The Ring Video Doorbell - Upgrading from an old Nutone Intercom System

A little while ago I was standing in my basement looking at all the old Nutone Intercom parts that I had removed from the house. When we moved in 3 years ago - the system had Keypads on all three levels of the house, and keypads at the front and side doors. The system had a central controller with radio, and an electronic chime. Since the system looked old and dated, I removed all the internal components, and replaced the large electronic chime with a very simple Honeywell Doorbell. Everything was reconnected using the original transformer and wiring so just the doorbells worked. I'm in the process of selling all the old Nutone components on eBay.

The Ring Video Doorbell - Silver Version
So - when looking at the leftovers of the system, I began thinking - I'm never more that 2 steps away from my smartphone, why isn't there a simple doorbell that rings my smartphone when I'm in my house? I could be in the basement or the back yard, and I'd be able to respond to the doorbell. I didn't think too much about it, but then I decided to research the web to see if anyone had followed through on this idea. Of course someone has, and I found the Ring Video Doorbell.

These devices aren't that expensive - about $200 - and they hook up to your home wifi network to send door ring notifications to your smartphone - wherever you may happen to be with a wifi or data connection. You can see who's at the door, you can decide whether you wish to answer or not. So - I took the plunge and decided to purchase one and install it.

The first step was removing the old Nutone intercom speaker. 2 screws, and I took note that the orange pair of wires in my installation was used for the 17VAC doorbell switch circuit. By connecting the Ring Video Doorbell to your existing doorbell switch wires powered by an internal transformer, the Ring will keep itself charged, and pressing the button on the Ring will sound the doorbell in your house.

Removing the old Nutone Speaker Unit
The Ring is smaller and more compact than the Nutone Speaker unit. This caused an issue in my installation because the Nutone was installed in a custom installation box - set into my masonry. I decided to create an aluminum cover plate to hide the old box, and create a flat surface for installing the Ring.

The Ring Video Doorbell adapter plate is smaller than the Nutone Speaker installation Box. A Cover will be required. 
I had a sheet of white painted aluminum for flashing and eavestrough repairs, so I simply cut a rectangle 4 3/8" wide by 5 7/8" tall to cover the Nutone installation box.
Aluminum sheet cover plate - with 2 holes drilled for installing on the Nutone installation box.

Four holes punched for the installation of the Ring Adapter Plate, and a Grommet installed to pass the Doorbell Switch Wire.

The adapter plate installed on the installation box - with the wires pulled through the grommet. Don't forget to cut the power to your doorbell circuit before working with these wires. 
So now I had my box covered with a smart looking aluminum plate - it was time to get started installing the Ring. First step was to install the adapter plate with the supplied hardware. Ring provides you with a small toolkit including a special screwdriver, a concrete drill bit, various screws and anchors, and some filler for filling old holes.

Install the adapter plate, and connect the existing doorbell switch wires to the two contacts in the center of the plate.
Click here to purchase a prefabricated aluminum adapter plate for the Ring Video Doorbell on eBay.

The Ring snaps onto the adapter plate, and locks down using two special screws on the bottom of the unit. This prevents someone from easily removing the Ring from its mounting base. 
Now that all was installed, it was time to test out the Ring. Reconnect the power to your doorbell circuit, and test the doorbell button. You normal doorbell should sound inside the house, plus you'll hear the distinctive chime of the Ring Video Doorbell. Once you've run through the setup routine of the Ring (connected by USB to your computer) everything will be ready once the Ring is on the adapter plate. Some have complained that the Ring may have a hard time reaching a good wifi signal when installed at your front door - this hasn't been the case in my installation - I've got a great signal.

With the Ring app installed on your smartphone and/or tablet- ringing the Ring doorbell switch initiates a video call with your smartphone or tablet. On the iPhone you get a notification on the home screen, and the video application launches so that you can see who is at your front door. You can decide whether to accept or reject a call to talk to whoever is at the front door - and this feature is available anywhere you have internet connection with your smartphone or tablet. Very cool.

Ring screenshot - when someone sounds the door, or when the motion detection function detects motion . You can choose to initiate voice communication at this screen.
I also set up motion detection - the Ring will send you a notification whenever someone approaches your front door. You can adjust the zones and sensitivity (range) in the app to prevent false alarms. 

Setting up motion detection

Communication in progress - you can put the call on speakerphone, mute the call, zoom into the center of the frame, or end the call. 
All in all - very cool device. We'll see how useful it is over time, and I'll post an update later.

Sources and Links

I hope you found this post useful. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below. I answer all questions. I have started manufacturing blank and pre-drilled retrofit kits for the Ring Video doorbell to popular intercom rough-ins and electrical boxes.

Click here to purchase a prefabricated aluminum adapter plate for the Ring Video Doorbell on eBay.



  1. I am trying to setup my ring 2 doorbell replacing my old nutone system. I see you had the orange wires hooked up to your system, mine had the red wires. I wrapped both reds together, and both grounds together and connected that to the ring. After doing that it just automatically and continuously kept ring the bell. Should I use the orange and no ground like you pictured?

    1. Hi - just got back from vacation and saw your question. It depends on what's connected at the other end of your wires - you need to find the connection inside - normally close to the electrical panel of your house. Do you have a single cable coming to the box at the door, or two cables? If you have 2 cables - the second cable may be running to a back or side door. Sorry - this is not a definitive answer - it really depends on how your old system was hooked up. Do you still have the Nutone control board installed?

  2. Hi Glen, do you find this article to be accurate for the installation process? I wish you had a guide like this one for the Ring Pro!

  3. I bought a Ring2 to install at front door where I have a 1987 Nutone (IM-4006) that got zapped by surge a while back. I just ordered a black cover from you with M&S size since my intercom cover size (4.125 X 6.25) is virtually the same as the M&S cover you offer (4.75 X 6.5). I measured ~25VAC on the pushbutton circuit. Do you know if I will need to use the diode referenced by Ring? Thanks, Wayne

  4. I order the cover plate for the Nutone intercom system. I want too replace the old door bell with a ring pro. Can I use the existent wires to hook too the ring pro or is there anything else
    anything else I need too do?

    1. You can use the existing wires to power your new Ring Pro, however, you have to disconnect the wires from the Nutone Intercom control board if it is still in service in your house, and connect those wires to a compatible transformer. You can read in my post about how I rewired everything to use a standard bell chime. If you don't use a chime in your house - you'll need to include a resister in your circuit to protect the Ring Pro. It's a bit complicated - but well explained here on the Ring Website - I hope this helps - let me know if you have any other questions.

  5. I have an old working nutone intercom system and want to hook up my new ring 2 doorbell where nutone door station was at. There are a pair red wires and a pair orange wires hooked up to the nutone door station. The first time I hooked up the orange wires the nutone door bell rang. But now it will not. When I touch the orange poistive and negative wire to gether, the door chime does work. Do I need to add the diode that came with the Ring doorbell? If not how can I get it to work?