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5 Myths About Barn Alarms Banner

5 Myths About Barn Alarms

June 9, 2022

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Michael Hansen


All too often, producers are responding to false alarms in the dead of night, have zero remote visibility into their barns, and paying for landlines and hotspots with unreliable connectivity.

If you thought your old Sensaphone or Agri-Alert was doing enough to notify you of barn emergencies, monitor the health of your animals, and provide you with the critical data you depend on to do your job, think again. Settling for less is simply not an option.

Here are five myths about barn alarms...busted:

1. The alarm I have today is good enough.

Farmers know that when it comes to managing and protecting their barn, there is no margin for error. The reality is that wired barn alarms increase a producer’s risk potential for overlooking barn emergencies and equipment failures. They are tied to one single access point, such as WiFi, a modem, or phone line, which makes your barn and entire production site susceptible to failure.

Wired barn alarms are also bogged down with a large amount of hardware that requires expensive maintenance and installation and increases the potential for system failure in the event of lightning, corrosion, or harsh environmental conditions. Oftentimes the alarm will notify you of an error from an unnamed “zone number” from your barn with no further information, leaving you with little visibility into the problem or emergency at hand.

2. I don’t need an alarm because I have a controller.

While controllers can manage and measure the critical functions of your barn, their complexity ultimately makes them less reliable and more likely to fail. A barn controller is only as good as it’s watchdog. The controller is the brain of your barn, but it’s useless without a backup alarm that helps to keep your system from failing.

BarnTalk with Rotem Controller
BarnTalk with Chore Time

3. The best alarms need internet to every barn.

Wired barn alarms that rely on an internet connection are susceptible to failure since they are dependent on a single point of connection. In this scenario, all barns on your site are tied to one bottleneck, and when the internet fails, every barn loses connection. Storms and power outages can cause your internet to go down at a time when you need visibility into your barn the most. Each communication device in the barn must have a backup battery in order to keep working during a power outage.

On the other hand, as a wireless, smart barn alarm, BarnTalk uses the only certified multi-carrier sim card in North America and automatically connects to the strongest available cellular signal, regardless of carrier. This way, you always have a backup and don’t have to depend on a single connection to monitor your barn.

4. The only way to know if my alarm is working is to manually test it.

Imagine the amount of time you could save and the peace of mind you could finally have if you no longer had to manually test your alarm system. Using the HeartBeat feature, the BarnTalk command center calls out to each Gateway in the field every two minutes to confirm the system is still online. If no response is received during this regular call–response routine, you will be notified with an alarm immediately.

BarnTalk HeartBeat

5. The only way to get all of the information I need from my barn is with a complex barn monitoring system that requires an expensive install.

A barn alarm should be 100% reliable and easy to use. With wired barn alarms, each piece of hardware is “daisy chained” together: If one component in the system fails, the entire system fails. The more wiring an alarm system has, the more complicated it becomes, leaving it more susceptible to failure.

Wired barn alarms are expensive to install and often require an electrician for set-up and long-term maintenance. BarnTalk is easy to set up and does not require an electrician or expensive installation. With built in connectivity, BarnTalk sends small data packets to the cloud and imposes less stress on network connectivity, making it a more reliable system.

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