Intercom FAQs

The Nortek Security & Control Family of Brands

Q: How does an intercom system work?
A: In general, a residential intercom has two normal functions, (1) To page another person for short information conversations. For instance, “John you are wanted on the phone.” “Okay, I’ll be right there.” (2) Monitoring a room to make it easier to move around the home and still be able to monitor the activities in that room. More advanced systems have become popular as a result of added features such as music distribution, door chimes, more versatility and better overall performance.
Q:  I have an older model intercom system. Can I replace just the master unit and keep my room stations?
A: No. Technology has changed so much through the years that older speakers simply cannot function with the more advanced technology of today’s master units.
Q: Can I monitor from my intercom?
A: Yes. All Linear intercom systems have monitoring capability. Linear intercom systems can monitor one room into the rest of the house, or the rest of the house into one room, or any combination in between.
Q:  Can I talk from room to room?
A: Yes, but keep in mind that most residential systems are “all call” systems (i.e. when you speak into one speaker your voice travels to all other speakers that are turned “on” throughout the home).
Q:  Can I select which rooms hear the radio?
A: Yes, for the dmc1 and dmc3-4. The dmc1 and dmc3-4 have room control switches that enable you to select various functions for each remote speaker. On those systems without individual room control switches, you simply turn the volume control on the desired speaker from full volume to “zero.”
Q:  Can I change the radio stations from my room speakers?
A: Yes. There are a couple of different ways to change radio stations from room speakers. With any Linear system that allows for the use of “Remote Scan” (RS) speakers (MC302, MC602, MC702, MC960), radio stations can be changed from the individual room stations. In fact, it’s as simple as pressing the “scan” button. A second method is to use an RF Remote Control. This works like the transmitter of your garage door opener. If you are within approximately 100 feet of the master unit, you can change the stations by pressing a button on the hand-held transmitter.
Q: Is an intercom-only system available?
A: Yes. The DMC-10 is an intercom-only system.
Speaker Systems
Q: Can I use ceiling speakers for all applications?
A: Generally, no. Speakers, like lighting, can “flood” sound or they can “spot” sound. The type of speakers, the placement and the power are all influenced by what application is needed.
Q: How many speakers can I connect to my amp?
A: First take a look at the wattage of your amplifier. Figure a minimum of 20 watts of power per pair of speakers. Divide the wattage of the amplifier by 20 watts per pair to find the maximum number of speaker pairs that can be impedance matched for the amplifier. (Example: 100 amplifier – divided by – 20 watts per room = up to 5 pair of impedance matched speakers.)
Q:  What is the difference between a woofer and a tweeter?
A: A “woofer” is a speaker designed to respond best to lower music frequencies while a “tweeter” is a speaker designed to respond best to high music frequencies.
Q:  What is a coaxial speaker?
A: Coaxial describes the placement of the tweeter and subwoofer with respect to the design of a speaker. Coaxial is indicative of a speaker whose tweeter is directly in front of its subwoofer on the same axis. This saves room and usually allows the size of the speaker grill to be smaller while providing a wide frequency range.

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