FAQ About Doorbells, Door Chimes, & Entrance Alerts

Frequently Asked Questions About Wired Doorbell, Door Chimes, Entrance Alerts & Driveway Alarms

Please browse our collection below (work in progress) of frequently asked customer questions.  If you cannot find an answer to your question, please email us or give us a call at 904-245-1184

ERA Extended Range Alert Product Questions

This applies to the following ERA transmitters (ERA-DSTX, ERA-UTX, ERA-PIR)

-The ERA-DCRX (receiver) has four zone indicator lights that blink when triggered.

-When the battery is low in a transmitter paired to a corresponding zone, the zone indicator LED for that light will blink for 10 minutes when that zone is triggered.

-When the battery is low in a transmitter paired to a corresponding zone, the melody for that zone will play twice (normally the melody will play only one time).

For the ERA-PIR-SPK:  when the battery is low, the melody will play twice, instead of once.

With a range of up to 4,000 ft., there are extreme situations where the ERA-UTX transmitter (push button) may not connect with your ERA-DCRX wireless plugin receivers.  Thick concrete, steel doors, or other factors may reduce the wireless signal so much that you cannot achieve the distance you need.

A solution to the problem can be achieved using the normally open relay in the ERA-UTX.  The illustration below shows an example of how a wired push button is wired to the ERA-UTX wireless transmitter.

When the wired push button is pressed, it triggers the wireless transmitter to the wireless receiver.  By placing the wired button outside and placing the wireless transmitter inside, the number of barriers the radio signal has to go through is dramatically reduced, thus improving the wireless signal and range from transmitter to receiver.

  • This same scenario works with a wired magnetic door contact.
  • Polarity is not important.
  • Use a non-lighted wired push button only.  A lighted button will drain the battery from the wireless transmitter.
  • Use the normally open relay on the transmitter.  They are not labeled on the unit itself, wire it as in the image below.


How to Connect An External Device to the C-Form Relay on the ERA-DCRX

*Please note, in most cases it is sufficient to use the 12V DC outputs to connect an external device to the systemFor these instructions on this process, click here.

Each ERA-DCRX receiver has 1 x C-form relay for integrating and connecting external devices.  Unlike the 12V DC outputs (1 per zone) on the receiver, the C-Form relay DOES NOT supply power to the external device you are connecting to it.

Why use the C-Form relay?

The C-Form relay offers advantages and flexibility the 12V DC outputs do not offer.  For example, with the 12VDC output, the device you are powering has to be rated for 12V or less.  In addition, the external device you are connecting has to have a max current below 400mA.  This is not the case with the C-Form relay as it does not supply the power, but rather functions more like a switch.

Another advantage of the relay is that it’s not limited to one zone.  There are dip-switches on the ERA-DCRX that allows you to associate the device on the C-Form relay with any combination of the four zones.  Let’s say, for example, you have to push buttons, one for zone one, and another for zone two.  You might want to put a different colored strobe light on each of these zones.  Red on zone one and blue on zone two.  Push button A triggers the zone 1 melody and the red strobe, and push button B triggers the zone 2 melody and the blue strobe. You like the fact that the strobes provide a good visual notification, but want something really loud.  Using the C-Form relay, you add a loud siren or firebell to also trigger when one (or both) of the push buttons are pressed.

How to connect an external device to the C-Form Relay?

In this example, we are going to connect a 12V DC firebell to the relay and make the assumption you have a push button programmed to zone one (1) and another push button programmed to zone two (2).

1) Make sure plug-in transformer is NOT plugged in and ERA-DCRX receiver is NOT plugged in.

2) Flip dip switches 1 & 2 up, 3 &4 down.  This setting associates the C-Form relay with zones 1 and 2.

3) Set duration time.  This will determine how long the external device will turn on.

4) Connect black wire from firebell to the “NO” terminal screw on section labeled “relay.”

5) Connect red wire from firebell to left terminal screw on plug-in transformer.

6) Use a wire to connect right terminal screw on the plugin transformer (ignore the center screw on transformer) to the “COM” terminal screw on the ERA-DCRX output section labeled relay.

7) Plug everything back in and start using!

Using the C-Form Relay on the ERA-DCRX
Using the C-Form Relay on the ERA-DCRX

Below are brief instructions on how to connect a 12V DC device, such as a strobe light, siren, buzzer, etc. to a zone on the ERA-DCRX receiver.

1. Unplug the receiver.
2. Separate top receiver case from bottom receiver case.
3. Locate terminal block (see image below) located on the bottom of the pc board.

ERA: How to Wire a 12V DC Device to Your ERA Receiver

4. Loosen screws for the zone(s) that you are connecting a device to.
5. Wire the external 12V DC into the terminal connection blocks that
corresponds to the respective zone. For example, if a push button is
paired to zone 1, and you want a strobe to flash for zone 1, wire the
strobe into the terminal block for zone 1.

ERA: How to Wire a 12V DC Device to Your ERA Receiver
6. Observe polarity when necessary. For example, for a strobe light,
ensure you are connecting the positive wire on the strobe to the positive
terminal on the receiver.
7. Re-tighten screws on terminal block.
8. Adjust output duration as needed (see image below)

ERA: How to Wire a 12V DC Device to Your ERA Receiver

9. Snap cover back together.
10. Plug in receiver.In the image below, there are two different 12V DC devices connected, one per zone.

Each of the four (4) zones on the ERA-DCRX receiver has a live 12V DC output.

These outputs enable you to connect an external device to the output to activate when that zone is triggered.

For example, let’s say you operated a loud workshop and when loud machinery is turned on, it’s hard to hear the receiver.  The live 12V DC outputs provides a couple of options.

One option is using a 12V DC LED Strobe Light and connect it to the output for a zone.  When a visitor arrives and presses the compatible push button, the ERA-UTX, not only does the paired receiver(s) play the chosen chime sound, the bright strobe light will provide a good visual indicator.

Safeguard Supply provides packaged kits that come with a strobe light (4 colors to choose from) along with “bellwire” (a bundle of 18AWG wire), as well as the push button and receiver in the WDK-ERA-STROBE.

Another option would be to connect a loud 105 dB rated siren to the 12V DC output.  When a visitor arrives, the chime plays, and the siren plays a very loud sound to alert you that a visitor has arrived.

Like the WDK-ERA-KIT, Safeguard Supply also has the WDK-ERA-KIT with options like a FIREBELL, SIREN, and Chrome Enclosed Buzzer to choose from.

Each zone has its own 12 V DC output.  That means you can mix and match 12V accessories, like a different strobe color for each zone, to help you better determine which push button or magnetic entrance alert was triggered.

The only real limitation with the ERA series of products are the number of zones.  As mentioned in a previous FAQ article, you can pair as many transmitters to a specific zone as you want.

There’s not a limit to the number of receivers you can have in your system.  Whether you have 1, 2, or 4 different transmitters, you can have as many receivers as you want and can spread them throughout your warehouse, store or office space.

This type of configuration allows you to distribute the sound throughout your facility.  You may, for example, play a receiver in the warehouse and turn the volume up to its maximum setting.  However, because you might keep your door shut in your office, you may want to put your own ERA-DCRX receiver in the office and turn the volume down–or even mute it.

The ERA-DCRX is a four (4) zone receiver meaning each zone will play a distinct sound.  You can program / pair as many transmitters (such as a push button) to a zone as you want, but all the transmitters in that zone will play the melody selected for that zone.

For example, zone 1 may be set to play the “ding-dong” sound.  When any transmitter paired to the zone is triggered, the receiver will play the “ding-dong” sound.  In this example, I have a push button on the front door paired to zone 1.

For zone 2, I want to program a push button for the back door.  When programming, I set that zone to play the Westminster  Chime.  When that push button is triggered, the receiver will play the Westminster Chime.

This enables you to distinguish a visitor at the front door versus the back door.

Watch the video below to program the ERA-PIR transmitter to the ERA-DCRX receiver.

If you are trying to find information on pairing the ERA-UTX transmitter to the receiver, click here.  Or,  you can watch this video and rather than triggering the passive infrared motion sensor (ERA-PIR), simply trigger the ERA-UTX by pressing the push button on the unit.

Each ERA-DCRX receiver has 1 x C-Form relay for integration into an external device.  Please consult the illustration below for information on how to wire.  Please note–unlike the 12V DC outputs on the receivers, the C-Form relay does not supply power.

ERA: USing the C-Form Relay
ERA: USing the C-Form Relay

LRA Long Range Alert Product Questions

Push Button 1 is programmed to Zone 1 on Receivers A, B, C and D (each of the four offices have their own receiver).  When someone presses push button #1,  it will trigger receivers A, B, C, and D to play the “Ding-Dong” sound.  So each office with their own receiver will hear “Ding-Dong” and know it is for the front door.

Push Button 2 is programmed to Zone 2 on Receivers A, B, C and D (each of the four offices have their own receiver).  When someone presses push button #2, it will trigger receivers A, B, C, and D to play the “Westminster” sound.  So each office with their own receiver will hear “Westminster” and know it is for the back door (push button #2).

Push Button 3 is programmed to Zone 3 on Receivers A, B, C and D (each of the four offices have their own receiver).  When someone presses push button #3,  it will trigger receivers A, B, C, and D to play the “Car Horn” sound.  So each office with their own receiver will hear “Car Horn sound” and know it is for side door 1 (push button #3).

Push Button 4 is programmed to Zone 4 on Receivers A, B, C and D (each of the four offices have their own receiver).  When someone presses push button #4,  it will trigger receivers A, B, C, and D to play the “Siren” sound.  So each office with their own receiver will hear “Siren sound” and know it is for side door 2 (push button #4).

Locate the two buttons located on the side of the receiver.  The program button is a solid dot and the melody selector button has a musical note symbol next to it.

Hold down the programming button for approximately 3 seconds until you see a solid red LED inside the strobe light lens.

Let go of the programming button–the red LED should stay on.

Simultaneously, hold down the programming and melody selector buttons together for approximately 5 seconds until you hear a short tone sound.

Let go of the buttons.  You should now see the red LED flashing rapidly.

A flashing red LED denotes programming mode.

-When I try to enter programming mode on the receiver, the red LED is not flashing, it is a solid red LED that does not flash:

This signifies that the two zones of the receiver are programmed/occupied by transmitters.

To program transmitters, you must delete the memory of the receiver.

Watch this short video demonstrating programming LRA push buttons to the LRA-DCRXS receiver.

Programming Push Buttons to the LRA-DCRXS Plugin Receiver

To change a programmed melody on the LRA-DCRXS (plugin strobe receiver) you must erase the memory and reprogram.  During programming, you can select the melody you want for each transmitter.

Please note, the melody associated with a zone on the LRA-DCRX may be changed without deleting the memory.

Using the Relay on the LRA-DCRX to Connect External Device

LRA-DCRX Receiver Relay Image

The LRA-DCRX receiver features a relay that may be used to integrate and activate an external device.  For example, a strobe light, 12V DC output, or other devices may be configured to trigger when the relay on the receiver activates.

Tips & Notes:

  • The unit WILL NOT supply power to the external device.  The external device must have a separate power supply.
  • The relay ONLY works with Zone 4 on the receiver.  For the relay to work, there must be a transmitter paired with Zone 4.
  • The relay DOES NOT provide power.LRA-DCRX Relay Diagram
  • The relay may be set to normally open or normally closed.
  • Ensure the relay is set to the “on” position.
  • Set the duration of output to 2 seconds or 5 seconds.

In this example we will wire a 12V DC siren to sound when the push button paired to Zone 4 is triggered.

What you will need:

  • A LRA trasmitter (push button, door contact, etc.) paired to zone 4 of the LRA-DCRX receiver.
  • 12V DC siren
  • Extra wire (as needed)
  • External power device used to power the 12V DC siren.  In this example we are using a 16.5 VAC /40VA Class II plugin transformer.  Please make sure the power supply you use will supply the necessary power to the external device.
  1.  Ensure the power supply is unplugged.
  2. Wire one wire of the siren into one of the “normally open” connectors on back of the receiver (see image below).
  3. Wire the other wire of the siren to the plug-in transformer (see image below).
  4. Take a wire and connect one end into the other slot of the “normally open” relay.
  5. Take the other end of that same wire and connect it to the transformer (see image below).
  6. Plug in the transformer.  Ensure the receiver is powered on–test.

LRA-DCRX Relay Wiring to External Device-Updated

  • The LRA-DCRX, LRA-DCRXA, and LRA-VPRX each have four zones.
  • Each of these zones can only have one (1) transmitter at at time stored in that zone’s memory.
  • It does not matter what Zone you program or pair your transmitter(s) to..they are all the same.  The purpose of the zones is to allow you to assign a distinct melody to each zone so that you may determine what sensor triggered the receiver.
  • When trying to pair a transmitter, such as the LRA-DSTX, LRA-DCTX, & the LRA-PBTX, if there is already a transmitter paired to a zone, then you must delete that memory for the zone in order to program the new transmitter to the zone.
  • Even though you may not have intentionally paired a transmitter to a zone, if you are having trouble programming, it’s good practice to delete the zone and start over.  For more information on deleting a zone from memory, click here.
  • The instructions below illustrated how to pair a push button (LRA-PBTX) to a receiver (LRA-DCRXA).  The process for pairing other receivers is similar.  For information on pairing the LRA plug in strobe receiver, the LRA-DCRXS, please click here.
  • Once you are in programming mode (step 3 below), the unit will automatically exit programming mode after 10 seconds.
    1. Ensure the receiver has fresh batteries or you are using a plug-in wall transformer to power the unit.
    2. Open the cover of the receiver

FAQ About Doorbells, Door Chimes, & Entrance Alerts 1

    1. Press & hold the “Zone selector button” for approximately three (3) seconds until the strobe light flashes, and zone “ID” one (1) starts to blink.  Then, stop pressing the Zone selector button.
    2. IMPORTANT: If you want to program or pair a transmitter to Zone ID 1, move to the next step.  If you already have a transmitter / sensor programmed to Zone ID 1 and want to pair an additional sensor/ transmitter, push the Zone selector button to scroll to the zone ID you would like to program.  Once the Zone ID you want to program the sensor to is blinking, move to the next step.
    3. Press the “Melody selector” button to scroll through the melodies available on this receiver.  When you hear the melody you would like to program to that zone, stop pressing the Melody selector button.
    4. Press the button on the push button transmitter

FAQ About Doorbells, Door Chimes, & Entrance Alerts 2

  1. If you have additional transmitter / receivers to program, go back to step 4.  Otherwise, go to the next step.
  2. Now your transmitter(s) are programmed to the receiver.  To exit programming mode, press the Zone selector button to scroll through the Zones.  Once  you pass Zone ID 4, the unit will automatically exit programming mode.

Watch the video below for a programming demonstration:

  • Once a transmitter / sensor is programmed to a zone on a LRA series receiver, a new transmitter / sensor cannot be added to that zone until the memory of that zone is deleted.For example, if you have previously programmed a LRA-PBTX push button to Zone 1 on your receiver and after a few years of use you want to replace the push button.  Prior to programming your new push button to the receiver, you must delete the old transmitter that is locked into Zone 1 memory.The instructions below illustrate how to delete the zone memory from the LRA-DCRX and LRA-DCRXA memroy.  The process for the LRA-VPRX is slightly different, but the basic concept is the same.  To delete memory from the LRA-DCRXS Plug-in Strobe Receiver, click here.
    • Make sure you are deleting the right zone. If the transmitter/sensor is programmed to zone I, for example, the Roman Numeral for zone I will flash when triggered.
    • Enter programming mode my holding down the zone selector
      button for approximately three (3) seconds.  The strobe will flash and the icon for Zone I should start flashing.Programming the LRA-DCRX Receiver
    • Once the strobe flashing and you are in programming mode, stop pressing the zone selector button.
    • If you would like to delete the memory in zone one, skip to the next step.  If you want to delete the memory from another zone, press the zone selector button to scroll to the zone you wish to delete.
    • Once you are at the right zone, hold down the zone selector button AND the melody button (at the same time) for approximately five (5) seconds. You will hear a short tone sound. This zone has been deleted.
    • Next, press the program button to skip through the other zones.
    • Once you pass zone IV , the zone lights will stop flashing, signaling it is out of pairing/programming mode.

Removing batteries or unplugging the transformer from the LRA-DCRX will not delete any programming.

Lra Dstx Sensor Transmitter Side Angle
Lra Dstx Sensor Transmitter Side Angle

The LRA-DR1000 is a long range wireless driveway monitoring kit that consists of two pieces, the LRA-DSTX (sensor/transmitter) and the LRA-DCRX (receiver).

The transmitter has a passive infrared (PIR) sensor that will detect a combination of motion and heat and when triggered, will send a wireless signal up to 1,000 ft. to the receiver.

For programming, we have a video that walks you through pairing the driveway alarm transmitter to the receiver.

You can also watch the video here:

The LRA-C1000 is a long range entry alert product designed for businesses, shops, warehouses, and larger homes.

The kit has two components, a transmitter/sensor (LRA-DCTX) and a receiver (LRA-PBTX).  When the sensor is triggered, it transmits a radio signal up to 1,000 ft. to the LRA-PBTX receiver.

PLEASE NOTE:  whenever a manufacturer provides you with a range, in this case, 1,000 ft., it is derived by an algorithm.  Sometimes you get a little more range, but in most cases you get less range because of interference from environmental factors.

What this means to you is that if you need exactly 1,000 ft., or very close to it, you might have to look at another product like the LH-2500 (entry alert kit with a range of 2,500 ft.)  There is also a range extender that works with our long range doorbell/alert products, the LRA-RPX.

This product, the LRA-C1000 has an additional challenge in that it is mounted on the door and the door frame.  In commercial environments that usually means a metal door and or a metal door frame.  This will cut down on the projected range of this product.

If you know you have the product programmed correctly, but it isn’t working, try moving the receiver closer to the transmitter.  If it starts working, it is a range issue.  If it is a range issue, there are three things we can do:

  1. Try placing double-sided tape, a cardboard shim, or something that will provide some separation between the transmitter and the metal or concrete on the door frame.
  2. Get the LRA-RPX to extend the range up to an additional 1,000 ft.
  3. Upgrade to the LH-2500 long range doorbell entry alert kit.

If you are having problems programming the LRA-C1000, watch this quick video.

Typically there are two reasons why the sound may not be coming out of your LRA-DCRX long range receiver.

First, check the selector switch on the side of the unit. There are three modes you can set the receiver to a) strobe only, b) sound only, and c) strobe and sound. Often times when there’s no sound it is because the selector switch is on sound only.

Second, check the volume control selector. Open the front cover of the receiver and locate the volume adjustment dial. Use a small screwdriver to adjust the sound level.

Take a look at this illustration to get an idea of where the selector switch is located.

  1. Open the cover of the receiver
  2. Hold down the “zone selector” button (the left button) for approximately 3 seconds until zone 1 starts to flash.  Stop pressing the button.  If you are deleting memory from zone 1, move to step 3.
  3. Push the left button again to scroll to the zone where you want to delete memory.  The zone number will flash.
  4. Simultaneously, hold down the zone selector button (on the left) and the melody button (on the right) for approximately 3-5 seconds until you hear a short tone sound.   The short tone sound means the memory has been deleted in that zone.
How to Put the LRA-DCRX Receiver in Program Mode
How to Put the LRA-DCRX Receiver in Program Mode

In most cases, if your LRA-DR1000 is not working correctly, it is because of one of three issues:

1) Photo sensor dip switch is set to night time mode only
2) Sensor/transmitter not paired with receiver correctly
3) Weak or dead batteries in sensor/transmitter

1) Photo Sensor Inside Driveway Sensor (outdoor unit) May Be Set to Nighttime Only Mode:

The LRA-DSTX transmitter/sensor has two operating modes, all-day mode and nighttime only mode. Often times, if the transmitter doesn’t seem to be working, it is because the dip switch is set to nighttime mode only.

To check this setting, please take the top cover off the sensor/transmitter an orientate as in the picture.

Once you have the sensor oriented just like the photo, located the photocell dip switch which will be located directly under the “test” button.

For all-day operation, please ensure the switch is pushed all the way down. If you want nighttime only operation, make sure the switch is in the up position.

2) Transmitter is not Paired Correctly with the Receiver:

Watch this short video on Youtube we put together to help with programming the transmitter/sensor with the receiver

a) Push the program button on the receiver until you hear a short tone sound
b) Once you enter program mode, Zone 1 on the receiver will flash. If you want to pair your transmitter to Zone 1, move to step d). If you want to pair to a different zone, go to the next step.
c) Pushing the program button will move to the next zone. For example, when you enter program mode the receiver is in Zone 1. If you want to pair your receiver to Zone 2, pushing the program button again will move it to Zone 2.
d) Once you are in the Zone you want to program, push the melody selector button until you are the sounds you want the receiver to play when the transmitter/sensor is triggered.
e) Push the “test” button on the sensor (see picture above). You will hear two (2) short ton sounds, letting you know the sensor/transmitter is paired with the receiver.
f) If you want to program another transmitter/sensor to the receiver, go back to step c) above. If you are done programming, press the program button to scroll through all the zones. After you scroll past Zone 4, you are done.

3) Make Sure You Have Fresh Batteries:

Make sure you are using new, Alkaline batteries in both the transmitter and receiver.

There is a product that we carry that would be the perfect solution to your problem and that is the LRA-EX1000 Doorbell Extender by Safeguard Supply. To see this product, view that answer to the question below.

A) If you have a wired doorbell system, the Extend-A-Chime is just what you need. It is available as a kit, the LRA-EX1000.

The kit works like this:  a small, battery powered transmitter is wired into your existing wired door chime.  When a visitor presses the wired push button on your door, you doorbell rings as usual…in addition to that, the small transmitter generates a signal and trigger the receiver that comes in the kit to play a chime sound.

The Extend-A-Chime will allow you to easily increase the range of your current doorbell or door chime system so you will be able to hear it when you are out on your back deck.

If you have a wireless doorbell system, you will need to purchase a compatible receiver for your system. Manufacturer’s vary on how you determine compatibility. If it is a brand we sell, give us a call and we would be happy to help.

The LRA-D1000S kit comes programmed.  The LRA-PBTX and the LRA-DCRXS are programmed and the receiver (LRA-DCRXS) will play a standard “ding-dong” sound when triggered.  The change this melody, please follow the video instructions below.

Contact Information for Product Manufacturers

While we are more than happy to offer technical assistance, it’s often a good idea to contact the manufacturer for more in-depth assistance.  Also, for warranty replacement information, please contact the product manufacturer using the contact information below.

Below you will find a list of manufacturers who has products on 1800doorbell.com.  If you need technical assistance or have an inquiry regarding your warranty, please call the product manufacturer for assistance.   We would be happy to assist you, but calling the manufacturer directly will get you the most technical & warranty support.

By clicking the name of the manufacturer you can find the products we sell by that manufacturer.  Under the company name, we have also listed a link to their website contact us page and/or the company phone number when available.

If you have purchased from our Amazon store and would like to return the product, please use the Amazon Orders portal for your account to facilitate the return.

We would happy to assist you if you are not getting any satisfaction by contacting the product manufacturer, but we do recommend you start by calling them about any technical support or warranty related issue.  If you have purchased the product directly from us withing the past 30-days and want to return the product, please contact us at 1800doorbell.com.

Thomas & Betts: Carlon, Dimango, and Lamson & Sessions Products

For the TX/RX1000A, TX/RX2000A, SL-40, and AV-200

Rodan Electronics

  • Phone:  800-366-71010


Dakota Alerts

Clarity Hearing Alert Products

Comfort Audio Products

Heath-Zenith Chimes and Lighting

Honeywell Doorbells & Chimes

  1. Optex

Safeguard Supply

Milton Products

WC180 Flashing Wireless Plugin Door Chime

Up to 4 receivers can be paired with a single transmitter.

Up to 4 transmitters can be paired with a single receiver. However, since there are only 3 different chime tunes on the receiver, it is suggested to pair up to 3 transmitters by selecting different melodies for each transmitter.

The WC180 has over 16K different transmission (privacy) codes.  When you pair the transmitter with the receiver, the unit will randomly select one of 16,0000 codes to pair.

Yes, we have many wireless doorbell and wireless notification systems that work well for the hard of hearing. These products will also work well for loud environments, such as workshops, where it may be hard to hear a normal door chime.

In most cases these products will feature an alternative way to notify the user, such as a visual notification. For example, the WC180 is a flashing door chime for the hard of hearing. It’s a wireless chime with a strobe light that features a flashing strobe light that is bright and easy to see.