Installing the Skybell Trim Plus Video Doorbell - Nutone Intercom Retrofit

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.

Skybell Trim Line Video Doorbell on a custom 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 Trim Plus Video Doorbell to your existing doorbell switch wires powered by an internal transformer, the SkyBell will keep itself charged, and pressing the button on the SkyBell will sound the doorbell in your house. Something to note here however - the SkyBell 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 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.

Checking the mounting hole spacing for the Skybell baseplate.
The SkyBell 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 183701542848.)

Completed plate - countersunk holes for mounting to the intercom wall box, holes to mount the Skybell to the plate, and grommet placed to fit directly under the grommet hole for the video doorbell mounting plate
From this point it was relatively simple to install the SkyBell. Just clip the Skybell onto the SkyBell installation plate, snap down and tighten the hold down screw at the bottom of the doorbell.

Baseplate, adapter plate, doorbell
Now that all was installed, it was time to reconnect the power to the SkyBell by turning the breaker back on for the doorbell transformer. Once you reconnect power, the SkyBell will flash various color codes to communicate what it's doing. Now is the time to install the SkyBell 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 Trim Plus Video Doorbell. Some have complained that the SkyBell 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 app installed on your smartphone and/or tablet- ringing the SkyBell 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment