Westinghouse 4-CHANNEL Voice Activated Intercom
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- Dimensions: Unit is 6.9" x 5.7" x 1.7"
- UL approved.
- Up to 1500 foot range.
- Compatible with all Westinghouse Wireless intercoms.
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*Units must be in the same phase of the power panel. (That is, your breaker box has 2 halves [phases], right and left -- you can hook these up to any wiring within 1 of the phases, but if your child's room is in one phase and yours is in another, it won't work.)
* Cannot be plugged in to a GFCI.
* Cannot be plugged in to a surge protector.
* In monitoring mode, the sound received is not constant; it is only activated if the sound is loud enough (ie, baby crying, but not baby choking).
* If any of the units are on monitoring mode (auto speak), none of the other units will communicate with one another.
I plugged mine into the office, but my office has a subpanel, so I'm in a different phase of electricity. I took the units inside and had them on the same line in adjoining rooms and got nothing. I suppose they COULD work, but I'm not interested in problem solving and searching for suitable outlets. I really just wanted them to work right out of the box in the locations of my choosing, which they do not (in my situation). They may work very well in a townhouse or condo, but you could probably save the money and just raise your voice.
It is suggested to use to monitor nursery or sick room. But it needs loud sound to trigger the "auto talk" function.
For me, the most frustrating thing about the units (or any powerline-based communication devices) is their inability to connect across electrical box phases. Therefore, only certain wall plugs can communicate with each other. However, we found out that an electrician can install a "repeater-coupler" in the fuse box to "connect" the phases in the house so these units can talk to all the others. The installation is relatively inexpensive and still cheaper than most other intercom options (especially when shouting across three floors is not a practical option for our in-home communications).
The real problem is, the units wouldn't communicate if I plugged in one of them in another room, even if they had a line-of-sight to each other through a doorway. This indicates that they don't broadcast over the air like a wireless telephone with an intercom feature, but rather they communicate over your power lines.
Another review mentioned that the circuits you plug them into must be the same phase. That isn't something I can control; it seems that our bedroom (where it is critical) is a different phase from the living room at the other end of the house. The other reviewer mentioned you can't have a GFCI outlet anywhere. That pretty much eliminates putting one in a bathroom or kitchen, because where we live, GFCI outlets are required by building codes in those rooms.
Westinghouse intercoms are "line carriers" meaning they send an FM signal through the household electrical wiring. Most house electrical panels distribute two "legs" or "phases" of the 120 volt AC power throughout the house. In order for the intercom units to communicate, they must be plugged into AC outlets wired to the same "leg" or "phase" of electricity.
THAT being said, if you want to put the units WHERE YOU NEED THEM and you are not on the same "leg / phase" you are out of luck. We have a two story house and the room I need monitering is on the 1st floor and where I want to monitor from is on the oposite end and upstairs. It will not work because it is obviously not on the same "leg" or "phase" of electricity.
Using house wiring is not the best way to go as evidence by this unit.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It hum's badly while talking but you can still understand what is being stated. It does not tell you anywhere in the manual or on the box that they only work if your wall outlets... Read morePublished on January 15, 2013 by parkranger
I ordered the Westinghouse 4-Channel Voice Activated Intercom to help my mother be able to listen to my grandmother during the night. Read morePublished on December 3, 2011 by Mark
All modern homes have 2 lines and ground coming from the utility. Each line has 120V with respect to the ground. Read morePublished on September 18, 2011 by old_engr
We have had 4 of theses for 5 years now and they work great I am now buying 4 more now. The thing is You have to use them all in the same building. Read morePublished on April 4, 2011 by Holly
This intercom was so easy to setup and use. Just plug it in and turn on.
However, it only worked inside our house (from the kid's bedroom to the kitchen) and we have a... Read more
The title of the product really should indicate that it functions strictly over same-phase circuitry and that it cannot be plugged into outlets that are up to code in bathrooms and... Read morePublished on October 4, 2010 by jojons