My Z-Wave Doorbell Project w/ pics

Mike

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Since I purchase my VeraLite last April I have been wanting to hook up my doorbell to the system. I did a lot of research and made it happen so I decided to share my results for anyone else that may be interested in doing something like this.

My house is 40+ years old and has the original doorbell system (2 wires from the button to the transformer). I picked up an Ecolink door sensor and a relay in order to make the original doorbell work. The N.C. terminals of the relay are wired to the external terminals on the Ecolink door sensor, preventing the sensor from always showing as tripped in Vera. The relay is powered from the existing power in the doorbell when the button is pushed. It picks up extremely quick button presses as well as longer presses. As soon as the button is pressed, I get a push notification (via VeraAlerts) with a screen shot from the cameras facing the front door and driveway. Here's the setup.

Parts:
- Ecolink Door / Window Sensor
- RIB Relay - 10 AMP

Connect the white w/ blue stripe wire and the white w/ yellow stripe wire from the relay to the transformer terminals, then the solid yellow wire and solid blue wire from the relay to the wire input terminals on the Ecolink sensor. The Ecolink sensor will show up as tripped in Vera when the button is pressed and activates the alerts regardless of how long the button is pressed down.

Because of the size of the relay and the door sensor, I could not fit them inside of the doorbell housing so I decided to relocate them. I did not want to put them in the attic for battery changing purposes, so I ran some cat5e cable from the doorbell transformer, in the wall, through the attic and into the 'data closet' in the other room. I twisted 4 wires (2 pair) together in the cat5e cable to make two pairs total, then connected the other end to quick connects and to the RIB Relay.

Here are some pictures with descriptions.

doorbell-transformer-wire.jpgdoorbell-transformer.jpgdoorbell-relay.jpg doorbell-sensor.jpg

Edit: Feb 9, 2019 - I am still running this set up but recently switched from the Vera to a SmartThings. The Vera was not reliable enough, went out a lot. However, the doorbell has been solid. I honestly don't even think I have replaced the battery in it yet.
 
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Sammy2

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I have a Vera Plus. How's this working out for you? Do you have two-way communication? How do you pick up video feed? Is there a wiring diagram for this? I know, lots of questions but this old post leaves me with more questions than solutions. Thanks..
 

Camit

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I have a Vera lite and plus got tired of luup code.. needed to make a luup code for the simplest things
 

Mike

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I have a Vera Plus. How's this working out for you? Do you have two-way communication? How do you pick up video feed? Is there a wiring diagram for this? I know, lots of questions but this old post leaves me with more questions than solutions. Thanks..
Still working fine. It doesn't have two-way communication, the doorbell triggers a Z-Wave sensor which tells my Vera to take a snapshot of the front door camera and sends me it via Vera Alerts. It's pretty instant.
 

Sammy2

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Yeah. I see what you did. The relay triggers the z-wave sensor from the doorbell push. Pretty basic set up. I'll probably add that into the circuit from the Ring Doorbell to the bell itself to trigger the Vera to do like you're doing. Nice idea.

BTW, are you on the MiCasaVerde Forums too?
 

PilotC150

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Trying to think this through, but wouldn't you be able to use the two terminals off the doorbell transformer directly, rather than having to run wire to the actual chime? As I understand it, pressing the doorbell is what completes the circuit, so you (the relay) could check for the completed circuit at any point in the circuit (the button, the chime or the transformer). Isn't that right, or am I missing something?

I'm thinking about doing something like this, but connecting the output wires to a NodeMCU, or something similar. When the NodeMCU reads that the relay is closed (digital pin goes HIGH, for example), I can push a message to my MQTT broker, which is picked up by a device in HomeSeer. I've already done MQTT->HomeSeer, so that part is easy for me, I'm just trying to figure out the best way to detect when the doorbell is pressed.
 

Mike

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Trying to think this through, but wouldn't you be able to use the two terminals off the doorbell transformer directly, rather than having to run wire to the actual chime? As I understand it, pressing the doorbell is what completes the circuit, so you (the relay) could check for the completed circuit at any point in the circuit (the button, the chime or the transformer). Isn't that right, or am I missing something?

I'm thinking about doing something like this, but connecting the output wires to a NodeMCU, or something similar. When the NodeMCU reads that the relay is closed (digital pin goes HIGH, for example), I can push a message to my MQTT broker, which is picked up by a device in HomeSeer. I've already done MQTT->HomeSeer, so that part is easy for me, I'm just trying to figure out the best way to detect when the doorbell is pressed.
No, the doorbell cannot trip the z-wave sensor without using the relay.
 

PilotC150

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No, the doorbell cannot trip the z-wave sensor without using the relay.
Sorry, I realize I wasn’t clear. I meant hooking up the relay to the transformer rather than at the chime. I understand needing the relay to trip the z-wave sensor, but I’m thinking the relay could be anywhere in the circuit.

Basically I don’t have access to run more cabling to my chime but I do have open access to the 24VAC (I think) transformer.
 

Mike

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Sorry, I realize I wasn’t clear. I meant hooking up the relay to the transformer rather than at the chime. I understand needing the relay to trip the z-wave sensor, but I’m thinking the relay could be anywhere in the circuit.

Basically I don’t have access to run more cabling to my chime but I do have open access to the 24VAC (I think) transformer.
Ahh got ya, I suppose you could probably do that as well. For me the chime is much more accessible so that thought didn't even cross my mind.
 

bp2008

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@Mike how is the SmartThings holding up? My Vera's z-wave module failed a couple years ago and I had to get a new Vera, but that one has been unreliable. It was even taking my entire LAN offline when it failed until I traced the failure to the Vera, at which point I isolated it behind a raspberry pi which proxies traffic to it over wifi. I still have to reboot the vera manually every month, so I'd be happy to install a different controller that has an easy http API for controlling z-wave devices.
 

Mike

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@Mike how is the SmartThings holding up? My Vera's z-wave module failed a couple years ago and I had to get a new Vera, but that one has been unreliable. It was even taking my entire LAN offline when it failed until I traced the failure to the Vera, at which point I isolated it behind a raspberry pi which proxies traffic to it over wifi. I still have to reboot the vera manually every month, so I'd be happy to install a different controller that has an easy http API for controlling z-wave devices.
It has been bullet proof, has not had to be reset once. There really is no comparison compared to the Vera as far as reliability goes, the SmartThings blows it away. Ditch the Vera and don't look back.
 

bp2008

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I got a SmartThings hub, wasted a few hours with it, and then learned it doesn't have an HTTP API, and in fact it can't accept local commands at all. Everything goes through the cloud. There's no way I'm putting up with that much added latency and complexity. It is going back to Amazon.
 

bp2008

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I think next time the Vera pisses me off I'm going to order a USB Z-wave stick for the raspberry pi that I'm currently using to proxy Vera traffic (keeps the Vera from crashing my network), and probably use Home Assistant software since I familiarized myself with that already on Wednesday.
 

PilotC150

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No cloud for us. All local through HomeSeer HS3.
Me, too. Been using HomeSeer for almost three years. Not the prettiest UI but it's rock solid and never crashes
I think next time the Vera pisses me off I'm going to order a USB Z-wave stick for the raspberry pi that I'm currently using to proxy Vera traffic (keeps the Vera from crashing my network), and probably use Home Assistant software since I familiarized myself with that already on Wednesday.
If I were to start now I'd probably go with HomeAssistant because it's free. Back when I started I was looking for something that would work when I wanted it to, but also let me tinker. HomeSeer was the answer. Three years ago HomeAssistant was still so immature it couldn't do most of what it does now so it wasn't even really an option. But now it's got such a mature community with tons of expandability it would be a great option.

The good thing about HomeSeer, for me, is that it's built on .NET, and C# is my preferred language so I can more easily build my own plugins for it. HomeAssistant is built on Python, which I'm not particularly a fan of.
 

JNDATHP

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@PilotC150 I'm also a .NET developer, but not really interested in making plugins for this I think ;)
In HS2 days, about a decade ago, I wrote vb scripts. With HS3 everything is done by events. Now, just to be transparent, there is a steep learning curve, in my opinion, with HS3. That said it does everything I want once I learned its format.
 
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