Doorbell "button"

Because their "thinking" is actively discouraged, and "evidence" means their bible. One of the last pair that visited me was a pretty young lady with glassy eyes that didn't respond to anything. Frightening. The other time I've seen that is with a Hare Krishna body that had clearly abdicated from making any decision.

Most effective and most amusing way is to get them into a discussion in which they have to explain what their source book says, and justify why it is a good thing.

Classics are...

"God praised Lot as a good man. Given Lot's previous behavior as described in the bible, if I behaved the same way would you regard me as a good and honorable person?"

"Do you aspire to be a disciple as specified by Christ? I.e. not loving, but someone that hates everyone around them" (Luke 14:26)

Or, of course, any bits from the wonderful diatribe in The West Wing

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But this is somewhat OT, so it is unlikely I will continue this conversation!

Reply to
Tom Gardner
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My daughter has had considerable success with a sign that simply says "No leaflets please. We actively boycott any business that posts leaflets".

I suspect you could adapt that.

I've had some success with a sign saying "Not Foobar Rd". That was necessary because I was repeatedly having deliveries for "Foobar Close" The worst "delivery" was scaffolding up to the roof! The contractor was even less amused than I was.

Satnav's didn't show Foobar Close, presumably since it had only been there for 80 years. Maybe after a century...

Reply to
Tom Gardner

A button incorporating a hidden sensor and actuator which 'presses' itself just as your finger approaches.

Or even better, but much more difficult, a button which moves off to one side just as you're about to push.


Reply to
Syd Rumpo

Don Y wrote in news:mce2ak$avf$

Think about a double action button. Remember the big knobs you have to pull to sound a real bell (with a clapper or tongue)? Take a knob like that and build a button inside (the puss part on top of the knob but not recognizable as such). So the sound your bell, one have both to pull the knob and push the button pretty firmly. (The latter to make sure one does not activate the pushbutton accidently while pulling the knob.)

You can also require a second action from the visitor. Display or sound the message: "There's nobody to answer the door now, speak in your message after the beep." You can record that messages or not but only regular visitors know they have to push once more before the beep.

Patent pending :)

petrus bitbyter

Reply to
petrus bitbyter

If the primary goal is to make newcomers uneasy (just how annoying _are_ the people in your neck of the woods ? :-)) how about the following:

A single push button with inclusive red indicator and a speaker mounted above it.

Press button and the following message is played:

"Warning! Intruder countermeasures system activated. You have 30 seconds to enter authorisation code D Y in morse code."

The official language makes newcomers nervous about what is going to happen when 30 seconds is up, but it's easy enough for regulars to enter the correct code to cause the bell to ring. (Reduce to one morse code letter if two is considered to be too long).

A doorbell which requires a morse code sequence to activate sounds just like the kind of thing which would appeal to you. :-)


Simon Clubley, 
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
Reply to
Simon Clubley

One thought that comes to mind is to install a "Simon" game where the Door bell would be. Of course this would be making noises and entertaining your visitor, but NOT really ringing a bell, you need to knock for that.

Reply to
Richard Damon

One button. When pressed, it announces,"We are currently experiencing heavy door bell ringer traffic. Please wait. You are number 1 in the door bell ringer waiting queue."


Reply to

Traffic ??

Not after this:

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Reply to

"Please stand still with your arms outstretched for backscatter scanning" (LEDs illuminate in a vertical Knight Rider configuration).

Reply to
Spehro Pefhany

We don't want to *encourage* people to "come visit"! E.g., I could set up a slot machine or video poker just as easily :-/

I want to put a discontinuity in their preconceived behavior of "approach door, ring bell, begin spiel". As I said, like NOT having an outgoing message on your answering machine (it tends to leave folks unprepared: "I'm not ready to speak, yet!")

N.B. Simon was derived from an arcade piece called "Touch Me" (which was about the size of an "apartment" washing machine). IIRC, it was just lights, though -- no tones.

Reply to
Don Y

Pretty weird.

John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc 
picosecond timing   laser drivers and controllers 
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Reply to
John Larkin

Ooooo... I *like* that! Followed by "Musak" and the occasional "commercial" ("Ask about our limited time offer: ... BUT WAIT! There's more! If you act now, we'll greet you with not one, but

*two* residents! -- just pay separate shipping and handling...")
Reply to
Don Y


Hi, Don.

Since you plan on using some alternative method for detecting people at the door, how about installing one (or more?) of these:

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but rig them up to be non-functional?

Or, make them trigger an electronic response (ring, ding, or a TV-Addams- Family beeee-yoooup) that can only be heard _outside_ the door? Regular visitors would know that they have to operate exactly two of the devices, say. I especially like the image of someone pulling the line on one of those ship's bells and hearing it (say) ring like a telephone.

On the other hand, that "deer rump" button someone suggested would be a nice touch.

Frank McKenney

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear 
    bright until you hear them speak.
Reply to
Frnak McKenney

Yeah, I thought about the latter of the two. But, it would require a fair bit of engineering (to ensure it is robust *and* doesn't telegraph the fact that it is "movable" BEFORE it is pressed)

But, neither confound the visitor: he/she *knows* what they have to do (though the *reaction* when they have DONE so is "unexpected").

[E.g., I have a *dial* telephone that generates touch tones. People using it (for the first time) can relate to HOW to use it. But, are caught off-guard after dialing the first digit: "boop". Folks who *think* about it beyond that are even more amused: "I can understand the rationale behind a pushbutton phone that generates dial pulse -- the buttons are more convenient, "modern", etc. But, what's the rationale behind a LESS convenient user interface driving a more modern implementation??"]

I'd also thought of a button with a sign above it that says "Do not push" or "out of order". And, when pushed, responds with "I told you NOT to push it!" or "I told you, it's BROKEN".

Or, a cover that slides into place to prevent the button from being pressed, again.

But, that's the same "unexpected reaction" instead of confounding


I want to cause folks to pause *before* they've managed to complete their "autopilot" approach to the house. Like encountering a door without a doorknob...

Reply to
Don Y

Beyond the friggin fringe weird.

Just build an armored box, and put an armored glass in front of it, and stick a display in there. Show "pop up" videos of folks you dislike seeing at your door, and some staged responses, like decpitations, etc..

The folks you expect to see, you inform about the videos, and they know where the real doorbell is to announce their arrival with.

The uninvited stand there jaw dropped, in awe, watching the 'snuff video'.

You could even post a go-pro camera aspect shot of a person approaching your door and watching one of the videos. It would probably go viral as the new way to deter foul would-be trespassers... without ever lifting a finger.

Reply to

There are a few different issues/motivations at play.

One, I *really* don't like being disturbed. Whether it's phone, doorbell, etc. Some of this is a result of my odd sleep/wake/work schedule. Or, that I'm often not "fully clothed" (SWMBO gets annoyed when I answer the door in my BVD's...). But, mostly I just want to focus on whatever *I* decide to spend my time on (not what "some visitor" wants me to spend my time on!).

[OTOH, I "drop everything" if a friend/neighbor needs something. I can always resume my activities later -- unless I'm baking, etc.]

The second is "payback", of sorts, for those (unwanted) folks who feel they *can* impose on my time. They *should* feel "uncomfortable" or "puzzled" and not just take it for granted that they can just walk up to a door and INTRUDE on my life.

The third is entertainment value -- both for me and those *regular* visitors who would undoubtedly chuckle at the novelty (of whatever interface I adopt).

And, finally, it's part of my mantra about the dangers of "assumptions". Encourage people to challenge their own thinking wherever possible.

(Oh, and did I mention I don't like being disturbed??)

But, again, its effect is *after-the-fact*. They *knew* to push the button. It's only after that's been done that they are "surprised".

Things like the coin slot "put ideas in their head" but never

*tell* them that they have to insert a coin to ring the bell ("Shirley that CAN'T be the doorbell!?" ... "Hmmm..." ... "Gee, I don't see anything *else*, here...")

Likewise, a HAL9000 i/f draws their attention -- yet doesn't immediately suggest that it *is* the "visitor announcement system". They'll approach, look at it -- then look around for the doorbell only to return to the HAL9000 when they can't find it!

"OK, now what the hell do I do??"

Reply to
Don Y

We've had people ring the bell. Then, unsatisfied that we didn't immediately "materialize", press it again. Then, knock (thinking that we didn't hear the bell but WOULD hear their knock -- huh??).

Others have rapped on the bedroom window immediately adjoining the front door. Or, the window in the entryway *past* the front door.

"I want something from you (a sale!). Why aren't you attending to my needs?"

[There seems to be this growing sense of impatience, nowadays. E.g., we will be visiting with folks and hear "his" cell phone ring. If he doesn't answer it, we'll hear *her* cell phone ring. If that isn't answered, we'll hear the land line in their house ring. As if the idea that the party you are calling isn't ready/willing to take YOUR CALL at THIS INSTANT would never occur to the caller!]

The solution, thus far, has been to lock the gate leading onto the front porch -- keeping visitors 10-20 feet *from* the door (and the doorbell).

[We may end up (security) screening the front porch so we can make that an extension of the living space. Put things like some houseplants out there, pinball machine, etc. -- and not have to worry about them "growing legs"]
Reply to
Don Y

"Put your left hand on your right shoulder."

"OK, now put your right hand on your right hip."

"OK, now lift your left leg."

"Gee, don't *you* look silly!"

Reply to
Don Y

Separate 'discounted' door answering and conversation fees. "This offer only available if you take both..."

I like my video display Idea, but thinking a bit, I think you should build a huge, gazebo like front porch structure with steel panel slamming "windows" (ala The Forbidden Planet) and entry door that makes the visitor feel like he or she is 100% at your mercy.

As a a sci fi option, you could have one window remain 'open' but lead to a disintegration chamber. :-) (no muss, no fuss)

'Unsuspectima victima' on a placard over the window.

Reply to

I'd thought of an immobil-IZED knocker that senses when it's been touched... and *released* (while not being "actuated") -- then, knocks by itself. Or, at the end of it's "stroke", results in a traditional door chime being sounded (instead of the expected "knock").

But, that's in the category of "unexpected REACTION" instead of "confounding" beforehand.

The coin slot is probably the best example of the sort of reaction I want from folks: "This *can't* possibly be the doorbell! But, it sure LOOKS like that's what it's role is, here! (why else have a coin slot beside the front door with an "Insert Coins" legend?) Let me see what other things are nearby that could be the REAL doorbell..."

but some holier-than-thou ("God speaks to Me") sort would get all bent out of shape over that!

Reply to
Don Y

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