What in the world do I do with this funky intercom?!?

strayerdarbOctober 8, 2013

We have this "lovely" intercom system with switchy levers to talk to all the bedrooms, a tape deck (!!!) and a radio tuner. Every bedroom and the back porch has one of the speaker thingies. The doorbell works through it.

I would like to get rid of it entirely, ((really we have a Sonos system and it works great except that they don't make an outdoor speaker)). I'd like to rip the unit out, rip the little speaker units out in the bedrooms and outside, patch and paint the drywall bits that we damage doing that. My DH says "why waste all the speaker wire that is already conveniently routed throughout the house, isn't there something good to do with that?"

I understand what he's saying, but don't really know what to do. I can see maybe trying to take advantage that there is speaker wire going out to the back patio and maybe hard wiring a Sonos unit out there.

2 pictures

Please advise.

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strayerdarb

Pic 2 - there are about 6 of these in the house.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 8:55PM
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fibersport

what brand is it and does it all work?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:17PM
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strayerdarb

Yes, it works; all the units in the bedrooms work. But we don't use it, except that we leave the volume on in a couple rooms downstairs because the doorbell works through it.

If we get rid of it I guess we could get a wireless doorbell.

On the front it says "Broan Music Intercom" so I guess the brand is Broan.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:39PM
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sherri1058

Looks like the speakers we had in our house which didn't work. I tossed them but the wire is still there. In our case, I can't imagine needing the speaker wire. We also have a Sonos system, and just take a speaker outside with us - no wires required.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:51PM
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Brandywine72

If you leave it in maybe in a hundred years somebody will be utterly charmed by it the way that I am charmed by old fashioned buzzers that go from the kitchen to the maids quarters on the third floor of houses we have looked at, or the door bell in the floor of dining room so the woman of the house can clandestinely buzz the maid during dinner.

But, if you aren't going the preservationist route, why not rip them out? I have a house built in 1851 and it has three of those intercom systems throughout the house (sans tape deck) and we had them ripped out. Too anachronistic. Plus, everybody would ring the buzzer on the system when they came to the front door and the wimpy buzz was so much softer than the booming thud of our big brass door knocker. It was so irritating I could never hear the door. Now that it is gone, I can always here when someone is at the door with the good old fashioned knocker.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 8:29AM
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lazy_gardens

My DH says "why waste all the speaker wire that is already conveniently routed throughout the house, isn't there something good to do with that?"

Nope ... that wire radiates too much EMF to use for, so you are stuck using it as a tape player. Remove the stuff and patch over it.

Wireless and a modem will do better.

We have "twisted pair" wiring going to an outlet in every single room, and it's never been used. The SO's crystal ball wasn't working when he installed it.

We now have enough Ethernet cabling to use any bedroom as a server room (except the MBR), and wireless for the rest of the house.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 10:44AM
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pricklypearcactus

I'm in the same situation, except that I'm not certain our whole system works properly. I've been ignoring them for a while, but eventually I probably need to do something too. I actually love the idea of having speakers wired throughout the house (and maybe even an intercom), but what we have is so outdated. I don't know much about stereo wiring, so I have no idea if the wiring could be reused. But it sounds like lazygardens is saying it's too outdated to be usable?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 10:52AM
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sjhockeyfan325

We had those in our old house and I thought they were great because we had very thick walls- but noone used them anyway, they just yelled from floor to floor.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 10:55AM
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weissman

You can use them to spy on your kids, old-tech style :-)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 11:34AM
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laughablemoments

If they were usable, I'd say pack them up and mail them my way. : ) We just bought a house that will have 3 floors with kiddos on the 3rd floor and main living on the first. I need to find something similar so that we aren't trying to holler ourselves hoarse trying to communicate from floor to floor.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 3:01PM
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GreenDesigns

Doesn't everyone just use their cell phones these day?

For those "antiques", rip them out and put them on Ebay and use the money to upgrade your home systems to wireless everything. Even if the wire is still good inside the walls, it's outdated technology for all of that.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 3:32PM
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boone_2009

Strayer: Funny that you should bring this up because we *just* ( as in yesterday) decided to replace our Valet Intercom system instead of ripping it out. It took us weeks of agonizing, lol!

My first instinct was to remove it ( we have the units upstairs as well) but our neighbors( and close friends) replaced their identical units with 'prettier' models and of course, DH wanted to do the same.

We'll be getting the new units next week - they have the same dimensions and all we have to do is hook them up.
This is where we ordered our new units from:
http://www.stateintercom.com/

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 6:04PM
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chris-2000

Boone_2009: How is the new intercom working out? Is it useful? Researching this as well...

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 2:04PM
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swirlycat

"Nope ... that wire radiates too much EMF to use for, so you are stuck using it as a tape player. Remove the stuff and patch over it."

Just curious about this, because I thought speaker wire was low voltage, so not very high EMF?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 3:15PM
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aok27502

Boy, is this timely. I am working on getting my parents' 1963 house ready for sale, and it has a Nutone intercom system. It still works, although the radio could apparently use a better antenna. I was advised yesterday to yank it out, it's too old. Plus, the control panel takes up a good bit of wall space in the kitchen.

I am planning to take the speaker units out and stuff the wire into the walls. Is there seriously a market for them on eBay?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 8:36PM
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