New Life for Old Whole House Intercom/Radio?

Old 12-10-05, 07:02 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Question New Life for Old Whole House Intercom/Radio?

I bought a house with one of the old whole house intercom/radio systems. As I redid the rooms I replaced the old ceiling speakers with 5 1/4", 8 Ohm, 15 Watt RMS, 30 Watt Max speakers. I wired one speaker to the old wires for the mono radio and the other to the old wires for the intercom. The wires are light guage bell wire. I used to play the speakers through the old system before I ditched it when remodeling my ktichen. The sound wasn't great and broke up at higher volume.

Now I have all these speaker wires, carefully marked, running into a cabinet. I'd like to install an amplifier and start using them but I can't figure how to divide the signal into all the 6-8 speaker pairs, size the amplifier and determine what individual room stereo volume control switches to get.

I'd also like to have the computer in the kitchen be the sound source if possible and even better, control the whoe thing with X10 controllers.

Old 12-12-05, 05:43 AM
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When updating an older intercom system, you typically have to ad a second transflormer or change out the old one for a bigger one. Since you're changing over to a more conventional distributed stereo setup, I don't think you need to worry about that. There are many companies that make impedence correcting, or matching, switch boxes. These allow you to get a stereo amplifier or receiver, connect all of the rooms to the switch box, and power all of the rooms with the stereo amplifier without having to worry about melting the amplifier. Using your computer as the source shouldn't be a problem by getting a 1/8" stereo mini to male RCA adapter and connecting it to the output of your sound card. I don't know about X-10, but I do know that Niles has an in-wall keypad called the Intellipad, that would work to control the audio, but it wouldn't interface with your computer. This same company also has the switch box that would work well.
I hope this helps.

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