Modern Doorbell, Vintage Chimes


The doorbell chime at the house here is like none I have seen previously and I'd like to keep it around indefinitely. I decided to attempt to replace the existing door bell ringer with something more modern that would still work with these existing chimes.

The doorbell chimes from the "golden era of doorbell chimes"

Project Goals

  1. Keep existing chimes
  2. Replace ringer with something modern (Unifi Protect Doorbell in this case).
  3. Keep any wiring required to revert everything down the road if needed.

Part 1 - Add Chime to LAN

I was able to trigger the ringing sequence of the chime by connecting the same circuit the doorbell button is connect to on the board. I decided to use a Wifi-enabled, dry-contact relay to do the same thing. The purpose of the relay is simply to close the circuit when a signal is received via wifi. This causes the chime to begin the ringing sequence.

With the cover off and the relay attached.

My first oversight was not considering the power source for the relay. Ultimately, I decided to use POE along with an adapter to convert to 5V micro USB but still use wifi to connect (had I not already had the wifi relay on-hand this may have gone differently).

With the chime removed from the wall

After widening the hole and running an ethernet cable down the wall from the attic.

The view from above in the attic

Some initial cable management and remounting the chime body to the wall.

With the POE to microusb adapter installed

Close up view of the wiring final chime wiring job


The initial test -- it worked :D

The homeassistant automation that made it possible

Part 2 - Installing the Ringer

Finding a good path to the run the ethernet to just outside the front door was more difficult than I anticipated. The attic is also quite hot in the late summer to early fall. Hence this part of the project took place a few month later in November.


I came to the conclusion that I would need to access above the soffits above the door. I had wanted to avoid this but it ended up working out ok.

Fishing tape down below

Fishing tape up above

With the old ringer removed

As I was about to complete the last bit of the wiring I discovered a hidden electrical box that once held part of an intercom system.

The irony