Introduction: Weather-proof Wireless Doorbell Button

Picture of Weather-proof Wireless Doorbell Button

This is another one of those completed projects that I've now decided to publish while I was doing a battery change. The problem that I sought to overcome was that the exterior "button unit" for wireless doorbells usually don't like direct sun (yellow plastic and fall apart) or rain water.

While it was possible to mount the normal unit at the back door because it is deeply protected by a large carport, placing one at the front door meant dealing with sunlight and rain in perpetuity.

Step 1: Choosing an Enclosure.

Picture of Choosing an Enclosure.

I decided to keep the main body of the original unit so that everything was kept in place, including the battery.

That meant a fairly large box, which meant I could choose a very nice inviting button to press.

Although the box was supposed to be UV-resistant, I decided to paint it for both further protection and aesthetic purposes. The black plugs at the back are screw covers to help keep water out.

Step 2:

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Having already decided to keep the basic unit mostly intact, all that was required was soldering the large inviting button across the terminals of the iddy-biddy switch on the circuit board. The blue line around the inside of the front cover, although similar in color is not paint---it is the water seal.

The second photo shows how the basic unit sits comfortably beside the big switch.

Step 3:

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As you can see, the base unit fits neatly into one side of the box and sits beside the nice big switch with room to spare.

All that is required is to screw the front panel back onto the box.

Step 4:

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As you can see, people demonstrated an amazing ability not to recognise something unusual as a doorbell, hence the labelling. You can also see that the labels don't stand up to the weather, but the box has done wonderfully for the last five years. This is the first battery change in that time.

The transmitter receiver pairs allow for a selection of 16 "tunes", most of which are pretty horrid. The choice of "tune" was fairly easy. I set the front unit to generate the stand "ding-dong", and the back door unit to "barking dogs" because of the dogs in the next door neighbor's yard.

Future modification: Next time it needs opening up, I'll have a super-bright LED to install in the facia, connected in place of the activity LED on the circuit board. I'll actually choose a LED that requires slightly higher voltage than the existing one, because when these units failed, the LED was still flashing to indicate that everything was working fine. A LED that needs higher voltage will fade out sooner, so that it's more obvious that the battery is failing.

Comments

MikB (author)2013-04-27

"The problem that I sought to overcome was that the exterior "button unit" for wireless doorbells usually " ... are cheaply made rubbish barely fit for indoor use :)

There, I fixed that for you!

Honestly, this is a great idea, re-engineering a bad design into a robust one. I had one of these to "repair", which had the mini-micro-tactile switch eaten alive by corrosion. As if one of those is suitable for a stonking great hammer-on-it-with-fist doorbell anyway!

The enclosure wasn't waterproof, rain/moisture got in, corroded the switch (in the power supply), and started a partial-on leak that drained the battery and intermittently sounded the receiver.

I went with large quantities of silicone caulk to seal it up! And a new switch ... naturally.

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