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Improve Your Intercom’s Speech Quality

Improve Your Intercom’s Speech Quality

Naturally, access control is not restricted to gate motors and, in fact, intercoms form an integral part of the access automation mix. As part of our feature on faultfinding and diagnostics, we offer you some tips on getting the most from your intercom system.

Many of us who have intercoms at home or at work have become accustomed to the voice on the other end being garbled, distant or unclear. Oftentimes intercom speech quality can be improved by performing a few simple checks and alterations, enabling you to get the most out of your intercom system. Most of these checks require at least some technical knowledge, but with a standard AVO meter and a little know-how, you too can get crystal clear speech from your intercom.

Some things to check for are:

  • What is being used to supply power to the intercom?

For the sake of convenience, many installers power the intercom straight from the gate motor power supply (assuming, of course, that you have a gate motor installed). This is not a bad practice, but some gate motors use so-called “switch-mode” power supplies which may cause interference on an intercom line. Such power supplies usually have the letters “SM” printed on their identification labels. In such cases, you or your installer need simply fit a smoothing capacitor between the common and earth connections. This should dramatically increase speech quality.

  • Is your power supply properly earthed?

Bad earthing is a major bugaboo when it comes to distorted intercom speech. Ensure that there is a clear path to earth, i.e. the power supply ground is attached to a piece of metal. If you are powering your intercom directly from a gate motor, one tried and true trick of the trade is to wire the power supply earth to a common connection on the gate motor’s controller.

  • At what level is the volume dial?

An oft-overlooked factor is the volume level, both on the side of the handset and gate station. If the volume setting is too high, the tiny microphone will pick up background noise and this will in turn be deposited right into your eardrum! Turn it down!

  • Is the microphone/speaker insulated?

The microphone and speaker are the two vital components that make the transfer of sound possible in intercom systems. If either or both of these components are allowed to short-circuit against metal surfaces (such as the inside of the intercom housing), speech quality will be adversely affected. Most intercoms are supplied with sponge or rubber grommets that are meant to insulate the dynamic duo that is the microphone and speaker. Make sure the grommets are intact and that all supply wires are also sufficiently insulated.

Happy buzzing!

 

Posted in: CENTSYS, Intercom Systems

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Comprehensive Gate Automation with the D10 Turbo

Everyone knows that life is about sacrifice and compromise. Our existence is dictated by a sort of universal truth that states “you can’t have your cake and eat it”. But CENTSYS has taken this rather paradoxical statement and said, “What is cake for if not for eating?”

Thus was born the D10 Turbo. We realised that there are absolutely no compromises to be made when it comes to home and personal security, and that a gate motor was needed that would offer the whole package without skimping on the essentials. (more…)

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How To Assign Your CENTSYS G-SWITCH To Your Profile

In retrospect, it almost seems that when the celebrated sci-fi author Isaac Asimov said “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”, he had the G-SWITCH-22 in mind.
This multi-faceted GSM-module took the world by storm when it was first introduced to an eager public in 2011, and it continues to impress by putting unsurpassed convenience quite literally at the user’s fingertips. Historically laborious tasks such as arming alarms or switching on pool pumps became, with the advent of the G-SWITCH-22, as easy as initiating a missed call from your mobile phone or land line, while the unit’s dual inputs allow for the monitoring of any number of electrical devices. We daresay the airwaves will never be the same! (more…)

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The Changing Face of Access Control

There’s no denying the fact that access control has come a long way since the days of punch cards and other, similarly archaic systems. Like most things in this modern age, the trend in access control seems to lean towards the sleek and the compact, while still offering superior security, usability and functionality. Modern access control systems also need to be multi-faceted, providing an all-encompassing topology that can be shaped to suit the unique requirements of different sites. (more…)

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Remote Controls: A Genesis

There is a popular (though probably misquoted) saying that declares that nature – and, by extension, humanity – should either “adapt or die”. Although this axiom was probably not intended to be taken literally, it does hold a certain amount of truth when it comes to security. As technology has advanced to become more sophisticated, more futuristic, so also has crime. It’s almost as if criminals are using the very technology that we developed to keep them at bay, against us. There’s been a definite evolutionary trend in crime. (more…)

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Give your remote control an extra button…or two!

On this blog alone you’ve probably come across the word “security” a couple of dozen times – and there’s a very good reason for that. In the early 1940s, the influential psychology professor Abraham Maslow came up with the now-famous Hierarchy of Needs, which depicts in pyramid-form the basic human needs in order of importance (with the bottom of the pyramid being the most important). In this hierarchy, Safety – which includes security of body, resources, family and the like – is ranked as being one of the most important human needs, second only to physiological needs such as eating and breathing. That’s how paramount security is. (more…)

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