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It's Almost Summer - Time to get Your NuTone Patio Station in Working Order

Outdoor NuTone Patio Stations have a hard life.

If your NuTone Intercom System has an Outdoor Patio Station and it's more than 8 - 10 years old, there's a good chance that it doesn't work any more.

Exposure to the rain, wide, snow and sun can cause the Speaker Cone to fail - making your Patio Station go silent.  If water gets inside the Patio Station, it can cause short-circuits and corrosion to the Switch Circuit Board.

Even if your NuTone Patio Station stills works and plays music - it may look shabby or discolored from the elements.

Now, I could go on and on about what you can do - but, as they say - a picture is worth 1000 words.  

Here are some of my more recent Videos about NuTone Patio Stations:



We have more Videos about NuTone Intercom Patio Stations on our YouTube Video Playlist

Here's a link:



The Future of Our Web Site - an Update

When I started this Web Site many years ago, it was our primary source for passing along information about NuTone Intercom Systems, the common problems with these systems and how our customers could go about having their NuTone Intercom Systems repaired.

I would add new information and pass along ideas about NuTone Intercom Systems on a regular basis, often 2 or 3 posting each week.  One of the problems that can create is this Web Site becomes really big, making information difficult to find.

About 4 years ago something else changed, I started a YouTube Channel and began making Videos about NuTone Intercom Systems.  I found that Videos work better for many people, having the visual instructions makes it easier for many customers to use the information I try to pass along.  After 4 years, I have made almost 300 Videos.

One of the by-products of making Videos is that adding new information to this Web Site has slowed down quite a lot.  As they say - "a picture is worth a thousand words" - and now this Web Site has become an archive of information that supplements the Videos.

So what does the future hold - During the course of the next 6 months, this Web Site will be modernized with a new format that is better suited for use on Mobil Phones and Tablets.  None of the information will be changed, just a new format that I hope will make it easier to use in the future.

Along with the modernization, I plan on finding new ways to add content without making the Site difficult to use.

I will keep everyone updated as out plan plays out





NuTone has Discontinued Entry Door Station Speaker Cones

We found out 2 months ago that NuTone has discontinued replacement 3-1/2" Entry Door Station Speaker Cones and there are none left in the Parts Department inventory to order.

This was a surprise to us and everyone else, there was no warning that these speaker cones were going to become obsolete.

Due to the high demand for this Speaker Cone, which is used in almost every Model of NuTone Intercom System made since 1974, this creates a problem for the owners of these systems.

In response to this problem, we have decided to work with a Speaker Cone Manufacturer to have exact replacement speakers cones manufactured.

Here's a Video about this situation:

I will be posting updates on this project as it moves forward - Chris



Something New to Report. . . 

I often have customers contact me to see if we are still repairing NuTone Intercom Systems  (Yes - Yes we are)

This comes up because there isn't often much new information to post on this Web Site.  

The descriptions and details about the problems with most older NuTone Intercoms don't change that much at this point.  The problems with a model like the NuTone IM3003 are well documented and the work to rebuild the IM3003 hasn't changed that much over the last 5 years. This is true for many models

Some models like the NuTone IM5006 or the IM5000 have had an increase in the amount of work that should be done when rebuilding a Master Station, however the additional work is incremental and not that interesting to most people (other than me)

I am also concerned that this Web Site is already very big - which makes it difficult for visitors to find the information they're looking for. 

Of course there's also our YouTube Channel - which now has over 200+ Videos.  It's that old saying "A picture is worth a thousand words" 

Well, today there is something new and worthy to report - The beginning of a new chapter for the reapir of the NuTone NM Series of Radio Intercoms.  I am calling it our "NM Series Repair Initiative"

Here's a link to my newest post on about the NuTone NM Series of Intercoms (applies to M&S Systems DMC Series as well)

Here's a link to our YouTube Play List about the NuTone NM Series 

Here's a link to our on-line "Repair Request Form" - If you have a NuTone NM100, NM200 or a M&S Systems (Music and Sound) DMC1 or DMC3-4.  You can fill out the Repair Request Form and I'll contact you directly to discuss the problems with your system and its repair - Chris 


Adjusting your Chime Module Volume - First get the Basic system Adjustments Correct

The single most common problem that customers have with their NuTone Intercom Systems is that they can't hear the Door Chime throughout their home well enough.

While this can be a fairly serious problem with an aging Master Station, it is very often just that the Intercom system is out of adjustment, which compromises how well the Door Chime is heard.

Since NuTone has made Intercom Systems since 1957 and there are dozens and dozens of different models, it's not practical for me to try and describe how to set the adjustments on a Model by Model basis.  It would also be very time consuming to make a YouTube Video for each model.

In many cases the reason that you cannot hear your Door Chime as loudly as you have in the past, is because over time the volume controls on the remote stations have been slowly turned down further than is correct.  When you lower the volume control on a remote station, you are not only lowering the music volume, you are also lowering the Door Chime volume.  

Contrary to to what most people would think to be normal, the volume controls on all of the remote stations should start on the highest setting (turned all the way up).  Whenever I have done demonstrations for customers with a new installation and I tell them to leave the volume controls set to maximum, they give me this funny look - like I'm crazy.  For some reason people are uncomfortable with having anything set at full.

What you may find is that when you turn your volume controls back up (to full) the music volume and possibly the Intercom Volume will be too loud.  This is when you go to your Master Station and readjust the System Adjustment for the Music and Intercom.

Since there are many different NuTone Models, I can't tell you how all of these adjustments will be labeled on your particular model, however for the most part (especially on models made since 1974) you will have an "Intercom Volume" and "System Volume" adjustment.

While NuTone calls these adjustments "Volume Controls", they aren't.  They are actually "Gain Controls".  

Gain Controls adjust the amount of signal that is feed into the Amplifier of the system.

Amplifiers are a fairly easy device to understand.  All Amplifiers are designed to be able to produce a certain amount of power (watts).  So, the questions is, how does the amplifier know how much power to make?

The answer is actually easy - the more signal that is fed into the amplifier, the more power it makes.

As an example, if your amplifier is capable of making 10 times the power of the signal that is fed into it - and you feed in a signal of 1 - the amplifier will make a power level of 10 - if you feed in a signal of 5 - the amplifier will make a power level of 50.

Now back to adjusting your system:

With all of the Volume Controls set to maximum, including the controls on your Master Station, first set the "System Volume" or "Volume to all Speaker" or "Radio Volume" to a level that gives you a comfortable  Day-to-day listening level.  There is no absolute setting for this adjustment - it's simply whatever your comfortable listening level is.

Now, with the help of someone else, try the Intercom part of your System - talking back and forth.  If the conversation is too loud - turn the "Intercom Volume" on the Master Station down to a more comfortable level.  If the communication is too low - turn the Intercom Volume up.

The by-product of setting your system up this way is that now, your amplifier in the Master Station is making just enough power to operate your system at the levels that you need in your home, without making extra power (or working too hard).  The clarity of the music and Intercom conversation should be much higher and making small adjustments (like 5%) to the volume controls in individual rooms will make a noticeable difference in the music level in that room without compromising the Intercom or Door Chime volumes.

After setting up your System this way, you may actually find now that your Door Chime is way too loud, why is this?

Chime Modules were always an optional extra with every NuTone Intercom system.  When the Installer was trimming out your Intercom System, he would have added the Chime Module to your Master Station.  Chime Modules were never preset to any particular volume level, it was the installer's job to set it to a comfortable level after the installation was completed - this often didn't happen or the installer didn't understand how to setup the new system correctly.

If you find that you Door Chime is now too loud, don't worry - there's an adjustment for that. 

Adjusting the Chime Module is easy, however it does require opening up the Master Station - locating the Chime Module and making the adjustment.

To help you with this - you can go to our YouTube Channel - find the Playlist for your NuTone Intercom Model - watch the Video that shows how to open up your Master Station - and take note of the part of the Video that tells you where the Chime Module is located inside your Master Station.

Once you found your Chime Module, watch this Video

This Video covers all of the different NuTone Chime Modules and their Volume Adjustments

If you need specific help with setting up your NuTone Intercom System, you can email me ( and I can send you a specific setup sheet for your system.