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The intercom in my condominium unit (that I own) works well, but is horribly loud. I understand this can be a boon so that I never miss a buzz, but my unit is small enough that the volume cannot be justified. There is no built in volume control.

Since I own my apartment, and we are self-managed, I cannot call a landlord. Perhaps I could call a maintenance company to install a different panel, but in my Googling, I cannot find replacement panels with volume control knobs, so I'm not sure that would help.

The manufacturer of my intercom panel does not seem to actively promote/advertise their intercom products, so I worry there's no obvious replacement.

This is my intercom panel, a Jeron.

I don't want to remove the buzzer completely, or add any glue to dampen the volume. I was hoping I could add a potentiometer or some other device to decrease the volume, but it seems a potentionmeter may be discouraged for this scenario.

Picture of the wires inside my intercom panel

Is there any simple solution here? Install a lower capacity speaker? Some sort of resistor that could be installed to decrease the volume? An alternative sort of intercom panel I haven't yet found online?

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you need to reduce power to the diaphram. A fixed value resistor is a decent way of doing that.

Cut a white speaker wire, patch it with a resistor, which you can get at radio shack or wherever. Start with matching the speaker ohms (likely 4, 8, or 16) to ~half the volume. a pack of 5 5-10ohms would be good because you can connect them in series to get multiples of 5 or 10 to adjust the volume.

you could replace the speaker with a higher-ohm model as well, they make them in all sizes, so i'm sure you could find a drop-in physical replacement.

A potentiometer might work, but has some complications: most are too high resistance (ex 0-100 ohm), most zeros aren't zero, but rather 5-10 ohms, which steps on your adjustment range a lot. Many pots don't handle very much current either, so you could fry a cheap/small potentiometer, although that's probably not likely.

if you don't want to cut wire, you can "short" the speaker with a resistor, instead of wiring it in series. this reduces the amount or power going to the diaphragm, but wastes power. don't put fewer than 10ohm across if you go that route.

  • The speech panel at the door or the central control panel may have adjustable pots for voice volume and signal volume, eg commercialintercoms.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/… This will affect everyone's intercom station, not just yours. – Owain Mar 9 at 20:51
  • As the speaker is also used as a microphone on this type of system, any attenuation/resistor on the speaker will also affect the speech volume in both directions (but on your station only, not every station) – Owain Mar 10 at 21:14

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