BarnTalk Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
July 1, 2022
By now we’ve realized you’ve probably seen several articles mentioning BarnTalk and you may not be familiar with the next-generation, wireless barn alarm yet.
Because of that, we thought there was no better time to sit down with our editor and answer some of our most common questions on BarnTalk.
Let’s start at the beginning…
Q: What is BarnTalk?
A: BarnTalk is a wireless barn alarm for livestock and poultry producers. It’s kind of like your old Agri-Alert or Sensaphone, except all of the sensors are wireless and it’s designed to work even in the most rural areas by utilizing its one-of-a-kind, built-in, multi-carrier cellular connectivity card.
Q: How does BarnTalk work?
A: BarnTalk comes with connectivity included.
Once you plug the Gateway unit into power, it begins to search for the strongest available cellular signal, regardless of carrier. If BarnTalk loses the connection to that carrier, it simply jumps to the next strongest signal available.
Q: Do I need a phone line or internet at my barn?
A: Absolutely not. BarnTalk works straight out of the box. Cut the phone line and cancel your internet service!
Q: Do I need to have my own cell plan?
A: No. BarnTalk has agreements in place with all of the major cellular providers across North America and provides cellular service directly to you with nothing more than your BarnTalk Gateway and your BarnTalk subscription.
Q: Cell service is terrible here. How do you know it’ll work on my farm?
A: BarnTalk works even in places where your phone can’t make a call by only sending small data packets from your building to the cloud. We promise to get BarnTalk working on your farm or we will give you your money back!
Q: All of the BarnTalk sensors are wireless? What about the water meter?
A: Yes. All of the sensors, even the water meter are wireless sensors you can place anywhere in your building.
Q: How many Gateways do I need for my site?
A: One Gateway can cover up to two barns or poultry houses. The Gateway should be centrally located on your site.
Q: How many sensors do I need at my site?
We recommend having 1 sensor per room or every 100 feet in your barns or poultry houses. Sensors should be placed within 700 ft. of the Gateway for best connection.
Q: How many sensors can I connect to each Gateway?
A: You can connect up to:
- 24 temperature sensors, humidity sensors, wireless dry contact sensors, and water meters per Gateway.
- 1 outdoor temperature sensor per Gateway.
- 8 BinTalk feed bin sensors per Gateway.
Q: How long does each sensor’s batteries last?
A: The sensors all have lithium-ion batteries inside of them with a 2-3 year battery life. The water meter has an 8+ year battery life. Replacement batteries for the sensors can be easily found at online retailers like Amazon for around $5.
Q: What can I monitor with BarnTalk?
A: BarnTalk’s growing suite of sensors allows you to monitor temperature, water usage, humidity, feed bin levels, generators, controllers, water pressure switches, door switches, feed lines, and more.
Q: How do I get notified when an alarm is triggered?
A: Receive alarms via text message, phone call, or push notification from the app.
Q: How do I acknowledge the alarms?
A: All alarms can be acknowledged in the BarnTalk app by touching the “Attend to Alarm” button. You can also resolve alarms via the keypad on your phone.
Q: Can I disable my alarms?
A: Yes. If you don’t want to be alerted — including when you're washing out barns or moving out animals, you can toggle off your threshold settings or silence your Gateway's alarms altogether.
Q: How will I get notified when conditions exceed the “Emergency Thresholds?
A: If the conditions exceed your Emergency Thresholds, you will receive a call or text notifying you of the emergency.
Q: How will I get notified when conditions exceed the “Warning Thresholds?”
A: If the conditions exceed your Warning Thresholds, it will only send you a push notification as a warning that the temperature is approaching an emergency state.
Q: How many people can I add to my CallTree?
A: There is no limit to how many people you add to your CallTree. They just need to be a contact in your phone to add them in. The contacts you add will be notified in the order of the CallTree when barn conditions fall outside of the norm.
Q: Does each Gateway have its own CallTree?
A: Yes. Each Gateway has its own CallTree, so be sure to set each one of them up individually.
Q: Is BarnTalk self-testing?
Yes. BarnTalk completes a self-test every two minutes to confirm that the Gateway is still online. If no response is received, an alarm is triggered. We refer to this as the BarnTalk HeartBeat.
Q: Does the BarnTalk Gateway also have a backup battery?
A: Yes. BarnTalk’s 24+ hour backup battery ensures you can receive alarms and view conditions even when you’ve lost power.
Q: Is there a subscription with BarnTalk?
A: The subscription covers BarnTalk’s built-in, plug-and-play connectivity. It’s more reliable and cost effective vs. obsolete landlines, or spotty internet and cell phone plans. View Connectivity Pricing.
Q: Is there a warranty to protect my BarnTalk system?
For just $15/month, BarnTalk TotalCare provides complete coverage for any and all damage to your Gateway and any sensors connected to it. Lightning, water, fire, and physical damage—no questions asked. Click here to learn more.
Q: What sets BarnTalk apart?
A: BarnTalk is an alarm system built by producers with an intimate knowledge of the industry and its unique challenges. The system is wireless and performs a self-test every 2 minutes. It doesn’t require an electrician to be hired or an expensive install, and there’s no learning curve on the app. With BarnTalk, you can finally see into your barn at any time, not just when there’s an alarm call, and you can do this on your phone from anywhere without spending a fortune on a fancy controller. Finally, a true plug-and-play solution.
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