Automated Two-Way Radio Prop

Hello all!

I am new to this forum but have had decent experience in DIY radio projects since I was a kid but I am currently trying to figure out a way to make a two way radio broadcast via a controller with an audio output so the other person will receive the transmission w/o needing a 2nd person. This is for a haunted attraction that I work at so it wouldn’t be used in any way other than the scene it will be in.

I have various prop controllers at my desire but after opening up a few of the cheaper Motorola FRS radios, I realized it’s not just a simple task of attaching wires to the PTT button & mic.

I have tried various search terms for an “automated” or “relay activated” two way radio but very little has shown up so any advice will be welcomed.

Thank you!

I’m not quite sure what you mean, but you want somebody with a radio to go into transmit when commanded so audio supplied to it comes out of a radio? I’m thinking along the lines of a person who has a two way radio on their belt with a message saying “help! Something is coming… aaaaaaagh” that kind of thing?

Ignoring the legal/licencing side and just being practical, the simplest way to do it, is simply use a radio that has a voice operated transmit feature - many have these. They listen, and when their mic hears a voice, they go into transmit, and then stop when the audio vanishes. You’d just make a simple pad to make sure the device that is generating the audio matches the transmitter input, and it will work fine. If you have the knowledge to generate TTL level signals from the control system, then you could use relay or solid state methods to make it go into transmit. A low power repeater uses a simple 5V control method to turn transmit on - but a pair of cheap walkie-talkies with vox would do the same thing. If you are stuck, contact a local radio ham club - they’re bound to have people who can do this for you and advise on the things to buy.

Yes that is basically the idea. The live actor has their script and the other “person” would be pre-recorded and playing over the radio randomly so it looks like the actor is actually talking to someone.

My original thought was to use an FRS radio with a VOX feature, probably will, and use a compact amplifier of some sort but I wasn’t sure if someone had created something that worked off a switch, relay, or whatever would be actuating the PTT feature.

Far be it for a Brit to talk US Rules, but FRS specifically prohibits business , commercial and non domestic use, so you’d need to go to a proper business licence - as even GMRS has problems with what you’re thinking - material to entertain or amuse isn’t allowed, and of course false and deceptive messages can be a problem. Your messages, designed to scare people and pretend to be things they’re really not present a problem, if you want to be legal, and if it’s work - maybe they want to be in the clear? I doubt anyone would cause trouble - but hearing your messages on a public band, could at the very least, generate interest!

I understand that and honestly, the pre-recorded side is just sarcastic “smack talk” from a movie character so I think people would laugh more than anything but I get what you mean. I was also planning on using a channel/sub channel that would hopefully be obscure enough that no one would ever hear it.

The haunted attraction is completely non-profit as well so there might be something I can look into for that if I really felt I needed to look into some sort of licensing.

Doesn’t work like that. privacy settings only prevent you hearing other people - other people can hear everything.

I run a theatre system - linked to the backstage comms system with a repeater, and it powers up and is licenced, but has been just left - a show is on, up it comes and voices appear. It seems many locals know all about it and listen in every show we do. You never know who is out there.