I have a doorbell button at the front door and chimes upstairs and
downstairs. The old chime upstair quit so I bought a new chime, which
required a diode on the button. I did this, but now the downstairs
chime dosn't work. ( It does not require a diode) The new chime
works fine.. Is there anything I can wire in to the lower unit to
counteract the diode?
see previous older discussion:
also note there are various ac to ac transformer voltages, buzzers and
old ding dongs usually need a lower voltage than a chime. don't get
lost in the utility area, there may also be a 24vac furnace
More importantly, a diode only conducts in one direction. If you have
an AC system and a DC doorbell, the diode, only conducting in one direction,
would cause pulsing DC to appear at the doorbell.
Put the diode in line with the new doorbell so that the normal AC
will go to the downstairs doorbell. If it doesn't work, switch
I spoke too soon. The diode is hooked across the button terminals to
provide power to the chimes.
I don't think you can have different types or perhaps even two units.
The new (with the diode) may allow additional speakes.
It is not a front and back door problem. It is two different types of
ringers being driven off the same button.
The way I think his system works is:
The diode for the new chimes provides power all the time. When that
diode is shorted out it signals the new one to cycle through it's tones.
If the old bell was the "ding-dong" type. Closing the button picked up
a plunger giving one tone. When released it gives the second. With a
diode across the button the plunger might be picked up all the time.
Do you mean from one button terminal to the other button terminal?
Or for some reason, from one button terminal to the wire that used to
be on the terminal?
Or something else?
It sounds like you mean the first, but it seeems like that would use a
lot of electricity for nothing.
Why would they do that? Doesn't it waste a lot of electricty
When it would be so easy to keep the swtich open and use closing the
switch as a signal to cycle through its tones.
Yes, Or at least not have enough oomph to spring back and ring the
Not really. Most likely less than running a clock.
I have one, perhaps 20 years old or more, that has power from the
transformer hooked directly to the chimes. The button then is hooked
directly to the chimes. The chime unit then supplies the power to
illuminate a lamp in the button.
When the button is pushed it starts a motor in the chimes that energizes
a series of three plungers for three different tones.
Along the way it makes a couple contacts so extra units can be run from it.
Somehow the button would have to be held for 10 seconds or more!!
They've had doorbells that chime 8 tones or more for more than 50
years. Are you saying they used this system all this time? I would
have thought they used a latching relay in the past, and some scr or
timer these days.
I don't think so - perhaps less - the clock is running. The polarity of
the rectified voltage derived from the diode most likely is used to bias
off all circuitry. The only load will be the heat generated in the
transformer and that is there for all doorbells. Only when the full ac
is present does the chimes start operation.
Yes. Cheaper. 50 years ago they didn't have the electronics to cycle
through the program either (except of course very large ones using
primitive transistors or tubes). Ones like mine couldn't be more
simple. A clock motor. When the button closes a path is provided to
start the motor. Once started it moves a rotary switch that keeps power
on it until the cycle is complete. Along the way the switch has contact
that energize selected plungers.
Just took a look around the web. Confirmed what I thought and am pretty
certain that the original post problem is what I describe. The diode
goes across the contacts of the switch to provide a bias voltage. The
plunger on the other type will most likely be picked up all the time.
If his chimes use a speaker his solution might be to replace the old
bell with a speaker (using the old wires for the speaker).
Is this one chime with two buttons? I have that setup and it required the
diode only on the front door. Check to see that you are wired correctly at
the chime. Will it work with the front disconnected?
If all else fails he can add a relay with a 24VAC coil to the circuit. The
button would operate the old chime directly and also feed the coil of the
relay. The contacts of the relay become the the "button" to the new chime
and whatever need to be done with the diode (across the contacts
apparently) is done at that point. One country--two systems! It'll be the
Hong Kong of doorbells!
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