Monday, March 19, 2012

How to build a door bell

Building a door bell is a relatively simple concept for a beginning electronics technician.

“You can pick up a door bell kit at any hardware store or Home Depot,” said Leon Pickett, electronics technician and television repairman for Pickett and Son TV. 

A Heath Zenith Wired Door Chime Kit with Mixed Push Buttons from Home Depot, per cost $9.97. That‘s without shipping. Whereas Http:// showed various kits ranging from $25.86 to $50.00, with free shipping. This site featured door bells that were basic to very elaborate. 

Pickett said you could also purchase the materials individually, in case you want to customize the style or tone used for the chime. Make sure when you buy your material you ask for door bell wire if you don’t buy a kit because wire comes in different gages, he explained. 

If you are looking to cut costs, buying a kit seems to be the least expensive way to go.

“I would collect my material,” he said. “Door bell, a step-down transformer that goes from 120 volts to 18 volts, momentary switch, screws and wire. That’s all you need for a doorbell.”

As for tools, you don't need very many.

“You can use black or any other colored electrical tape, a cordless drill and a cordless screwdriver,” said Pickett. 

“Make sure to have everything charged or at least keep a few back-up tools on hand, so you don't have to stop in the middle of your project,” he said.

Obviously, the door bell is what chimes when you press down on the button outside a house or building, explained Pickett.

“A step-down transformer takes the electricity from a power source, like a wall socket or the wiring in a house and transforms it into a voltage that a small appliance, such as a door bell, can handle,” said Pickett.
“It has to be at least a 120 volt power source for the door bell to work,” he said.

You will need a momentary switch so that when you press down on the button, it only rings as you hold down the button. Pickett explained that if you don’t get a momentary switch, you could end up with a constantly ringing buzzer, like in the case of a light switch, that stays on until you flip it back off.

“You will need screws to mount the door bell and the momentary switch,” said Pickett.

The first thing he said to do is to mount the buzzer on an inside wall, so it can be heard. Then, run your wires, he explained. 

He said you will need five pieces of wire. Measure them to fit the distances you are working with, such as if you are wiring the door bell into the wall.

“Run one wire from the door bell to the transformer,“ said Pickett. “The next wire needs to go from the transformer to one side of the momentary switch and another piece of wire to the other side of the switch.”

“On the side of the transformer that connects to the wall, you will have two pieces of wire connected to a white wire, also called a neutral wire, and a black wire, referred to as a hot wire,” said Pickett. “Make sure you turn off the breaker running to that section of the wall so you don’t get electrocuted.”

“Be sure to get the right size screws and be careful when mounting the switches to the outside of the door, so as not to damage the materials or your doors and walls,” he explained. “ Also, take care to make sure when you make all of the connections that you tape the ends up nice and sturdy, so you don't have any connectivity issues down the road.”

For more information regarding electrical questions or problems you might be having with your doorbell, you can contact Mr. Pickett on the company blog The blog is updated weekly and features different things from complications with electronics and television sets, to items he works on, to products he has refurbished and has put up for sale.
This is a Craftmade C105 Door Bell Kit, listed on  Http:// .