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Monday, October 29th, 2018 6:41 PM

Doorbell Chime on Base Station?

I recently installed the new Doorbell cam and it works just fine. However, the house I am in must have an old or broken doorbell chime. The wires were in the wall at the door and powered, but I have no idea where the box in the house is and there is no chime (maybe off or broken). Is there a way for the SS Doorbell to trigger the SS Base Station to chime?

11 Messages

5 years ago

Agreed this is a must have feature.  To design and market the doorbell to not work with the rest of the system is asinine.  Looks like you rushed it to market.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

5 years ago

The not connecting with the base is BY DESIGN.  

Imagine if the doorbell WAS connected to the ALARM SYSTEM.  Someone comes to the door and presses the doorbell (with the alarm on) and the police are dispatched.  Or if the alarm is not on, you get that puny "chime" that you can't hear unless you are right next to the sounder and there is little noise in the house.

Or since the motion detector on the door cam triggers on cars passing in the street, imagine how many false alarms you'd get.

I know that it is annoying to have to add a doorbell to get a doorbell sound, but really.  If you did not have a doorbell before, what makes you think you should get a doorbell "for free" by installing a doorbell button?  In the adult world, if you don't have a doorbell and you want a doorbell, you have to buy and install a doorbell.

11 Messages

sevensiamesecats....Are you for real?  Your post makes no sense.  Its certainly possible to DESIGN and PROGRAM the SYSTEM to signal the base station ONLY if the button is pressed and have it react with a distinct sound/buzz/bell etc.  This can be done REGARDLESS of the motion detection and can certainly be customized so that the sound is not confused with an alarm sounding or the simple "chime" you reference.  You obviously have no idea what's possible from a technology perspective.  The point here, is that is this was done by DESIGN, then its a stupid design.  And YES....for a $150 (not free) I expect my doorbell to sound a chime with the multi-hundred dollar "system" made by the same company and marketed as a SYSTEM.

1 Message

sevensiamesecats, do you speak as a representative of Simplisafe? If so, they need to provide you with training to improve your customer communication skills and increase your understanding of technological solutions. If not, why are you so defensive of the product? I doubt they would believe your are representing them in a positive manner.

I do have a doorbell. It is wireless as are many doorbells that have been on the market for years. The Simplisafe Video Doorbell Pro is effectively a wired doorbell button with nice bells and whistles. I have wiring to supply power to the VDP, but it is not available to connect to a chime. That makes the VDP worthless as a "doorbell" to me. This is unacceptable in today's world of technology.

There are two problems that need to be solved. There should be an alternative source of power and an alternative chime that do not depend on existing doorbell wiring. As mentioned previously, providing communication to a wifi chime should be a simple software solution on the VDP. There are undoubtedly many other solutions that could also be implemented to solve this problem.

I will likely be returning the VDP I recently purchased unless I can receive assurances from Simplisafe that they are working on a solution that does not require me to buy a new VDP or provide a wired chime.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

5 years ago

Yep, I'm for real, and firmly living in the real world.  After having spent a good chunk of my life working in product development.

Of course it is possible to design a system which would, or could be programmed to, act as a doorbell.  SS did not.  The CURRENT system is designed to be a security system, not a "do everything half assed" system.  The camera is designed to talk to SS, not the security system.  Good choice/bad choice is debatable.  But it was the choice they made, and it is consistent with the choices they have made since their beginning.  

In order to do what you want, they would have to completely (or at least significantly) redesign the base unit AND the cameras.  And then they would have to address their "permanent" problem that unless you have a small dwelling and not a lot of noise, you can't reliably hear the sound that would be produced by your function.

I'd say I have at least as much idea what is technically possible, and probably a lot more idea what is practical from a business standpoint.  And you did not have a doorbell, and you did not buy a doorbell.  You bought a camera built into a doorbell button.  Which would have activated your doorbell, if you had one.  (By the way, I agree that the design of the doorbell button part of the system was inadequate.  They could have and should have made it work with ANY existing doorbells, not just the antique ones).

I suppose you went to the store and bought a light switch and installed it in your closet which did not have a light, and then complained that no light happened when you turned on the switch.

5 years ago

Simply ridiculous.  And the last post is also entirely off.

I bought an item that is called "SimpliCam Video Doorbell" so obviously I bought a fancy doorbell.  The only problem:  when somebody presses this doorbell, there is no chime inside the house.  A doorbell can not get more useless.  To go back to the last analogy:  It's like buying a light switch and it turns out that switch does all sort of fancy things, the only thing it doesn't do is switch on and off the light!

A completely grotesque failure in product design.  Will send it back for refund still today.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

5 years ago

You are correct, that name is misleading.  It is not a "doorbell" at all.

7 Messages

5 years ago

It would be highly desirable if the doorbell would also cause the base station to chime (but not go into alarm).  My base station is located in a different part of the house from the doorbell chime that is wired to the SimpliSafe doorbell, and it would sure help if it chimed in addition to the wired doorbell..

182 Messages

5 years ago

@swn: So basically what you want is a Ring doorbell. It meets all of your criteria. Also, if you are waiting for ANY info from SS concerning future plans, product development or improvements I heartily recommend you head to the post office tomorrow to return the doorbell because it isn't going to happen! Sad, but true.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

5 years ago

Nope, I am not a representative of SS.  Sorry for any snarkiness you experience,  but I don't tend to suffer fools gladly, and a few such show up in the forums.  For that matter, SS has done some things I consider foolish.  As for my understanding of technological solutions, I feel it is more than adequate (unless you can point out an area I lack).  Perhaps more usefully, I have a really good grasp on the product development process.  And the holes in the "process" SS seems to use.

My technological understanding is that there is a way to accomplish just about anything.  however, my product development understanding makes me realize that some things just aren't financially viable.  No company (which will survive) is going to spend $10 Million to develop a product which is going to cost them $100 each to produce and which will only sell well at $10.  

As for the doorbell button not doing what you expected, admittedly, SS tends to leave out or hide important information about their products.  The saving grace is the 60 day return policy, including shipping both ways.  Is it the best way to grow their business?  Not in my opinion, but I have to admit it somehow seems to be working for them.  So far.  

That said, they designed their doorbell button the way they designed it, without input from the people who would hope to use it.  And they have a long history of not presenting solutions to customer suggestions (even demands).

They usually won't tell you what they are working on, and if they do, they won't tell you when it will be available, and even if they do give you a guess, don't count on it.  As such, if SS does what you want RIGHT NOW, then go for it.  If they don't meet your requirements RIGHT NOW, then assume they never will.  Someday they might, but more likely they won't and even if they do, it won't be in a timely manner.  If you expect it, you will almost certainly be disappointed.  If you expect it to never happen, then you might be pleasantly surprised some  day.

They designed the doorbell button they way they designed it.  And it cannot be modified to do what you want without hardware changes.  It will always require a doorbell power supply  (it is possible it could be reprogrammed or have an accessory available which would allow using a USB power source.  II will never communicate to the base or to any other device (except the SS servers).  In order to change its limitations, a new doorbell camera would need to be released.  And that is not going to happen any time soon.  If ever.

So it sounds like the product will not meet your requirements.  They won't say they will make those changes, and even if they do, unless you get it in writing, with penalties for non-compliance, you are not going to get what you want.

If it works adequatey as a camera for you, it might be worth hacking it yourself to make it do what you want.  It is, after all, a "button switch", which should be fairly easy to connect to your own transmitter to any device you want.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

5 years ago

swn, you're responding to a 6-month-old post, and the same 'requests' on this post and others, keep coming up, over and over again.  No one (obviously) reads the entire posts or they would know that Seven is correct and they wouldn't need to keep posting the same thing over and over.  

They can:  wait until SS does something (waste of time if you are impatient) or develops a new doorbell with more features (not going to happen for quite awhile)
Or:  return their doorbell if within the 60-day-return policy, or if not, then sell it on ebay, etc.
Sorry, but those are the only choices.

SS reps who post on the forum (which is infrequently), sign their posts with their names/SS link.    Obviously, Seven doesn't work for SS (but we're all grateful that he, and Captain, and others have willingly stuck with the forum (for years) answering questions when SS won't).

5 years ago

It Could Be Done in Software

It seems to me that the requested functionality could be delivered via server software enhancements and a firmware update on the base station. No need for a hardware redesign, the required hardware communication paths are already in place.

What people are asking for is a server mod and firmware update that allows the server to notify the base station when the doorbell button is pressed. This really shouldn't be all that difficult given the fact that the server already accepts a "doorbell button pressed" event and initiates a video stream from the doorbell, it just needs a mod to relay the "doorbell button pressed" event to the base station. The base station already communicates with the server to push sensor and keypad events, and receive firmware updates. The base station's firmware just needs to be updated to receive a "doorbell button pressed" event via the same hardware path, and sound the station's chime.

I suspect that the only thing holding this enhancement back is the cost of developing and testing the server mod and firmware update. They may be waiting for the next generation release.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

5 years ago

Ok, so you want the doorbell to send a signal to SS,  and then SS send a signal to the base station, and then the base station to issue a chime?  And you think "it could be done in software"?

1) you don't mind that the chime probably won't be heard for several seconds, perhaps even 30 or more after the button is pushed?

2) You don't mind that you won't hear the chime anyway, unless you are in the same room with the base and there is not a lot of noise?

3) You really think that the hardware is already there to allow this new path AND base function?  Even though the system seems to be deliberately designed to not be able to perform that function?  Perhaps you are right, but I wouldn't bet the price of a cup of coffee you were.
Answering each of your points

(1) In terms of timing, how would this be any different from SS sending a doorbell notification to the SS smartphone app (which it currently does)? If you're saying that the delay would be too long to be useful, then that would imply that the SS smartphone app is useless as far as the doorbell is concerned.  Latency should be no different for android/ios vs base station.  Why couldn't it be done with a firmware mod? The base station already sounds a chime when a sensor event is raised, why couldn't it also sound a chime when it receives a button pressed event? The tonality of the chime is most likely controlled by firmware, meaning a distinct chime sound could be implemented for the doorbell event.

(2) I have a large house, and I cannot hear the hardwired doorbell in some areas. I can, however, hear the SS chime in every area of the house, so yes this would work for me. Remember, normally you can't easily change the location of your hardwired doorbell chime, but you can place the SS base station anywhere you like so that it can be heard throughout the house.

(3) It's not a new communication path. The required paths are already in place. All SS base station functionality is controlled by firmware, which allows for future enhancements and bug fixes. The system was not deliberately designed to exclude this functionality. The video camera and doorbell modules were released well after the current SS hardware and software platform was designed - these are add-ons that have not been integrated into the system completely.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

5 years ago

1) I have not experienced the delay of the notification, not having the doorbell.  My "guess" is based on the performance of the interior cameras.  I'd say if any notification, current or future, from the doorbell is more than 5 seconds, it is "useless" as a doorbell.

As for what can be done in firmware, it is completely subject to what is done in hardware.  So I don't know whether the code CAN respond to a new event (button push) or allow a new mode (independent of system mode) or change an existing event (chime sound).  Maybe it can.  Maybe it can't.  Without knowing how the hardware and firmware is structured, we cannot say yes or no.

2)  Wow, impressive.  I have a small house, and I can barely hear the chime from 1 room away, but only if there is not a lot of noise, like the fans going fully speed, or a movie playing or the people across the alley playing with their volkswagon engines.

3) right, the add ons have not been integrated into the system completely, because the original design did not allow for practical integration.  How do we know?  Because the add-ons are, frankly, a "kludge".  It MIGHT be possible to do this integration without a hardware update, but my guess is that even if it is, it would not be financially feasible.

1 Message

5 years ago

I just bought simplisafe and here is what the rep told me when I asked about the chime:


Thanks for emailing us. I am happy to answer your questions.

The base station acts as the door chime. You can increase the volume of the door chime to High using your keypad.

In order to spread the door chime's sound, you would have to purchase an extra siren. The extra siren is a wireless device that can mimic the door chime.

1.3K Messages

There is a function you can turn on for the door/window sensors so you get a chime from the base if you open said door/window. But, bear in mind that isn't the same thing as pressing the doorbell (camera) button and getting a chime from the base.

I think they answered the question you asked, but unfortunately you may have asked the wrong question if the intent was to inquire about the doorbell button activating the base chime.

2 Messages

5 years ago

https://www.ohmkat.com/products/universal-wireless-video-doorbell-chime

2 Messages

We purchased an Ohmcat adapter, thanks to a comment someone left on the forum when I first looked into the doorbell. Smart system & products, thank you!

2 Messages

4 years ago

Add another disappointed customer to the list that would greatly appreciate it if the doorbell pro had the ability to communicate with the base station and notify paying customers with a chime when the doorbell button is pushed.

It doesn't make a lot of sense that the person ringing the doorbell hears a chime, and homeowners without wired doorbells do not, when it seems the base station should be capable of this.

Especially when you consider I'm paying $300/yr for the monitoring service, c'mon SimpliSafe, please make this happen.
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