Tech Blog

Partyline Intercoms


Partyline (PL) intercoms are the simplest form of production intercom systems and are normally used for teamwork activities such as when several users, such as belt packs or camera intercoms, are engaged in a given common activity and they need to talk and/or listen to each other all the time.

Systems are usually full-duplex and are non-blocking, which means that each member can talk and listen simultaneously and there is no busy signal. Some signaling can be provided but usually not to the extent that every operator can selectively signal every other operator. Conversations on Partyline systems are typically non-private.

Present-day Partyline intercom systems may be wired, wireless or both. Most PL intercoms consist of power supplies (or master stations), user stations (ie, belt packs, speaker stations, main stations, etc.), interconnecting cable, headsets, panel microphones, push-to-talk microphones and a termination. Users typically wear headsets or talk through a gooseneck mic plugged into a station. Currently available Partyline systems offer high performance, low to moderate cost and can use one channel or multiple channels.

The advantages of Partyline systems include the following: 

  • relatively easy setup
  • simple operation
  • use of common cabling (standard microphone cables)
  • portability
  • clear, reliable communications.

The major disadvantage of two wire systems is interfacing between systems which, if not done correctly, could cause degredation of system performance. This degredation could cause a lack of selective calling to mutliple stations and limited privacy capability.

Click here to find out more on Clear-Com’s Encore Partyline System.

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