M&S Systems Intercom system Upgrade/Replacement - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-16-2013, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm in the process of purchasing a house that was originally built in 1994, and I believe the Home Intercom/Audio system was installed at that time.

There is currently a large intercom panel (pictured below) in the kitchen, and then various intercom stations through the house, as well as some wired speakers in the ceiling in a few of the rooms (my presumption is that these worked primarily with the 'radio' function on the intercom.



Additionally, the current owner wired a outdoor theater setup with in-ceiling speakers a couple of years ago. These are wired to a receiver in another part of the house. The two systems currently don't talk to one another.

When we move in, we're considering moving the fridge-freezer area to be recessed into the wall where the main Intercom station is currently located.

I have various questions related to this, but principally, they are as follows:

Is there a benefit in retaining separate intercom and home theater/audio system wiring loops within the house?

Can the intercom speakers' wiring loop become integrated to the Home Theater speaker loop? (for example, to play music throughout the house.) Can this be done while retaining the intercom functionality through an updated interface?


Any idea what the model is on the intercom system?
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-18-2013, 10:21 PM
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I think my M&S system is a generation older than yours. Nonfunctional, ripping out the room stations when we paint each room. The main station in the kitchen will be removed in January, when we finish remodeling.

I think you would need a new intercom system, with new category cables run. It's honestly not a big deal to run new cables, if you have attic above or basement below, in most rooms.

Some people use their phone systems (NEC, Panasonic) for this function.

It would save you a lot of time to just get a quote, from a custom installer, for exactly what you want.

All of the room stations are connected to the main station. Moving the main station would be challenging.

Keep in mind your intercom may provide the doorbell chime.

No I don't think in-ceiling speakers would be connected. Figure out where the speaker cables run.

Do a Google image search for ancient M&S intercom to find your model. Linear/M&S still makes intercoms - as do several other manufacturers. Current models use cat cables; yours are most likely 4-conductor cables. Pull a station out to confirm.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-18-2013, 10:31 PM
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I did a GIS of old M&S intercom and found what looks like your model on this page

http://www.becaudio.com/Shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=133_54_170_15_159

Looks like the MC350. I have the MC350A.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-19-2013, 11:58 AM
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Here is the owners manual

http://www.daveslockandalarm.com/M&S%20mc350a.pdf
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-19-2013, 12:01 PM
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I think M&S/Linear offered a replacement intercom, that can use the same 4-conductor cables, but I don't know if it's still sold.

Edit - The dmc3-4 system

http://www.linearcorp.com/product_detail.php?productId=422

http://www.linearcorp.com/pdf/manuals/DMC3-4.pdf

This system is very limited, in terms of distributed audio. Music from the intercoms, I think, would be simply awful, compared to stereo in-ceiling speakers. If I was installing this intercom, I would have a separate music system.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-23-2013, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for the great feedback and advice, and for identifying my unit!

I'm thinking our best bet will likely be to just eliminate the unit when we do the remodel of the space where the main station is located.

Also, my original post is not clear, but there are speakers in the living room (and possibly in other ceiling spaces in the downstairs) that can currently play the radio via the M&S MC350. I would be looking to repurpose these speakers and loop them in with the second speaker set that currently powers the outdoor audio.

What I will probably have to do when we move in is have an A/V company review the current set up and then provide recommendations. I do a lot of media streaming and the house currently doesn't have Cat5/6 cabling throughout, so another area i'm looking at is whether to add cabling all over to stream media throughout. It would be great if the unit is using cat cables, but I think the likelihood is that it isn't.

We'll probably end up just killing the intercom system, rewiring / re-purposing the in-ceiling speakers, and removing the slave units as we remodel/repaint each bedroom, as we don't have much use for an intercom, and the system itself looks pretty tired.

Thanks again for the help!
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-23-2013, 08:25 AM
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That's exactly what I've done, and am doing - rip it out, move on. Get the AV company/Custom Installer/Integrator on board sooner than later - way before the remodel starts. The more time you have to think about options, the better you'll be able to make decisions. I tried to do this with the kitchen remodel, but questions still came up during the install, and uninformed decisions had to be made.

Don't forget that doorbell - 4 conductor cable runs from your front doorbell to the master intercom unit, and nowhere else. wink.gif

I added an RF pushbutton battery-operated doorbell, and chime units that plug into outlets. The button looks like this (might be this one):



Had to drill out a half inch of concrete from the back of the box, but wasn't too hard. It's a good temporary solution - battery life sux. Run a cable from the master intercom location to a proper wired chime.

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post #8 of 9 Old 02-04-2014, 11:23 AM
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I recently purchased a new home that has this M&S system 

 I want to remove the system and patch the wall. The problem is my doorbell is coming from there. Is there some sort of doorbell chime I can just wire off of the wires of this system?

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post #9 of 9 Old 02-05-2014, 07:43 AM
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Here are some doorbell basics, from Ace Hardware.

Run a cable from the Master Intercom location to the chime transformer location, extending the cable running from the doorbell to the intercom.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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