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Author Topic: Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable  (Read 583 times)

Nathan Riddle

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Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable
« on: October 07, 2019, 03:09:41 pm »

Any thoughts on a smartphone app that can do this?

I know a system such as qSys or rane or symmetrix or xilica would work with some added components; but i'm curious if there is an imbeded solution already?

We use Digital Acoustics at my day job, but I don't think they have a smartphone app.

Requirements:
1.  Microphone / smartphone announcements (A smartphone app would limit access to only those with the permissions)
2.  Pre-recorded announcements (initiated via smartphone)
3.  Panic button capable (via smartphone)
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Scott Carneval

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Re: Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2019, 05:08:14 pm »

Any thoughts on a smartphone app that can do this?

I know a system such as qSys or rane or symmetrix or xilica would work with some added components; but i'm curious if there is an imbeded solution already?

We use Digital Acoustics at my day job, but I don't think they have a smartphone app.

Requirements:
1.  Microphone / smartphone announcements (A smartphone app would limit access to only those with the permissions)
2.  Pre-recorded announcements (initiated via smartphone)
3.  Panic button capable (via smartphone)

I don't believe it will meet requirements 2 or 3, but the new QSC MP-M40 and MP-M80 will allow you to send pages from a smartphone. You record the page into the mic of the smartphone and then send it to the system.
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2019, 07:41:05 pm »

Any thoughts on a smartphone app that can do this?

I know a system such as qSys or rane or symmetrix or xilica would work with some added components; but i'm curious if there is an imbeded solution already?

We use Digital Acoustics at my day job, but I don't think they have a smartphone app.

Requirements:
1.  Microphone / smartphone announcements (A smartphone app would limit access to only those with the permissions)
2.  Pre-recorded announcements (initiated via smartphone)
3.  Panic button capable (via smartphone)

We have done this on a show (which needed active shooter emergency notification into PA) using Unity Intercom.  App on phone android or Apple has logon with password and then PTT to announce through the PA.  Needs computer running the Unity server (apple) and an audio IO out the USB port.  Total cost for 3 users not including hardware is $700.00 (server plus I/O).  Sound quality full range 15kBW audio.

Needs external IP and the ability to open Port 20101 on your router.  Runs on cellular best - not wifi...

With additional equipment app can trigger other recorded announcements using GPO...

No pre record tho...
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 07:50:31 pm by Pete Erskine »
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brian maddox

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Re: Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2019, 09:31:48 pm »

....

Needs external IP and the ability to open Port 20101 on your router.  Runs on cellular best - not wifi...

...

Pete, forgive me for the stupid question, but what exactly does "external IP" mean?  Is that a "public facing IP address"?  Or something else?  IOW, if we're using cellular data, how does the iPhone "see" the local Unity Intercom Server and how is that then addressed?

[i'm asking mostly to make sure that the things i say at AES next week about this are not wildly wrong as i kinda would prefer to not wildly embarass myself.  :) ]
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2019, 08:01:35 am »

Pete, forgive me for the stupid question, but what exactly does "external IP" mean?  Is that a "public facing IP address"?  Or something else?  IOW, if we're using cellular data, how does the iPhone "see" the local Unity Intercom Server and how is that then addressed?

[i'm asking mostly to make sure that the things i say at AES next week about this are not wildly wrong as i kinda would prefer to not wildly embarass myself.  :) ]

Yes.  The phone app is pointed to the public IP.  See the video and info in my website about UNITY.  http://www.bestaudio.com/unity

My server is at home and I use a service to actually find my ip.  try this:

Demo unity
Install client on your phones-they’re free.

In direct connection settings
IP is peterskine.selfip.com
Port is 20101

User is U6, U7, or U8 and pass is 1234

Works on any data cellular connection.

In the VOLUME section you will need to turn down the program feed.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 08:05:47 am by Pete Erskine »
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brian maddox

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Re: Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2019, 11:19:35 am »

Yes.  The phone app is pointed to the public IP.  See the video and info in my website about UNITY.  http://www.bestaudio.com/unity

My server is at home and I use a service to actually find my ip.  try this:

Demo unity
Install client on your phones-they’re free.

In direct connection settings
IP is peterskine.selfip.com
Port is 20101

User is U6, U7, or U8 and pass is 1234

Works on any data cellular connection.

In the VOLUME section you will need to turn down the program feed.

So the trick is Dynamic DNS.  Very cool.  When i was doing this trick at my last job [intercom over cellular] the company had a Fixed static Public IP address that they paid for through their ISP. but there are only a fixed number of those available and that can get costly.  It's also harder to remember when you're programming panels on site from a rental provider.  A Domain Name is much simpler and obviously more portable.

Thanks!
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2019, 10:57:45 am »

Thanks, Pete, Unity Intercom looks perfect for an expandable solution.

Curious, having used the system. Would you be happy with Unity replacing a standard wired system such as Pro Intercomm LLC with the cellphone app and headsets? Uses: Theater/Live production. Thinking this might be a better solution thats more easily scalable for myself.

Also, Scot, this might be a fantastic embedded solution! Might have to figure out how to do the pre-record, but looks like it does everything else really well! Thanks!

Thanks!!
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2019, 11:20:43 am »

Thanks, Pete, Unity Intercom looks perfect for an expandable solution.

Curious, having used the system. Would you be happy with Unity replacing a standard wired system such as Pro Intercomm LLC with the cellphone app and headsets? Uses: Theater/Live production. Thinking this might be a better solution thats more easily scalable for myself.

Also, Scot, this might be a fantastic embedded solution! Might have to figure out how to do the pre-record, but looks like it does everything else really well! Thanks!

Thanks!!

1.  This is used all the time for live TV events, usually in outdoor events
2.  Consider battery life for Cell phones... some work all day like SONIUM  and an iPhone might be just a few hours.
3. Good cell service is key... I have found it isnt very good on wifi
4. While I have used it in stadiums and on city streets, sometimes the data met gets overloaded and comms take a minute to reconnect... thus not great for reliability.
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brian maddox

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Re: Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2019, 03:55:23 pm »

Thanks, Pete, Unity Intercom looks perfect for an expandable solution.

Curious, having used the system. Would you be happy with Unity replacing a standard wired system such as Pro Intercomm LLC with the cellphone app and headsets? Uses: Theater/Live production. Thinking this might be a better solution thats more easily scalable for myself.

Also, Scot, this might be a fantastic embedded solution! Might have to figure out how to do the pre-record, but looks like it does everything else really well! Thanks!

Thanks!!

What Pete said.  But also remember that Unity Intercom has client software for computers and tablets as well as cell phones, so anyone that has a fixed station can be hardwired using the computer they likely already have at their station.  The UI widget just sits in the corner of their screen and runs with whatever else they are doing.

It's also possible to hardwire iPads as well as Android devices for stationary use.
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2019, 02:39:10 pm »

What Pete said.  But also remember that Unity Intercom has client software for computers and tablets as well as cell phones, so anyone that has a fixed station can be hardwired using the computer they likely already have at their station.  The UI widget just sits in the corner of their screen and runs with whatever else they are doing.

It's also possible to hardwire iPads as well as Android devices for stationary use.

1.  This is used all the time for live TV events, usually in outdoor events
2.  Consider battery life for Cell phones... some work all day like SONIUM  and an iPhone might be just a few hours.
3. Good cell service is key... I have found it isnt very good on wifi
4. While I have used it in stadiums and on city streets, sometimes the data met gets overloaded and comms take a minute to reconnect... thus not great for reliability.

Thanks, guys, thats very useful info!

I am surprised the wifi not working as well as cellular.

---------

As far as the main topic is concerned we're looking at the QSC MP-M40.
It actually has a USB mp3 player that can host the pre-recorded files and a "panic button" file.
As well as recording on the app and then sending/uploading to the core a message, it's not live, but it is almost live which works well.
Embedded solution is a big pro.
User profiles with restrictions so we can have admin, security, user, front desk, etc... with different user privileges.
Future wall controllers are nice too.

Thanks!
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2019, 04:33:50 am »

Thanks, guys, thats very useful info!

I am surprised the wifi not working as well as cellular.

---------

As far as the main topic is concerned we're looking at the QSC MP-M40.
It actually has a USB mp3 player that can host the pre-recorded files and a "panic button" file.
As well as recording on the app and then sending/uploading to the core a message, it's not live, but it is almost live which works well.
Embedded solution is a big pro.
User profiles with restrictions so we can have admin, security, user, front desk, etc... with different user privileges.
Future wall controllers are nice too.

Thanks!

I too am surprised the 4G radio works better.  I am thinking some sort of stateful issue with NAT was causing issues.  If the Unity server and the phones are in the same network, AP's with QoS are used (use the same precedence value as VoIP) you should be good to go.

I am going to setup my own Unity server for testing, I like the solution, but for this application it seems like way overkill.

I would run Asterisk or another SIP server on a Raspberry Pi and use a SIP to E&M gateway to get the audio to a balanced output.  You could use any SIP Softphone client on your phone and dial an access code for live paging (could even setup zones).  You could also record your announcements and trigger them from a web page hosted on the Pi or by dialing a code on the softphone.

If you have a BSS London it has a SIP client so you would not even need the gateway.

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Re: Church intercom/public announcement system - smartphone capable
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2019, 04:33:50 am »


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