SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell - installation and upgrade from an old central intecom system

When I moved into my current house, it had a vintage central intercom system, with yellowed plastic intdoor speakers, yellowed plastic outdoor speakers, and an archaic esthetic. We immediately pulled out the system components, drywalled over the cutouts in the interior walls, and I was left with two very ugly metal boxes in the brick at my front and back door.

Here's the Skybell HD Video Doorbell Completed Installation over top of  the old Intercom Connection Box, using a custome made Aluminum Adapter Plate
A bit of research lead me to the Wifi enabled video doorbells - very simple, they connect to your Wifi router, and ring your smartphone and interior door chime whenever someone rings at the door, and provides live video of the person at the door. In addition, you can use the internal speaker and microphone to speak with the person at your door - even from a distance away from your home.

Vintage Nutone Door Speaker and Connection Box - Don't forget to cut the power to your doorbell circuit before working with these wires.Unscrew, Remove the Wires
A Nutone Intercom Connection Box is 4 3/8" Wide and made of Steel
A Nutone Intercom Connection Box is 5 7/8" Tall
A Nutone Intercom Connection Box has "Model IR-6" Stamped on the right side of the Box
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 SkyBell HD Wifi Video Doorbell to your existing doorbell switch wires powered by an internal transformer, the SkyBell HD will keep itself charged, and pressing the button on the SkyBell HD will sound the doorbell in your house. Something to note here however - the SkyBell HD will not ring the door chime if you have kept your indoor intercom speaker system - you also have to retrofit a normal door chime in your house.

I started by making a blank cover plate to fit over the old intercom connection box, countersinking the holes for the screws for a neat installation using a metal punch.
The SkyBell HD 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 SkyBell HD.

I then removed the cover plate - and marked the SkyBell HD adapter plate holes on the Aluminum Adapter plate, and used a center punch to mark the hole centers for accurate drilling.
The SkyBell HD Video Doorbell adapter plate is smaller than the Nutone Speaker installation Box, so an adapter plate is required. I cut a rectangle 4 3/8" wide by 5 7/8" tall to cover the old Nutone connection box in the wall. (UPDATE - I now have some of these aluminum plates for sale on eBay in various colors due to popular request from this blog posting - at this link to eBay item number 182895008966.)

In the center of the plate, I punched an 8mm hole to fit a 6mm (1/4") grommet, to protect the intercom wires from the sharp edges of the Aluminum adapter plate. I then installed the SkyBell HD backing plate to the aluminum adapter plate, fixed with flat head screws.
I then reinstalled the Aluminum Adapter Plate over the old Nutone Intercom connection box, isolated the correct pair of wires running downstairs to the transformer, and...
...stripped the ends of the wired, and installed the wires under the power connection screws on the base plate. 
From this point it was relatively simple to install the SkyBell HD. Just clip the Skybell HD onto the SkyBell installation plate, snap down and tighten the hold down screw at the bottom of the doorbell.

The SkyBell HD Wifi Video Doorbell installed. Now it's time to reconnect the power...
Now that all was installed, it was time to reconnect the power to the SkyBell HD by turning the breaker back on for the doorbell transformer. Once you reconnect power, the SkyBell HD will flash various color codes to communicate what it's doing. Now is the time to install the SkyBell HD app on your smartphone, and run through the Wifi configuration sequence. That's pretty simple, just follow the sequence on your app until all is installed.

Screenshot of the Skybell HD Wifi Video Doorbell Setup Procedure on an iPhone

Screenshot of a video call to the Skybell HD video doorbell installed at the side door of the house. Impressive angle of view and picture quality.
Once configured, you can test the doorbell button. You normal doorbell should sound inside the house, plus you'll hear the distinctive chime of the SkyBell HD Video Doorbell. Some have complained that the SkyBell HD 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 SkyBell HD app installed on your smartphone and/or tablet- ringing the SkyBell HD doorbell switch initiates a video call with your smartphone or tablet. On the smartphone 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.

I also have a Ring Video Doorbell installed at the front of the house, and have tried out a few different Ring Video Doorbell models. If I get a bit of spare time, I'll do a quick post comparing the various. Wifi doorbells that I've tested. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.
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7 comments:

  1. Your post is really interesting and quite helpful. I use ring smart video doorbell camera over 5 years and it working excellent. Smart devices makes your life easy and gives peace of mind. I love to read more and more about home security devices. I appreciate your post, its helpful for everyone.

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    1. thanks for your comment - yes, these are useful devices. I used mine to figure out where an Amazon delivery went missing recently.

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  2. I am trying to install a sky bell HD camera to my existing nutone doorbell. I have tried several different wiring demerits but nothing seems to work .Any suggestions?

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    1. What are you trying to do? Just power the Skybell, or do you intend to have the skybell actute the indoor Nutone door chime?

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  3. Dallas Home Security I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

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