Help me wire a wireless doorbell switch.
August 12, 2009 8:49 PM   Subscribe

Help me wire a wireless doorbell switch.

I am trying to wire this simple doorbell switch (part of a larger custom bronze piece) to this wireless doorbell. I assumed when buying it there would be a simple switch, but the little switch on the doorbell has at least four prongs soldered to the board. Three of them give a ~12v voltage, and I can't seem to figure out how my two wire switch can be used to trigger the small black switch. My understanding of electronics is pretty basic but I can usually figure this kind of stuff out. Any thoughts on how I can make this work?
posted by Big_B to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would take a pin or nail or metal tweezers and briefly short out various two-pin combinations until the bell rings, and solder the switch wires to those.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:59 PM on August 12, 2009

I bet the four prongs are just part of a convenient standard package that gives the switch more stability and support on the board. I can't really see based on the images, but maybe just find a hot/neutral pair among the four pins and solder your switch to that? Short of a soldering mishap, you're unlikely to break anything on the board if all goes wrong. Or just use a pair of helping hands/another person's hands to hold the leads of your switch in contact with the pads for testing before you solder. Or just connect the pins with a jumper and see if the wireless receiver goes off.

It's entirely possible the wireless doorbell board is wired up to support buttons with an LED or small incandescent bulb inside for an illuminated doorbell buzzer.
posted by zachlipton at 9:01 PM on August 12, 2009

Yeah, not all the pins are necessarily connected internally (or it may be a double-pole single-throw, or momentary break rather than make, switch - rare in that style, but I've seen 'em).

I can't find a datasheet that gives pin numbers to location on the package (this is close, but no cigar), but 99% of these switch across 90° to the direction of the pins. So, in your first image, pressing the switch would connect pins on the left to pins on the right. I'd try connecting your switch between the one that's not 12v and its related 12v pin and see if that works.

To be sure, mark it's orientation on both the switch and board, desolder it, and test continuity with your meter while pushing the button.
posted by Pinback at 9:26 PM on August 12, 2009

Turn off power, then use an ohm meter to figure out which pins are connected to each other (zero ohms) when the button is pressed and again when the button is not pressed. Likewise, figure out which pins are connected to ground when the button is pressed and not pressed. Then turn on power and use the volt meter to determine which pins change voltage when the switch is pressed and not pressed. Draw a picture to keep track of your findings.

This should help you figure out the internal connections of the switch.
posted by JackFlash at 9:45 PM on August 12, 2009

Ok thanks all. It was late when I posted this and wasn't able to provide any feedback, but I did do some experimenting with the switch and with a voltmeter to try and figure out the operation. I'll play with it tonight again based on your suggestions and see If I can get it to work.
posted by Big_B at 10:24 AM on August 13, 2009

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