How To Buy Home Intercom Systems

There are two main choices when you decide to buy home intercom systems. Those choices are between a wired intercom or a wireless home intercom system.

Really the only way you would decide to buy a wired system is if you already have an old one installed in your house, or you are building a new house. Otherwise the installation cost of running the wires would be too high.

If you are building a new house, you can simply have the electricians run the wires for the system when they are doing the rest of the electrical and phone wiring. They can also do the final installation of the units after the drywall is installed.

If this is the route you want to go, you just need to give the electricians the installation manual for the system so they can see what kind of wire they need to run, and so they know what to quote you for final installation cost. There is nothing too complicated about installing modern home intercom systems so any electrician or even a telephone system installer should be able to do it.

To choose a wired system you really just need to find one that has the features you are looking for. Most of them come with a built-in AM/FM radio, but you may want one with a CD player too. If you want to go really basic, and spend less, you can get a basic system with no music.

If you have a house that isn’t wired for intercom, then the best choice is to go with a wireless system. These may be attractive to you even if you have an existing wired system. One of the advantages of a wireless system over a wired system is that the units are more portable. If you are sitting in your favorite chair and someone pages you, with a wired intercom you have to get out of your chair and go to where it is installed to talk back to someone. With a wireless system, you can put a portable unit by your chair and just reach over and press a button.

If you like the looks of a home intercom system that is installed in a wall, you can get wireless units that have a combination of flush-mounted wall units, along with portable units. So you have wall-mount units in some rooms, and a few portable ones in strategic locations that will talk to the wall units.

The advantages of a wired intercom system over a wireless one, is that you never have to worry about interference from some other wireless device. Some wireless systems minimize this possibility though. If you are building a new house, it would still probably be wise to consider a wired system. There is never a cheaper time to install wires in a wall than before the drywall goes up.

So the right home intercom system choice for you just depends on your personal choice and the house you are installing it in. Either way you go, you’ll appreciate not having to shout at your family members every time you need to talk to them. That’s truly the biggest benefit of home intercom systems.

Talk Your Way to Home Security With an Intercom System

Communication, so it is said, is the key to a lot of things in life. It is the key to successful relationships, international relations, and even many successful careers. Communication is also the key to home security – aside from actual keys, that is. When it comes to protecting your home and family against intruders and other dangers, there are at least two ways in which communication plays a direct role. The first of these is in communicating with your security company via a monitoring service, and the other is through an intercom system.

In recent years, intercom systems have gone from being a high-tech luxury that was only really found in the most expensive homes, to a fairly common security tool for everyday people. There are a number of ways in which an intercom system can be used to increase your personal safety and the safety of your loved ones, as well as the security of your property and valuable belongings. This article will focus on the multiple ways in which you can benefit from incorporating an intercom system into your overall home security system.

If you have a family with babies or young kids, you can use your intercom system to help ensure their safety. Using an intercom, you can listen in while your children are playing or sleeping in another room. You will not have to constantly interrupt whatever it is that you are doing to go and make sure everything is ok. Though you will still want to check in on your kids from time to time in person, having an intercom will help to minimize interruptions and alert you if something unexpected happens.

Installing an intercom system in your home is also be a good safety measure if you an elderly or handicapped relative (anyone with low mobility) living with you. If this person needs help or there is an emergency, and you are in another part of the house, they can use the intercom system to get your attention quickly.

But you do not need to have young children or elderly or handicapped relatives living with you in order to benefit from having an intercom system installed in your house. Intercom systems can be a useful safety and home security tool for just about anyone. When it comes to protecting yourself and your home against potential burglars, having a home alarm system by itself is a good start. But incorporating an intercom system into your overall security system takes your security up a notch. With an intercom at the front door, you never have to open the door without knowing who is there. For an added level of security, choose an intercom that has a built-in camera.

The best part of all is that a lot of intercom distributors these days offer at-home kits that allow you to put together your system by yourself. With home security that is easier to achieve than ever before, there is really no excuse not to protect yourself properly.

How to Choose the Best Wireless Intercom System For Your Home Or Business

When deciding to add a new wireless intercom system to the ever increasing portfolio of wireless devices in your home or business, you need to first think about the compatibility with the products you already have (or your close neighbors have). You also need to consider the range and features you need.

Wireless Intercom Frequencies

In the United States there are several frequency ranges for wireless products for unlicensed consumer use. They are 49MHz, 900MHz, 2.4GHz, 5.8GHz, and Family Radio Service (FRS) band. Most recently the FCC added the Multi-Use Radio (MURS) service. Radio frequencies for devices are similar in Canada, but MURS cannot be used there.

Back when consumer wireless products were first introduced, these wireless products used the 49MHz frequency spectrum. Early cordless telephones used this spectrum and it is still used by cheap baby monitors and other low-end wireless units. It has a short range and is prone to lots of interference. You won’t likely find wireless intercom systems that use this spectrum anymore, or if you do, you won’t want them.

Later, 900 MHz products using analog transmission technology arrived on the market. Neither the 49MHz or these early 900Mhz products have any form of security. Anyone with a device in the same frequency can listen in to conversations. Newer digital spread spectrum 900MHz products divide digital transmission across a range of frequencies so other devices can’t eavesdrop on your conversations. Digital spread spectrum intercoms also have a greater range than the analog 900Mhz units. There are at least two wireless intercoms currently on the market, but only one of them uses digital spread spectrum. The wireless intercom system that uses spread spectrum can communicate up to 1000 feet.

2.4GHz devices were next to market. There are a growing number of cordless telephones and other devices in this range. As far as intercom systems, video intercom systems are the primary users of this range although the only wireless video intercom on the market was recently discontinued. 2.4GHz is also the frequency range used by WiFi wireless data networks (802.11B/G) in homes and businesses so products in this range can interfere with each other.

The Family Radio Service (462-467MHz) is in the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band and is basically an improvement to the old walkie talkies of long ago. These handheld radios are sold everywhere and used heavily so any intercom systems in this range would have to compete with these handheld radios (and anyone can listen in to your conversations). There are no known wireless intercoms systems that use FRS.

Now 5.8GHz products are starting to make their appearance in the cordless phone arena. No compatibility issues exist between 5.8GHz and 2.4GHz devices so no problems should be experienced in mixing them. However, there are currently no known wireless intercom systems in this range.

You’ll also see some intercom systems that claim to be wireless but they really use the power wiring in your home or business to send and receive transmissions from the intercom. These are frequently called “FM wireless intercoms” even though they often transmit over your house wiring in the AM band. To use them, you just plug an AC adapter into the wall. These systems are very prone to humming or buzzing and are not recommended unless you are prepared to live with this possibility. Since house wiring comes in as 240 volts and is split in two phases of 120, you’ll also experience problems with the signal trying to cross the phases. One part of your house or business may work fine, where the other half doesn’t. These intercoms are typically the least expensive intercoms of the bunch.

Long Range Wireless Intercoms

The most recent addition to the wireless intercom market are products in the MURS frequency range. MURS is a service in the VHF (Very High Frequency) 150 MHz radio spectrum. MURS has a power increase of four times that of FRS radio. And unlike FRS, you can add a larger or external antenna to improve range. If you want to put an antenna on top of your house, you can do it with MURS. Some antenna manufacturers claim an external antenna can increase the effective radiated power of a transmitter by a factor of 4. These MURS intercoms can transmit up to four miles, and perhaps more with an external antenna.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States does not require you obtain a license to use MURS frequencies so you will not have to go through that process.

There are 5 MURS channels and 38 interference eliminator or “quiet codes” that can be used on each of these channels. These quiet codes keep your radios quiet unless another radio is programmed on the same channel and quiet code. Chances are you won’t have to worry about these codes since MURS usage is extremely light. There are only a few makers of MURS radios, so traffic on these frequencies is hard to find in most areas.

The MURS Intercom system is the wireless intercom you need if you have a large property or you need to talk between buildings. You can use a MURS to not only communicate within a home, but to neighboring homes as well. You can even add a handheld unit to your MURS intercom system so you can stay in touch away from your home.

Long Range Wireless Outdoor Intercoms

You can also get commercial-grade wireless call boxes that communicate with two way radios and base station intercoms. These wireless callboxes are water resistant and designed for outdoor use. They can open gates or doors remotely if you have a model with a gate relay. Callboxes also come in vandal-proof housings with stainless steel front panels. The range on these is up to a mile or more if you use an external antenna. These wireless call boxes can be battery powered, powered with a AC-DC converter, or by solar power. Callboxes are available in UHF and VHF frequencies so you can match them with your existing two way radios if you have them. You can get call boxes that work in the un-licensed MURS frequencies so you can use them with your MURS intercoms or radios.

The benefit of a wireless callbox is that you save money by not having to do trenching and running expensive cable to the unit. You also don’t have to pay any air-time or telephone service fees with these wireless systems. Another benefit is that since the unit is wireless, people monitoring the units can carry handheld radios that communicate with the callbox. That allows your monitoring people to be mobile.

Wireless Intercom Features

Another thing to consider is what features you need for your particular application. Commercial applications often have needs for a wider variety of features. The MURS wireless system for instance has a wide variety of products that can be used with it. Not only can you get military-grade two-way radios with lots of headset options, but you can get base station intercoms, wireless call boxes with solar power option, wireless public address systems, customer service call boxes, wireless remote switches, and motion detector devices. For less commercial or residential use, a 900MHz intercom system has outdoor intercoms and doorbell intercoms you can use with your indoor intercoms.

So the wireless intercom system you choose depends on the application you have, the wireless devices already in your home or business, the range you need to cover, as well as your budget. But, once you choose the right system, you’ll be able to enjoy the convenience a wireless intercom system provides for years to come.