Flaw with custom channels


I have two kids, so bought two relays.I then setup and enabled two custom channels, for private conversations between each child and myself. My thought was that if child A wanted to talk just to me, then he switches to that channel, without it being broadcast to child B. However, it seems that both the app and the relay have to be on that same channel for that to work, otherwise they get the ‘no one in your group is online’ message. Same thing if I try and initiate a private conversation and they’re not on the private channel, and I can’t even send a notification to them.

Basically, what I’m looking for is a way to decide if I want a group or private conversation on the fly somehow. I can update their devices remotely, so a way of switching their channels remotely too.


Try speaking in the Family Channel that’s what it’s for. From the Family Channel you can then make arrangements to meet in the other channels just like a walkie-talkie. No matter what private Channel somebody is in they can always hear you on the Family Channel.


Okay, so if child A is on private, it looks like I can speak to him on the relay channel, and his device will switch channel automatically.

That’s good to know.

I’d love to be able to do the same for a private channel though.

My worry is that child A will speak to me while child B is in quiet time at school or something, and get himself in trouble.

In fact, I’d happily give up the 3 way group chat for 2 permanent, private device to app chats.

Great product though. Lots of potential.


I have the same setup with 2 relays and also think that there is room for improvement here.

One idea might be to allow the relay app to remotely manage the channel setting of the relays. That way if you need to talk to one kid but the other is in class or something you can move the relay you want to talk to exclusively to a private channel. You can already change some settings via the app so it seems like changing channels might be relatively easy to add.

Another idea might be to allow you to “subscribe” to multiple channels so that you can hear communication on multiple channels at once. Changing channels would only control what channel you are sending to. This would also be configured via the app. I’m imagining your kid would switch to the private channel and you would be able to hear them without changing channels because you are always subscribed to that private channel.

Also, it seems like the current channel you are on in the app should be shown somewhere on the “push to talk” screen to make it less likely to accidentally broadcast out to the wrong channel. Seeing what channel each relay is on from the app would also be a nice improvement.


What if you were alerted that there is activity going on in one of your other channels and that you may want to go see what is going on?


It is set by the color you assign to the channel. The ring color changes in the app.


That would work, I think. My perspective on these devices is that they are simple way for my kids to reach me, probably in emergencies (but not exclusively). I see less of a need for things like relay chat, because at ages 6 and 8, we’ll either all be together, or in situations where a relay chat might be disruptive (I.e school).


That would be good but I’m thinking about how it works on the Relay end with a kid user. They switch to a private channel to try and contact a parent only (not the other Relay) and they get an alert that nobody is on the channel. The parent might get the alert that someone is on the other channel but if there is any delay in bringing up the app the the kid may have switched the channel back to Family. I think it’s an issue where it’s easy for there to be confusion when you don’t know what channel others are on. If the parent could also see what channel the Relay is on and even control that channel setting remotely it would be much easier to have the conversation go to the correct devices from the beginning.


Cool, I didn’t know that. I still think having the channel name show would be nice and more important as more channels are added and it becomes harder to remember what color is what. There is a lot of space on that screen to add the label.


You could tell your kids to send you a push notice—like say twice—for a code to switch to the private channel. Or tell them to send a push when someone else is likely in class. It may not work all the time, but we struggle with that too. It has worked pretty good so far.