Doorbell issues... Multiple chimes, doors, transformers?

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Old 10-06-09, 05:50 PM
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Doorbell issues... Multiple chimes, doors, transformers?

I am helping a friend uninstall a phone system which used the phones as the doorbells...

He has a button at the back door and a button at the front door. He also needs two chimes, one on the main level and one in the basement. I have Cat5 wire at both doors, and at the bell locations. All Cat5 comes to a distribution point in the garage.

I've currently got a two door chime hooked up to a transformer on the main level. Everything works fine with the single setup; Both front and rear buttons work as they should, each with their distinctive chimes.

The problem comes when I try to add the basement chime/transformer into the system. When I parallel each button and hook it up to the downstairs chime/transformer, the upstairs system stops working. It basically only chimes 1/2 (like its triggering the backdoor chime)... In this setup, the basement doesn't work at all, in fact, you can hear a hum from the chime when the transformer is powered up.

To answer the obvious questions first, Yes, both levels are hooked up identically. Nothing is reversed. Checked and rechecked.

What am I doing wrong? Can you use multiple transformers to accomplish a two level door bell system? Do I need just one transformer centrally located and then parallel the connections to the individual chimes?

Any help would be great!
 
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Old 10-06-09, 06:11 PM
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One transformer. A 16 volt - 30 VA will work well with two chimes. Easy hookup is to use three conductors attached to the front, rear, and Xformer terminals on the first chime and attach the three wires in the same configuration to the second chime.
 
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Old 10-07-09, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by goldstar View Post
One transformer. A 16 volt - 30 VA will work well with two chimes. Easy hookup is to use three conductors attached to the front, rear, and Xformer terminals on the first chime and attach the three wires in the same configuration to the second chime.
Thanks. One other question - If I use just a single transformer, will this setup still work over distance? This is a large house and the two chimes are probably the better part of 85-100ft away from each other in terms of wiring distance.
 
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Old 10-07-09, 09:29 AM
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Not a problem. A 16 V - 30 VA transformer will give your chimes a solid "Ding Dong" over a greater distance than you are dealing with.
 
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Old 10-07-09, 10:44 AM
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The reason why you get this error is voltage drop in the cabel.
The chime who has the longest cable will be weaker/not work.
Since you have a cat 8 you may use parralell conductors, and reduce the resistance in the wiring. I have done the same here, only 6V powering one gong, and one ringer. In the really old times (~1920) they used to put the ringers in series, then the current had to be equal in both ringers.

I recommand to use as many conductors as possible in parallell, and use the ringers in parallell to.

Good luck.

dsk
 
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