Long range wireless doorbell for large home

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madbrain
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Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

I'm looking for a better wireless doorbell system for my large home, 4700 sq ft.

The one I have currently is a Heath Zenith and was bought at Home Depot years ago. It's rated for 100ft, but in reality is far less.
I have one button at the front door, and 3 plug-in receivers on different floors. Typically, just one receiver will ring.

Over the last week, I have been waiting for an important package that requires signature, and missed all 3 delivery attempts, even though I was home, because I simply couldn't hear the doorbell from where I was. I'm guessing based on the delivery attempt that at least one time, I was outside in the jaccuzzi. The other times, I'm not sure. And now I have to make a 1 hour round trip drive to retrieve the package. Obviously I don't want this to happen again.

I see a ton of models and many reviews on Amazon, but hard to say which one will really work.
I figured there are a few other Bogleheads who have run into this problem, and would appreciate them sharing their experience.

Requirements :
- should NOT be a smart device (no Wifi, bluetooth, Zigbee, etc).
- must support a minimum of 4 doorbells (receivers) and have ability to add more if needed
- at least one doorbell (receiver) must be battery powered and weatherproof, so I can place it outside and hear the door bell when I'm in the jacuzzi. Ohers should be plug-in .
- as loud as possible. We often play music throughout the house, and sometimes outdoors too.
- not the cheapest junk that's going to give up the ghost in less than a year

Nice to haves :
- support rechargeable batteries for either the button and/or receiver (AA, or AA ideally, but C or D also OK)
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lthenderson
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by lthenderson »

madbrain wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 4:56 pm Over the last week, I have been waiting for an important package that requires signature, and missed all 3 delivery attempts, even though I was home, because I simply couldn't hear the doorbell from where I was.
I have a wired doorbell I can hear anywhere in the house easily, even if asleep. I've had delivery people who have just walked up and left the sticker notice and walked off without ringing doorbell, (confirmed with video cameras) presumably to save time by not having to wait around. It may not be a doorbell issue.
sk2101
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by sk2101 »

Nest dorbell would solve the problem, why not a smart device?
lazydavid
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by lazydavid »

sk2101 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:20 am Nest dorbell would solve the problem, why not a smart device?
Yep, I would have suggested a Ring doorbell and Chimes where necessary. They likely wouldn't be necessary in as many places as the receivers that OP has distributed through the house, because the doorbell would also ring on any devices that are logged in--which specifically would resolve the Jacuzzi concern.

But I haven't looked at old-school wireless doorbells in over a decade, so unfortunately I can't be helpful here.
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madbrain
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

lthenderson wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:09 am
madbrain wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 4:56 pm Over the last week, I have been waiting for an important package that requires signature, and missed all 3 delivery attempts, even though I was home, because I simply couldn't hear the doorbell from where I was.
I have a wired doorbell I can hear anywhere in the house easily, even if asleep. I've had delivery people who have just walked up and left the sticker notice and walked off without ringing doorbell, (confirmed with video cameras) presumably to save time by not having to wait around. It may not be a doorbell issue.
Was definitely a doorbell issue. On Sunday, I was in the hot tub at the time the notice was left and couldn't have heard the bell. The notice said it was the final attempt. I called Fedex and they said it was in error, and they would attempt to deliver again on Wednesday.

Instead, Fedex attempted to redeliver on Tuesday. My housecleaner was home and heard the doorbell. I must have been somewhere else in the house where I couldn't hear it, probably in a bathroom all the way in the back with the door closed and bathroom fan on. Housecleaner didn't know the package required signature, so he didn't get the door. I didn't tell him about expecting a package that day, because Fedex told me the next delivery attempt would be on Wednesday, not Tuesday.

There are 17 rooms in the house. There are many locations from which the doorbell can't be heard. I have multiple plug-in doorbell receivers, but the wireless signal randomly doesn't reach, and some of them don't ring. Only the couple chimes that are closest to the front door where the switch is located actually ring reliably.

So yes, I absolutely need a new doorbell. I wouldn't be posting this thread if I didn't know I needed one.
Last edited by madbrain on Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

sk2101 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:20 am Nest dorbell would solve the problem, why not a smart device?
No, a smart doorbell would only create additional problems. I don't always carry my smartphone with me in the house. And there are many issues with the Wifi signal in that large house to very strong building materials, despite having 5 Unifi NanoHD access points. When walking around the house with the phone, there are times Wifi just disconnects, unfortunately, and it won't reconnect immediately. I have tried many access points from multiple vendors for over a decade, including mesh systems. I simply have never gotten a 100% reliable Wifi signal. Hell, I have never gotten a 100% cell signal either, even with the in-home cell phone tower (cellspot). Signal just won't reach everywhere. So, absolutely no smart doorbell. Has to be a dumb one.

Dumb Wireless chimes that are plugged in to a fixed location shouldn't have the problem of losing signal while moving, though. The Heath/Zenith model I have just doesn't have enough range as it's rated for only 100ft with direct line of sight. There is about 100ft of range that's needed, but the signal needs to go through the building materials. I have found many doorbells online rated for >100ft, but none that has an outdoor-rated battery-operated receiver. The receivers are all plug-in and that's just not good for the one chime I need to locate outdoors.
Last edited by madbrain on Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

lazydavid wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:30 am
sk2101 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:20 am Nest dorbell would solve the problem, why not a smart device?
Yep, I would have suggested a Ring doorbell and Chimes where necessary. They likely wouldn't be necessary in as many places as the receivers that OP has distributed through the house, because the doorbell would also ring on any devices that are logged in--which specifically would resolve the Jacuzzi concern.

But I haven't looked at old-school wireless doorbells in over a decade, so unfortunately I can't be helpful here.
I don't always carry my phone, it can be on mute, it can lose Wifi signal, and it certainly won't be heard if I'm in the jaccuzzi with the jets on. Yes, I have actually tried this, I know the jet sound way overpowers the puny speaker in my Note 20 Ultra. I have to turn off the jets for phone calls. Missing phone calls is annoying, but you can call back, so it's not as annoying as missing a package delivery where the driver won't come back.

Smart doorbell is no solution to this, only additional headaches. I was very specific I didn't want one. I shouldn't have to explain why.

I guess there are no other bogleheads with big houses that understand the problem. sigh.
sk2101
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by sk2101 »

madbrain wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:13 pm
lazydavid wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:30 am
sk2101 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:20 am Nest dorbell would solve the problem, why not a smart device?
Yep, I would have suggested a Ring doorbell and Chimes where necessary. They likely wouldn't be necessary in as many places as the receivers that OP has distributed through the house, because the doorbell would also ring on any devices that are logged in--which specifically would resolve the Jacuzzi concern.

But I haven't looked at old-school wireless doorbells in over a decade, so unfortunately I can't be helpful here.
I don't always carry my phone, it can be on mute, it can lose Wifi signal, and it certainly won't be heard if I'm in the jaccuzzi with the jets on. Yes, I have actually tried this, I know the jet sound way overpowers the puny speaker in my Note 20 Ultra. I have to turn off the jets for phone calls. Missing phone calls is annoying, but you can call back, so it's not as annoying as missing a package delivery where the driver won't come back.

Smart doorbell is no solution to this, only additional headaches. I was very specific I didn't want one. I shouldn't have to explain why.

I guess there are no other bogleheads with big houses that understand the problem. sigh.
Seems like the doorbell is just one of your problems... Good luck!
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dratkinson
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by dratkinson »

Searched: https://www.google.com/search?q=long+ra ... 0v+battery

Found some that claim 5000' range for warehouse use.

Found some that claim receiver can be powered by wall wart (to avoid expense of batteries). Meaning the receivers installed in home could be connected to wall wart, and portable outside receiver could be battery powered.

Let us know which you choose and how it works. Enquiring minds want to know.


Disclosure. A wireless doorbell can be a handy device... when it works as expected.

Had an elderly neighbor that I looked in on. Bought an inexpensive (~$20, GE?, Walmart) wireless doorbell with 120v receiver. Installed receiver in my hallway outlet. Gave neighbor the battery-powered pushbutton transmitter; had them walk around their home to test range while I was on the phone with them. The transmitter worked in their front rooms nearest my home, but not from their back rooms. So they left the transmitter pushbutton in a front room.

When they wanted me to call me and I was on the phone (powered copper phone, dialup internet), they'd push the transmitter button, my hallway receiver would ring, and I'd hangup and call them back.

Back in the day, it was a much cheaper option than my upgrading to DSL.
Last edited by dratkinson on Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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suemarkp
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by suemarkp »

I bought this one for use at work, as it has a loud server room where you can't hear, so I wanted the strobe light. For the other areas, the sound was fine. The tone sounds electronically instead of like a real metal chime. But it makes noise and light when the button is pushed...

https://www.1800doorbell.com/wdk-era-st ... strobe.htm

May be a bit pricey if you need a bunch of receivers. I bought two as the lab needed two receivers (three rooms, but two rooms shared a receiver with the strobe in one and sound in the other), and that way I had a spare door bell button if the first one broke.
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madbrain
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

sk2101 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:33 pm Seems like the doorbell is just one of your problems... Good luck!
Yes. My husband is upset about not getting his package.
And I think I may I need my hearing checked also :-(
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madbrain
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

dratkinson wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:33 pm Searched: https://www.google.com/search?q=long+ra ... 0v+battery

Found some that claim 5000' range for warehouse use.

Found some that claim receiver can be powered by wall wart (to avoid expense of batteries). Meaning the receivers installed in home could be connected to wall wart, and portable outside receiver could be battery powered.

Let us know which you choose and how it works. Enquiring minds want to know.


Disclosure. A wireless doorbell can be a handy device... when it works as expected.

Had an elderly neighbor that I looked in on. Bought an inexpensive (~$20, GE?, Walmart) wireless doorbell with 120v receiver. Installed receiver in my hallway outlet. Gave neighbor the battery-powered pushbutton transmitter; had them walk around their home to test range while I was on the phone with them. The transmitter worked in their front rooms nearest my home, but not from their back rooms. So they left the transmitter pushbutton in a front room.

When they wanted me to call me and I was on the phone (powered copper phone, dialup internet), they'd push the transmitter button, my hallway receiver would ring, and I'd hangup and call them back.

Back in the day, it was a much cheaper option than my upgrading to DSL.
Thanks. I appreciate the response. I have spent a lot of hours doing Google searches on this topic between yesterday and today. It would have been helpful to include the specific ones you found that you thought were suitable, rather than the search link. Google searches are personalized based on your user profile and location, so we may not be seeing the same links.

I will definitely update the thread with what I settle on. Cost is not the top issue, which is why I didn't cite it in my OP.
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

suemarkp wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:44 pm I bought this one for use at work, as it has a loud server room where you can't hear, so I wanted the strobe light. For the other areas, the sound was fine. The tone sounds electronically instead of like a real metal chime. But it makes noise and light when the button is pushed...

https://www.1800doorbell.com/wdk-era-st ... strobe.htm

May be a bit pricey if you need a bunch of receivers. I bought two as the lab needed two receivers (three rooms, but two rooms shared a receiver with the strobe in one and sound in the other), and that way I had a spare door bell button if the first one broke.
Thanks. It's not cheap indeed. How many receivers I need depends on how loud they each are, and what the real wireless range actually is, something that can only be known by trying.

Right now, I have 5 plug-in receivers for my Heath-Zenith, model SL-6166-RX-A. The push button is model SL-7303. It's actually rated for 150ft. I just tested the actual range today - it's only about 30ft going through walls. Any farther than that, and the receiver doesn't ring. So, the receivers are all placed within 30ft of the front door. Unfortunately, with all 5 in range of the front door push button, none can be heard from the bathroom downstairs with the door closed. Or from the jacuzzi which is on a deck upstairs in the back of the house also, the farthest point on my property from the front door.

I like the idea of the strobe for my home theater room downstairs. I often have the volume pretty loud with the 15 speakers. The room has soundproofed walls, which means you can't hear the doorbell from it either if the door is closed. It has no windows as it's a theater, and is always dark. So, a strobe light doorbell for that room would be great.

I actually contacted the above company earlier today. I couldn't reach them over the phone despite many attempts - all operators busy. But they did respond to e-mail fairly rapidly, which is a good sign. Most of the vendors of cheaper equipment on Amazon have no phone number, online product manual, warranty information, or web site.
1-800-doorbell wrote: Good afternoon. I would recommend the ERA-UTDCR and the ERA-VPRX portable receiver. Unfortunately, we do not have any products that have an outdoor rated receiver but the ERA-VPRX is portable and does have a rechargeable battery with a battery life of 6-7 days. All of our wireless transmitters operate off of a battery and having a rechargeable battery for that is not an option. The ERA transmitters are completely weather f resistant so this does improve the battery life. I have included the links and product description below and please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions. Thank you,
Marilee

ERA-UTDCR - The ERA is one of our strongest systems, with a wireless range of up to 4000 feet. The receiver has a decibel rating of 90, 12 chimes to choose from, 4 levels of volume control and can be completely powered off. This system is compatible with up to 12 transmitters and an unlimited amount of receivers. The receiver plugs into a standard wall outlet and has four 12 volt outputs for additional accessories, such as a strobe light, a siren, a buzzer, a mini/strobe siren or a firebell. The transmitter is battery operated (battery included) and completely weather proof.
https://www.1800doorbell.com/era-utdcr- ... siness.htm

ERA-VPRX - this is a compatible portable receiver that could be clipped to a belt buckle or carried. This receiver has a rechargeable battery with a battery life of 6-7 days and can chime, vibrate or do both.
https://www.1800doorbell.com/era-vprx-p ... ceiver.htm

ERA-DCRX - this is the compatible plug in receiver
https://www.1800doorbell.com/era-dcrx-4 ... ceiver.htm
The products aren't cheap indeed.

And there is still no outdoor rated receiver that can be left on permanently. The ERA-VPRX could be taken out each time when I use the hot tub though, so that's a good option. I don't know if it will resist the hot California sun, though, and for how long.

Smartphones sure don't - when I use my jaccuzi, after about 10 minutes in the sun, the smartphone overheats and automatically kills almost every application running on it. The only fix is to let the phone cool down in a bucket of cold water for about 10 more minutes. Fortunately, there is a faucet nearby on the deck. Good thing the phone is waterproof. Anyway, the fact that smartphones don't work in full sun is another reason why smart doorbells wouldn't work for my use case.

Even with Prime shipping, the products cost a bit more on Amazon than on the manufacturer's web site. That, and the manufacturer's site doesn't charge CA sales tax. I'll be giving the ERA-UTDCR a try from Amazon just to test the range. If it's really as good as claimed, I will order a few more receivers, but can't know how many are needed until I hear how loud one is.
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madbrain
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

sk2101 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:33 pm Seems like the doorbell is just one of your problems... Good luck!
Addendum : I also inhabit planet earth, which orbits the sun. Smartphones (mine, and others) have been shown repeatedly to overheat when left in the sun for 10 minutes. My hot tub sessions are normally longer than that - not all are in full sun, but those are my favorite to be sure. So, that's another reason for me to rule out a smart doorbell.
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by Kagord »

I think four dogs would meet your requirements, a Golden Retriever, a German Sheppard, a Beagle, and a Yorkshire Terrier.
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by suemarkp »

Note that the ERA receiver could be indoors and then you can run a cable from one of the 12V outputs to a buzzer or strobe by the hot tub. You can go longer than the wire they provide if you use larger or have something that will work down to 9V. This could work for other locations too if running wires is easy, since the receiver isnt cheap.

The unit at work went about 50 feet through 2 walls that were each double 5/8 drywall (8 sheets total). Im sure it would go further, but i didnt need it to so i didnt test max range. I never had to change the doorbell transmitter battery in the 2+ years it was running.
Mark | Somewhere in WA State
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madbrain
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

Kagord wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 7:43 pm I think four dogs would meet your requirements, a Golden Retriever, a German Sheppard, a Beagle, and a Yorkshire Terrier.
LOL . My 3 cats wouldn't appreciate that, though.
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madbrain
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

suemarkp wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:07 pm Note that the ERA receiver could be indoors and then you can run a cable from one of the 12V outputs to a buzzer or strobe by the hot tub. You can go longer than the wire they provide if you use larger or have something that will work down to 9V. This could work for other locations too if running wires is easy, since the receiver isnt cheap.

The unit at work went about 50 feet through 2 walls that were each double 5/8 drywall (8 sheets total). Im sure it would go further, but i didnt need it to so i didnt test max range. I never had to change the doorbell transmitter battery in the 2+ years it was running.
Thanks. Running wires from indoors isn't that easy unfortunately :( I don't even want to get into that. But even if it was easy, what buzzer or strobe would you connect that's weather-proof ? My searches have all come up empty on weatherproof electric chimes. Only thing I can find that's weatherproof are the push buttons.
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by dratkinson »

madbrain wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:33 pm... It would have been helpful to include the specific ones you found that you thought were suitable, rather than the search link.
Sorry about that. Let me do it for you. See Dakota Alert DC-1000, here: https://thehousetech.com/7-long-range-w ... doorbells/

The trick I used was to search for long-range wireless doorbell/receiver, and then look for the ones with a power adapter (Ctrl-F "adapter") for the receiver. To save time, I stopped searching as soon as I found the first one, because I knew then that they existed.

Some receivers have multiple chimes/tones. But I found them annoying, as I prefer just a simple "ding-dong" or Westminster chime. So you might find the Dakota unit unacceptable because you don't like the chimes/tones. (No I didn't go looking to find what chimes/tones it had.)

So even though they exist (battery/adapter receivers), you'll need to search through them individually to find the one you like. You're the only person who can make that decision. So I left that search for you.


Idea #1. You could buy a unit with a plugin receiver, and buy an extra plugin receiver to attach to an outlet* on the back of your house for when you are outside. Doing this you'd bypass the need for a receiver that operates on batteries. (* Or extension cord out the back door.)


Idea #2. You could buy a unit with a plugin receiver that also controls a 12v relay. Wire the 12v relay to close the circuit on the pushbutton of a cheap (HF) battery-powered wireless doorbell unit. (You'll need to solder across the HF pushbutton contacts to be controlled by the 12v relay of your plugin doorbell receiver---12v relay parallels pushbutton.)
See HF wireless doorbell: https://www.harborfreight.com/wireless- ... 97004.html

So this solution requires two wireless doorbell units.
--First unit. Battery-powered pushbutton, and plugin receiver with acceptable chimes/tones and capable of controlling 12v relay.
--Second unit. Cheap HF battery-powered doorbell/receiver. (1st unit's 12v relay jumpers across 2nd unit's pushbutton terminals.)

If the HF unit doesn't give you enough backyard range, then search for a longer-range battery-powered doorbell/receiver.


Any idea that uses a battery-powered receiver, will require that you remove the batteries from the receiver when not in use. Because it is always on. So draining your batteries when not needed. For this reason, I prefer Idea #1.
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z91
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by z91 »

4000+ sqft house, jacuzzi, speakers everywhere and can't get a doorbell wired up? :oops:

Edit: Me thinks OP doesn't understand what a first world problem is..
Last edited by z91 on Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by jabberwockOG »

Kagord wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 7:43 pm I think four dogs would meet your requirements, a Golden Retriever, a German Sheppard, a Beagle, and a Yorkshire Terrier.
The perfect wireless solution.

Or if not a dog lover - https://www.1800doorbell.com/wdk-era-st ... strobe.htm

Or for the serious deliveries - https://www.amazon.com/Safeguard-Supply ... 173&sr=8-7

I knew a guy that wired up an ocean liner ship's horn (running off air from trunk mounted scuba tank) to use as his car horn. It would make people jump in the air if they were within 20 yards of it going off. That could do the trick, if you could get it triggered wirelessly from the doorbell.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:49 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by suemarkp »

madbrain wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:17 pm Thanks. Running wires from indoors isn't that easy unfortunately :( I don't even want to get into that. But even if it was easy, what buzzer or strobe would you connect that's weather-proof ? My searches have all come up empty on weatherproof electric chimes. Only thing I can find that's weatherproof are the push buttons.
Think automotive. They are usually rugged and water proof enough to be outside even if it was inside the car. Perhaps a car door chime, or heavy duty turn signal blinker with a LED dome light... You'd need to watch the current it needs to be sure the receiver can support it. A car horn probably needs too much power.

Also look at home alarm items. They have outside strobes and sirens. But don't think you want a siren...
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madbrain
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

z91 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:24 pm 4000+ sqft house, jacuzzi, speakers everywhere and can't get a doorbell wired up? :oops:
Yeah, turns out running wires across rooms and floors in a large finished house costs a pretty penny. It doesn't matter if it's for doorbells or ethernet. And if any walls need to be opened, the electricians aren't the ones closing them also.
I have gotten 5 figure quotes for ethernet wiring in every room. Needless to say I'm not eager to pay those prices and then have to track down other contractors for closing the walls for drywall, texturing and painting. No single company wants to take on responsibility for the entire project so far. So, I'm not going to bother getting a quote for wiring multiple doorbells chimes, especially not knowing ahead of time how many I actually need due to the volume issue. I know the cost will be far too high, if we are talking about a front door wired push button going to 5+ places around the property. Wiring from one area indoor to outdoor should be more doable, though.
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

suemarkp wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:41 pm Think automotive. They are usually rugged and water proof enough to be outside even if it was inside the car. Perhaps a car door chime, or heavy duty turn signal blinker with a LED dome light... You'd need to watch the current it needs to be sure the receiver can support it. A car horn probably needs too much power.
Thanks. Those are interesting ideas. I will explore them if all else fails.
Also look at home alarm items. They have outside strobes and sirens. But don't think you want a siren...
Thanks. There is a siren for the ERA receiver mentioned earlier, but it's not entirely clear if outdoor rated. I don't think my neighbors would appreciate an outdoor siren as a doorbell, either . It might still be heard from the hot tub if wired to a receiver plugged in to an outlet located on an outside wall in the upstairs master bathroom 20ft away. The cats are the ones who will probably freak out with an indoor siren, though. I don't think I would love the siren sound either. Of course all this requires the wireless range of the ERA receiver and button to be enough, and I don't know for a fact yet that it works, but I should know within the next 24 hours.

https://www.1800doorbell.com/gbase-dasiren.htm
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

dratkinson wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:18 pm
madbrain wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:33 pm... It would have been helpful to include the specific ones you found that you thought were suitable, rather than the search link.
Sorry about that. Let me do it for you. See Dakota Alert DC-1000, here: https://thehousetech.com/7-long-range-w ... doorbells/

The trick I used was to search for long-range wireless doorbell/receiver, and then look for the ones with a power adapter (Ctrl-F "adapter") for the receiver. To save time, I stopped searching as soon as I found the first one, because I knew then that they existed.
Thanks ! Your Google-fu is better than mine. The particular receiver for the DC-1000 is still only indoor-rated, though, not outdoors. It is indeed battery-operated. What I don't see is any plug-in receiver option to pair in that system.
I still need some of those for indoor use. The reviews on the DC-1000 aren't so hot on Amazon, apparently because the receiver units eat batteries relatively quickly.
Some receivers have multiple chimes/tones. But I found them annoying, as I prefer just a simple "ding-dong" or Westminster chime. So you might find the Dakota unit unacceptable because you don't like the chimes/tones. (No I didn't go looking to find what chimes/tones it had.)
I think I'm with you, a basic tone is fine.
Idea #1. You could buy a unit with a plugin receiver, and buy an extra plugin receiver to attach to an outlet* on the back of your house for when you are outside. Doing this you'd bypass the need for a receiver that operates on batteries. (* Or extension cord out the back door.)
Yes, this will definitely work as I have outdoor outlets near the hot tub and patio. Just a little annoyance to remember to bring it out and back in each time.
If forgotten outside, the receiver could die.
Idea #2. You could buy a unit with a plugin receiver that also controls a 12v relay. Wire the 12v relay to close the circuit on the pushbutton of a cheap (HF) battery-powered wireless doorbell unit. (You'll need to solder across the HF pushbutton contacts to be controlled by the 12v relay of your plugin doorbell receiver---12v relay parallels pushbutton.)
See HF wireless doorbell: https://www.harborfreight.com/wireless- ... 97004.html

So this solution requires two wireless doorbell units.
--First unit. Battery-powered pushbutton, and plugin receiver with acceptable chimes/tones and capable of controlling 12v relay.
--Second unit. Cheap HF battery-powered doorbell/receiver. (1st unit's 12v relay jumpers across 2nd unit's pushbutton terminals.)

If the HF unit doesn't give you enough backyard range, then search for a longer-range battery-powered doorbell/receiver.
Thanks. This is definitely a bit more complex as it requires some soldering. The battery-operated doorbell you pointed me to is not outdoor-rated, but cheap enough to be replaced many times over. What bothers me is that there is no pairing process between the button and the bell unit. So, if the bell unit fails due to weather, apparently the button needs to be replaced too - and thus resoldered to the 12V output of the main receiver. Not so convenient.
Any idea that uses a battery-powered receiver, will require that you remove the batteries from the receiver when not in use. Because it is always on. So draining your batteries when not needed. For this reason, I prefer Idea #1.
Well, it really depends on how long the batteries last. I couldn't find battery life info for the one you linked to. For AAs, I would use LSD cells (eneloops, Ikea Ladda) - have over a hundred of those actualy. I have adapters for those to C and D cells as well. If they could make a weatherproof doorbell receiver that would last, say, a year on 4 d-cells, that would be perfect. Looks like that product doesn't exist yet, though.
onourway
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by onourway »

You appear to believe that using a smart doorbell system requires use of your cellphone. You are incorrect. The main advantage to a smart system is that they are relatively inexpensive and can use the existing network you already have. You can add as many remote chimes as you like, and if you get a proper smart system installed, rather than something you buy at your local big box store, you could have remote chimes wired anywhere you like and to be as loud as you could possibly want.

As someone with an even larger home, I would suggest you bite the bullet though and pay to have both ethernet and a doorbell system hardwired in. These do not need to go to every room in the house, instead you place Ethernet drops in a few areas around the home where the wifi signal is weak, and then run those access points hard-wired. Have them wire the doorbells to similar locations at the same time and the additional cost will be trivial.
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dratkinson
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by dratkinson »

madbrain wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 3:36 am...
Idea #1. You could buy a unit with a plugin receiver, and buy an extra plugin receiver to attach to an outlet* on the back of your house for when you are outside. Doing this you'd bypass the need for a receiver that operates on batteries. (* Or extension cord out the back door.)
Yes, this will definitely work as I have outdoor outlets near the hot tub and patio. Just a little annoyance to remember to bring it out and back in each time.
If forgotten outside, the receiver could die.
If you have a shed roof (over patio) or overhanging eaves in back, could mount receiver up under it, and run weather-rated extension cord from outlet. Will need a weather enclosure for outlet.

Of course, if you use the "extension cord out the backdoor idea" idea, you're not likely to forget to bring in the receiver.
d.r.a., not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by TomatoTomahto »

madbrain wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:43 pm
sk2101 wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:33 pm Seems like the doorbell is just one of your problems... Good luck!
Addendum : I also inhabit planet earth, which orbits the sun. Smartphones (mine, and others) have been shown repeatedly to overheat when left in the sun for 10 minutes. My hot tub sessions are normally longer than that - not all are in full sun, but those are my favorite to be sure. So, that's another reason for me to rule out a smart doorbell.
We have smart doorbells, but there’s no requirement to have our phones with us. The smart aspect of the doorbell is how it communicates with the chime (ie, over wifi or Z-wave or whatever but not a direct 1:1 between doorbell device and dedicated receiver).

It’s probably not cost effective to only have one smart device, but we have amortized the various costs over many devices.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by Jeep4Life »

OP, search the BH forum for an old thread started by SandTrap a couple years ago about Ethernet over Power Line. Basically there is an adapter you plug into a 110V outlet with a Ethernet cable attached. The adapter sends the Ethernet signals over the electrical lines to another adapter plugged into a 110V outlet in a different part of your house, then turns it back into an Ethernet signal to the cable attached there. SandTrap was using it to send Ethernet to a remote workshop as well as a security camera at his front gate. It sounds like it could be a solution to your unique situation, especially with the strobe light by the jacuzzi that others have mentioned.
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madbrain
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

onourway wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 5:19 am You appear to believe that using a smart doorbell system requires use of your cellphone. You are incorrect. The main advantage to a smart system is that they are relatively inexpensive and can use the existing network you already have. You can add as many remote chimes as you like, and if you get a proper smart system installed, rather than something you buy at your local big box store, you could have remote chimes wired anywhere you like and to be as loud as you could possibly want.
Thanks ! I didn't know that was the case. That's good to know !

My Wifi network isn't as awful as I made it sound - it's good enough to stream 4K Netflix pretty wirelessly much anywhere on the property. But there are definitely software issues when some of the APs just have to be rebooted :( And the smartphone sometimes disconnects from some APs when moving around the house, and won't automatically try again after it gets random (and erroneous) "authentication error".
Wired speedtest in my home office gives me 1.4 Gbps download speed (using Comcast cable, 10 Gbps LAN equipment).
Speedtest over Wifi on my phone reports about 600 Mbps in my office, 300 Mbps in the master bedroom, 100 Mbps in the hot tub area. Even with those high speeds, there is latency that causes me not to be able to stream blu-ray ISOs or Plex at >30 Mbps without dropouts :( Something likely caused by the fact that 3 of the 5 APs are wirelessly bridged, not using ethernet because it's just missing :(
In any case, Wifi is fast when it works, but it works far less than 99.999%, and I don't consider the Wifi reliable enough for a critical application like doorbell.

I work in tech and I would still be very concerned about many other aspects of smart doorbells, such as how long the vendor actually supports the hardware, various security issues in firmware, what happens when Wifi standards change (think no more 2.4GHz band), whether the doorbell will still ring if the ISP goes down (but not the LAN/WLAN), whether any of the doorbell unit works outdoors, etc. Frankly I'm very unimpressed with hardware support by Google I own (Chromecast audio, Chromecast video, Chromecast ultra, Chromecast with Google TV). Those things are bug ridden, and so are the apps. And there are always maddening random regressions when things don't work anymore. This is par for the course with IoT unfortunately. I wouldn't touch a Nest doorbell with a 10 foot pole. Amazon seems to be much better at supporting their hardware and software than Google (have one Amazon Fire TV 4K stick). But I'm concerned about privacy issues with the Ring doorbell, though. So, probably wouldn't want that either. I'm much more comfortable having a low-tech dumb doorbell that won't have any of those issues and can hopefully last years, if not decades.
As someone with an even larger home, I would suggest you bite the bullet though and pay to have both ethernet and a doorbell system hardwired in. These do not need to go to every room in the house, instead you place Ethernet drops in a few areas around the home where the wifi signal is weak, and then run those access points hard-wired. Have them wire the doorbells to similar locations at the same time and the additional cost will be trivial.
I will probably bite the bullet eventually and open my walls when I find the right company willing to take on the entire project, including closing the walls. I have a few other electrical projects to do besides ethernet (and I may run fiber rather than ethernet in a couple places) and doorbell. Upgrading the main panel to 400 amps, possibly adding batteries, a few more solar panels, a few more 15A dedicated circuits for heating bidet seats, maybe a steam generator in the bathroom upstairs, hiding the speaker wires in walls in my home theater and a few other rooms . I will likely do most of those at once rather than piecemeal as I don't want to open and close my walls / ceilings repeatedly. The sum of those things will definitely be a 5 figure project. I'm just not ready to do it right now.

In the meantime, I just want my doorbell to be heard (or seen, if using strobe) around the house and hot tub/patio. That should hopefully be a simple DIY 3 figure project with off-the-shelf components, and shouldn't require any additional wiring. I hope.
Last edited by madbrain on Sat Sep 11, 2021 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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madbrain
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

Jeep4Life wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 12:58 pm OP, search the BH forum for an old thread started by SandTrap a couple years ago about Ethernet over Power Line. Basically there is an adapter you plug into a 110V outlet with a Ethernet cable attached. The adapter sends the Ethernet signals over the electrical lines to another adapter plugged into a 110V outlet in a different part of your house, then turns it back into an Ethernet signal to the cable attached there. SandTrap was using it to send Ethernet to a remote workshop as well as a security camera at his front gate. It sounds like it could be a solution to your unique situation, especially with the strobe light by the jacuzzi that others have mentioned.
Thanks. I do have powerline ethernet in use in my home already in a few places.
The 40 Enphase micro-inverters on my roof each use power line to communicate with the Enphase envoy gateway in the garage.
The Envoy itself is connected to the LAN via powerline also, use TP-Link AV1200.
There is a Rainforest Eagle electric meter in the garage also in the same location.

In one room in the back of the house, I have a Canon Pro-100 printer using Powerline. There is a Wifi AP in the room, but the firmware in the printer seems to almost always choose to connect to the most distant AP, resulting in print times of 30 minutes per page for A3+ print. The powerline is more consistent. So, I use Ethernet on the printer rather than wifi, with the another TP-link.

The TP-Link AV1200 only performs at about 20-40 Mbps at best depending on the room. If I start cooking with my induction cooktop in the kitchen upstairs though, nearly powerline communication in the house goes to hell , sub 1 Mbps... Still good enough for the solar/electric meter. Not good enough for printer. Wouldn't be good enough for smart doorbell with video either. I'd love to eliminate the Powerline stuff if I could, but again that's going to require opening walls to run Ethernet.
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madbrain
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

So, I got the ERA-UTDCR from Amazon about 30 minutes ago. Took very little time to pair, choose the chime, and set the volume to maximum. The hardest part was actually figuring out how to put the battery in the button. The screws are hidden behind 4 pieces of rubber, and there is no mention of them in the manual.

Even at the loudest volume, the ERA-DCRX receiver isn't as loud I expected. I took out my Radioshack decibel sound level meter. At a distance of one meter, it was measuring between 75 and 82 dB. Similar readings whether using A or C scale. The receiver is rated for 85 dB. I took readings on my older Heath-Zenith doorbell and it was a fairly similar range. It probably felt louder because I have multiple in the house. And I have some located in places with high ceilings and stairs, where sound resonates.

Anyway, the important test was range. I was testing this alone. I plugged in the receiver all the way in the back of the property, outside near the hot tub on the deck. Then I went downstairs to the front door and pressed the button in hand. I was afraid I wouldn't hear the bell at that distance even if it actually rang. It's about 100ft. But I was still able to hear it, if somewhat faintly. Conclusion : the ERA wireless signal had no problem traveling through all the walls and floors of the house. With that range, this will definitely work. I still don't know how many receivers I will actually need, but I think at least 2 per floor, and it's a 2.5 story house, plus at least one for outside, so probably 6 total.
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snackdog
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by snackdog »

We have a large house but don’t use doorbell much. I can think of maybe twice in the past year I have heard it ring. It is wired into our intercom system so it rings in most rooms plus second garage. Anyone visiting has our mobile numbers and nobody we know personally shows up unannounced. We rarely get packages requiring signature, but when we do we know they are coming and hang around the house. The last couple have been furniture deliveries and they phone us when they arrive. Unless you are missing signature packages every month, you don’t really have a problem.
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madbrain
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Re: Long range wireless doorbell for large home

Post by madbrain »

snackdog wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:10 am We have a large house but don’t use doorbell much. I can think of maybe twice in the past year I have heard it ring. It is wired into our intercom system so it rings in most rooms plus second garage. Anyone visiting has our mobile numbers and nobody we know personally shows up unannounced. We rarely get packages requiring signature, but when we do we know they are coming and hang around the house. The last couple have been furniture deliveries and they phone us when they arrive. Unless you are missing signature packages every month, you don’t really have a problem.
How is that relevant ? We get packages all the time. Most of them don't require signatures. Fedex certainly doesn't call us at the house before delivering a package. I wish ! We don't even know which day they are going to be delivered. They have been downright terrible lately. Even when we check tracking, and a package is put on the a local truck in the morning and scheduled for delivery that day, it still usually goes back to the Fedex office, and actually gets put on another truck again the next day.

The history of this particular package is a sordid one. A friend of my husband sent him stereo equipment to lend to him and insured the package for $1000 about three weeks ago. The package was at first misdirected to the Central Valley and seemingly lost. But Fedex apparently found the package again. But by then, my husband was going to a trip to Las Vegas. I was staying home, so he asked me to take delivery. I had no idea which day it was going to be.I didn't have tracking information. I certainly didn't expect it to be on Sunday afternoon at 2pm when I'm almost invariably taking a sun bath in my hot tub. I have never gotten a Fedex package on a Sunday before. The notice said "final attempt" when it was actually the first attempt. I called Fedex to inquire when the next delivery would be. They said Wednesday. I thought that was odd since the next business day was Tuesday (Monday was labor day). So I made them repeat. They said wednesday, yes. So on tuesday, I didn't know to expect the package, and delivery also was missed, probably because I closed the bathroom door and didn't hear. After this fiasco, my husband made a call to Fedex from his hotel room to have the package held at al local Walgreen's so he could pick it up himself, as the Fedex office has very limited hours for pickup, and is not conveniently located. That was 9/7. The package hasn't been seen since. The Walgreen's in question has no record of receiving the package. Fedex doesn't know where it is. This likely is going to lead to an insurance claim for my husband's friend. Unless Fedex finds it again. My husband blames me for missing the delivery twice. I blame the doorbell system I couldn't hear. I think Fedex is really screwed up, also.
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