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> [solved] Got A New Doorbell, Doesn't work the way it did.
Mag748
Posted: January 28, 2012 11:31 pm
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Hello,

My girlfriend's parents had an electrician install a new doorbell in their house after the old one started working intermittently. The old doorbell was a simple 2-note chime system with a front door lighted button and a back door button. The interesting part of the system was that there was a lighted house address sign near the front door that was connected to the front door button. This way the address light and the doorbell light were both lit, and they would both turn off briefly when you pressed the doorbell button.

After the new doorbell system was installed, the house address light stopped working. But the front door button still lit and everything else worked. I traced the whole wiring system out and found that the house address light wires are run to the front door button, and then the front door button runs to the doorbell unit. They were wired in series, but this causes the lamps in the address light to remain dark, while the front door button lights up.

I tried rewiring the front door switch and the address light in parallel, but the doorbell continuously rings while in that configuration. I can't figure out how to get the house address light to light up with this new system. Any suggestions?

The new doorbell system is this: http://www.broan.com/display/router.asp?ProductID=1387
And it is wired as the "replace existing 2-note chime" configuration. I can't tell how the 2 configurations are different and why one couldn't wire the existing wiring the way the "new construction" method recommends.

If anyone has any suggestions to any of this, thanks!

-Marcus
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MacFromOK
Posted: January 28, 2012 11:49 pm
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The old doorbell system (solenoid/mechanical chime I assume?) probably grounded the circuit thru the solenoid enough to power the lights without actually banging the chime. The doorbell button could then just short across the lights to provide full power to the chime's solenoid.

It may not be wired properly, or the new doorbell's voltage/current requirements may be different and not suited for this arrangement. beer.gif


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Mag748
Posted: January 29, 2012 12:05 am
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This is what I was thinking as well.

Do you know of a circuit that I can add to this system that will provide full power to the lights/front door button from the transformer, but then be able to detect/handle a short circuit which would trigger the doorbell system?

Thanks,
Marcus
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Gorgon
Posted: January 29, 2012 12:18 am
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The easiest would be to add an extra wire to the number light from the transformer.

If you can't do that, connect the two lamps in parallell and change both lamps to half the wattage of the one in the pushbutton now.

That beside, I can't see why you use the battery variant and not the recommended wiring.

TOK wink.gif


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CWB
Posted: January 29, 2012 12:21 am
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you might be able to change out the filament lamps in the sign with a few leds .
these will have a lower current draw and thus not cause the bell solenoid to activate .
some modifications will be required .
the circuit in the sign and the type of lamps would be helpful .

another option is to run a separate line from the sign (or where you access its wires) all the way back to the transformer and power it from there .


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MacFromOK
Posted: January 29, 2012 12:25 am
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You might be able to just add resistance in series with the lights if the pushbutton actually triggers the solenoid itself. If it uses other circuitry, chances are slim this would work because the required trigger current is probably too low.

If you have access to ground (assuming the circuit is grounded), you might just ground the lights and power them thru an appropriate resistor, but the pushbutton may or may not pull power down enough for them to go off without setting up a divider.

Dunno, I'd probably just have to play with it a bit. biggrin.gif


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Skeith
Posted: January 29, 2012 04:51 am
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if they are wired series it could be possible that the new button is LED lit and not incandescent. in this case the LED would have a resistor in series with it to drop the current low enough to keep the LED from burning up. if this is the case, series wiring will not work unless you replace the button with a cheaper incandescent variant.

EDIT:

just read the description of the product in your link. Any modern chime that makes more than a 2 note ding dong sound (Such as the one you have that chimes a tune) will be electronic, not solenoid activated. Therefore very little current will flow when the chime sits idle.
Not like the solenoids where you can pass more power through it to light a lamp.

There is probably also a diode in your front door button as well. Either wired in, or part of the button. The diodes purpose in the chime is to keep supplying the chime with power after the button is released so it will continue to chime until the tune is finished.



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Mag748
Posted: January 29, 2012 05:50 am
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The wiring is all through the walls, so I can't run additional wires from the lighted sign to the transformer.

I took a look at the lamp in the push button, and it is a very tiny incandescent lamp. It looks like those lamps in the mini MAGlight.

The 2 lamps in the lighted sign are 5W wedge lamps (T3-1/4), most likely rated at 12 volts. They are wired in series with each other. Changing them to LED may be a good suggestion, as that would draw a smaller amount of current that the electronic doorbell system can handle. But I wouldn't want to attempt this without being sure. Is there a way I can test to see how much current the electronic chime unit can supply through its button terminals?

MacForumOK: If I were to find a ground, like from a nearby junction box, and tie one side of the lighted sign to that, then I would just have the other end go to the push button terminal that is connected to the transformer? Wouldn't connecting the transformer leg to ground through this small resistance not be a great idea?

Thanks,
Marcus
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MacFromOK
Posted: January 29, 2012 06:16 am
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Note that I said "you might just ground the lights and power them thru an appropriate resistor." You would have to add approx the same resistance as the old doorbell solenoid provided for the lights (assuming the same transformer voltage).

You can try various resistor values (in series with the lights) to the doorbell and figure out approx how low resistance can be without triggering the chimes (again, assuming the pushbutton is connected directly to a solenoid). This may still be too high for the lights though.

As mentioned, if the pushbutton triggers electronic circuitry, it will only be a very small current and wouldn't work anyway. If so, the new transformer may be too wimpy to run the incandescent lights as well.


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Mag748
Posted: January 29, 2012 06:33 am
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I believe the transformer is the same as before since it is located in the basement and looks old. The voltage is 16VAC.

I think it comes down to the fact that because this new doorbell system is triggered electronically, there is no way to get the amount of current needed out of the button circuit.
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MacFromOK
Posted: January 29, 2012 06:41 am
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In that case, you might try putting a voltage divider at the doorbell unit itself to ground that barely bypasses the trigger circuitry with the incandescents lit. Shorting the pushbutton across the lights should then raise voltage enough to trigger the chime.

Otherwise I'm about out of ideas. beer.gif


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CWB
Posted: January 29, 2012 09:39 am
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some assumptions are being made here :
what is the measured voltage at/across the doorbell button ?
just because the old transformer was used does not mean that it was used in exactly the same capacity as in the old unit .
the transformer in the old unit was most likely used "straight guts" ...
with the new units it may serve as the LV source for an internal rectifier/filter circuit .

to test with leds all one has to do is do the substitution work at the point where the wires take off to run the sign ... disconnect the line running to the sign .

to go to the next step , the voltage available has to be known ...
from there , then one can figure out the value of a correct current limiting resistor for a led or two or three or four in series (depends on the voltage available) .

if ac is present , it is going to require some additional components to protect the leds from reverse voltage .
one might be able to use a small bridge rectifier and filter cap .

the other way is to (as gorgon mentioned) sub in lamps of the same voltage but lower current draw .

a thought ...
the new unit might have a "number box" available as an adjunct .
check the specs on this to see what is being done/used .
hey , it might be easier to replace the old box ... and smarter too , as it is not your house .

i recall words to the effect of : "they had an electrician change out ..."


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MacFromOK
Posted: January 29, 2012 09:56 pm
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^ What he said.

And one more thought...

Assuming the new button does work like the old one, a relay could be used in the same capacity as the old doorbell solenoid if you can find one with similar coil resistance.

The lights would ground thru the coil, then when the button shorts across the lights, the relay would activate. Its contact points would then make connection to the new doorbell circuit.

Luck. beer.gif


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Mag748
Posted: February 13, 2012 02:58 pm
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I thought the relay idea was a good one, and I bought one that had a coil voltage of 12V AC, which I thought would work, but it did not.

My next idea has something to do with Diodes and using one side of the AC waveform to light the lamps, and the other side to detect the short circuit across the switch.

I need to think about it a little more and determine if this is possible.

Thanks,
Marcus
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Mag748
  Posted: February 13, 2012 08:50 pm
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[Solved]

Hey guys,

I have found a solution to this problem that works farily well. The only issue currently is that the 12V lamps are too dim as they are only receiving one side of the AC signal. I will try and wire these in parallel, as opposed to series to increase the brightness.

I just used diodes to "separate" the positive and negative components of the AC waveform in order to split the two circuits apart in order to function the way it needs to.

See the attached 2 images to see what components I have added to the existing system.

Thanks for those who helped me out with this.

Thanks,
Marcus

user posted image
Original Design


user posted image
Components to be added - AS-BUILT
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