Does your wireless doorbell or door chime seem to randomly ring? Have you ever seen a visitor push your neighbor's push button and your doorbell sound? If so, you could have wireless doorbell interference from competing wireless devices.
This article covers:
Basics communication of a wireless doorbell push button and receiver
Privacy codes and how to change them
Common reasons for wireless doorbell frequency interference
This is a question that seems to come up frequently with many of our customers. Usually, what spurs the call is someone's door chime randomly chiming without anyone at the front door.
In some cases, this could be due to a faulty device, low battery, etc., but more often than not, this is caused by a nearby device triggering a wireless doorbell frequency interference. Your neighbor uses their device and it causes your chime to ring. To understand why this happens, we first need a very basic understanding of the wireless door chime and how communication between the door chime transmitter (wireless push button) and the receiver work.
Technically, the wireless doorbell button is a wireless transmitter. When the visitor at your front door pushes the button, the wireless door chime button transmits a wireless signal to a wireless door chime receiver. The transmitter and receiver are communicating on a specific frequency so they can communicate effectively. If your neighbor, for example, has a wireless product that is operating on the same frequency, interference could be the culprit and cause your door chime to ring "randomly."
The FCC only allows certain "usable" frequency bands available for public use, so a wireless doorbell frequency change can be tricky. We all familiar with our car radio tuner. When you find the radio station you want to listen to, you are essentially making sure your radio receiver is tuned into the frequency of your favorite radio station's broadcast.
For cost reasons, most manufacturers use the 300MHz to 433MHz bands for their doorbell frequency range. The actual communications between the two devices (or multiple devices) occurs on sub-frequencies (or channels) within the given frequency band. If two close-by products are operating on the same frequency, interference may occur.
Wireless doorbells, and almost all other wireless products for that matter, therefore operate within a given frequency range. For example, we have a doorbell that operates at 315 MHz when it transmits a signal from the push button to the wireless receiver. If some other device within the range of the transmitter and receiver is operating on that same frequency, those signals will interfere with each other.
This is really the same problem that happens when a neighbor’s device randomly seems to ring your device-- or when a baby monitor picks up people talking. Or how about a walkie-talkie; you put it on a channel and can hear other people talking on that same channel. All of these things are occurring because it's all happening on the same frequency.
Most wireless doorbells and/or chimes on the market today have what are called "privacy codes" or channel selectors. Privacy codes provide the ability to change the actual operating frequency of the wireless doorbell. When I mentioned earlier that we have a doorbell that operates at 315 MHz, in reality, it operates within a given range around 315 MHz. Privacy codes on the back of the receiver and on the back of the doorbell transmitter enable you to manually change the operating frequency.
A good way to think of it is after changing the privacy code, the transmitter sends a signal at 315.5 MHz. When the receiver has privacy codes and they are set to 315.5 MHz, those two components are operating at exactly the same frequency. The likelihood of another device operating at 315.5 MHz is slim.
Changing the privacy code on a product, whether it is a receiver or a button, will change the operating frequency of that product. If you have a button and a receiver, for example, you must change the privacy code on both products or else they won't be able to communicate with each other.
Privacy codes will help avoid interference, and they also enable you to do things like pair specific push buttons with certain receivers. A business may want to have a push-button work with a receiver in the receptionist’s office and have a different push-button work with the receiver in the warehouse manager’s office. By selecting privacy codes and matching the devices to the respective components, you are ensuring that your chimes operate correctly.
If you’re still confused on how changing privacy codes will prevent doorbell interference,
give us a call at 1-800-366-7235 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will help you sort it out.