I've always been a fan of the Star Treks and as such I was very excited when my roommate brought home an original series style Star Trek comm panel. I had never seen one of these but a quick search took us to the Thinkgeek website where the panels are sold, and we soon figured out how to use it.
Myself having a reputation as a tinkerer, my roommate immediately asked if I could wire the panel into our already existing wireless doorbell. I wasn't sure I'd be able to pull it off, but by taking the two products apart, studying how they worked, and adding a few wires and a small microcontroller, we now have a sweet new Red Alert doorbell! In this instructable I will share pictures, diagrams, and insight on how the doorbell and door chime were made one; thanks for checking out the project!
Why do this? Well, besides the obvious awesomeness, this project does serve some very practical purposes. I live in a large apartment with several roommates. Because of the size and construction of the apartment it is impossible to hear people knocking on the door, a problem that has been incredibly annoying. We got a wireless doorbell which seemed like the ideal solution but it was just too quiet to hear at the other end of the apartment. We then bought another doorbell receiver that you can link to the same button and put it in the back of our place, which worked o.k., but was still not ideal.
The Star Trek door chime is loud, really, really loud, especially the "Red Alert" setting. So we had a too-quiet, wireless door bell and a really loud, sensor triggered comm panel, why not try to mash the two together?
GE Plug-In Eight-Chime Wireless Door Chime SKU:19299
This is the doorbell I already owned and is the model used in this instructable. I can't absolutely guarentee that other wireless doorbells work exactly like this one, but I do believe that they are all very similar. Later on I'll be explaining how I knew which parts of the doorbell to hack into and I feel that methodology will work with most any doorbell (and most modern consumer electronics.)
Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5V DC
You can buy one of these, but you probably already own several. Any cellphone made within they last five years will use one of these as a charger and by some bizarre reason there seem to be about 3 times as many of chargers as there are phones in the world; believe me, you have an extra one somewhere!
Tiny AVR Programmer by Sparkfun
Used to program the ATtiny85 mictrocontroller.