I have a real bell with a pull rope.
If I had to do it over I might just leave the axe by the door. They
could just chop their way in, same as the fire department does, if I
didn't hear the knocking.
Make your own batteries?
As mentioned before; in the 1950s I found the remnants of of some
original LeClanche cells.
Leclanche cells were renewable. A glass jar with a carbon stick
positive anode that never wore out, immersed in a strong solution of
alkali (called Sal-ammoniac) and a zinc plate negative. Wires were
attached to the carbon and zinc.
When the zinc wore away and/or the Sal-ammoniac dried out spares could
be purchased at a local hardware/iron-mongers store.
With todays low power solid state (transistor) devices perhaps we
could make our own batteries out of sea water, vinegar or household
bleach and scrap iron????????
Now if I could only make one (several) big enough to run those 'dud
battery' cordless drills I have lying around!!!!!! :-)
well I suppose you could use a battery to power the normal doorbell
button with no light and trip a solid state relay, that would power
the transformer just to ring bell.
taken futher a solar panel could keep the battery charged.
or heck go solar completely with LED lights you might be able to have
the button light up:)
probably cost a few hundred bucks, to save a dollar or two a year.
put the solar panel somewhere it cant be stolen. they can be costly.
someone has too much time on their hands:(
cut out a decent candy bar a day, at a buck each and save 300 to 400
bucks a year
Gotta dig back in my 60's damaged memory synapses but the AC wires in the
walls generate an electromagnetic field. Metal that passes through these
fields gets induced voltage. So, if you have any metal in what you wear
or carry in your pocket you're sucking "some" level of power. Maybe can
save another .04 a year by instituting a buck naked policy indoors. Huh?
Depending on the climate zone you're in (I keep my house at ~55F in the
winter, and treatment for hypothermia will eat up your savings). In the
right climate, a buck naked policy could be well worth it in
entertainment value alone.
My first thought when reading this was "ok...so we'd save a few
pennies a month". But I investigated and found a rather interesting
read related to your theory where the author actually tested the
doorbell transformer using a Kill-A-Watt:
Luckily my doorbell isn't lighted, so it's probably not worth my time
and effort to change.
The KillA Watt does not compensate for the terrible power factor of
an idle transformer - It will be indicating significantly higher than
the actual power disipation of the transformer.
The incandescent lamp in the lighted doorbel button is likely 80% of
the real draw.
Put a power factor correction capacitor across the transformer primary
and I'll bet the KillAWatt reads less than 1 watt.
The 4400, which I think is their base model, is supposed to show volts,
amps, volt-amps, power factor, watts, Hertz, kilowatt hours, and hours.
Accuracy is advertised at 0.2%.
Almost all customers love it. I was about to buy one until I read a
review by someone who claims to have bought several for an R&D lab.
He found them inaccurate when new, and they were likely to freeze when
current exceeded 7 amps. This made them useless for anything with a
starting surge that high.
All failed between 30 and 50 hours, giving wild readings or none at all.
I believe him because his description is good. It reminds me of
problems I've had with DMMs that can measure up to 10 amps. If you run
several amps through a resistor with little mass, I suppose sudden
temperature changes can lead to microscopic cracks, which affect
accuracy and cause increasingly fast deterioration. I imagine
Kill-a-watt's manufacturer could solve the problem with R&D.
The incandescent lamp probably consumes about 1/4 watt maybe less, while
the idling transformer consumes a couple watts.
I still do delivery work and I have done so for many years, and I have
only seen one transformer-powered doorbell button with an LED. The LED
was a model with efficiency similar to or less than even the models of
incandescents lamps being used in doorbell buttons, as used in
doorbell buttons, with intended life expectancy of decades. The LED
appears to me to be from the 1970's or possibly early 1980's.
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
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