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Topic: plug in an electric bell? (Read 4589 times) previous topic - next topic


Aug 26, 2010, 04:44 am Last Edit: Aug 26, 2010, 04:45 am by Ultrus Reason: 1
I'm looking into options for a low volt (arduino powered?) electric bell. The effect I'm going for is a nice, single, gentle, 'ding'. I found some creative applications including a Christmas bell powered by a servo (might be overkill for my use). I'm also finding DC 12 volt bells like this one that create constant rings - great for an alarm clock I'm sure... but I'm looking to cut down for a small project that won't annoy the hell out of bystanders (I've already done that with a fun buzzer! hehe). The more subtle the better.

Any thoughts on where to narrow down my search? I'll keep digging and share what I find as well.

Thanks much in advance.  :D




Maybe I need to look at door chimes...


This has the effect of a bell.
I pulled one apart and it looks like it is easy to control it with an arduino. The push buttons simply connect to +ve. It works off 3 1.5V batteries so my guess is it will be OK at 5V as well.


Aug 26, 2010, 02:13 pm Last Edit: Aug 26, 2010, 02:28 pm by Ultrus Reason: 1
Richard, Grumpy,
Thanks for the feedback. I'm looking for something more physical for use in an 'antique' looking weather device.

Solenoid is the magic word I was looking for. I remember my dad mentioning it a few years ago as they are also used in gas heaters he worked with.

This looks like a great starting point:

EDIT: Another great tutorial:

EDIT: OOoo cool:

I'll dig around and post what I come up with. Any additional feedback is welcome.

Thanks much,




Aug 27, 2010, 03:58 pm Last Edit: Aug 27, 2010, 03:59 pm by Ultrus Reason: 1
That's awesome!!! I love it. :D

Where does one go to buy these solenoids? They don't seem to be at the typical hobbyist locations. I keep finding solenoid valves and odd ink-jet experiments (there was an espresso coffee design printer somewhere, but that's off topic).


Aug 27, 2010, 04:29 pm Last Edit: Aug 27, 2010, 04:31 pm by Ultrus Reason: 1
Thanks for the link. That will help a lot, and help me figure out what I need to search for locally.

Have you ever tried sending 5V through one of those rather than 6V? I'm curious if it would trigger softer, or not at all (softer would be nice, also maybe good for the arduino powered route?). Otherwise, I'm sure adding some rubber to the end would soften up the chime sound a bit.

The chime part itself sounds like a fun weekend find. The flea market in town may have some wind chimes I can tear apart.

Thanks for the feedback. I think I have a good start on this project now and some reading to do.  :)


If you just want a simple "ding", I would look into setting something up to actuate one of those cheapo "service desk" bells (you know, the little round ones you see at hotels where you press the little button on top to summon a manager or such). A solenoid or a servo could work easily.
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


I think that the continuous ring electrical bell ( the second link in the original post) works by passing the solenoid current through the hammer and interrupting that current when the hammer reaches the bell, making it to release and then again activate and so on. If that's true, you could modify the wiring so that the solenoid is exclusively and directly controlled by the input voltage you provide. When appropriate voltage is applied the hammer is activated once (one ding) and when removed the hammer returns.


Have you ever tried sending 5V through one of those rather than 6V?

Coils will generally work in a wide range, from 2/3 to twice the nominal voltage. But don't overdo! Note that they will try to draw more current, when the voltage drops...


Nov 23, 2010, 04:59 am Last Edit: Nov 23, 2010, 05:23 am by Ultrus Reason: 1
I think I found Farnell's twin cousin in the US, Newark:

Is it true that an intermittent solenoid would turn on and off repeatedly/quickly? - (not my goal)

Here's what I'm thinking:
http://cgi.ebay.com/LEDEX-Tubular-Solenoid-Push-3-4-dia-X-1-5-195205-227-/230488968722?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35aa368e12 (ebay or elsewhere)

It looks like I can power from 5V (maybe separately or arduino even?). I'll take a fresh look in the morning. Any feedback is welcome as I'm a bit rusty after exposure to oxygen... sleep might be helpful as well.


Intermittent usually means that you can "pulse" it (which is likely what you are looking for), rather than "apply power and hold", which is usually used for devices where a quick, short-stroke linear motion is needed that needs to be held in place for a longer period of time (think something like a lever that opens a flap valve/trap door for dispensing beans or something like that - also, door locks; ie "buzz me in").

In other words, an intermittent solenoid has a duty cycle such that you need to leave it "off" longer than it is "on", otherwise it can burn out. A continuous solenoid can be run (turned "on") for a much longer period of time without overheating and burning out (generally the only difference between the two is the coil winding's wire gauge, with a continuous duty coil having thicker wire, plus its designed to dissipate heat better).
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


Excellent. Thanks much!  :D

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