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Starting an Intercom System Design


Designing an intercom system can be challenging! That's why I wanted to write a guide to give people a step-by-step process that is both effective and straight-forward. It doesn't have to be complicated, I promise!

Communication systems are often based on several design criteria that a designer may consider such as the technical ability of the user to use an intercom station, the frequency that an intercom may be used versus the cost for wiring a facility.

Communications systems typically can be grouped into two major categories:

    • The first category is the most uncomplicated and commonly referred to as partyline.
    • The second category is a direct path between two individuals called a "point-to-point".

Both system groups often include wireless intercom.

A typical wired or wireless production intercom system will always consist of Users, and most often miscellaneous ports to include 2-way radios, analog and digital telephones, paging, other intercom interfacing, and more. The first step is to determine the size of the central intercom by counting everything that is attached to it.

Here are some questions to consider at the start of designing an intercom system:

    1. What are the primary communication challenges that you are facing?
    2. How often do users need to communicate quickly with someone in a different location?
    3. Who are the operators and who talks to whom? Are there any specific restrictions?
    4. For conference operation, how many simulators or private conversations need to be supported?
    5. What is the required station form factor for each operator? Who needs headsets? Who needs speakers and microphones?
    6. Are any stations at a remote location?
    7. Do you need your communications system to connect to 2-way radios, SIP telephones, POTS lines or any other outside communication?
    8. Does future expansion need to be considered?
    9. Would having socially distanced hands-free communication improve the safety and productivity of your application?

To learn more about intercom system design, download the complete Intercom Design Guide eBook today!




Vinnie Macri is the Market Outreach Manager for Clear-Com. He has experience in theater, live performance and broadcast intercom, working with customers and consultants in all markets in intercom education.