It may be time to convert or upgrade your currently installed older intercom system with a modern system that has added functionality and capabilities. This article provides several helpful tips for achieving just that.
Tip #1: Remove the intercom system
The first step to converting an old intercom system to a new one is to remove the existing intercom system. This can be done either by unplugging it or removing the battery. However, if the system is hard-wired, you will need to take more steps to remove it, which will require professional help.
You can also replace your existing intercom system with a new one using Cat5 wires, which are Ethernet wires. This way, you can connect the new system to the Internet and get even more features. For instance, many modern intercom systems have a video door station that you can view from a special intercom station inside your establishment or from anywhere using a computer and an Internet enabling module.
Another option is to disguise the intercom. For non-do-it-yourselfers, it’s easy to conceal an intercom system by placing furniture, plants, or wall pictures in front of it. In addition, you can also paint over the intercom to make it look more discreet.
If you don’t have the skills or the equipment to tackle removal of your intercom system, a licensed electrician can help. Depending on the size of your project, a reputable company specializing in intercom installation can provide an estimate.
Tip #2: Replace the carbon microphone with a modern electret microphone
If your intercom system uses a carbon microphone, you may want to consider replacing it with a modern electret microphone. This type of microphone extends the benefits of a carbon microphone while also removing the need for wires. It falls under the sixth wave of technological innovation, which started in the 1970s and continues today. This wave has made great contributions to the world and helped us to become more connected.
In many applications, MEMS microphones are replacing electrets. The technology behind MEMS microphones is very similar to traditional silicon etching techniques, where layers of different materials are deposited on a silicon wafer, which is then etched away to reveal a membrane that is moveable. A MEMS microphone consists of a rigid sensor backplate that is fixed over a cavity in the base wafer. A thin, solid membrane sits in the middle, which flexes in response to changes in air pressure caused by sound waves.
Modern door intercoms are designed differently. Some use only two wires and others use digital electronics. The latter type will typically use a circuit board that is housed within the handset station. To make the conversion, you will need a soldering iron, hand tools, and electronic components. The door intercom that you are replacing was probably installed in the 1980s. The circuit was built to last for 30 years and has been very reliable but it may be way past its prime. In addition to microphones, there are speakers, buttons, and a buzzer.
Unlike carbon microphones, electret microphones can be recharged from an external source. This can improve the communication methods between people in different locations. For example, a businessman in South Africa can Skype with a product retailer in Australia when he’s in Australia. This technology improves global connections and allows for easy communication.
Tip #3: Replacing the solenoid with a pushbutton
Replacing the solenoid with ‘pushbutton’ intercoms is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to upgrade your intercom system. You can hide the intercom in a hutch, frame a picture, or cover it with paint, but this method won’t work for more than one station and won’t provide you with much protection.
Whichever approach you decide to take in modernizing your intercom system it is advantageous to speak with a reputable experienced installer to discuss the best options and path forward; Academy Intercom Company prides itself on helping many of its customers upgrade their legacy intercom systems and excels at working with customers to advise on the best intercom system replacement path.
Contact us @ 1 (212) 539-1000 by phone or click here to contact us via our sales inquiry form – we look forward to hearing from you soon!