is what is also called telephone quality.

I know of another user that was using radio shack intercoms (homeseer setup) and having great results. That gave me the idea for the baby monitors. Voice really does come through Crystal Clear (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=893599). My system is at least as reliable as X10 itself (very nearly 100%). I run BVC 24/7 on a old P3. I built my system very much on-the-cheap... and it works.

Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: s0urc3f0ur on November 15, 2007, 08:12:17 PM
Well I've been thinking about how to set up my  Westinghouse intercoms once they come.. I am planning to mod one of them for the line in from the speaker. But I am actually going to solder in a connector that I can just plug into the back of the intercom. After thinking about this mod.. I thought it may be possible to mod the mic input as well to accept the line out from my computer so that BVC talks though the intercom(otherwise I would have to leave my speakers on all the time). I am planning on putting a passive direct box between the line out and mic "in" of the intercom to pad the line level down a bit. Any thoughts or suggestions?
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: HA Dave on November 16, 2007, 08:46:05 PM
.................. I am planning on putting a passive direct box between the line out and mic "in" of the intercom to pad the line level down a bit. Any thoughts or suggestions?

"a passive direct box".... I can't say I really know what that is.

The idea of sharing a wireless input/output device is intriguing! It is important that the input doesn't hear the output (of course). I had to "mute" the [microphone] line-in on my setup (to prevent feedback).

Freeing BVC (http://www.wgjohns.com/bvc.htm) from the PC [mic and speakers] was the most (ONLY) challenging part of the Voice Command setup... for me. I am not much of an audio guy... so low-tech was my only option. I will be following your progress, please keep us informed.
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: s0urc3f0ur on November 17, 2007, 12:24:33 AM
A Direct box is basically used to convert low level signal to line level signal but it can also do the reverse ..they are mainly used to connect guitar amps to mixers and are fairly inexpensive. Here is an example:

http://www.shop.com/+-a-guitar+passive+Direct+box-p61888156-k36-st.shtml
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: s0urc3f0ur on November 17, 2007, 12:29:40 AM

The idea of sharing a wireless input/output device is intriguing! It is important that the input doesn't hear the output (of course). I had to "mute" the [microphone] line-in on my setup (to prevent feedback).


I figure if I use the same mod thatYou have used and "bypass" the intercoms speaker. I should not have a problen so long as my pc speakers are off.
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: HA Dave on December 03, 2007, 08:26:45 PM
I was in RadioShack today, and I saw what appears to be a GREAT intercom for BVC (http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2464775&cp=&pg=1&sr=1&origkw=intercom&kw=intercom&parentPage=search). (read below)

This easy-to-use intercom enables you to talk and be heard automatically with VOX-triggered transmission. In VOX mode, the system will transmit your voice without pressing any buttons. This system is expandable, so with the purchase of additional 900MHz stations, you can customize your own system and talk from any room in your home. No installation or wiring is necessary, simply plug it into a nearby AC outlet or insert 4 "AA" batteries (sold separately). You can even connect a radio, CD player, boombox or other audio device and listen to music from any room on the system.

This system APPEARS as it could be BOTH microphone and speakers With the proper modification of course.
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: Don N on December 03, 2007, 10:21:42 PM
Dave --- that's the intercom I was using, in my setup, and telling you about last year. It works great.
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: HA Dave on December 03, 2007, 11:15:19 PM
Dave --- that's the intercom I was using, in my setup, and telling you about last year. It works great.

Are you using it as speakers....as well as the microphone?
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: Don N on December 04, 2007, 12:27:22 AM
I had setup a test environment last year with these intercoms. At the time I was using BXVC. However, other interests this year have kept me from doing anymore testing. But, here is what I did initially; I setup one of the intercoms as the microphone (in one room) and the other intercom next to my PC (in another room). I placed a microphone that was connected to my PC next to the intercom in the PC room.

I could then speak BXVC commands into the intercom (in one room) and they would be "heard" by the PC microphone from the intercom located in the PC room. And that all worked fine. Next I wanted to "connect" the intercom directly into my PC. Thus, eliminating the need for the PC microphone. But I never got around to testing that. Anyway, hope that answers your question.


Are you using it as speakers....as well as the microphone?
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: HA Dave on December 04, 2007, 01:07:01 AM

.......... Anyway, hope that answers your question.


Yep! I just wish everyone knew just how easy it is to get Voice Command through-out the house.
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: s0urc3f0ur on December 04, 2007, 09:47:15 AM
Well it looks like Santa  is sending me an early gift! My wife informed me that she has purchased these intercoms for me:

http://www.buy.com/prod/westinghouse-whi-4cupg-4-channel-voice-activated-intercom/q/loc/111/90128815.html

Of course I helped picked them out and they are VOX! and also  pretty inexpensive. My plan when I get these( and I am chomping at the bit for them ;) ) is to mod one of them as a sort of "command" station for BVC. I figured out that by using jacks and soldering them into the speaker and mic that I could possibly create a line in and line out without losing the functionality of the intercom. Hopefully this works. On paper it looks good! I will takes pics and try to write an instructable on how to do this once Santa(UPS) delivers them!
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: BSRMAN on May 02, 2008, 03:53:33 PM
Hello,
New to this BVC stuff I download the trial version and it works!! Just like that what a great job. I have a question concerning these microphone devices.  Does BVC have the capability of listening to two peoples voices. It seems I only saw it wanted one user. SHMBO will not let me spend money if she couldn't get the benifit also.  :-\
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: Don N on May 02, 2008, 06:32:24 PM
Well it looks like Santa is sending me an early gift! My wife informed me that she has purchased these intercoms for me:

http://www.buy.com/prod/westinghouse-whi-4cupg-4-channel-voice-activated-intercom/q/loc/111/90128815.html

Of course I helped picked them out and they are VOX! and also pretty inexpensive. My plan when I get these( and I am chomping at the bit for them ;) ) is to mod one of them as a sort of "command" station for BVC. I figured out that by using jacks and soldering them into the speaker and mic that I could possibly create a line in and line out without losing the functionality of the intercom. Hopefully this works. On paper it looks good! I will takes pics and try to write an instructable on how to do this once Santa(UPS) delivers them!

s0urc3f0ur -- Perhaps I missed it. Did you ever complete this project?
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) on May 02, 2008, 11:51:42 PM
Hello,
New to this BVC stuff I download the trial version and it works!! Just like that what a great job. I have a question concerning these microphone devices. Does BVC have the capability of listening to two peoples voices. It seems I only saw it wanted one user. SHMBO will not let me spend money if she couldn't get the benifit also. :-\

At present, BVC (even the Full Version) only supports a single speech profile.  As-is, it will recognize multiple users best if the speech profiles are "trained" as little as necessary.

I intend to add support for multiple speech profiles in future versions as time allows.

Still, for a $30 investment BVC is a cheap "get your feet wet in Voice Activated Home Automation" tool!  (IMHO).
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: s0urc3f0ur on May 03, 2008, 05:42:20 AM
s0urc3f0ur -- Perhaps I missed it. Did you ever complete this project?


Yes as a matter of fact I have.. I 've even posted a write up   (http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=14534.0)(<link) on how to accomplish this. Pictures included! ;)
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: HA Dave on January 05, 2009, 04:29:14 PM
I recently posted some new Home Automation and BVC videos to YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/suitmanIM). Then... while chatting with other X10 users at KDR's Home Automation Chat Room (http://bdshost.com/ac/) someone mentioned that they didn't get as good as speech recognition from their setup. He said that sometimes he had to repeat commands. I've been thinking about that comment a lot since then.

I certainly don't mean to have any secrets about setting up a BVC system! But sometimes I wonder if forget to explain what I've done to get BVC to work so well. I do only use cheap Baby-Monitors for my microphone setup... it doesn't take much as the speech recognition is 8 bit... not Hi-Fi. But here is a couple tips... if I have already mentioned somewhere... I am not sure where.


I don't spend much time doing this! Heck... I rarely spend time on my HA computer... only when I can come up with something new (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gknj0cJkerA).
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: bzellinger on March 14, 2009, 01:44:30 PM
I went ahead with your great idea and it works great. There is a problem with either my setup or BVC, however. I have line in checked. As soon as it recognizes my attention phrase, the recording control switches from line in to microphone. (BVC no longer hears my commands since it switches to mic.)

Windows Home Server (based on Windows Server 2003)
Latest SoundMAX drivers.

Any help would be appreciated.
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: hawk1 on March 14, 2009, 01:58:38 PM
Might want to check in the control panel and make sure its checked in there too!  Windows might over ride your BVC settings.  Just a suggestion though, since I don't have Server running.  Might check permissions.
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: bzellinger on March 14, 2009, 05:30:53 PM
Just tried a different sound card and it did the same thing. This is all through the control panel, btw.
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) on March 14, 2009, 08:23:53 PM
I went ahead with your great idea and it works great. There is a problem with either my setup or BVC, however. I have line in checked. As soon as it recognizes my attention phrase, the recording control switches from line in to microphone. (BVC no longer hears my commands since it switches to mic.)

Windows Home Server (based on Windows Server 2003)
Latest SoundMAX drivers.

Any help would be appreciated.
Just tried a different sound card and it did the same thing. This is all through the control panel, btw.

My best thought would be to check the speech setup in Windows Control Panel and make sure the line-in is set as the "Preferred" input.

Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: bzellinger on March 14, 2009, 10:04:00 PM
Thanks. That did the trick.
Title: Re: [USER IDEA] Setting Up Multiple Microphones (House-Wide) for BVC
Post by: -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) on March 14, 2009, 10:09:35 PM
Thanks. That did the trick.

Cool!   8)

 >!