How do we extend our doorbell range?
September 22, 2013 6:00 PM   Subscribe

I live in an apartment building with no wired-in doorbells. Everyone just buys their own wireless doorbell and puts it at the apartment building gate. Unfortunately ours can't punch through all the concrete to reach our door. We upgraded to a longer range doorbell and that didn't reach either. Can we get some sort of repeater for it that we could put between the gate and our door? As far as I can tell, doorbell "extenders" (e.g.) wouldn't work, since that would require us to put the chime itself in a common area of the building.
posted by col_pogo to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
You could use wire for the extender--in other words, open the receiving unit, take out the speaker or buzzer, and extend its range with a length of tiny wire that would pass easily through a small hole in the wall or under a door. So the receiver stays outside where it can receive properly, but the sounding mechanism (speaker or buzzer) is inside. If you can't take out the speaker easily, then just solder or twist on a parallel wire connection and add another similar speaker from a little radio, etc. Thrift stores would have lots of these.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:10 PM on September 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks, but I think that suggestion is well beyond my technical ability to carry out.

And it seems I didn't describe our situation properly: our door is located maybe forty feet as the crow flies from the front gate of the apartment building. The doorbell is at the gate, the chime is at our door, and a stairwell and several concrete walls are in-between.

The signal just doesn't make it, so I was wondering if there was a repeater I could buy that could be placed in between the doorbell and our door. Unfortunately, our landlords are unlikely to spring for a wired doorbell system.
posted by col_pogo at 11:31 PM on September 22, 2013

Have you considered buying the same models that the other residents are using? Unless you happen to be furthest from the gate, whatever the other people are using should work for you.
posted by gjc at 12:04 AM on September 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Get a pair of these and find some way to attach one with a chain to the gate. Most likely it will be much cheaper than buying a long-range wireless door chime. It has the added appeal of communicating with the person at the gate.
posted by JJ86 at 5:37 AM on September 23, 2013

Have you tried putting the chime at a back or side window?
The signal may not make it through the concrete, but it may bounce around outside the building to one of your windows.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:46 AM on September 23, 2013

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