I want to make a doorbell


Mostly @electrotechs and electropeople,

I am looking at making a doorbell, simple little thing with my own enclosure running on some ridiculously low power or i could possibly run a cable to a socket under the door…

The only thing is I am finding tutorials for only very smart or very stupid doorbells.

Is there an Arduino, some cheap little esp, that can do just that? Having a button triggering a sound, simple sound, that lets me know someone’s at the door without them having to shout through a letter orifice?

I can come for Thursday electronics night to chat.

Cheap wireless doorbells are everywhere, there’s no point trying to compete with China when it comes to mass market goods.

Unless you of course you interested in Micro Power transmitter design

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They’re all terribly ugly. I want a clear acrylic enclosure exposing the board inside and wires, maybe I’d make a wooden button. Sigh. Are you suggesting gutting one I’d buy?

Depends on how much you are willing to spend or work on it…
If you want it all wireless, you need to use a protocol that is not power hungry (like wifi)… zigbee is usually good for that

If you want 100% DIY, arduino would be good, but I would go for an ESP32 (I find them better) with some RF module to connect between the devices
If you want not 100% DIY, but still some flexibility, you can get a zigbee button (IKEA has some pretty nice ones for cheap), put it in an enclose you choose and connect to a speaker/lights when the button is pressed… Most of this stuff works out of the box when connected and easy to configure.

The disadvantage is that it requires a zigbee hub, I use a raspberry pi with a zigbee module (usb), it’s more work but it gives me tons of flexibility
You can use already made products like ikea zigbee hub, it’s easier to set up but you don’t have tons of flexibility.

This is the button I mentioned:

It’s super simple and you can have an enclosure for it, so it’s “less ugly” :slight_smile:

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Joe, I get your point, but we never learn anything if we don’t challenge ourselves with new thing, even if pointless.


You would be right with the very smart very stupid approach, sadly this is the reality about low power wireless solution but very smart doesn’t mean has to be complicated to use.

I was actually thinking to build one as well, perhaps we can join forces?

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That’s overkill IMHO

A dorbell should be able to work without such a complicated infrastructure.

I would either use 2 wesp32 in bluetooth mode connected to eachother or a couple of nRF5x

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True haha it’s an overkill
but sometimes an overkill is fun, and it can teach a lot or it gives more flexibility

As I said, an 2 esp32 would do the work, and it would be totally outside of any infrastructure, but it won’t integrated to a lot of things…
I am not sure if @petra can run wires to the doorbell, if yes, things are much easier. But in my case for example, I can’t so I would need to rely on wireless and prob I’d go zigbee

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Hear me out. I’ve given this some thought.

A low energy, low power wireless doorbell that looks good. Added benefit, its wifi works when the power is out and there’s a tangible feedback loop when a sound is emitted.


Ryan, you bloody genius! Did it again!

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I have one or two esp32s in a cupboard from a project. And might be able to run wires. If it’s a matter of soldering a button and a power lead, uploading some ready made code, then itt’s in my current skillset.

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On some level i want people to know, that there’s a nerd living in the flat. Hence this whole fancy endeavour.

Sometimes silly projects become fancy overkill endeavours, and most of it is fun
The hard part is to find a balance between how hacky vs reliable you want something… I had 2 hubs for zigbee things at home, one for WIP projects which broke sometimes, other one that just worked (let’s call it production :stuck_out_tongue: )

After some time, effort and tears, the hacky DIY became super reliable, now I know I can use it 24x7 and it will work and it gives me tons of flexibility for my weird stuff to run

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I’ll hide and absorb all of this information from the thread, once I figure out the best way that works for me I’ll break free from my cocoon of indecisiveness and fly towards electronics evening. Give me days to see this clearly!

You could definitely rebox one that would be sensible


Esp is a power hungry controller.

Better off with a pic

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Actually that’s not true.

No one uses PIC anymore, that’s the reason why Microchip bought Atmel,
also you still need to pair it with a radio, unless you use the more advanced ones, but at that point you are better off with an esp…


Are you talking about the ESP with a static architecture?

Seconding using an ESP with a wake interrupt. Either two nodes or one node and phone notifications.

Another option I’ve used in the past is listening for Amazon Dash buttons announcing their MAC address when the button is pressed.

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I don’t understand what you mean…

Even an ESP in very low-power sleep mode is going to need its batteries changed every few weeks at best, I would think. It’s not like a doorbell actually has to do anything for the 99.99% of time when it’s not being pressed.
I wonder if you could instead build something where the doorbell button closes a circuit that powers on the ESP long enough for it to send a message and then shut itself off again. Something that would use very close to zero amps when idle.
I’m just thinking out loud here.

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