Wired intercom systems still add great value to Home Security configurations.
These systems can provide many years of good service provided:
Cables are correctly installed.
It is protected from insect invasion (especially ants and spiders).
Measures are in place to minimize lightning damage.
Let us have a look at these aspects individually.
Cabling is required for powering up intercom systems. There are two main configurations depending on the brand:
The handsets are plugged directly into an electrical socket.
A separate power supply (usually 12v DC) powers the system. This intercom power supply plugs directly into an electrical power point.
Electricity can be lethal. Get professional help if in doubt!
Multi-core intercom cable between the different units makes communication possible. The standard commercially available intercom cables of 0,2 mm thick is suitable for most intercom installations. Be aware that a thicker (up to 0,8 mm) cable may be required for some intercoms over longer distances.
There must be enough wire strands for the speech and call functions. Additional core to open any gates from the handsets may be required.
It is also customary to provide extra core to allow one to monitor the status of the gate, especially if it cannot be seen from the house.
Since cable will invariably be installed in the ground, the roof, and on walls, it is exposed to damage.
The first rule is to install cabling as far away from harmful activities such as gardening, etc.
The second rule is to provide enough spare core should there be damage to the cable at a later stage.
It is often necessary to double up on intercom cable on distances over 30 meter. Ensure that there is enough spare core should it become necessary.
Also, allow for extra cable should there be a need to later upgrade and/ or change.
Cable should be installed in PVC pipes to further minimize risk of damage.
The cost of the cable is negligent when compared to the cost of installing it.
Protect against Insect Damage
Spiders and ants causes havoc with intercom electronic equipment, especially the gate station. They seek out the protection and slight heat emitted by the electronics.
Spray regularly with long-life insecticides. Moth balls placed inside the unit acts as a deterrent.
Protect Intercoms from Lightning and Electrical Surges
With so much cable running over long distances, lightning damage is a great thread to intercoms in certain regions.
Electrical surges due to unstable electrical supply from service providers are also quite common in certain areas.
At minimum, the electrical supply to the power supply must be protected with an adequate surge protector. Surge protector plugs are freely available from electrical outlets or hardware stores.
In areas where lightning is severe, additional protection may be necessary between the different units of the intercom system. We have this specialized equipment available on request
Popular Brands - For harsh South African conditions
Follow the links below for more information. These products are equally suitable for home- and office use.
There are many home intercom system brands available. Many are NOT suitable for the harsh South African conditions.
These brands discussed here are are merely a representation of the most sought after wired intercom systems. Do not hesitate to call us if you want to discuss products not found here.
These are just some of the popular brands we've been using for nearly three decades mainly in Gauteng, South Africa:
Polo Intercom System
Commax Video Intercom
Most of these systems have proven themselves reliable in our harsh South African weather conditions.
BPT Intercom System
The BPT intercom is a popular home intercom system.
It has an excellent speech quality and is ideal for the larger domestic application, especially where long distances are required. BPT Home Intercom Systems
Polo Intercom System
The Polo is a stylish locally manufactured modular home intercom system.
This system can be configured by combining a maximum of five sub-units. It is possible for example to have two gate stations and three handsets.
The Polo handsets can be configured into two groups (no group can have more than three handsets). The gate station has two call buttons; each can be configured to call a different group of handsets.
The two handset groups can intercommunicate with each other. Handsets within a group can not intercommunicate amongst themselves.
This configuration makes it ideal where the main residence wants to separate itself from visitors to a granny flat, the servant’s quarters, or a home-office while at the same time wants to be able to maintain intercommunication with the other group.
The total cable limit is 150 meters.
The Commax home intercom system is a world-known brand and offer a large range of intercom and video systems. The basic kit consisting of a gate station and one or two handsets has been a local favorite for many years.
There are mains operated (220 volt) and 12 volt systems available.
The Commax intercom is not modular. The basic system cannot be extended. Once you have chosen a one-handset system, it is not possible to add any more to it.
Cabling is minimal; two speech cables are required between the gate station and the handset. Do not exceed the 30 meter cable limitation.
Do you want to open your gate from the handset? Two more wires are required to the gate motor or electric lock.
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