I don’t have a doorbell on my house. I haven’t had a doorbell since I moved in. It looks like they took the doorbell off and covered up the wiring when they did the vinyl siding, and I believe I took out a transformer when I replaced the electrical panel. So there was a doorbell at one point, and the wiring is probably still there. Somewhere. However, there is no easy way to get to that wiring, between the vinyl siding and the now finish ceiling around the electrical panel.
I’ve been looking at that Nest Hello, the smart wi-fi video doorbell, and I thought I wanted one. So, I went out and got one. I think it was on sale for 150 bucks or something like that. And then it sat on my desk for a month and a half before I finally got around to installing it and the Nest thermostat that was sitting next to it.
I don’t have a Nest thermostat story. That went pretty smoothly and my only issue being that I should have shut off the “learning” function initially; of course I did not. Very warm in the house the next morning.
Back to the doorbell. I ran a new wire from the front door to the basement mechanical room, where I had installed a transformer. Then I ran a second wire from the doorbell chime to that same transformer in the mechanical room. So, I had two pairs of wires that I needed to wire up to make this thing work as opposed to a single wire that went from the transformer to the time to the doorbell. Here’s what I didn’t have:
I’ve done a lot of wiring so this is not a big deal. or at least I thought this wasn’t going to be a big deal it turned into a giant pain in the ass that had nothing to do with fishing the wire through finished walls from the basement.
Just to reiterate, at this point I have a brand new 24-volt transformer, a brand new nest doorbell, a brand new doorbell chime, and all new wiring. Everything is new. My situation looks like this:
I wire everything up and the doorbell comes to life. The camera works. It’s connected to my network. It’s connected to the Nest website. Easy peasy. But wait, it chimes every 30 seconds or so, continuously. I’d just like to point out, right now, that the doorbell I picked up at The Home Depot says right on the box that it works with all the video doorbells. They lie.
I double check everything. Swap my wiring at the transformer and the chime continues this aberrant behavior, but I lose the camera. I checked my wiring at the doorbell time doesn’t make any difference I checked the doorbell itself doesn’t make any difference. I’m moving wires and swapping things around and, of course, by this time I’m getting frustrated and I can’t be bothered to cut the power everytime I change something. So what happens… come on, you know. I shorted out the transformer and killed it.
I few days later I come home with a different doorbell, a new button, and a new transformer. I wire everything up very careful to check all my connections and wiring setup. Nothing. No camera. But the doorbell continues to ring every 30 seconds or so. So, I pulled off the Nest and put in a regular illuminated push-button. Everything works great. No issues.
I took the Nest Hello and plugged it into my computer and it works perfectly. What the hell.
It’s back in the box and sitting on the corner of my desk. I’ve read about adding relays to make it work, but it shouldn’t be necessary. Eventually I’ll put together a test board and wiring it up for proper testing, but for now I’ve got a regular old doorbell and that’s good enough for me and better than what I had before. Later.