Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.

25 posts


#150127 11-Jul-2014 19:43
Send private message

Hi, I was looking for a cheap stage intercom system which is fully smartphone based.
I had the idea of maybe using Skype on every stage crew members' smartphone and setting up a group conversation to use it as a "full duplex" system, where everyone can talk to everyone at once and without having to wait until the other person has finished speaking and pushing a button to talk (and so on)...

The stage crew uses either Android or iOS devices, meaning that I need an app (if not Skype), which can run on both platforms.

I really don't want to hire or buy a stage intercom system, so would Skype be a suitable way to communicate in "full duplex" mode if the stage crew had it installed on their phone, and a headset with mic attached to it?
Or are there any other apps that would do the same job and work full-duplex and don't require you to push a button to talk?

Cheers, I hope you have got some ideas.

Create new topic
2771 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #1087487 11-Jul-2014 20:38
Send private message

I suspect using smartphones would be a really frustrating solution.  You would be relying on people having their batteries fully charged as the app would be constantly transmittingg/receiving over WiFi.

I would be very happy to be proved wrong so look for an app and give it a go without headsets to start with.

"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

1923 posts

Uber Geek

  #1087491 11-Jul-2014 20:47
Send private message

How many people are in the group?


4502 posts

Uber Geek


  #1087505 11-Jul-2014 20:54
Send private message

Will you have a wifi network available? Or atleast reliable mobile data?

Just set up a 2Talk account, allocate a bunch of 028 numbers and then start a conference and everyone can dial in to it using the 2Talk Connect App.

Would be a pretty dirty solution but would probably work.

I would of thought standard walkie talkie type kit would be a better option though.

25 posts


  #1087538 11-Jul-2014 21:52
Send private message

There will be a lighting op, sound op, projection, stage mg, assistant stage mg, and one other person in the group.

I have a wifi network available and don't want to use that instead of phone credit.

I have tried the walkie talkie thing, but you cant really hear the other people cause it is so loud during the event. Using walkie talkies in VOX mode is not an option as the mic will pic up sound and transmit the whole time, therefore blocking the whole system as they are not full duplex (meaning only one walkie talkie can transmit at a time).

Would skype drain the battery that fast?

Any ideas would be welcome.

563 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1087539 11-Jul-2014 21:55
Send private message

Having used stage intercoms in the past, I think the skype idea is a bad solution.

Comms systems and walkie talkies are designed with belt clips. Cellphones rarely have these, so phones would be in pockets. I'm assuming that everybody wouldn't want their mic open 100% of the time, so access to mute mic on a cellphone would be clumsy.

If somebody also dropped off the conference, then user has to perform a number of steps (awake phone, unlock phone, open skype, etc) to rejoin the conference, instead of being 1 button push away from being able to communicate.

You are also reliant on the users having their phones charged for the show.

A dedicated comms system would be less hassle for all parties.

25 posts


#1087549 11-Jul-2014 22:32
Send private message

What comms system would you recommend? I really need some in expensive gear that will do the job fine, clearcom and such companies are pro, (I know) but the price is a real issue.


563 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1087619 12-Jul-2014 09:15
Send private message

The ones I have used are all pro systems, such as ClearCom, Telex, Jands Ezicom and PLPro. A wireless system I've used was HME that was interfaced into a ClearCom wired system.

I don't know of any VOX operated walkie talkie system that has worked very well in environments where the background is loud.

Best to keep a watch on TradeMe and Ebay etc to see if a suitable system comes up.

Nothing is stopping you trying your phone conference set-up. Who knows you may surprise me that it works to you and your crews satisfaction.


25 posts


  #1092219 19-Jul-2014 23:38
Send private message

Thanks for all your suggestions, does anyone know anywhere I could buy a Dual Channel intercom system (secondhand) and four or five belt packs?
I am keeping an eye on sites like eBay but belt packs are still the issue, as there are mostly two channel belt packs for sale however, I think 1 channel ones will do (because of the price).

Is there anybody out there that doesn't use their intercom system anymore and is willing to sell it?
I am looking for a decent system that I can take along to small productions and the occasional drama performance at my school. Hiring is not really worth it.


What does this tag do
1026 posts

Uber Geek


  #1095676 25-Jul-2014 15:13
Send private message

I wonder if the multipeer functionality in iOS 7 would make this any more feasible? Mesh wifi.
i.e. Firechat, but with voice instead of text messages. Doesn't require an internet connection

132 posts

Master Geek

  #1095691 25-Jul-2014 15:34
Send private message

you could also check out the likes of DX or alixpress as there might be reasonable solutions from these sites, (always a bit of a risk, as you never know the full extent of the quality!)

43 posts



  #1096400 26-Jul-2014 23:14
Send private message

Check out Zello , it is a walkie-talkie style app than can be installed across different platforms IOS, Android, Windows. I have used it before in a group based setting and it worked really well.

You can add people to a channel and set so all or some people can talk, or so that certain people can talk to the moderator but wont be heard by the other users. If you are using with a headset I believe you can also set it to work handsfree.

The app it's self is free to use, only cost is data, and this app tends to use minimal data too.

Create new topic

Twitter and LinkedIn »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:

News »

OPPO Find X2 Lite brings flagship features to mid-range 5G smartphone
Posted 29-May-2020 12:52

Sony introduces the digital camera ZV-1 for content creators
Posted 27-May-2020 12:47

Samsung Announces 2020 QLED TV Range
Posted 20-May-2020 16:29

D-Link A/NZ launches AI-Powered body temperature measuring system
Posted 20-May-2020 16:22

NortonLifeLock Online Banking Protection now available for New Zealand banks
Posted 20-May-2020 16:14

SD Express delivers new gigabyte speeds for SD memory cards
Posted 20-May-2020 15:00

D-Link A/NZ launches Nuclias cloud managed network solution hosted in Australia
Posted 11-May-2020 17:53

Logitech introduces new video streaming solution for home studios
Posted 11-May-2020 17:48

Next generation Volvo cars to be powered by Luminar LiDAR technology
Posted 7-May-2020 13:56

D-Link A/NZ launches Wi-Fi Certified EasyMesh system
Posted 7-May-2020 13:51

Spark teams up with Microsoft to bring Xbox All Access to New Zealand
Posted 7-May-2020 13:01

Microsoft plans to establish its first datacenter region in New Zealand
Posted 6-May-2020 11:35

Genesis School-gen has joined forces with Mind Lab Kids
Posted 1-May-2020 12:53

Malwarebytes expands into privacy with fast, frictionless VPN
Posted 30-Apr-2020 16:06

Kordia to donate TV airtime on Channel 200 to community groups
Posted 30-Apr-2020 16:00

Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.

Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron

Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.