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I installed one of those fancy new Ring doorbells (the video / WiFi connected doodads) and it keeps repeating my doorbell chime. When you press the button to "Ring" me, the doorbell chime rings and the the app initiates a video call to my phone. Until I accept, reject, or let the video call timeout... my doorbell chime keeps repeating (dingDong, [pause], dingDong, [pause], dingDong, [pause], dingDong, [pause]. ... ). This is a huge annoyance if I'm at home and just walk to the door. Until the call times out I have to shout overtop of the "dingDong dingDong dingDong...".

I confirmed it works as you would expect it to with an old fashioned button + diode. (e.g. 1 press = 1 dingDong... hold the button down = repeating dingDong). In a nutshell, the Ring is acting like I'm holding the button down.

I drew a diagram of the circuit, and as far as I can tell everything is correct.

  • Circuit is: Transformer > Ring > Diode > Ring > Chime > Transformer
  • Transformer is a 16v transformer, chime is for 16v transformers
  • Transformer reads 19.4v without load... but I understand that to be expected after some research on the net

I've tried a new transformer, a new chime, and a new diode... all do the same thing. I have the diode wired up so the stripe faces the chime... which the Ring instructions say to do.

Any thoughts? I can't be the only idiot in the world who can't figure this out.

  • What makes you think this isn't how the system is designed? Ring is a new product, so their customer support should be fully staffed right now. They could confirm how it should work. – JPhi1618 Mar 11 '16 at 20:34
  • So you're saying, you are completely ignoring the app on your phone, and simply walking to the door and opening it. How would the Ring app know you did that? By the person no longer ringing the doorbell? A fair assumption but maybe you need to configure it in settings. This is a common enough issue that it's sure to have come up in beta. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 11 '16 at 20:49
  • @Jphi - I did contact them and the tech support is worthless offshore level 1 type support ("Did you try turning it on and off?") – Skylar Sutton Mar 11 '16 at 21:07
  • @Wolf - I expect the Ring to make my doorbell chime work like a normal doorbell button: dingDong then silence. Not dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong dingDong din – Skylar Sutton Mar 11 '16 at 21:08
  • Do you have a doorbell that is on this list of incompatible devices ? – JPhi1618 Mar 11 '16 at 21:43
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OK, this may be a side-effect of the way the Ring powers itself.

The Ring is in series with the chime. In series circuits, the same amount of current (amps) flows around the loop through both devices. And by the way, this problem crops up with Nest thermostats and dimmers too.

How does the Ring power itself? By deliberately letting a little bit of current flow through the circuit, including through the chime. The Ring (like the Nest and dimmers) is betting that a small enough current won't make the chime (furnace, lamp) activate. And it is guessing at how much current it can get away with.

So my guess is: you have a chime which is more efficient than most. Sure, when the visitor rings the bell, the Ring shorts the two wires to simulate a doorbell push, and then it lets go of that correctly. And then, it needs to recharge its internal battery - transmitting video over WiFi is hard work. So it allows current to flow at that lower rate. Unbeknownst to the Ring, that is enough to ring the chime. The Ring isn't timing out when it stops; it's just finished charging.

Now like I say, smart thermostats have the same problem: they charge by sending some current down the W line, hopefully not enough to engage the furnace relay. If that doesn't work, they give you an option to hook up the "C" line to power the thermostat directly. Unfortunately it does not appear the Ring has an option like that.

TLDR: Your chime is too efficient for the Ring to vampire-charge itself. Get rid of one.

Well, if you're in love with that chime, there might be another option, but it's definitely not UL-approved. You could alter your chime to be less efficient... by putting a resistor of appropriate size in parallel with the chime. Finding the appropriate size would take some measuring or experimentation. You would not want one which gets too hot, worst case someone holds down your doorbell button for a long time. A fellow shouldn't be able to burn your house down by holding the doorbell button.

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I had the same issue with my door chime when I installed Ring. Customer service first directed me to change the transformer. That didn't make sense because there was no difference in the transformer I have and the ones at the store. So I skipped that step and called Customer Service back. After a long wait while they consulted with someone else, they offered me a free Ring Chime to use so I could disconnect the existing chime permanently. I love my chime but this is the only way it would work so I took off the diode and just use the chime they sent me. It works but I will have to remove the door bell from time to time to charge the battery.

I may try adding a resistor so I can have my old door chime back.

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Ring has corrected this problem. I called and reported the issue (800-656-1918), and they sent me a replacement with a FedEx return shipping label. The replacement works flawlessly, and I suffered no additional expense.

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https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/205180710-Connecting-Ring-Doorbell-Directly-to-a-Low-Voltage-Transformer-No-Pre-existing-Doorbell-

Harper is correct; You will need a resistor. While the directions above may recommend a 20-50 Watt and 25-33 ohm resistor, that may be overkill if you are going to keep the wired chime in the circuit. Some experimentation or calculation may be required to determine the lowest voltage and current allowed by the wired chime for operation.

If you still have issues with the resistor installed, you may want to bypass the chime and go with Ring's Wifi Chime option.

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I had the same issue with a SkyBell; the electronic chime would keep "chirping" indefinitely after the doorbell button was released. I solved the problem by putting a resistor in parallel with the chime - for the reasons explained above by Harper. I found the correct size resistor empirically - I started with a 1K Ohm resistor (didn't solve the problem), and worked my way down. I ended up using a 470 Ohm resistor, and that solved the problem, but the value isn't critical - I also tried a 330 and 220 Ohm resistor and they both worked too, but I went with the highest value that solved the problem reliably (470) for the permanent fix. I measured 21VAC at the chime when the bell is rung, which is 45mA through 470 Ohms, and just under 1W of power. I used a 2W resistor because I had one handy, but a 1W unit would have worked just as well, especially since the 21VAC is present only briefly when the doorbell is rung. (a 25-33 Ohm resistor, in my case would have been WAY too low, and 20-50W way overkill. Use alligator clip jumpers and start high at 1K Ohm and work down like I did, then it's a simple matter to use Ohm's law to calculate the power.) As a side benefit, the tone of the chime itself sounds better to me now - not harsh like it was before.

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I’ve found that with some of these issues where the home doorbell rings randomly that sometimes the two wires for the doorbell are actually touching. Especially with older doorbells the rubber insulation around the two wires dries out and cracks and allows the two to interact, causing intermittent/random ringing. Use electrical tape to make a repair and put it all back together and this could be one solution to the problem.

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