Quick and Easy Intercom Station Programming
Author: Lori TassinCreated: 08-13-2014 09:51 PMLast Updated: 08-18-2021 11:55 AM

Products to which this article applies

  • Intelli-Site


Programming intercom Master Stations and Substations can be a tedious operation.  There are a few tricks and tools built into Intelli-Site that make this process a bit easier and more efficient.  Specifically, the door construct feature makes programming simple.  Using the door construct means the programmer does not need to understand the structure of the RTU to make the intercom work.  He doesn't need to know the commands to send or the points involved.  All he has to do is properly configure the intercom stations and assign those stations to the door constructs.  Then when an intercom command is issued such as ConnEntryIntercom, the Server has all the information necessary to complete the various steps involved.  Specifically, let's consider Stentofon.  When the command "ConnEntryEntry Cell 1" is issued, the Server looks at the door construct Cell 1 to find the intercom RTU.  The intercom RTUis a Stentofon RTU; therefore, the Server looks under the Low Priority Quick Dial and High Priority Quick Dial of the RTU to find the master stations.  The Server then issues "SendCommand Cell 1->Low Priority Quick Call -> Master Station".  Had the intercom been a different RTU, the Server would know the correct place to look for the master stations for that RTU.  The burden of programming is on the Server, not the programmer.  The programmer does not need to know the differences between the different intercom systems just the differences in configuration.  

This article will illustrate these features using a basic Stentofon intercom system.  The features and concepts described are applicable to all intercom RTUs.  Small changes may need to be made for other intercom RTUs.  These differences are documented in their specific RTU guides.


Before we begin, we must know how the intercom system is set up.  We must know:

  • How many Master Stations?
  • How many Substations?
  • What are the addresses for each Station?

The programming procedure is:

  • Add the intercom RTU to the System Layout
  • Name and address the Master Stations
  • Configure the model Substation
  • Copy the model Substation to create all substations, configuring each copy
  • Associate the Master Stations to the computers (Workstations)
  • Create Door Constructs for each intercom station
  • Add door construct screen objects

Programming Procedure

Add the Intercom RTU to the System Layout

  • Expand the System Layout node
  • Expand the Corporate Headquarters node
  • Right-click on the appropriate Area node and select "Add Node...". The Add Node dialog opens.
  • Scroll through the available RTUs and select the proper intercom RTU.  This example uses the Stentofon RTU. (Not the Stentofon Grouped RTU)
  • Click [Add Node].  A new intercom RTU node is added to the Tree under the target Area node.

Name and Address the Master Stations

Expanding the Stentofon node, one finds twenty-four (24) stations. We need to name and address a node for each of the master stations in our system.  Our example project has two master stations; therefore, the first two (2) stations need to be renamed and addressed accordingly.

  • Right-click on the station node and select "Properties..."
  • Change the name.
  • Change the address.
  • Click [Ok]

Repeat for each master station.

Configure the model Substation

The substations need to be named and addressed just like the master stations.  

  • Right-click on the next station node and select "Properties..."
  • Change the name.
  • Change the address.
  • Click [Ok].

In addition, the substations need to be configured to communicate with the master stations.  Stentofon calls this Quick Dial of which there are two: Low Priority Quick Dial and High Priority Quick Dial.  Only one of these needs to be configured.

  • Expand the substation node
  • Expand Low Priority Quick Dial node.  Notice that there is already a node named 102.
  • Right-click on the 102 node and select "Properties...".
  • Change the name and address to correspond to the first master station.
  • Click [Ok].
  • Expand the High Priority Quick Dial node.
  • Delete the child node named 102.
  • Make a copy of this node under the Low Priority Quick Dial node by ctrl-drag-and-drop.  Hold down the Ctrl key then drag and drop the node onto Low Priority Quick Dial. Intelli-Site pops up a dialog to confirm the copy.

Note: If the dialog that pops up asks to confirm a Move and not Copy, the Ctrl key did not register.  Cancel the move and try again.

  • Click [Yes].
  • Edit the properties of this new node to reflect the name and address of the second master station.
  • Repeat the copy and edit process until there is a node for each of the master stations to which this substation can communicate.

Copy the model Substation to create all substations, configuring each copy

Before we copy the substation, we need to delete the rest of the default stations.  

  • Highlight the station below the template substation in the Tree.  This is the first of the remaining original default stations.  This is Station 4 in our sample project because there are two master stations and one substation currently configured.
  • Press the Delete key on the keyboard.  Intelli-Site pops up a confirmation dialog to prevent accidental deletions because they cannot be undone.  Once a node is deleted it remains deleted.
  • Press the Enter key (or Y key) to confirm the deletion since the default button is [Yes].  The node is deleted and the next node in the Tree is highlighted.
  • Repeat the last two steps (Delete, Y) or (Delete, Enter) until all of the unwanted station nodes have been deleted. Do not delete the Online point!

Now all we have to do is copy the model substation and change its name and address accordingly.

  • Using ctrl-drag-and-drop, copy the substation node into the intercom RTU.
  • Edit the properties of the new node to change the name and the address.

Do the above two steps until there is a corresponding substation node for each substation. 

Note: In our example project, all of the substation nodes can communicate to either of the master substations.  In your project, this may not be the case.  Adjust the programming to reflect the needs of your installation.

 When the last substation node has been created, you might want to move the Online point to the end of the list by dragging and dropping it onto the Intercom RTU.  This isn't necessary, but it does look better.

Associate the Master Stations to the Computers (Workstations)

Each master station must be installed on the computer that has an Intelli-Site Workstation.  Intelli-Site must be configured to know where each master station is located.  It is assumed that Intelli-Site has been properly configured for Remote Workstations.  See How to set up Intelli-Site Workstation on a Remote Computer.

  • Expand the Computers node
  • Locate the computer node for one of the master stations and open the properties
  • Drag and drop the corresponding master station node onto the 'Intercom Station:" field
  • Click [Ok]

Repeat these steps for each master station.

Create Door Constructs for Each Intercom Station

An intercom station can be added to an existing door construct or a whole new door construct can be created just for the intercom.  It really depends on you and the needs of the installation.  We shall be creating door constructs specifically for the intercom substation in this example.

  • Expand the Door Control node
  • Expand the Doors node
  • Right-click on Doors and select "Add Node and Edit..." A new Door Group node is added and opened for editing.
  • Name this node to reflect its purpose such as Intercom Stations
  • Click [Ok]
  • Right-click on this new door group and select "Add Node and Edit..." A new door construct is added to this group.
  • Rename the new node to reflect its purpose such as Cell 1
  • Switch to the Door Settings tab
  • Drag and drop the corresponding intercom substation into the Intercom Station
  • If necessary, drag and drop the Intercom Call point into Intercom Call.

Repeat these steps for each of the intercom substations.

Add door construct screen objects

  • Double-click the screen onto which the intercoms will be added.  This will display the screen and allow us to edit it.
  • Drag and drop the first of the intercom door constructs onto the screen.
  • In the Customize New Object dialog, click the "Replace default images with those from this folder." radio button.  
  • Expand the Images node in the Tree. Expand the Intercom node as well.  Here you find a number of folders containing different intercom images. Drag and drop one of these folders to the drag and drop target field in the Customize New Object dialog and click [Ok]. The new screen object is created using the images from this folder instead of the default images.
  • Select the screen object and adjust the size and appearance until you are satisfied with it.
  • Locate the intercom screen object in the Tree.  Right-click on it and select "Replicate...".  The Replicate Object dialog displays. 
  • Click [Replicate]. Intelli-Site creates the rest of the intercom screen objects using the replicate target as the source of the formatting information.
  • Move the screen objects to their desired locations on the map.

Products to which this article applies

  • Intelli-Site