Crystal doorbell helps class up the joint

Even if you live in a dump this quick build will make your doorbell sound high-class. The new rig uses a crystal goblet to alert you of guests at the door. We suppose the room-silencing sound of flatware on a wine glass does make a great attention getter.

For [Tobias] the hardest part of the build was getting his wife to sign off on it. But he says the 1970’s era original was looking pretty shabby, which kind of made his argument for him. It took just two hours to develop and install the replacement. It uses a servo motor with an articulated striker to ping the glass which is hanging inverted between two pegs. The original AC transformer (which are most often 16V) was used to power the Arduino. He built a simple rectifier along with a big smoothing capacitor to make sure the Arduino doesn’t reset when voltage dips. Although it’s not mentioned in his comments, we’d bet the doorbell wire has been rerouted to connect directly to the Arduino, rather than remain patched into the power loop.

Don’t miss the clip after the break to hear how great this thing really does sound.

Comments

  1. niekblankers says:

    He could also’ve used a small solenoid, makes less sound than the servo

  2. Coda says:

    I like it. I would suggest though, if you’re going to use a whole ‘duino for this, you could expand it to use a wireless switch. Should be easy enough.

  3. mohonri says:

    Low-voltage transformers (used for doorbells, thermostats, etc) are 24V, not 16V.

  4. Dax says:

    Why oh why did he have to use an arduino to control a servo to swing a hammer to strike the glass when a simple solenoid and a switch would have done the job.

    The traditional ding-dong action could be produced on the return stroke completely mechanically.

    • Sp`ange says:

      In the video description, the last line says, “..perhaps overkill, but who cares?”

      His missus will get tired of electronics hanging on the wall. He will want the Arduino for turning on the coffee pot via servo and people will ask the same question once again.

    • Whatnot says:

      A servo seems a bit of a noisy way to do it ruining the effect, a magnetic thing would indeed work better I think.

      But in general I approve of using some real sounds to class things up, since those tiny/cheap speakers electronic versions use are simply not able to compete.

  5. mrcomputeroperator says:

    Hi,

    From idea to finished “product” was about two hours, so I pretty much used what I had at home. The main idea was to make some kind of clean but overkill alternative to our old boring doorbell.

    And yes, the switch next to the door is routed directly to the arduino using an internal pull-up resistor.

  6. mrcomputeroperator says:

    Also, I kind of like the sloppy motion of the “thing” attached to the servo – it is more “arty” than a solenoid.

  7. mrcomputeroperator says:

    Hi, my comments seem to got messed up. New try…

    From idea to a working door bell was about 2-3 hours and i pretty much used what I got at home. Of course everything could have been done in a thousand other ways, but this is my way.

    And the idea was to make something “graphic” that is easy to understand but still kind-a overkill. I also like the motion of the swinging arm attached to the servo.

  8. Frank Cohen says:

    Common’ HAD. Do you guys just post any old project you see on the interweb now?

    There’s nothing wrong with the project, it’s just not very interesting and the end results aren’t so good as the servo is so noisy.

    Just not HAD material imo. We’re expecting to see stuff on here that is going to delight and amaze.

    • Gilber says:

      I’m a frequent reader of HAD and although the I Amazing and delightful projects are nice, I like the quick 2 hour hacks like these because it doesn’t cost a lot of money, doesn’t take a PhD to understand and doesn’t require equipment that only a well equipped machine shop would have.
      This is simple, spare parts project with a quick payoff of a working better than original door bell.
      So, IMO, Exactly HAD material.

      Good job Tobias and HAD for posting it.

      • adcurtin says:

        The same hack could’ve been done with a solenoid. I’m not one to (usually) complain about using an arduino, especially when it’s over analog electronics that may be more complicated. However, this would literally be just a solenoid. A 24v or 16v solenoid hooked up to the wires from the transformer and switch. It honestly couldn’t get simpler than that. I defend arduino because it is something more familiar to people than analog electronics, but in this case it is replacing a single component that isn’t very complicated (voltage applied, this thing moves). Now it’s not all bad, it isn’t inherently bad because it used an arduino for something that could be done a different way. The reason this one in particular I don’t like is because there was a much simpler solution _that works better_ (because the servo is so damn loud). If the arduino had achieved that same quality of solution as a solenoid, then it would still be overcomplicated, but it wouldn’t be bad. This is bad. Damn, I’d like it better if the only thing he changes was using a solenoid instead of the servo (he can keep the arduino if he wants).

        And as a “learn arduino” or “learn to interface with a servo” project, this isn’t bad, but the intent to use it for long term is odd. I understand you may be proud of your work (you have every right to be), but I would hope you would chose to improve it given the chance.

        And you say you like projects that don’t require special tools: this requires a lot more than using a solenoid would have. an arduino costs more, and is more complicated and difficult to understand than a solenoid.

        The reason I think this shouldn’t be on HaD is because it’s not a very polished or smooth project. Just using a solenoid would probably be a little bland for HaD, but hey: use the arduino, find a couple glasses with different tunings / sounds (make sure they’re in tune, and I probably wouldn’t leave water in a doorbell, because it’ll evaporate eventually, and could spill.), and make it play a little jingle. Use solenoids instead of a servos (or fine, use _quiet_ or _silent_ servos if you must use servos). It could even read a midi file from an sd card (or internal memory, depending on how easy you want it to be to change). Then you’d have yourself a project.

  9. kiu says:

    Nice work, did a similar thing a while ago: http://www.schoar.de/tinkering/winegong/

  10. Hirudinea says:

    How about a few more glasses, some water and you have a musical doorbell.

  11. sico2009 says:

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