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  • madmellow
    replied
    MXL Rocks!

    I was intrigued by this thread and decided to give it a try. I started with a Motorokor EQ5 wifi speaker/mic. After recovering from the USB/Driver mess that the wifi adapter made of my Win7 system, I got to work -- sort of. I got multiple Speaker clients running with separate microphones. I learned quickly, however, that the Wifi distance and poor reception/sound simply would not render that configuration workable.

    I found a MXL AC-406 on Amazon for $20 - The price was probably a mistake as they are now $80 -- but it works like a champ. It's a USB attached speaker/mic. I've got a CAT5e USB extender on order to eliminate the distance problem. I can sit in my chair in the den and speak commands to HomeSeer. Better yet, it tells me who is calling when the phone rings (using a script with a USRobotics modem and outlook lookup synced with my iPhone address book).

    I also have HS controlling my AV system though iTunes and AutoHotKey scripts driving a web front-end for Thinkflood's RedEye.

    If it continues to pan out, I'll pay the $80 for a second on in the bedroom, and the $150 for the second RedEye in the bedroom.

    My goal is to tell HS to set the sleep timers when I'm ready for bed and to turn on the news with I wake up.

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  • Fuego
    replied
    Originally posted by travisdh View Post
    I know this is quite an old post, but did you have much luck with the Parrot system, i am looking to a good solution for VR around the house and am seriously looking into a few of these, or a USB speaker phone, but want to keep cost minimal (otherwise i might get a few USB communicators).

    Given these seem to have DSP and so forth, they seam quite good, but in terms of them being connected to a PC. do you have to hit the call button to utilize the inbuilt mic everytime you want to use VR, or as soon as it is paired, does it stream mic to the PC regardless of if the button is pushed or not?

    That is one of the main things, if it streams to the unit or not.
    Not sure what you mean by stream to the mic. The mic is an analogue audio input device and streaming is a digital process (yes, I know I am being pedantic, but your requirement could be easily misinterpreted).

    Nonetheless, once the Parrot unit is paired with the Bluetooth enabled PC, you press the button once to "make a call" and the Bluetooth audio channel is established to the paired PC.

    However, if the Bluetooth connection drops, which it occasionally does due to adverse conditions, you need to press the call button again to re-establish the connection, at which point Homeseer functionality continues as normal.

    The call may stay up for days, or if you are unlucky hours, so it is not totally foolproof. I should stress that the unit I bought is now 3 years old - so I do not know if the tech has improved.

    The unit I have could do with better voice quality and the occasional disconnects are a pain. It will also sometimes drop-out - i.e. not actually disconnect, but lose connection, then recover by itself and there are still some Homeseer speaker client stability issues. I think this is a fair assessment. You may get a feel for things by testing the process with a bluetooth mobile (cell-phone, to some), which pretty much amounts to the same thing (depending on the Bluetooth profile used).

    Edit: Looking at the Parrot Minikit specs of today http://www.parrot.com/uk/products/plug-n-play-car-kits/parrot-minikit - it looks like this unit is still only Bluetooth 1.2 and 10m range. If there is another unit out there with better range and higher quality audio, then a lot of the drawbacks might disappear.
    Last edited by Fuego; February 20, 2011, 07:40 AM.

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  • Dafunktyfunk
    replied
    I am also looking for a solution for this. We don't have the luxury of running cable.

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  • travisdh
    replied
    I know this is quite an old post, but did you have much luck with the Parrot system, i am looking to a good solution for VR around the house and am seriously looking into a few of these, or a USB speaker phone, but want to keep cost minimal (otherwise i might get a few USB communicators).

    Given these seem to have DSP and so forth, they seam quite good, but in terms of them being connected to a PC. do you have to hit the call button to utilize the inbuilt mic everytime you want to use VR, or as soon as it is paired, does it stream mic to the PC regardless of if the button is pushed or not?

    That is one of the main things, if it streams to the unit or not.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fuego
    replied
    Just wanted to update this post and add that, over the longer term, I have had a couple of disconnection issues, so I'm not totally convinced about my setup as a rock solid solution. I haven't completely given up hope though - it's maybe more a question of wait and see what new products come up.

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  • Fuego
    replied
    I've continued my testing on this.

    The F8T013 dongle (100m) is giving much more range, up to 25 metres through concrete floor and brick walls. It might go further, but I haven't tested this.

    Disconnection has not proved an issue and neither has automatic reconnection, when I forced the issue for test purposes.

    The Parrot Mini provides surprisingly good VR too when you do ten minutes voice training using it as your training input device.

    If I get brave enough, I might open the Parrot up and put a jack socket in for a better external speaker connection, but for now the quality is good enough for my immediate purposes of extending HS announcements and providing a remote voice command point facility.

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  • DeLicious
    replied
    There seems to be a kink in the plan... I went back to my test computer tonight, and the speaker client had shut down. My guess is that the speakerphone went into some sort of power-saving mode after not being used for hours (even though it's running on AC power), and since the audio profile was no longer running, the speaker client shut down. Has anyone else experienced this?

    I would hate to think that I would have to restart the speaker client every time I connected the bluetooth speakerphone.

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  • Fuego
    replied
    Maybe, but for now it may provide a solution for some situations.

    The Parrot mini Bluetooth hands free speaker/mic works well with a Belkin F8T008 dongle (the early "100m" model), but only to a range of about 10m through concrete wall/floor after which the sound breaks down and eventually disconnects.

    Once back in range it reconnects automatically without problem.

    One you make a "call" on it, the mic stays connected - so no need to press the button again, each time you want to give HS a voice command,.

    HS Voice recognition works very well so long as you are no more than 1 metre away from the mic and you do some voice training through the device.

    Going to try with my Belkin F8T013 and see it I getter better range. At the moment it is definitely an easy solution to providing remote Hs audio/VR, but only for a short distance.

    The dongle could probably also benefit from being mounted higher upon a short USB extension cable and maybe even an aerial mod (anyone done this for BT?) and the Parrot unit could use a better speaker, but there is potential there.

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  • DeLicious
    replied
    I was thinking... all of this work may be for naught with the advent of wireless USB hubs... Instead of using a low quality bluetooth speaker phone meant for a car (or an expensive one meant for conference calling in an office), you could simply use USB microphone and USB speakers and connect to a computer in the closet using wireless USB. The only hub I've seen so far is by Belkin for $199, so hopefully the price goes down as these things get more prevalent.

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  • Fuego
    replied
    I have the Parrot BT speakerphone (not the boom box) I bought the other day for 68 Euros. I'll give it or try and report back. It has voice dialling which can be used to send an attention phrase to HS Speaker app, probably.

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  • DeLicious
    replied
    well, i've finally got around to setting this us as a test. I bought a Belkin 30m-range USB bluetooth adapter for an old desktop that I had laying around. I set it up for wireless audio configuration which allows it to replace the speakers and microphone of the computer. Once I trained the speech recognition profile on XP a little, it seemed to work okay. The only downside of this is the microphone quality on the Jabra SP500, it seems I have to get really close to it to hear me well enough... of course, it was meant to be used in a car's close quarters, so I suppose I could put on a headset around the house (and look like an idiot).

    All this, and I didn't need to buy the bluetooth connector for HS2 since the bluetooth is not on that machine. If a higher quality bluetooth speakerphone were available, this would be a viable setup.

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  • DeLicious
    replied
    this link http://www.windowsdevcenter.com/pub/...bluetooth.html tells how to install the widcomm stack over the MS stack

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  • Malarcy
    replied
    Vista apparently supports the stereo and remote control protocols - but haven't tried it out yet

    Malarcy

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  • Fuego
    replied
    Originally posted by Malarcy View Post
    Pretty sure when I tried with my laptop and a bluetooth headset it didn't support the headset profile but happy to believe otherwise- don't have a MS bluetooth stack machine around to try it with right now - anyone got a rig they could test?

    Malarcy
    Unless they've added it to Vista, XP/SP2 MS BT stack supports only HID, SPP and DUN profiles, oh and whichever profile they have used to send and receive files over BT (Object Push, I think).

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  • Malarcy
    replied
    Pretty sure when I tried with my laptop and a bluetooth headset it didn't support the headset profile but happy to believe otherwise- don't have a MS bluetooth stack machine around to try it with right now - anyone got a rig they could test?

    Malarcy

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