The User's Guide to your BETA Relays


I’ve been seeing some questions throughout the Neighborhood about how Relay works. What do the colors on the LED color ring indicate? How do I change the channels? What does each button mean? So, I have pulled together a simple user’s guide.

*Please note that this is a user’s guide for the BETA devices only and may change before the Relay launch.

:large_blue_circle: Powering your Relay On/Off:

To power your Relay on, hold the channel button for two seconds. The Relay will vibrate and begin to power up. After a few seconds the LED ring will spin white for about a minute - indicating the boot-up of the operating system. Once the operating system is fully booted, Relay’s LED lights will spin in rainbow colors, and your device is ready to use.

To power your Relay down, hold the channel button for 5 seconds. The LED ring will spin white and then your Relay will vibrate, indicating that the Relay is now powered off.

If your Relay battery is critically low, your Relay will initiate a power down on its own.

:large_blue_circle: Understanding Channels:

When you press the channel button, the Relay will announce its name and channel, and briefly flash the LED light associated with that channel. Pressing the channel button again within 5 seconds will cause Relay to change to the next available channel. You rotate through the channels by pressing repeatedly.

Your Relay Channel is used to communicate to the entire group. This channel is indicated by the :green_heart:green LED.

Your Echo Channel is used to send your message back to you in a random voice-changer mode. This channel is indicated by the :orange_heart:orange LED.

To easily see which channel you are on, press the talk button for only a moment. This will display the color of the channel you are currently on.

:large_blue_circle: Indicator of Network Connectivity:

If a Relay device loses connection to the network, a double bamboo strike will sound.

:large_blue_circle: Charging Indicators

While powered on and connected to the charger, Relay will use white LED ring segments to indicate the charge of the device, with the lead segment blinking. When the device is fully charged the white ring will start “breathing”.

If the Relay is in “charge-only” mode, Relay will display red LED segments for low battery level and white LED segments for moderate to high battery levels. Charge-only mode is entered when a Relay is powered-off when connected to the charger.

To easily see the charge on your Relay device, push the talk button for only a moment. After the LED light indicating which channel you are on is displayed, it will then show you the white charging ring, indicating the charge level of your Relay.

:large_blue_circle: Adjusting the Speaker Volume:

Pressing the volume button indicates the volume level by displaying the number of lit LED segments. Additionally, a tone will play at the present volume level. Pressing the volume button increases the volume until it reaches its maximum volume level. On the next press of the volume button, the volume returns to the lowest level.

:large_blue_circle: Locking Your Relay:

When you lock your Relay device, it will not be able to send messages. Locking the device will keep you from accidentally pressing buttons. To lock the device, press the volume and channel buttons at the same time. Your Relay should announce that it has been locked as well as flash the white LED light twice. Pressing any button while the device is locked will cause the Relay to again announce that it is locked and flash the white LED light twice.

To unlock your Relay, simply press both the volume and channel buttons again and your Relay will announce that is has been unlocked and begin responding to the push of buttons.

:large_blue_circle: Sending a Message:

To send a message, push and hold the talk button. You should see the LED ring light up with the color of the channel you are on and you should also hear an audible “clunk” sound, indicating you’re being recorded. Continue holding the button while speaking your message. When you have finished speaking your message, release the button and your Relay will make the same “clunk” noise and stop showing the LED light. If the message is sent successfully to at least one group member, the Relay will beep. If no group members are available, Relay will announce that “no one in your group is online” when the talk button is held. Message recording is limited to 30 seconds.

Message recording is blocked when:

  1. Another group member is recording a message

  2. A message is in transit

  3. A message is being played

If you have no connection and you press/hold the talk button you will see the red LED for about 5 seconds and the device will announce there is no connection with the Relay service.

:large_blue_circle: Receiving a Message:

While a group member is recording a message, all other devices are locked from recording and will receive an announcement if recording is attempted. When a message is delivered, the device(s) receiving the message will vibrate and its LED ring will glow to indicate the receiving channel. If the talk button is pressed during message playback, the playback will be ended.

:large_blue_circle: Resetting your Relay:

To reset your Relay, hold the talk and channel buttons for 5 seconds. This will cause Relay to announce and then perform a restart. If you hold talk and volume and then press the channel button for 8 seconds, Relay will announce that Factory Data Reset will soon occur. After 12 seconds of holding the buttons, the device will reboot and begin to reset.

:large_blue_circle: Software Updates:

Relay will automatically update when a software update is available. Relay will announce that it is updating, become unresponsive, and then perform a restart. However, this will only happen if connected to WiFi. The companion app may also be used to trigger an update.

I hope this guide is helpful for learning to use your Relays.

Did I leave something out? Are your questions still unanswered? Let me know what I’m missing so my team and I can work to create a user’s guide that covers all the bases.


Thank you @madisonh this is very helpful!


Thank you @madisonh. I love the echo channel cool voices. Having lots of fun.


WiFi is accessible as of 4/27 through the Relay app. It was grayed out/not accessible in the app until today’s app update. I just downloaded it today and got the Relays set up on WiFi.


The cell connection in my home has never been good, so connecting to WiFi has allowed me use the Relays normally without a lot of delay like I get through the weak cell connection.

I’m not sure what Republic has in mind for the future, but since there is no screen on the Relay, I’m not sure what internet access on these devices would allow besides better performance in places where cell connection is weak or nonexistent. Possibly Google home or Alexa like functions, streaming content like music, podcasts, or audiobooks. I don’t know how much if this I would want to add for my kids though. I don’t want to create too many distractions.


I am so glad to hear that you guys are enjoying it!


That’s a great point. I agree that the simplicity of the Relay is what makes it so great for kids. Adding too much can become distracting. As Relay grows, we hope to find that perfect balance of what is fun and helpful (with kids in mind) without being too distracting and “smart-phone-like”.

All really great thoughts here… I hadn’t really thought about audiobooks before, but I can see where that would be incredibly useful in a situation like a long car or plane ride or even for school in some cases.