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Eichler Intercom System

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Joined: Feb 11 2004

My family moved into an Eichler in the Fairhills tract in Orange (SoCal) in the summer of '72. I am pretty sure our house was a model home when the tract was built in '63-'64 and that the sales office was in our garage. The house came (at least when we moved in in '72) with a built-in intercom system that included a central station near the kitchen and intercom stations in every bedroom. You could play music throughout the house, call the back bedrooms, etc. As 7 and 8 year old kids at the time we thought it was very cool.

Does anyone know if this was something Eichler installed as an option in his homes? Was this something they put in a model house to be very futuristic? Was it something likely installed after the fact by the original owners?

We still have most of the equipment.

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Joined: Jan 4 2004

Very interesting; intercoms were very rare in original Eichlers; (I've only seen one other similiar system in the X-100 out of the 100+ houses that I've been in; it needs some work to rehabilitate it, but it can be repaired).
The hardware is tubes; so parts will be tough but not impossible to locate.
If the wiring rings out OK between intercoms and the main board(continuity or diode test with a multimeter) then it is a matter of repairing the remote units (or control board). It is really a cool part of history (I used to deliver newspapers to the owner of the X-100 when I was a kid, and it always stirkes me as funny that the original Eichler swag is considered historic, because I grew up during half of that history; I guess I must be getting older than I think.....). Is the main control board in the kitchen a brass/ gold metallic color? I'd like to compare notes on the model number and type (I'll make a note of it on Friday when I see it again). If yours works OK, good for you; if not, I'd be happy to share any findings that I have (If any) on the best course for repair. Thanks for your post.

renman

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

I grew up in a home in the Seattle that was built in the mid 50's. It had a Nutone Intercom system and a radio. We used the radio and just yelling was a much more efficient as kids than the intercom but it was fun to use it once in awhile anyway.

Don't know what type you have but this may be interesting:

http://www.rinutonedistr.com/oldstuff.htm

Ours was model 2015 on this page:

http://www.rinutonedistr.com/intupdt.htm

/Lynn

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Joined: Feb 11 2004

I'll have to check the main board to see who manufactured the system. It was a wired--not radio--system. When we had the interior of the house remodeled, we removed the main box and the speakers--but kept the wiring in place. We still have all of the components. Like others said, yelling proved to be a more effective means of communication around the house and we rarely played the radio throughout every room.

Still, its sort of cool to think that our Eichler had an early attempt at a household communication system.

Finally, I know in another series of posts someone asks about front-door/atrium ettiquette. We (and most of the Eichlers in our neighborhood) had a button in the loggia that one could push to unlock the front door. Might have even had an intercom station out at the front door too.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

We have a Fanon Hi-Fi Radio-Intercom system in our '64. It doesn't look like it was manufactured in '64 but I don't see how it could have been installed after the house was built. There is an intercom at the front door as well as a speaker that plays out the back. There are also one-way and 2-way communicators in different rooms. It worked when we moved in but since then a belt has snapped. The first day we moved in we were trying to figure out how the thing worked and the only radio station that would come in was some gangster rap. We could hear it in the house but couldn't figure out which speaker was playing the music. We kept rasiing the volume but were dumbfounded. We finally followed the music to the front intercom speaker where it was blasting at level 11. What a great way to introduce yourselves when you first move in!

p.s. renman ours is the brass colored one--i have pics if you want to send me your email...

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Joined: Mar 24 2003

we have a NuTone intercom radio system that was installed in our home when it was built.

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Joined: Mar 2 2004

In Bay Area counties, on the average, every home sells once every seven years. Eichlers don't sell as often. Some real estate people have been inside most of the homes in Eichler neighborhoods. Real estate people can tell you that original intercoms are fairly rare. I installed a Nu-tone system in my Eichler. It was not expensive and worked well. I also upgraded a M&S system to a new model in a different home. The new model worked better (no buzz). Intercoms are not expensive. The wiring is simple, but extensive. It is not much trouble during a remodel that includes the roof. In an atrium model an intercom and door-release make real sense. Alarm companies install this sort of thing, and generally price competitively.

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Joined: Jan 29 2004

Randy at Dura-Foam wrote:
The wiring is simple, but extensive. It is not much trouble during a remodel that includes the roof. In an atrium model an intercom and door-release make real sense. Alarm companies install this sort of thing, and generally price competitively.

Or you could buy a wireless intercom. Radio Shack has been selling them over 20 years. Here's a site that came up on a google search for wireless intercoms

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