Servants/Butler bell box


Old 10-05-05, 05:19 PM
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Question Servants/Butler bell box

I've just purchased this Servants' bell box on Ebay:

Link (for picture)

I have wired it up to my doorbell system using a 8v transformer, but the flags fail to move. Am I doing something wrong or is the item actually faulty?

Edited to add: Failing that, I would like to use a system that causes a light to flash for awhile when the bell is pressed ( and automatically times out after ,say, 30-60 seconds using pygmy lamps or something similar) to indicate which bell is being activated. Reason being I have more than one bell and so need to tell them apart! I know that the latter method is possible but don't know how to go about getting one.


Last edited by ClerkByron; 10-05-05 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 10-08-05, 07:34 PM
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Basically, I am guessing you have 3 buttons, and you want to know which one has been pushed.

Are you sure the device works off of 8V? If it does, you you know if it uses AC or DC, and are you feeding it that?

For your alternative it will take some electronics knowhow to accomplish that. (I am thinking of either thermal relays, or magnetic relays or a combination of them, or magnetic relays with a resistor/capacitor delay and transistor driver)

PS: Are you going for something period in technology, just period looks, or something that just works, regarless of how it works?
Old 10-09-05, 02:32 PM
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Thanks for your reply. I actually have two bells so the third flag would not be needed. I recieved the item just how it is so I cannot say for sure what voltage it runs on, although I have seen a similar setup elsewhere work fine (and with a similar bell). I am using a 230v to 8v bell transformer for each bell. The box itself is not completely dysfunctional - I can get the electromagnets going when the bell push is pressed, however that's all it will do.

To answer your question, I'm really after an audio AND visual alert for doorbells, preferably a slow-ish flashing light that times out after awhile. I'm not bothered about it looking period but these systems were popular in large houses in the past, hence my purchase of the bell box. The setup I want is similar to how they use bells and lights in grocery stores/food supermarkets to call the supervisors to the checkouts, for example, but at touch of one button the bell will ring and the light will flash for, soy, 30 seconds before automatically timing out. I've discovered that they make systems a bit like this for the hearing impaired, this product caught my eye in particular. The disadvantages about that one for me is the lights themselves are rather small and therefore less noticable and, they have an integral buzzer (I want to use my existing bells) but is definitely along the lines of what I want, although I would prefer to have one that can take normal tungsten light bulbs, eg pygmy lamps.

I'm afraid I don't really know anything about electronics so I would need a pretty much ready made system that just needs installation.

Thanks for your help, much appreciated
Old 10-12-05, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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It could be the solenoinds in the flag box wants DC current, while the transformer you have outputs AC. You can make the AC into DC with a simple rectifier and filter capacitor.

For the light, you need a thermal relay, and dual pole magnetic relay.

I suggest you find someone knowlegable in electrics or electronics to help you out.

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