Doorbell "button"

Have a super strong e-switched magnet at the knocker arm bottom that keeps it pinned to the door, and blurts out upon touch: "Do I know you?", then releases after a couple seconds... for a few seconds. Or alerts the face recognition system... you... yada yada yada... then you release it.

The old way was a mechanical latch and solenoid release mechanism.

Nowadays they keep entire doors shut with electro-magnets all the time, so keeping the knocker arm pinned would be easy.

Reply to
DecadentLinuxUserNumeroUno
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Make 'em use linux to ring the doorbell. Let them figure out the CLI command required to do so.

makes the visitor

Why is that not surprising?

Reply to
mike

Hardly. You've presented them with a challenge to be met and provided a diversion from the normally boring and frustrating task of selling door to door.

My version of that was setting up flat bed scanners for customers. At the time, such scanners were fairly new and few mortals knew how they operated. I would set up the scanner, install the software, and then fumble around looking for something to scan. There's nothing better than scanning money, so I would dive into my wallet and proclaim that it's empty. I would then ask the customer for a $20 bill to scan. The scanner demonstration and tutorial would normally last about 15-30 minutes, during which time the customer would invariably forget about his $20 bill, which I would pocket when done. Unfortunately, I'm disgustingly honest and would later confess to the theft, or give a $20 credit on the bill. Unfortunately, this can no longer be done.

Now, back to your doorbell. Perhaps what you need is just a 12 button keypad (calculator style, not telephone style). Push ANY button, and it rings the doorbell. My guess(tm) is that a random visitor, who has not been previously informed of the trick, will hesitate and not push any of the buttons. Mission accomplished and you have your salesperson deterrent.

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Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com 
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Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Yes. I need to be able to "authenticate" certain visitors so can't rely on something as "dumb" as a doorbell to tell me that!

Likewise, I don't want the "annunciator" to actually *signal* a visitor's presence. Rather, just an "input" that I can respond to as I see fit. And, ideally, providing feedback to the visitor ALSO "as I see fit" -- so, I can let them think they've "rung the bell (or not) regardless of whether or not I've actually been "disturbed"/alerted by it.

They'd be "unconventional" but wouldn't really "confound". Sort of like making a door knocker out of *glass* ("Gee, that's unusual!" -- but they would still KNOW its purpose)

Remember, it can't be too much of a novelty. I don't want to encourage people to "show their friends". E.g., a teeny-tiny little bell that "rings" like a large GONG!

I want to leave them "uneasy" rather than "amused".

(flush) Lever off a toilet? (and a little suspicious "puddle" nearby that they *will* avoid getting their feet in!)

Reply to
Don Y

Even weirder.

We have a doorbell/intercom. When people ring, we can ask them what they want. If it's not interesting, we say "no, thank you" and switch them off.

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John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc 
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Reply to
John Larkin

I think right pondian culture may be different. Here, a "polite notice" would have very little effect.

The *neighborhood* has a prominent notice: "No Soliciting" It isn't worth the paper it was printed on! :-/

Folks routinely walk through the neighborhood knocking on EVERY door trying to peddle .

"Hi, we're in the neighborhood replacing one of your neighbor's windows..." (Oh, really? WHICH NEIGHBOR? Wouldn't I be smarter to wait until you are DONE and then ask that neighbor for his opinion of your product and workmanship? How does my "purchase" BEFORE the fact work to my benefit??)

"We're going to be repainting the house numbers on the street curb and want to know if you'd like yours done, as well?" (Do I look like I have trouble finding *my* house? Did you not notice the large brass numerals prominently affixed to the house above the garage door?)

"Hi, we're (not from this part of town, but) trying to send our class to . Would you consider buying some overpriced candy to help us (and, if we sell ENOUGH of it, we'll be sure to come back next year to pester you suckers^H^H^H kind folks for we plan on doing, then!)"

"Hi, we're trying to get an issue on the ballot to limit the ability of people to put issues on the ballot. Would you care to sign our petition?"

"Hi, I'm Joe Shmoe. I'm running for . I wonder if I could have a moment of your time to discuss my candidacy?"

[These are (paraphrased) ACTUAL encounters we've had, here]

I think their reasoning is something along the lines of: Heck, I'm *here*. Any house I *don't* visit makes this a less profitable undertaking than I had hoped. BOTHERING the homeowners can't possibly be any worse than NOT MAKING MY PITCH TO THEM (i.e., no pitch == no sale; bothering them at least has the *possibility* of a sale! They just haven't yet realized that they want what I am selling!!)

We get robocalls for the same item(s), repeatedly. E.g., once a week for 6 or 8 *months*. "Um, what makes you think I will want it *this* time when I haven't wanted it any of the past *25* times you've called??"

Again, easier/safer to place the call (and annoy the callee) than to AVOID placing the call (and DEFINITELY losing the sale).

[I have yet to find a good FXS/FXO adapter to "fix" the phone system]

We routinely encounter bicyclists trying to "cut the corner" (two major cross streets) by traveling through our neighborhood. I'm not sure if they are getting this information from a GPS unit (navigation aid) *or* just 'reasoning" that there

*should* be a way through the neighborhood.

They are invariably annoyed when they encounter the gate that the subdivision behind us has installed across the roadway connecting our subdivisions (it's been there for at least 20 years -- but still appears as a navigable road on GPS maps!).

So, instead of a shortcut, they end up putting in an extra mile to get into the subdivision, encounter the gate and then have to get back *out*!

[Some years back, a fellow who had assaulted his girlfriend drove through the neighborhood to evade police -- carjacking another neighbor's vehicle in the process. "Shortcut". Boy, was he surprised when he found himself in an area with no outlet!]
Reply to
Don Y

A timer with an LCD message - "your knock has been recorded and will be forwarded in 30 seconds - please wait."

"29 seconds -please wait." etc

or just use a numbered chit system "Please take a number and go away"

Reply to
David Eather

A doorbell button that looks like it is the trigger of a mouse trap.

Reply to
David Eather

A doorbell that *is* a mousetrap! And, "twitches" when you make contact with it -- followed by the *sound* of it "snapping"!

Paramedic #1: "Gee, I wonder what happened to this guy?" Paramedic #2: "Looks like a massive heart attack. I wonder what spooked him, standing here on the front porch??"

Reply to
Don Y

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Reply to
bitrex

Even better:

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Reply to
bitrex

Don Y wrote in news:mcfmac$nc1$ snipped-for-privacy@speranza.aioe.org:

How about presenting them with several door bells. I'm thinking of three of the normal door bells perhaps arranded together or around the entryway. They may or may not provide hints.

I'd then hide the real door bell button in something non-obvious like a brick that you have to touch. I'd use a couple intersecting IR detectors so it could be any brick or location inn the entryway. It might have a subtle hint that it might provide some function. All the other buttons are distractors or perhaps leads to the real button.

Reply to
David LaRue

Yes, in my original post, I suggested "a *group* of buttons". But, that probably is only a minor setback -- press them one at a time in succession until someone answers the door, etc.

The "group" could all be non-pushable buttons to further frustrate/confound. Or, *do* "other things" (visible to the visitor -- like turn on the irrigation for the hanging plants; turn on a porch light; etc.). So, the visitor gets distracted into sorting out what the buttons ACTUALLY do instead of trying to "ring the bell" ("Oh, crap! How do I turn that water off now that a button press turned it ON? It's dripping all over the place!!")

The point is to make this an "unsatisfying experience".

I think my best compromise is the HAL9000 approach. It's "unexpected". It contains no explicit (or implicit!) directions as to how it *should* be used (do you look into it? talk to it? wave your hands in front of it? whistle at it? etc.). It's not "cute" like a moving doorbell button might be. It's not aggressive/hostile tempting you to take a swipe at it (when no one is apparently home). It's not "consumable" (like a knocker that falls off in your hand).

And, it gives me an obvious place to put the camera that "watches" the visitor (from the front) and "intercom" (speaker + microphone).

It may take some work coming up with suitable pieces of glass, optics, etc. (a round bottom flask would be a good starting point! but, as they are tempered glass, I suspect they would be hard to "cut" precisely). I think there's a group of glass blowers here in town

9articans) that I could approach for "one off". And, possibly get the *exact* shape that I need (instead of trying to approximate it from bits of existing glassware).
Reply to
Don Y

Make them all part of the process: no one button works, but a particular (maybe timed) sequence does.

George

Reply to
George Neuner

Yeah, it would undoubtedly frustrate a caller. But, I don't think it would "set him back on his heels"/confound him. He'd eventually treat it as a "broken doorbell".

By contrast, the coin slot, HAL9000, etc. would really catch him off-guard! While N "buttons" might cause him to press *each* of them (instead of "gambling" on a single choice), the coin slot would have him contemplating whether or not he wants to "risk" a quarter (dollar?) to see what the coin slot *does*!

(i.e., make it just issue a "Thank You" message -- and do nothing else! :> )

[I wonder how many folks would actually scratch their curiosity "itch" in this way?]
Reply to
Don Y

What's the caller's objective? For most, I'd expect that it is to contact the resident. I'd start banging on the door.

I get few callers. But for those few, almost none ring the doorbell. They knock on the door.

The people you most want to talk to seem to do neither. Guy who came to discuss the fiber install hung a tag on the door and left. When queried, he said it was early and he didn't want to disturb. Cost him another trip...go figger...

Reply to
mike

Oh boy! mike wants to get all TEMPEST secure!

As if you had anything important to shield.

IF you are smart enough to want and choose the right "fiber install", you are smart enough to do it yourself.

The wire guy is likely in the area every day anyway. Another trip by your place is no big deal. Not like the more hectic cable TV installer regimen.

fiber install

mike

hahahaha

can you say overkill?

Reply to
DecadentLinuxUserNumeroUno

Well, that depends on how the caller is "motivated". If you've been paid to walk the neighborhood and knock on doors WITH NO (monetary) INCENTIVE to "make sales", then you'd be content just to *look* like that is what you were doing.

OTOH, if it's *your* business you are promoting (or you have been incentivized to promote it!), you might be a bit less "ready" to walk away from that potential contact. As I said before, if you don't contact the occupant, you're pretty likely NOT going to make the sale.

OToOH, if you annoy the occupant (e.g., wake me up too early in the morning!), then you've probably lost ANY chance of making a sale *and* risk having the occupant gripe to his neighbors about your behavior.

Most will walk away and leave a card/leaflet in the hope that you later read it (before discarding it!). Some will return at a later time/date.

As our delivery guys (USPS, UPS, FedEx) appear to be "regulars" (perhaps they have "assigned routes"?), they typically just knock and leave the item -- even if a signature is required, etc. (they'll leave the item *and* the slip to be signed KNOWING I'll "do the right thing" by them).

We can keep people away from the door thereby making this impractical. (of course, they could "yell" or pound on the side of the house... but, I suspect they ALL know this would be "bad form")

We don't have that problem. Folks "making deliveries" or "stopping by to chat" know our living habits and tend to "fit in" with them. None of them typically wants the "trip" (to our door) to have been wasted.

That sort of "visit" wouldn't be a cold call, for us. We'd insist on knowing *when* you were going to come by -- we're not going to sit around WAITING for you to grace us with your presence (esp if you're looking to convince us to spend money on your product or service!).

Didn't make the appointed time? Be sure you can show us the *CAST* where you broke your arm/leg/etc.! Or, the "zipper" on your breast bone from the OH surgery!

Reply to
Don Y

What about...

- A ten turn potentiometer with a scale, like the one used for this "delay time" control here:

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Cheers Dimitrij

Reply to
Dimitrij Klingbeil

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