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Anyone know electronics?

H Plato
Hi,

  I’m hoping that there might be some expertise on the list that can help out with a doorbell automation. I think about all the stuff we’ve got automated (I can tell Siri on my cell phone to open my garagedoor with that homebridge module), but pulling a signal from 60s era technology is an exercise in frustration!

  Anyways, I have a fancy electronic doorbell, the kind with multiple chimes that plays after the doorbell is released (a heath/zenith TR-0070-BX to be specific).  I picked up a Functional Devices RIBU1C relay that has a 10-30 Vac/dc input (10-30Vdc @ 10mA max, 10-30Vac, 50-60Hz @50mA max). I thought attaching the relay would be straightforward, just wire it in parallel to the existing chime. Like this:


I have been very unsuccessful with this. As soon as I connect the relay to the chime, the relay trigger light turns on even though the doorbell has not been pressed. I thought the relay might be bad, so I picked up another one, same result.

In researching this some more, since the chime is electronic, a diode was installed across the doorbell switch in order that power continues to flow so the chime can finish all it’s notes after the user lets go of the button.

I have a multimeter, but I haven’t really used one before. It shows a 3VC if I connect it to the terminals on the chime. 3VC doesn’t seem to hit the 10V threshold on the relay, so I don’t know why it’s tripping.

So now I have a weeder, 2 relays, wire pulled from the doorbells and…no signal. I put the multimeter on the terminals and pressed the button and the voltage seemed to drop, then spike up to 18, then settle at 3, but again, I just bought the multimeter recently and the instructions aren’t all that useful, so I may not be reading it right.

I’m sure hoping that there is a way to get this working, feels like this isn’t exactly rocket science...







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Re: Anyone know electronics?

Jim Serack-2

Hi

 

Well first – you will get it to work - but it can be frustrating. If your doorbell button is not lighted I think you are one diode away from success. I have mine connected (mechanical) and I  have it do all kinds of things (count unanswered doorbell rings for when you come home, pop the door camera on screen when the bell is rung, etc.)

 

The use of a multi-meter will give you static voltages but you really won’t be able to trust dynamic measurements (press button – see voltage swing, etc). But saying that I think your problem is a simple static one.

 

Also – note that you are working with AC – not DC so you will need to use your DVM  accordingly to figure out what is really going on. You already mentioned the supply diode in parallel with the doorbell switch, is the doorbell switch also lighted?

 

A relay works on current – it has a guaranteed pull in voltage but it can operate at a lower voltage (and hold in at a lower voltage) as long as it has enough current. For yours from the spec sheet http://www.functionaldevices.com/pdf/datasheets/RIBU1C.pdf you only need 13mA @ 10Vdc to close the contacts. (Coil current). So I think either the diode in parallel with the doorbell button or if it is a lighted doorbell button that is what is tripping your relay.

 

If the doorbell button is not lighted – you could put another diode in series with the relay to block the “button open” current from the doorbell button diode. Then only when the button is pressed will there be current to the relay. (in the asci diagram a is for anode, c for cathode on the diodes – if they are in opposite ways current won’t flow to the relay).

               button

                 _____

-------x----|  |-----x------------------x-------|ß--------x

T          |                     |                              |      c diode a        |

R         X--à| -----X                      Chime                            Relay

A         A   diode     c                               |                                |

N                                                                |                                |

S                                                                 |                               |

-----------------------------------------x------------------x

You should make yourself a table and measure each point pair three ways – meter on AC, meter on DC leads one way, meter on DC leads the other way. This way you can figure out which way the diode is installed (diode allows current to flow one way and not the other)

_______________  AC Voltage _________ DC voltage __________ DC voltage (leads reversed)

Across transformer

Across Switch

Across Chime

Across Relay

(should be the same as chime)

 

If you have a lighted doorbell button then you will have little success with the relay approach because it depends on current levels (light has low current, button press is high). There are other circuits you could use once you complete your voltage study.

 

Let me know if this makes sense.

Jim

 

From: H Plato [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Saturday, September 10, 2016 1:13 PM
To: misterhouse users
Subject: [mh] Anyone know electronics?

 

Hi,

 

  I’m hoping that there might be some expertise on the list that can help out with a doorbell automation. I think about all the stuff we’ve got automated (I can tell Siri on my cell phone to open my garagedoor with that homebridge module), but pulling a signal from 60s era technology is an exercise in frustration!

 

  Anyways, I have a fancy electronic doorbell, the kind with multiple chimes that plays after the doorbell is released (a heath/zenith TR-0070-BX to be specific).  I picked up a Functional Devices RIBU1C relay that has a 10-30 Vac/dc input (10-30Vdc @ 10mA max, 10-30Vac, 50-60Hz @50mA max). I thought attaching the relay would be straightforward, just wire it in parallel to the existing chime. Like this:

 

 

I have been very unsuccessful with this. As soon as I connect the relay to the chime, the relay trigger light turns on even though the doorbell has not been pressed. I thought the relay might be bad, so I picked up another one, same result.

 

In researching this some more, since the chime is electronic, a diode was installed across the doorbell switch in order that power continues to flow so the chime can finish all it’s notes after the user lets go of the button.

 

I have a multimeter, but I haven’t really used one before. It shows a 3VC if I connect it to the terminals on the chime. 3VC doesn’t seem to hit the 10V threshold on the relay, so I don’t know why it’s tripping.

 

So now I have a weeder, 2 relays, wire pulled from the doorbells and…no signal. I put the multimeter on the terminals and pressed the button and the voltage seemed to drop, then spike up to 18, then settle at 3, but again, I just bought the multimeter recently and the instructions aren’t all that useful, so I may not be reading it right.

 

I’m sure hoping that there is a way to get this working, feels like this isn’t exactly rocket science...

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Re: Anyone know electronics?

H Plato
Hey Jim,

  Thanks for the response!

  The front doorbell does not have a light, the back doorbell does. I’m fine to replace the back doorbell if necessary, let me know. Since I now have 2 relays, I thought I might as well wire both up so I can get independant front doorbell back doorbell events...

  DVM = digital voltmeter, right?

  I’ll gather those numbers this weekend. I really appreciate the help as I look at $150 of equipment on the bench, and a drywall hole to path from running the wire :)

  Lastly ‘diode’ is a big category. Is there a specific diode type or part that I’d need?

On Sep 10, 2016, at 11:59 AM, Jim Serack <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi
 
Well first – you will get it to work - but it can be frustrating. If your doorbell button is not lighted I think you are one diode away from success. I have mine connected (mechanical) and I  have it do all kinds of things (count unanswered doorbell rings for when you come home, pop the door camera on screen when the bell is rung, etc.) 
 
The use of a multi-meter will give you static voltages but you really won’t be able to trust dynamic measurements (press button – see voltage swing, etc). But saying that I think your problem is a simple static one.
 
Also – note that you are working with AC – not DC so you will need to use your DVM  accordingly to figure out what is really going on. You already mentioned the supply diode in parallel with the doorbell switch, is the doorbell switch also lighted?
 
A relay works on current – it has a guaranteed pull in voltage but it can operate at a lower voltage (and hold in at a lower voltage) as long as it has enough current. For yours from the spec sheet http://www.functionaldevices.com/pdf/datasheets/RIBU1C.pdf you only need 13mA @ 10Vdc to close the contacts. (Coil current). So I think either the diode in parallel with the doorbell button or if it is a lighted doorbell button that is what is tripping your relay.
 
If the doorbell button is not lighted – you could put another diode in series with the relay to block the “button open” current from the doorbell button diode. Then only when the button is pressed will there be current to the relay. (in the asci diagram a is for anode, c for cathode on the diodes – if they are in opposite ways current won’t flow to the relay).
               button
                 _____ 
-------x----|  |-----x------------------x-------|ß--------x
T          |                     |                              |      c diode a        |
R         X--à| -----X                      Chime                            Relay
A         A   diode     c                               |                                |
N                                                                |                                |
S                                                                 |                               |
-----------------------------------------x------------------x
You should make yourself a table and measure each point pair three ways – meter on AC, meter on DC leads one way, meter on DC leads the other way. This way you can figure out which way the diode is installed (diode allows current to flow one way and not the other)
_______________  AC Voltage _________ DC voltage __________ DC voltage (leads reversed)
Across transformer
Across Switch
Across Chime
Across Relay
(should be the same as chime)
 
If you have a lighted doorbell button then you will have little success with the relay approach because it depends on current levels (light has low current, button press is high). There are other circuits you could use once you complete your voltage study.
 
Let me know if this makes sense.
Jim
 
From: H Plato [[hidden email]] 
Sent: Saturday, September 10, 2016 1:13 PM
To: misterhouse users
Subject: [mh] Anyone know electronics?
 
Hi,
 
  I’m hoping that there might be some expertise on the list that can help out with a doorbell automation. I think about all the stuff we’ve got automated (I can tell Siri on my cell phone to open my garagedoor with that homebridge module), but pulling a signal from 60s era technology is an exercise in frustration!
 
  Anyways, I have a fancy electronic doorbell, the kind with multiple chimes that plays after the doorbell is released (a heath/zenith TR-0070-BX to be specific).  I picked up a Functional Devices RIBU1C relay that has a 10-30 Vac/dc input (10-30Vdc @ 10mA max, 10-30Vac, 50-60Hz @50mA max). I thought attaching the relay would be straightforward, just wire it in parallel to the existing chime. Like this:
 
<image001.png>
 
I have been very unsuccessful with this. As soon as I connect the relay to the chime, the relay trigger light turns on even though the doorbell has not been pressed. I thought the relay might be bad, so I picked up another one, same result.
 
In researching this some more, since the chime is electronic, a diode was installed across the doorbell switch in order that power continues to flow so the chime can finish all it’s notes after the user lets go of the button.
 
I have a multimeter, but I haven’t really used one before. It shows a 3VC if I connect it to the terminals on the chime. 3VC doesn’t seem to hit the 10V threshold on the relay, so I don’t know why it’s tripping.
 
So now I have a weeder, 2 relays, wire pulled from the doorbells and…no signal. I put the multimeter on the terminals and pressed the button and the voltage seemed to drop, then spike up to 18, then settle at 3, but again, I just bought the multimeter recently and the instructions aren’t all that useful, so I may not be reading it right.
 
I’m sure hoping that there is a way to get this working, feels like this isn’t exactly rocket science...


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Re: Anyone know electronics?

Michelle Dupuis-2
In reply to this post by H Plato

I suspect your chime draws very little current – so a relay (coil) in series probably won’t work.

As well the diode across the doorbell means the chime ALWAYS has power (dc) – which allows it to play the full chime.

 

So – you’ll have to redesign your circuit.  For simplicity, if you can connect to the leads from the doorbell directly, you can sense the change in resistance (with a weeder board).

More complex, you could try to sense the current draw across the chime (another weeder board I think can do this) but I’m not sure it would be reliable.

 

From: H Plato [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Saturday, September 10, 2016 1:13 PM
To: misterhouse users
Subject: [mh] Anyone know electronics?

 

Hi,

 

  I’m hoping that there might be some expertise on the list that can help out with a doorbell automation. I think about all the stuff we’ve got automated (I can tell Siri on my cell phone to open my garagedoor with that homebridge module), but pulling a signal from 60s era technology is an exercise in frustration!

 

  Anyways, I have a fancy electronic doorbell, the kind with multiple chimes that plays after the doorbell is released (a heath/zenith TR-0070-BX to be specific).  I picked up a Functional Devices RIBU1C relay that has a 10-30 Vac/dc input (10-30Vdc @ 10mA max, 10-30Vac, 50-60Hz @50mA max). I thought attaching the relay would be straightforward, just wire it in parallel to the existing chime. Like this:

 

 

I have been very unsuccessful with this. As soon as I connect the relay to the chime, the relay trigger light turns on even though the doorbell has not been pressed. I thought the relay might be bad, so I picked up another one, same result.

 

In researching this some more, since the chime is electronic, a diode was installed across the doorbell switch in order that power continues to flow so the chime can finish all it’s notes after the user lets go of the button.

 

I have a multimeter, but I haven’t really used one before. It shows a 3VC if I connect it to the terminals on the chime. 3VC doesn’t seem to hit the 10V threshold on the relay, so I don’t know why it’s tripping.

 

So now I have a weeder, 2 relays, wire pulled from the doorbells and…no signal. I put the multimeter on the terminals and pressed the button and the voltage seemed to drop, then spike up to 18, then settle at 3, but again, I just bought the multimeter recently and the instructions aren’t all that useful, so I may not be reading it right.

 

I’m sure hoping that there is a way to get this working, feels like this isn’t exactly rocket science...

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Re: Anyone know electronics?

Lieven Hollevoet
Administrator
In reply to this post by Jim Serack-2
Hello Howard,

to avoid a problem with the lighted back door button: if you can put a diode in series with the light in the button then you can apply the same trick with the diode inversely polarized in combination with the relay that Jim proposed for the front door button.

One the general principle of the diode trick some more info: the transformer gives you an AC voltage. When the button is not pressed, the diode ensures that half of the sine wave is passed to the doorbell to play the complete tune. See the blue waveform in the graphic below. The blue waveform alone is enough to trigger the relay is you just add it in parallel to the bell. That is why you see what you see.

Half-wave rectifier in/out waveforms and circuit

If you push the doorbell button, the full AC wave is passed to the doorbell (the red sine arrives at the bell).

If you add the diode inversely polarized to the one in the doorbell button to the relay, then this one only passes the ‘lower’ side of the sine wave. So when you don’t push the button, no lower part of the sine wave arrives at the bell and with the inversely polarized diode, no energy arrives at the relay. When you push the button, then the full wave arrives at the diode and the lower part is passed to the relay and the relay will be activated.

Kind regards,
 Lieven.

Op 10 sep. 2016, om 19:59 heeft Jim Serack <[hidden email]> het volgende geschreven:

If you have a lighted doorbell button then you will have little success with the relay approach because it depends on current levels (light has low current, button press is high). There are other circuits you could use once you complete your voltage study.


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Re: Anyone know electronics?

H Plato
Thanks everyone. I picked up some 100v 1a diodes yesterday and plan on trying this today or tomorrow. 


Sent from my mobile device. 

On Sep 17, 2016, at 7:16 AM, Lieven Hollevoet <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hello Howard,

to avoid a problem with the lighted back door button: if you can put a diode in series with the light in the button then you can apply the same trick with the diode inversely polarized in combination with the relay that Jim proposed for the front door button.

One the general principle of the diode trick some more info: the transformer gives you an AC voltage. When the button is not pressed, the diode ensures that half of the sine wave is passed to the doorbell to play the complete tune. See the blue waveform in the graphic below. The blue waveform alone is enough to trigger the relay is you just add it in parallel to the bell. That is why you see what you see.

<5176f4bfce395f3a61000000.png>

If you push the doorbell button, the full AC wave is passed to the doorbell (the red sine arrives at the bell).

If you add the diode inversely polarized to the one in the doorbell button to the relay, then this one only passes the ‘lower’ side of the sine wave. So when you don’t push the button, no lower part of the sine wave arrives at the bell and with the inversely polarized diode, no energy arrives at the relay. When you push the button, then the full wave arrives at the diode and the lower part is passed to the relay and the relay will be activated.

Kind regards,
 Lieven.

Op 10 sep. 2016, om 19:59 heeft Jim Serack <[hidden email]> het volgende geschreven:

If you have a lighted doorbell button then you will have little success with the relay approach because it depends on current levels (light has low current, button press is high). There are other circuits you could use once you complete your voltage study.


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Re: Anyone know electronics?

H Plato
So just a follow-up, Jim thanks again for all your help and Lieven, that’s a great explanation!

Success, this now all works, both with the front button with the diode and the back lighted button! The relay trips when the button is pushed, and the weeder board picks up the signal.  Now to just clean up all the wiring and add in the software part.


On Sep 17, 2016, at 8:49 AM, H Plato <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thanks everyone. I picked up some 100v 1a diodes yesterday and plan on trying this today or tomorrow. 


Sent from my mobile device. 

On Sep 17, 2016, at 7:16 AM, Lieven Hollevoet <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hello Howard,

to avoid a problem with the lighted back door button: if you can put a diode in series with the light in the button then you can apply the same trick with the diode inversely polarized in combination with the relay that Jim proposed for the front door button.

One the general principle of the diode trick some more info: the transformer gives you an AC voltage. When the button is not pressed, the diode ensures that half of the sine wave is passed to the doorbell to play the complete tune. See the blue waveform in the graphic below. The blue waveform alone is enough to trigger the relay is you just add it in parallel to the bell. That is why you see what you see.

<5176f4bfce395f3a61000000.png>

If you push the doorbell button, the full AC wave is passed to the doorbell (the red sine arrives at the bell).

If you add the diode inversely polarized to the one in the doorbell button to the relay, then this one only passes the ‘lower’ side of the sine wave. So when you don’t push the button, no lower part of the sine wave arrives at the bell and with the inversely polarized diode, no energy arrives at the relay. When you push the button, then the full wave arrives at the diode and the lower part is passed to the relay and the relay will be activated.

Kind regards,
 Lieven.

Op 10 sep. 2016, om 19:59 heeft Jim Serack <[hidden email]> het volgende geschreven:

If you have a lighted doorbell button then you will have little success with the relay approach because it depends on current levels (light has low current, button press is high). There are other circuits you could use once you complete your voltage study.



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Re: Anyone know electronics?

Jim Serack-2

Hi Howard,

 

You are welcome – I’m glad I could give a bit back for all the excellent software work you have been doing!

 

Now – what clever things can you do with the doorbell press info …. Probably the most important I have done is a remote doorbell around the pool so we can all be outside even when guests are still arriving for patio party. I also have the doorbell bring up the front door camera image on the monitors (so useful when I’m preparing supper and have messy hands and the door to door sales people come by), and the third thing I do is have unanswered doorbell counters – up count on the doorbell, down count on the door opening, resettable – basically reminds me when I come home to check if there is any deliveries on the porch or in the mailbox.

 

Jim

 

From: H Plato [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2016 5:35 PM
To: Lieven Hollevoet; Jim Serack
Cc: misterhouse users
Subject: Re: [mh] Anyone know electronics?

 

So just a follow-up, Jim thanks again for all your help and Lieven, that’s a great explanation!

 

Success, this now all works, both with the front button with the diode and the back lighted button! The relay trips when the button is pushed, and the weeder board picks up the signal.  Now to just clean up all the wiring and add in the software part.

 

 

On Sep 17, 2016, at 8:49 AM, H Plato <[hidden email]> wrote:

 

Thanks everyone. I picked up some 100v 1a diodes yesterday and plan on trying this today or tomorrow. 

 


Sent from my mobile device. 


On Sep 17, 2016, at 7:16 AM, Lieven Hollevoet <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hello Howard,

 

to avoid a problem with the lighted back door button: if you can put a diode in series with the light in the button then you can apply the same trick with the diode inversely polarized in combination with the relay that Jim proposed for the front door button.

 

One the general principle of the diode trick some more info: the transformer gives you an AC voltage. When the button is not pressed, the diode ensures that half of the sine wave is passed to the doorbell to play the complete tune. See the blue waveform in the graphic below. The blue waveform alone is enough to trigger the relay is you just add it in parallel to the bell. That is why you see what you see.

 

<5176f4bfce395f3a61000000.png>

 

If you push the doorbell button, the full AC wave is passed to the doorbell (the red sine arrives at the bell).

 

If you add the diode inversely polarized to the one in the doorbell button to the relay, then this one only passes the ‘lower’ side of the sine wave. So when you don’t push the button, no lower part of the sine wave arrives at the bell and with the inversely polarized diode, no energy arrives at the relay. When you push the button, then the full wave arrives at the diode and the lower part is passed to the relay and the relay will be activated.

 

Kind regards,

 Lieven.



Op 10 sep. 2016, om 19:59 heeft Jim Serack <[hidden email]> het volgende geschreven:

If you have a lighted doorbell button then you will have little success with the relay approach because it depends on current levels (light has low current, button press is high). There are other circuits you could use once you complete your voltage study.

 

 


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Re: Anyone know electronics?

H Plato
Right now just pushbullet notifications, but i plan on grabbing a still from my zoneminder camera and then triggering an event. 

Thats a great idea about the camera. I've mounted a few ipads in the walls and using 'activator', i can control what app is displayed. I should be able to open the video feed. I'll try this tonight!

Sent from my mobile device. 

On Sep 19, 2016, at 5:40 AM, Jim Serack <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Howard,

 

You are welcome – I’m glad I could give a bit back for all the excellent software work you have been doing!

 

Now – what clever things can you do with the doorbell press info …. Probably the most important I have done is a remote doorbell around the pool so we can all be outside even when guests are still arriving for patio party. I also have the doorbell bring up the front door camera image on the monitors (so useful when I’m preparing supper and have messy hands and the door to door sales people come by), and the third thing I do is have unanswered doorbell counters – up count on the doorbell, down count on the door opening, resettable – basically reminds me when I come home to check if there is any deliveries on the porch or in the mailbox.

 

Jim

 

From: H Plato [[hidden email]]
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2016 5:35 PM
To: Lieven Hollevoet; Jim Serack
Cc: misterhouse users
Subject: Re: [mh] Anyone know electronics?

 

So just a follow-up, Jim thanks again for all your help and Lieven, that’s a great explanation!

 

Success, this now all works, both with the front button with the diode and the back lighted button! The relay trips when the button is pushed, and the weeder board picks up the signal.  Now to just clean up all the wiring and add in the software part.

 

 

On Sep 17, 2016, at 8:49 AM, H Plato <[hidden email]> wrote:

 

Thanks everyone. I picked up some 100v 1a diodes yesterday and plan on trying this today or tomorrow. 

 


Sent from my mobile device. 


On Sep 17, 2016, at 7:16 AM, Lieven Hollevoet <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hello Howard,

 

to avoid a problem with the lighted back door button: if you can put a diode in series with the light in the button then you can apply the same trick with the diode inversely polarized in combination with the relay that Jim proposed for the front door button.

 

One the general principle of the diode trick some more info: the transformer gives you an AC voltage. When the button is not pressed, the diode ensures that half of the sine wave is passed to the doorbell to play the complete tune. See the blue waveform in the graphic below. The blue waveform alone is enough to trigger the relay is you just add it in parallel to the bell. That is why you see what you see.

 

<5176f4bfce395f3a61000000.png>

 

If you push the doorbell button, the full AC wave is passed to the doorbell (the red sine arrives at the bell).

 

If you add the diode inversely polarized to the one in the doorbell button to the relay, then this one only passes the ‘lower’ side of the sine wave. So when you don’t push the button, no lower part of the sine wave arrives at the bell and with the inversely polarized diode, no energy arrives at the relay. When you push the button, then the full wave arrives at the diode and the lower part is passed to the relay and the relay will be activated.

 

Kind regards,

 Lieven.



Op 10 sep. 2016, om 19:59 heeft Jim Serack <[hidden email]> het volgende geschreven:

If you have a lighted doorbell button then you will have little success with the relay approach because it depends on current levels (light has low current, button press is high). There are other circuits you could use once you complete your voltage study.

 

 


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