Picture of Star Trek Doorbell Hack

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?

JohnL324 months ago

Cool write up. I got one of these this past Christmas and it's doing the door slide noise when you walk in to my office. I was going to crack it open and see how I can get a Raspberry Pi to start triggering the events on this thing for some home automation / security.

philip421 year ago

Did you really need a micro controller? Wouldn't it have been easier to attach a wire from the doorbell's output to one of the inputs to the comm panel with a transistor as the switch?

Tomdf (author)  philip421 year ago
Hmm, well, now that you mention it, that would have worked here, good call.
I'm going to rationalize it by telling myself that the MCU gave me more control over what was going on (even if it was unnecessary), it also let me add the flashing LED.
MrE1 year ago

SWEEET! I love the retro nature.