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BarnTalk Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

July 1, 2022

BarnTools Maddy McGarry Headshot

Maddy McGarry

Senior Content Manager

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 far away can I hang these sensors from the Gateway?

A: This one depends a bit on your building materials, but typically our sensors have a range of ~1200 feet.

Q: There’s a battery in here? How long does the battery last?

A: Yes. The BarnTalk Gateway has a 24+ hour battery backup inside, allowing you to remotely view conditions inside your building even if you’ve lost power. The sensors all have lithium-ion batteries inside of them with a 2–3-year battery life. The water meter has approximately a 10-year battery life. Replacement batteries for the sensors can be easily found at online retailers like Amazon for around $5.

Q: How many sensors can I connect to a Gateway?

A: Currently each Gateway can have up to 24sensors paired to it, however, we are working on an upgrade in the next 3-6 months which will allow for 32 sensors to be paired to each Gateway

Q: Do I need one Gateway for each building?

A: No. BarnTalk is a wireless system, so depending on proximity, sensors range can often extend across multiple buildings. We typically recommend one Gateway for every two buildings but are more than happy to pull up your site on Google Maps and talk through the most cost effective plan for you.

Q: Can BarnTalk integrate with my controller?

A: Yes. Each BarnTalk Gateway has two dry contact circuits. Your controller’s error wire can be ran through the water tight grommet on the bottom of the BarnTalk Gateway and connected to this circuit so when your controller throws an error, your BarnTalk system will notify you with an alarm. These dry contact circuits can be used to monitor a variety of other things around your building, including generators, auger motors, water pressure switch and more.

Q: How do I acknowledge the alarms?

A: All alarms can be acknowledged within the BarnTalk app by the simple touching of the “Attend to Alarm” button. Users are also able to acknowledge alarms via the keypad on their phone.

Q: How long do these sensors last and what kind of warranty do they have?

A: These are robust sensors, specifically built for wet and corrosive environments. Each have waterproof/dustproof seals to maintain the integrity of the electronics inside and have been tested for maximum durability. BarnTools guarantees their products for the life of your subscription. If you are an active customer, we will replace your hardware at no charge.

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.