Doorbells are useful and all, but most of them are boring as hell. They use the same old generic sounds to let you know when guests have arrived, as demonstrated below.
To liven things up a bit, you could spend money on buying customized doorbells. But why do that when you can do it yourself, like Jason Poel Smith of DIYHacksandHowTos did. Jason made his own custom doorbell chime by adding a simple recording module to a wireless doorbell system.
To do this, he took apart his old doorbell and replaced the speaker with his own recording module (that you can get at any electronics store) which has its own speaker. He connected the recording module and its own battery to the doorbell receiver by simply twisting a few wires together.
He assembled it back together and finished the project. To set the ringtone, he held the microphone up to computer speakers and recorded the sound (in intervals of 20 seconds). Now, every time someone presses the doorbell, your custom ringtone should sound.
- The recording module speaker may not be as loud as the original. To make it louder, you can replace the speaker on the recording module or use it as the input to powered computer speakers.
- Since the play button also functions as a stop button, the ringtone will be interrupted if the doorbell is pressed several times before the chime is finished. You can fix this by adding a capacitor between the recording module's ground and play pin.
For more detailed instructions, check out his project page on Instructables.
If you don't like chimes or sounds period, maybe you'd rather receive text messages when someone's at your door?