Need help to trigger dumb doorbell remotely

I have a dog which goes crazy when the doorbell rings. In the past we’ve had the same reaction on other bell sounds (the microwave’s pling is a famous one), and this could easily be trained in the past by repeating the sound over and over again. I would like to try the same with our doorbell.

I tried the manual approach, but the doggo is too smart and notices if one of us is missing from the living room (to ring the bell). He simply doesn’t react at all if this is the case. So, I need something different and would like to come up with a solution to trigger the doorbell remotely or automatically ever X seconds to fool him.

My doorbell is wired and makes use of a transformer that outputs 8v which is located in the fuse box. It seems like the button and chime both have a wire to this transformer.

What would I need to accomplish my goal, and how to wire this?

I’m a complete hardware noob, as this would be my first project, so please keep technical complexity to a minimum :wink: Thanks for all help!

Lots of options (as always) but here are a few I have been investigating myself to make dumb doorbell smart:

@frenck wrote up a great beginner tutorial for just this - it has zero soldering (but you might need just a little if you want to use the transformer power that need to stepped power down or convert it from AC to DC):

For myself I believe my transformer is outputting 16v AC (from my research this is typical). I haven’t tested the wiring yet, but I was able to look up the model online and confirm so it should be accurate.

I thought I was being smart and found a board that could run off the low voltage AC, the Sonoff SV, but after putting in an order, I realized that the 5-24v is DC only… Since I need to change the power from AC to DC I found a regulator that will do that - the output is 12v DC which can power the Sonoff SV in isolation mode.

So… there are two options that I have researched some… I would be happy for someone to correct me and find out that the Sonoff SV can run off 16v AC and has the AC to DC built in so I don’t have to use isolation mode, but I am pretty sure that was an incorrect idea initially on my part.

Anyway, good luck!


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Thanks for your reply. I also found a lot of options for making a dumb doorbell smart, but that is not really what I need.

I need to trigger a dumb doorbell myself. Not have a callback when it gets triggered.

I believe you are missing part of what this allows.
This setup would allow you to control the doorbell (not just know when it is triggered).
You could silence it, trigger it remotely, ring it constantly, etc.
So you would have the ability to trigger it anytime you want:

You could make an automation for it to ring every 5 minutes, every hour, etc.

You could use your PC or phone (while an App that connects to HA, or the web interface) to trigger the doorbell while you are sitting next to your dog.

Depending on what else you have in your house, you could have it trigger on a light switch, door/window sensor, motion sensor - there are many possibilities.

I hope this is more clear on what can be done.

I definitely missed that, but thanks for pointing that out. I will look into it tomorrow :slight_smile:

I just read the article, which is brilliantly written and very clear for a beginner like me (thumbs up to @frenck). I immediately ordered the parts required and can’t wait to set everything up :slight_smile:

I’ll post some pictures as soon as everything is up and running. Thanks again @DeadEnd!


I’ve followed @frenck’s guide closely, but unfortunately I’m having problems flashing the ESP01s. I get he following error in the ESPHome Flasher tool:

Unexpected error: ESP Chip Auto-Detection failed: Failed to connect to Espressif device: Timed out waiting for packet header

I’ve double (and triple) checked my wiring, but that seems okay. Could it be the case that the chip doesn’t start into flash mode properly?

can you snap a picture of your connections on both the ESP01s and the FTDI? You need to make sure of a couple of this (and we can look at a picture to hopefully confirm.

  1. You have the FTDI set to 3.3v NOT 5v - if you get this wrong, likely you already let out the magic smoke :slight_smile:
  2. The Tx and Rx need to be crossed so that Tx of the FTDI connects to Rx of the ESP01s and Rx of FTDI connects to Tx of ESP01s (so ones transmit goes to the others receive).
  3. GPIO0 (gpio zero) has to be connected to a ground somehow - either the same that GND uses, or a secondary - it doesn’t matter - just has to be grounded to boot into flash mode.

Also, what device are you using, an ESP01s as in Frenck’s blog, or another device (sonoff SV, etc.). Again, a photo of connections on both ends will help confirm all the wiring is correct (hopefully it isn’t to be honest… that would probably be the easiest fix).


Sure, here they are :slight_smile:
I’m using an ESP01s (also says so on the board), ordered via the link in Frenck’s blog.
I’ve checked the connections again (given your remarks), but all seems good as far as I can tell.

It looks like you have 3.3v connected to the reset pin, correct?
Disconnect this - you do not need it connected to anything while flashing.
In fact, I think pulsing 3.3v to this pin is the method of resetting the device, so with this connected, you have it half-reset.

Disconnect the reset pin, and try again - hopefully that fixes it.


I just looked closer, and see that it is not connected to RESET but to “EN”. I don’t recognize this, but it should be the CH_PD (chip power down). Either way, try disconnecting this. When I flashed mine, this didn’t need connected to anything.

I do see that in the blog he has it on 3.3v though… so this probably isn’t the problem not that I look closer…


The 3.3v from the USB adapter is connected to the 3.3v on the ESP, and there’s a jumpwire from here to the pin labeled ‘EN’. The reset pin is completely free (the last image shows one pin free, that’s the RST pin) :frowning:

edit: I tried flashing without the jumpwire between 3.3v and the ‘EN’ pin, but unfortunatly this did not solve the problem.

Yes, I saw that after my first post… So wiring should be okay as you said.
Is this the first time you have used the USB serial adapter (CH340G)?
If so, have you installed any drivers for it?

A quick google search points to this needing manually installed drivers (windows don’t have by default).
Here’s one link, you can probably google search for other drivers that would work.

and another - find one you from a site you trust.

If you already have a driver installed, it would be good I think to confirm communication… you can try a serial monitor (Termite, etc.) to make sure your connection is working.


Sorry, but why don’t you just bin your old doorbell and buy a new wireless one with two buttons, one on the door the other in your pocket.?

I’ve used the USB serial adapter before to flash a bunch of Sonoffs and some other ESP8266’s. I’ve never had any problems with it. I’ve double checked and the correct drivers are (still) installed.

I’ll try to rewire everything later today. Perhaps there’s a broken wire somewhere.

@Mutt; where’s the fun in that?! And I like DeadEnd/Frenck’s solution; this way I can get it incorporated into HA (killing two birds with one stone).

Well then I guess there is a chance that the ESP01s is a dud… you could try connecting just 3.3v, GRN, Tx, and Rx and boot it with a serial monitor running and see if you get anything… I would expect you get an output of bootup information… if you don’t the board could be dead.

Outside of that, I am running out of ideas! :man_shrugging:


Oh !
Then that’s a different case entirely
Good luck

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I tried rewiring the entire setup today, but to no avail. I expect that the board is dead, just as you said… I’m gonna get myself another ESP tomorrow and hope that that will work better. I’ll keep posting updates :slight_smile:

Update: I bought a brand spanking new ESP yesterday, but I’m having the same problems with that ESP as well.
Next stop; the USB TTL adapter. I ordered a replacement already, just have to wait a bit longer till it arrives…

Last update: it works!

I received my new USB TTL adapter last week, and finaly had some time to play with HA again in the last couple of days. I connected the ESP chip like described in Frenck’s guide, tried flashing and …drumroll… flashing worked without any further problems! After connecting everything up around the chime and doorbell button, I setup some automations in HA. Yesterday everything was complete and we had a bit of fun training our dog not to respond to the ringing doorbell.

Thanks for your help @DeadEnd; for pointing me in the right direction and all your help and pointers afterwards :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, yesterday evening, later on the evening, my HA (hassio) died on us completely… I’ve investigated a bit tonight and it looks like a corrupt micro SD card. I’m not too happy right now as this was a relatively new setup after having a lot of trouble about a month ago :angry: Not sure on what to do next (try again with another sd card, or move the setup to a dedicated and more reliable system like a NUC). Ah well… keeps you busy.