Looking for suggestions for a hardwired home intercom system. I don't
think the intercom systems are the way to handle audio in the house so
that just leaves an intercom doing intercom duty. It seems most of
these that are hardwired require shielded wiring so I can't just
prewire some cat5 wire and figure out a vendor later.
What do you folks like for pure intercom duty? That doesn't cost an
arm and a leg?
On 21 Oct 2004 07:32:41 -0700 "Power Cat"
used 8 lines of text to write in newsgroup: alt.home.repair
Don't know what your definition of "arm and a leg" are, but these are
what the pros use.
Remove the 'snails' from my email
They also have the bonus of being portable and being right at hand. We
used the radios for mapping out our circuit breakers in our house -- me
running around to all thge plugs and switches, and my wife in the basement
flipping breakers. Worked like a treat.
We bought and installed an older used business telephone system--most of em
wire in with cat5 cable, just like a computer network.........they allow
paging and 2 way intercom to any single station as well as to the whole
group--and answering is hands free.
Like these :
Relatively inexpensive, easy to set up and program and use and with parts
for expansion and upgrade being readily available on the used market--the
410 allowing for 10 extensions and 4 incoming ( co ) lines........
We also patched an unused co line to an amplifier and then into the old
NuTone speakers, adding some more horn speakers outside, the overhead paging
now covering most of the 8 acre estate and with all communications functions
being also linked to the machine shop some 500ft from the residence.
Not that the old merlin telephone systems are for everybody, but for us it
has worked out really well.
I can't tell you what works, but I can tell you what doesn't. I bought some
wireless FM Radio Shack units (because they were cheap and easy to install),
the kind that transmits right over the house electrical wiring, so you can
just plug the units in any electrical outlet, no special wiring required.
The only ones that work are ones that are on the same circuit. Of course,
if your house is big enough for an intercom, it is unlikely that any two of
them are going to be on the same circuit. Those that are on different
circuits do not receive the broadcast clearly, if they receive it at all.
Don't waste your money on this technology.
Mine work fine too. I have one in a detached garage, and one in the kitchen.
They do not need to be on the same circuits.
They work so well that may neighbor bought a pair for his garage and house.
The only problem is he got the same frequency we have! When he first plugged
them in he started talking to my wife! He exchanged them for a differant
freq, and all is well!
I bought a set of them a year or so ago. [Radio Shack Cat. No.
43-3105] I have them on 3 different circuits but only 2 communicate.
The non-communicating one is on the opposite leg of the feed. I
bought another gadget that bridges the legs but that doesn't seem to
I suspect there is some other interference going on but haven't found
the source. [I should probably try it again now that my daughter has
gone to college with her refrigerator, stereo & computer]
I have three of these in my three-story house and they work just fine,
although they are each on a different circuit. And there are two
different types of wiring in the house! There were a couple of outlets
they would not work on, but they worked on most. They do not seem to
work with extension cords.
We use the monitors all the time and it saves a lot of shouting up and
down the stairs. The ones we got (years ago) were from Radio Shack. I
don't recall what they cost but it was well under $100 for three.
I should also say that we have computer network wiring, five large
computer monitors, four wireless phones, and a TV home theater with
wires all over the place, but no interference on the monitors, not
even the one that sits in the midst of three computers. The only
interference I have encountered was from a fluorescent lamp on our
drafting table, which I fixed by installing a small EMF supressor
device on the cord.
I've always been impressed with the Aiphone brand of intercoms. It is a
Japanese company, but they have been available in the US for many years.
The Sound quality is very good as is the construction. I've installed them
in a few estate homes with many rooms and buildings. In one instance I
needed a unit customized and the factory did it for me. The cost of these
units may be more expensive than some others that are commonly used.
Regardless of the brand that you choose, be sure to follow the factory's
installation procedures and use the wire that is recommended by them. It
will have a great affect on the sound quality.
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