My family loves our old-school wired doorbell. :). What I would like to do is somehow achieve integration with HE. Ultimately I would like to send a “someone is at the door” announcement to our GH devices. I just don’t know how I can detect the doorbell with HE. Some sort of continuity sensor perhaps? Any ideas?
There's the Nexia doorbell sensor.
WARNING: Before you try any modifications to a doorbell, do disconnect power at the breaker panel. Sometimes the transformer is inside the doorbell box and there is 110~120V AC input terminals that you could be shocked by.
If it's just the button your family likes, then you can unhook the door bell button wires and wire them up to a contact sensor with dry contacts. Many of the larger Z-Wave contact sensors have them already. Or if you're handy with a soldering iron, you can take just about any contact sensor and just solder wires to the reed switch.
If it's the doorbell sound they like, then @Ryan780 's suggestion is quick and simple. Or if you're more the build it from scratch type, then you can get a relay with a coil that is rated for the AC voltage coming from your doorbell transformer. When the doorbell button is pressed, the voltage that triggers the solenoid(s) inside the doorbell to strike the bars, will also close the relay. The contact on the relay will give you a no-voltage closure for the Z-Wave or Zigbee contact sensor to trigger from. Then just write your TTS rule to trigger the notification from the contact sensor closing.
Another thing that might work is to simply put a contact sensor inside the doorbell box next to the solenoid coils. Since they are just electro magnets, they may trigger the reed switch in the contact sensor when the doorbell is rung.
OMG! This has been floating in my noggin for a while now. I'll be looking into this.
(Can you believe this guy? Brilliant! )
You’ve given me a lot of ideas!!! I didn’t even think about hacking some existing device. I do have some Zigbee door sensors laying around. Since (I assume) the doorbell button just completes a circuit when you press it, I wonder if I can just solder the dry contacts in series with the button. Should work in theory as long as it doesn’t fry the sensor(?). The magnet idea will be my fallback if I end up frying the sensor.
Thanks Ryan. This would probably work but it’s a bit expensive and I’m also extremely allergic to z-wave. Thanks for the suggestion though.
Could you wire directly to a Ecolink contact sensor ?
No! Don't do that. Yes, the button is completing the circuit, sending somewhere between 16~24V AC to the doorbell. If you attach a contact sensor to that it WILL fry. That's why I would suggest a relay if just putting the contact sensor next to the solenoid doesn't work. That one was suggested by someone else, but I cannot recall who it was. They did say it was working for them.
You can certainly put just the wires from the button into the contact sensors terminals for a dry contact switch, but you cannot leave the AC voltage in the circuit. That will smoke your sensor.
Okay good thing I asked.
I thought I could just take the wires from the chime and wire it to the contact sensor.
If this is the way you need to go, then start with your multimeter set to AC and measure the output of the doorbell transformer. Once you know what it's delivering, you can get the appropriate relay. If it's 24v or just under, those are easy to find.
LOL ok thanks. These things were practically free so I was going to give it a shot. But if you’re sure it will fry, it will save me a sensor. I’ll give the relay a shot. I already tried (just now) to position the sensor every which way in and around the bell and had my daughter ring it and the sensor never closed.
Bummer. Yeah if you didn't try already, it would have to be right up against the solenoid striker, and I don't think they're exposed in every doorbell. Wish I could remember who suggested that one in the first place, because he posted a picture of it too.
It was basically this...
And I found the thread. Lots of examples. You just need to get the sensor right in there.
That's actually cheaper than the Doorbell 6. And my Doorbell 6 is one of only 5 z-wave devices I have in the house, I'm not a big fan of z-wave either. But there are no zigbee equivalents for doorbell.
Terrific, thanks! Indeed lots of examples and pictures. I’m sure I’ll be able to figure something out with all this info. Thanks for taking the time to find it.
The Sage doorbells have made their way to eBay. They are Zigbee sensors.
Actually I tried the tip with a open/close sensor for the doorbell some time ago, unfortunately it didn't work as intended. I think that the magnetic reed switch was the issue. So I got sick and tired of it and therefore I went for the WiFi Doorbell from Firefly Electronix. A bit pricy in comparison but it works a charm and this one supports both MQTT and IFTTT, so I could use it in both HA and HE without any problems.
Terrific, thanks! Picked one up for less than $5 shipped. If it works, that's a heck of a deal!