Retrofit Doorbell(Failed)

Failed try to update my doorbell.

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I have an older doorbell mounted in my front door that looks nice but does not actually make enough noise to be heard anywhere in the house, often including right next to it. This was an attempt to see if I could update the doorbell hardware, without effecting it's appearance, to a more modern system.

The idea is simple, find a way to make the existing mechanism trigger a modern wireless doorbell. A quick retrofit of the doorbell circuit board with a normally open reed switch(just gutted a generic window close sensor), was all that I thought I needed.

In testing this all worked, a magnet wiped past the board triggers the doorbell properly. The fail came in the fact that I did not measure the size of the bell housing and over estimated the space I had to work with inside. Cutting the board might be an option(I did literally cut one corner here, but it was not enough), and I may try that in the future, but right now it looks like that won't be enough to get the board in a place that is clear.

For now, I count this as a fail, but only because I could not squeeze it in. If you have a larger space to fit this in, it should work fine. The doorbell is smart enough to not trigger if the magnet is left over the reed switch, and will only trigger once even if the magnet spins past it a few times(I was going to mount one to the existing mechanism that spins some bell ringers around).

Fell free to try this yourself, just remember to measure before hand.

  • 1 × Honeywell Portable Chime & Push(RCWL200A) An inexpensive wireless doorbell and button I picked up at the closest hardware store.
  • 1 × GC Electronics NO/NC Reed Switch(PN: 35-756) The local electronics shop was out of generic reed switches, but these were reasonably priced and easy to canibalize for parts.

  • The Road to Fail

    Jared Young12/18/2015 at 00:28 0 comments

    I picked up the parts of the last week or so, but the idea had been in my head for a while. We had no working doorbells at the front or back, and wanted that anyway, so we picked up a kit with one wireless button, picked up two extra buttons, and a reed switch.

    Testing was easy, as the reed switch came in a package with screw terminals on it. The switch has both NO(normally open) and NC(normally closed) terminals on it, so I could use whatever was needed.

    A quick gutting of the doorbell button showed that it was just using a simple tac switch. Connecting some wires up temporarily to the same spots and testing showed the idea was solid(using the NO part of the reed switch).

    A solder sucker and iron were used to remove the switch, leaving the through holes empty and well within my basic soldering skills. The reed switch was extracted, wires bent to match the holes and soldered in. Tested with the magnet a few more times and all was good.

    Finally I removed the bell housing to see about installing it, and if you look at the pictures you can see how this will not work. I didn't have as much room as I pictured, and I was unable to modify the circuit board enough(with my skills at least) to get it to fit.

    For now I'm leaving this as a fail, but if I figure out a way to get it working, I'm all up for that.

View project log

  • 1
    Step 1
    1. Open push button back
    2. Remove circuit board
    3. Remove battery retention bracket
    4. Using soldering iron and solder sucker, remove button
    5. Bend normally open leads on reed switch to match the holes for the button
    6. Insert switch and solder in
    7. Re-attach battery bracket, add some hot glue to the back of the screws to help them stay in place if required
    8. Insert battery and test with magnet
    9. Insert circuit board into existing chime, hot glue or otherwise attach it
    10. Attach magnet to a part of the chime that passes the reed switch when used, hot glue or otherwise
    11. Test!

View all instructions

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