Baby Gear

Baby Monitor woes

10:18 AM

Remember when I was writing about my newly purchased baby monitor?

The woe is not about it's functionality but rather the fact that they are sold with only one AC adaptor for 2 units and use a lot of 9v batteries. And boy does this thing eat batteries fast, even a Duracel battery last no longer than 2.5 nights!
DH observed that there must be a way to get a second adaptor, so first he went doing the round of electrical shops, and was ending up finding or the wrong voltage, or the wrong polarity, or the wrong pin end, then found a cheapo "multipurpose adaptor" on which you can change the voltage and the polarity but no instruction on how the polarity switch works, I decided to tempt the Devil and selected what I thought would be the right polarity plugged the adaptor and went looking for the baby monitor unit only to find that in the 30 seconds I plugged the adapter it had fried itself to death with the tell tale noise of a loose lead inside the box, so fortunately it saved my baby monitor from a mean experiment with a mysterious polarity switch on a crappy adaptor.
Then DH said that since this baby monitor is imported (bears the import label with the distributor info's on it) we could maybe contact them and ask them to send us another adapter. The label mentioned only a company name and a yahoo address, so DH had to google it and found it, turns out that the import company distributing "Core baby monitors" is the same that distribute baby gear of the brand "First Step" (Which was the brand of my first crappy baby carrier I mentioned in the previous entry). DH called them, the guy was helpful enough and told us that yes indeed they distribute these baby monitors with only one AC adapter since they apparently thought you use only one unit at the time, but that he would be happy to send us a second adaptor upon receipt of a 350 rupees demand draft.

From then we thought the issue was solved, but while waiting for our second adaptor the parents unit's battery snap on cap must have been damaged during one of the too many battery change, and we had to plug it to the adaptor and operate the baby unit on battery (it seems to use more battery) the pro of the switch is that at least when the battery is too weak and it stops emitting at least the parent unit makes an awful static noise which often had me creeped out in the middle of my sleep signaling me that a battery change was indeed in order.
10 days after our hopeful call to the distributor our adapter comes, I eagerly open it but a part of me keeps saying "This is too easy to have no flaws" and yes my inside voice was right, they sent us the 6 volt adapter instead of the 9 volt one, which means it doesn't have enough strenght to operate our units.
DH tried to call several time but never got the guy back on the phone and we totally lost patience and decided that the best solution left to us was simply to buy another baby monitor set, discard our battery disabled parents unit, and use the extra adaptor to use the set as it was originally supposed to work (and probably how it is sold in Europe) with 2 adaptors.
We took a trip back to Lifestyle where we know they have stock, and before going I pointed out to DH that if the distributor sent us a 6v adaptor of the same type it means that some of the models in the "Core" range must operate on 6 volts instead of 9. In Lifestyle my inner voice spoke again and prompted me to open the boxes to check if the adapters were there, and surely enough the only left box of the same model of monitor we had had no adaptor in it (my guess is that another frustrated customer did a little shoplifting). Instead of calling a shop assistant (who I found out are a bit useless anyway) I looked at the other models in the brand, and yes indeed there was a monitor that operated on 6v and hurray there was an adaptor in the box, so our 350 rupees useless one at home would work just fine. never mind that the model in question was 500 rupees more than the model we originally purchased, while we were as insane as buying a new set such price difference doesn't matter.

Back home I boxed the old set, bitter at the idea that I could not even in my good conscience sell it on ebay because of the one AC adaptor and the fact that the parent unit was no longer battery able, and took the new set out and wired it. The sweet surprise was that for 500 more you get a lot more sound clarity and the microphone is even more sensitive than on the old model, with way less parasitic noises when the volume is turned to high on the parents unit, so at least there is a consolation in our big spending.

The morale of this story is that once more, when it come to tapping into relatively new markets in this country, it is better to go for the trusted brands. In the baby gear business Mothercare rules supreme, and not only it provides products that had to pass the strict European security norms and therefore guarantee quality, they also have a staff that knows what they are talking about. I heard too many time that they are costly...well I beg to STRONGLY disagree, because most baby clothes are decently price and cots, strollers and other baby gear being of superior quality they last longer and save you money.
Too bad they aren't selling their baby monitor in India I say!


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