Product Review (June 2004) - Cross Point Industries
Voice Alert System-6 System

Security and monitoring devices are fairly common, but few products offer much in terms of features. Cross Point Industries has introduced a clever new product that uses voice recordings to alert users of movement detected by remote sensors. This wireless system is designed such that any number of transmitting sensors can be used, with up to six unique zones identified by the base unit. The system can be set up in a variety of applications where wiring a sensor may be difficult. The base unit has a built-in microphone for recording a six-second message for each of the six unique zones identified by the user. There's also a missed message indicator in the event the user was not present when the corresponding sensor detected motion. Four form "C" type relays are built into the unit for triggering other devices, including alarm systems.

Setup and Performance
The Voice Alert system does require that the user set up the sensor (aside from installing the battery), but this is largely dependent on the user's preferences. The cover is simple to remove with only a locking tab at the base of the unit. A gasket around the perimeter makes contact with the cover to seal out moisture from the sensor electronics. Aside from installing the (included) battery, each of the transmitting sensors can be configured using the internal switches. The factory default settings will work without modifying the internal switch settings. However, it is recommended that the user turn off the LED switch (W1) to preserve battery life once the setup is tested. The W1 switch is used to control the illumination of the detection LED on the front of the unit. This LED turns on when the unit detects motion. This helps during installation by letting the user know when motion has been detected by the sensor. Using the bank of eight DIP switches, the user can uniquely identify the transmitting sensor. Having eight binary switches allows the user to have any one of 256 unique codes. This may seem like overkill for a six-zone system, but if neighbors also have this system, you will be able to set your codes differently to reduce any chance of false detections.

The user can also set the beam pattern sensitivity of the IR sensor using the Flexible Pattern adjusting inserts that are provided. Either horizontal or vertical fan patterns can be used to limit the beam pattern. This works well in places that may have areas that can falsely trigger the detector. We installed the all-weather PIR (Passive Infrared) sensor above our garage facing downward to detect the arrival of guests. The sensing unit mounts with just two screws on the top and bottom of the mounting plate. Cross Point includes a mounting template to help during installation. The largest detection pattern is achieved (40 feet x 40 feet) when the unit is mounted 7-1/2 feet above the ground according to the literature. Once mounted, the user can adjust the position of the multiple-beam-pattern sensor for optimal detection of motion. If the voice alert feature is used, the user must record a message for each zone being used.

The base unit has useful features that include the ability to learn sensor codes, recording up to six alert messages, and an indicator for missed messages. The top of the unit has a power switch, microphone, and indicator lights (Power/Message, Setup and Low Battery). The front panel has a Playback button, Volume control, three-position slider switch (Run/Record/Program) and six individual buttons for each of the monitored zones. To record a message the user simply slides the switch to Record and holds the corresponding zone button while speaking into the microphone. To hear any of the recorded messages, the user simply slides the switch back to Run and presses the corresponding zone button.

The unit comes factory set with the current sensor code preprogrammed to Zone #1. However, it is easy to change this or add another zone to the base unit. To program a new code into the base, slide the switch to Program and set the sensor LED to On; Trigger the sensor (watch for the LED to come on) and push the corresponding zone button on the base unit; The Setup LED on the base unit will flash indicating that it has learned the new code. Now the base station is setup to properly respond to that zone. It's that easy.

When motion is detected from one of the PIR sensors, an RF signal that uniquely identifies the zone is received by the base unit. The corresponding zone message is then played back. Due to the design of this system it's possible to have multiple sensors in a given zone with the same code settings. For example, if you have a large area to cover or if the area is difficult to cover with just a single sensor, two or more can be used for full coverage. Each sensor (using the same DIP switch setting) will send the same message to the base unit when motion is detected. This gives the user flexibility in configuring the system. The signal is said to work up to 1000 feet in open space or up to 300 feet through walls. We cannot verify these claims, but our system that is located through several walls at a distance of about 100 feet worked just fine. The system can also use a single transmitting/sensor to trigger mutiple base units. For example, one might be in the kitchen while the other is in the master bedroom. Since each transmitter and receiver can be independently programmed, each base unit can be configured to respond to a different set of sensors installed in the overall system.

The base unit also includes four form "C" type relays (SPDT), making it compatible with security systems and other devices. In addition, each of the four relays, which correspond to the first four zones, can be individually programmed (Off, 1 sec, 5 sec, 30 sec, 60 sec, or continuous). Some may not use this feature, but it's a very powerful one should they decide to incorporate it into their system.

Conclusion
The Voice Alert System-6 System is a powerful wireless monitoring system that works as a stand-alone unit for home owners that want an affordable and user-friendly security/alert monitor. The product is easy to install and includes all the necessary hardware to start monitoring a single zone. Additional sensor/transmitters are available based on the user's needs. The instructions were better than average and also included a Quick Start Guide for those who can't wait to understand all the details of this powerful unit. We were quite impressed with the performance and reliability of the review system we received. The signal strength of the transmitters exceeded our expectations based on other similar wireless devices we've seen in the past. In addition, the flexibility of the base unit makes it attractive for not only stand-alone setups, but for more sophisticated alarm systems that take full advantage of the built-in relays. We have yet to see any product similar to this in terms of features and flexibility.

- Kevin Nakano



Review - At a Glance

Cross Point Industries
Voice Alert System-6 System

Features:

  • 6-Zone Monitoring Capability
  • Customized Voice-Recordable Alerts
  • All Weather, Wireless PIR Sensor Transmitter
  • Multiple Beam Patterns for Optimal Detection
  • Adjustable Mounting, Beam Sensitivity, and Delay Timer
  • 4 "C" Relays


    Specifications:

    Receiver/Speaker

  • Records six separate user recorded voice messages, ~6.0 seconds each.
  • Supports an unlimited number of Sensor/Transmitters.
  • Volume Control knob allows you to set the message volume to suit your needs.
  • Message playback buttons allow you to test each recorded message.
  • Digital recording chip allows you to change voice messages easily.
  • Missed message indicator alerts you of activity that occurred in your absence.
  • Low battery indicator and message identifies sensors that have a low battery.
  • Solid-state construction.
  • Powerful 433.92 MHz receiver.
  • Magnetically shielded speaker.
  • FCC Part 15 approved.
  • Receiver Stability: Crystal
  • Receiver sensitivity: -100dBm

    Sensor/Transmitter

  • Monitored range: 40 X 40 feet when installed at 7 1/2 feet above the ground.
  • Passive infrared (heat) motion detection technology.
  • Installation kit includes double stick mounting tape and screws.
  • Lightweight all-weather construction for use indoors or outside.
  • 9V alkaline battery lasts up to 1 year.
  • Transmits up to 1000 feet in open space and up to 300 feet through walls.
  • Supports an unlimited number of Sensor/Transmitters.
  • LED transmit display when motion is detected (on/off switch selectable).
  • Powerful 433.92 MHz transmitter.
  • FCC Part 15 approved.


    Voice Alert System-6 Data Sheet

    Voice Alert System-6 Operating Instructions


  • Company Information
    Cross Point Industries
    2240 Encinitas Blvd., Suite D
    Encinitas, CA 92024
    Phone (760) 633-3737
    Fax (858) 756-7696
    Office Hours: M - F (8 am - 5 pm PST)

    Source: Manufacture supplied
    MSRP: $149.95

    Additional Transmitter/Sensor
    MSRP: $69.95

    Warranty: 1 year parts and labor

    URL: www.voicealert.com

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