Growling doorbell lets you know guests have arrived


[Sean] was screwing around online looking for nothing in particular when he came across a mailbox hacked to notify the homeowner when the mail had been delivered. Since his mail is delivered via a slot in the door, he had no use for the hack as is, but something similar soon came to mind.

His dog isn’t too keen on visitors, and he figured that he could save himself a bit of grief (and a lot of unnecessary barking) if he were to wire up his doorbell to notify him of guests via his iPhone. He stopped by the local hardware store and picked up a wireless doorbell. It was quickly disassembled and wired up to an Arduino he had set aside for a different project. Tweaking some code he found online, he soon had the doorbell talking with the Arduino and was ready to interface it with his iPhone. He decided that he wanted to deliver notifications to his phone via Growl and found a Perl script online that was close to what he needed. A few tweaks later, and he had a Growling doorbell.

As you can see in the video below, it works, though there seems to be a bit of a delay in the notification. We don’t think that it would be enough to send his visitors packing before he made it to the door, but the lag can likely be reduced with a few small modifications.

As for the post that started this whole thing, we’re pretty sure this is it.


  1. ho0d0o says:

    Not a bad idea. Does seem a bit laggy but then again it sounds like he threw this together pretty quick.

  2. sneakypoo says:

    I have yet to meet a dog that needs the doorbell to let it know someone is at the door.

  3. Tropica says:

    Neat idea, but the lag is awful unfortunately.

  4. Pit says:

    Cool but I prefer this one ;)

  5. Dan says:

    Nice idea, but the lag is too long. I’d rather have the door unit call my mobile phone-a common feature in many PBX systems.

  6. Sean says:

    The code has been changed now to reduce the lag considerably

  7. Matt says:

    Lol ‘took a while’

  8. Kron says:

    the delay is really no problem:
    if you sit in front of an iDevice the whole day at home, you’re most likely a stoner and so are your all friends. waiting 3-5 minutes for the door to open would not be unusual, so the delay here can be neglected.

    alternatively you could just switch the remote doorbell to vibration/light mode.

  9. sneakypoo says:

    @Kron: Wait… am I understanding you correctly here? You mean to tell me that you will stand and wait at the door for FIVE MINUTES after ringing the bell? Unless I’m ringing the bell on a small castle there’s no way I’m standing around for that long…

  10. ino says:

    Dylan Dog

  11. Austin says:

    Great idea, but the message should read: ‘there WAS someone at the door’

  12. 20 seconds lag… Something is clearly done wrong, no offense… Have a project almost like this, think I will give it a shot just to prove that it can be done faster…

  13. Garbz says:

    Anyone else missing the obvious problem that if someone goes and presses on the doorbell and doesn’t get any kind of loud audible feedback that they’ll simply bang on the door anyway?

  14. Kron says:

    @sneackypoo: no i’m not a stoner.

  15. brad says:

    Maybe rig it up to a motion sensor so they don’t even need to ring the bell. As soon as someone walks up to the door it could send the message. You could also rig up some other points to monitor if someone was at the backdoor or sneaking around in the garage.

  16. Luis Sinibaldi says:

    I’m very interested in something like this for myself. Send me an email please.

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