Hooking doorbell button to HE without doorbell chimes

I found this video on Sage on YouTube

It shows the Sage connected directly across the chime terminals. This means you do not need a load resistor. You can wire:

the transformer to the button -- the button to the Sage Green wire -- The Sage white wire to the other terminal of the transformer.

I also found a troubleshooting manual It says the Sage will work on any doorbell voltage from 10 to 24 VAC.

So all you need is a 12VAC wall adapter and your are good to go.

I realize the Sage is designed for use with AC systems, however it is unlikely the Sage actually requires AC to sense the door bell. However since its not possible to test the Sage with DC, AC is a safer direction.



It is possible this device has built in current limiting judging by the video @JohnRob linked. If that is the case, then no you would not need the resistor.

This is possible but not necessarily true depending on the sensing circuit. So as you said, safer to use what it calls for.

Its kinda like that but its not really current limiting. Think of the Sage as a voltmeter. It is connected right across the chime input power..........hmmm good you said that...

Thinking more about the Sage input. You might have to put a small resistor across the Sage inputs. Would think a small 1k to 5k resistor. My thought is, originally the chime input insures the Sage inputs are at 0V when the doorbell button is not pushed.
Now when the button is not pushed, the Sage inputs see an OPEN circuit which it may or may not sense correctly or immediately.

I would start with a 10K resistor.


A voltmeter has a high internal resistance specifically to limit current, but in that case it's to keep from loading the circuit. You are running AC through a coil. That is going to create a voltage drop across that coil equal to the transformer voltage when the button is pressed, then it could be floating when it's not. So I think you are correct in wanting to use a resistor to ensure the Sage inputs do correctly go to zero when the button is released.

I think I just really said the same thing in different words.

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Done With Plan A - Experimenting with Sage

Yes, something funky is going on with the SAGE device when no resistors are included. For example, I can get the SAGE device to record ~20 button press events before it stops processing button pushes.

Removing the battery, reinserting the battery, waiting a few minutes and the device still doesn't respond to events. I left it over night and then it started responding.

I'm done with the $5 SAGE experiment.

Plan B: Modify Visonic MCT-340 E Zigbee - ~$20 USD

This route looks interesting based on community members' successes:

The two downsides are:

  • Since there are no built-in screw-in internal contacts, you have to solder two wires to the board.
  • Battery only power. No mains supported.

Plan C: EcoTech DWZWAVE2.5 Z-Wave - ~$30 USD

If the Visonic device doesn't work out, I'll make use of the internal contacts on EcoTech DWZWAVE2.5 device. Based on other community members' experiences, it looks like this device will work for my needs with a minimum of fuss.

The two downsides are:

  • Battery only power. No mains powered.
  • Z-Wave as opposed to Zigbee.


Plan D: Aeotec Doorbell 6 - ~$70 USD

If the DWZWAVE2.5 doesn't work to my satisfaction, I'll go with the Aeotec Doorbell 6 device. I don't really need the chime function part of it, but at least I'll likely get a reliable doorbell button, a mains powered device, and supported integration with HE.

I would disable the chime part of it for doorbell use and consider using the siren feature for other use cases.

The only downside with this approach will be Z-Wave vs Zigbee, but if the response time is fast enough, the radio tech doesn't matter to me.

If you want to have the doorbell light up, then the shunt resistor is required.

Did you have the required diode in place as well? To prevent backflow when you press the button? Remember, your hardwired doorbell is using AC, not DC.

I don't think plans B or C are going to work unless you disconnect the power transformer for your doorbell as well. These devices are DC and your doorbell is AC.

Before you completely discount the Sage, you might want to test with a resistor.


Often long wires (like from you doorbell button) can pickup electrical noise and or ESD discharge into the button.

It is likely the Sage has some protection against pickup as the wires are external to the device and may be a source of noise into the device.

The Visonic reed switch is internal to the device package and not likely a source of noise pickup or at risk of ESD. Likely is does not have any protection from such extraneous signals. Connecting it to a long wire represents some increased technical risk.

If its inconvenient to find a resistor to test the Sage you can try this:

After the 20 or so pushes and the Sage no longer responding:

  1. with the doorbell button NOT PUSHED.
  2. short the leads of the Sage momentarily

If the Sage starts responding then a resistor will likely help if not you were correct to toss it in the junk drawer.


I believe the problem might be that you have to remove the diode behind the doorbell button. A diode is installed to keep the current flowing to allow your tones to complete. In this case, it would be holding the level high unnecessarily.

So, in you case, you would want the diode removed.

Since I have only a doorbell button with wires leading to the unfinished portion of our basement, there's nothing to disconnect in terms of a power transformer.

Then how were you using the Sage? The sage inputs are dry-contact, meaning they have no voltage inherently themselves. The voltage would have to be supplied by your existing doorbell transformer. That's why it isn't working right. You don't have a doorbell system to hook it up to. You have a momentary button which is not the same thing.

This scenario - starting with just a doorbell button - has been the basis of most of the thread above. i.e. If a person wanted to use the SAGE device without a door chime and potentially without a transformer, then what would the wiring look like?

Based on the discussion above, people were helpful in evolving the approach to introduce at least a transformer and potentially a resistor in the wiring approach.

You cannot do that. The sage devices requires a doorbell transformer and is designed to work in-line with your doorbell chime. Without a doorbell transformer, this device will not work.

I fail to see why you would try and test that and bother talking about it. It's not designed to work like that.

And that's exactly where the discussion led very quickly in the thread above.

Yeah, duh. Perhaps you should read a bit more carefully before slamming people.

The first post in this thread stated the question up front before I attempted to test anything.

If I could use the Sage device without needing to buy a transformer and chime, then I'd like to know what the wiring would look like. If all I needed to buy was a transformer, I might be game for that approach, but I'd still need to know how to wire the SAGE sensor in this context. i.e. without a doorbell chime.

Unless Iโ€™ve misread your original question...Iโ€™d wire your doorbell button to ether side of the reed switch inside a door/window sensor. Basically using the door bell button to short out the door/window sensorโ€™s, sensor.

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An update on where I landed on this door bell front:

Dropped the SAGE Doorbell Experiment

After spending a few hours experimenting with the $5 SAGE Doorbell Sensor I already had on hand, I decided it was more important to me to have a clean and packaged solution that didn't require custom instructions when we eventually sell our home.

This desire to minimize the size of the "home owner's manual" I need to maintain is on my mind whenever I'm considering new HA devices and approaches.

Considered Contacts Sensors with Exposed Terminals

Several people pointed out that you can easily use door/window contact sensors that have terminals to hook up external contacts. This approach looked pretty clean and would have likely worked fine with my mechanical door bell button.

Decided to Go With Aeotec Doorbell 6

In the end, I decided to go with the Aeotec Doorbell 6. I had researched this option prior to looking into modifying the SAGE Doorbell Sensor, but wanted to give the DIY approach a try first.

Although I'm not overly enamored by the white doorbell button of the Aeotec unit, it's a turnkey solution that has been working well for the past week. Unfortunately, the button is battery powered, but the chime/siren is mains powered. It's also uses Z-Wave, but it seems to respond pretty quickly in my network.

It's not clear to me if I'll have much use for the siren as a standalone speaker, but it's nice to know that I can use the siren separate from the doorbell button.

Thanks to all of you who provided advice concerning the SAGE Doorbell without a chime experiment. Perhaps those suggestions will help someone else who wants to tinker with that inexpensive device in this context.

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First, thank you for bringing the sage sensor to my attention. I ordered one from eBay and it is installed and working for me.

I did have some issues originally getting it to work - no problems triggering right off the transformer but a couple failed attempts connected to the doorbell. I have a clock/doorbell from the 1950s so this was entirely my issue just remembering the details of how I wire things.

My question is have you guys moved to the built in sage drive or stayed with one of the ones in this post?

The built in driver does not work for me so I am using the driver from darwinsden.com/sage-doorbell

Just curious.

I ordered one myself to play with. I've spent $5 on a lot worse things if it doesn't work for me.

I don't see it on the supported devices list. Did it actually pair with a built in driver instead of just coming up as Device?