Altoids Tin Doorbell Switch for Dogs

How to customize a remote control doorbell with an Altoids tin so a dog can ring it.
We have had great success in bell-training our two cockerdoodles to let us know when they wanted to go outside. (I prefer the term cockerdoodle to cock-a-poo...ick.)
We've hung a bell next to the back door, which they swat with their paws when they want out, or their food bowl is empty, when they want a treat, or sometimes just when they want to annoy us. Since a bell hanging outside the door doesn't work too well when the door is shut, and they naturally scratch at the door when they want in, we purchased a doorbell with a wireless button switch with the idea that they could learn to ring when they wanted back in.
However, the button proved to small for them to successfully press.
Altoids to the rescue!
I mounted the button inside a tin, making the lid a wide surface to press on.
The lid of the tin does stick out at a bit of an angle, making it easier to operate with a paw.
It's not pretty, but it gets swatted at by dogs and has made it through two Iowa winters so far.

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Step 1: For This Project You Will Need:

An Altoids tin.
A wireless remote doorbell with a switch small enough to fit inside the tin.
A button, washer, lego, whatever.
Gorilla tape (I love this stuff!)
3M/Scotch double-stick mounting tape. The heavy duty kind with the red peel-off backing.

Step 2: The Guts:

This photo shows the assembled switch.
The wireless button switch is mounted inside the bottom of the tin.
A plastic button is affixed to the top of the tin with Gorilla tape to ensure good contact with the switch.
The hinge is reinforced with Gorilla tape as well.
You can see the original hinge of the tin is actually no longer connected to the bottom. No matter.

Step 3: Installed:

The next photo shows the tin mounted to the door using 3M/Scotch double-stick mounting tape.

Step 4: In Action:

Finally is a demonstration of the switch by Newman and Louie.

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    9 Discussions

    sgallion hodge

    4 years ago

    This is wonderful. I also taught my boy to ring the bell when he wants out, took 3 days. Like you Sir, I couldn't even here a cow bell.from outside. Thank you, Thank you.
    I'm getting right on it.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    okay, this ROCKS. i have a border collie who, for some reason, thinks just sitting and staring at the door as if he's trying to open it psychokinetically is supposed to alert me, the one usually in the basement on the computer, to the fact that he's about to pee on my skechers. Again. not his fault - he's totally housetrained - but i get a little.... shall we say "preoccupied"? and minor matters like feeding, watering, and general care and maintenance of pets and children tends to fade into the distance.

    i need two versions of this: one audible for upstairs and one that triggers a light for my office (i do inbound call agent work from home so ringers, dingers, buzzers, and bells are not options).


    7 years ago on Introduction

    i LOVE your name!!!!!!! LOLOLOL

    now i will read your instructable and the next comment will be relevent.


    9 years ago on Step 4

    works never know where my dog is,so you never know when she wants out.or when she wants food.or when the neigbors dog is at the door


    10 years ago on Introduction

    .....and to think I thought I had already seen every possible use for an Altoid tin, silly Very creative.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    That pics at the end would make a nice altoids ad! great idea, and great pets.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Some things just make you go WTF...... But this is awesome.