How to Avoid Interference with Your Neighbor's Doorbell
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 or a 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.
Understanding How the Push Button and Receiver Speak to Each Other
Technically, the doorbell button is a wireless transmitter. When the visitor at your front door pushes the button, the 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.
Change Your Privacy Codes to Prevent Doorbell Interference
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.All wireless Carlon door chimes use small copper wires to change privacy codes. Take a look at the image below that illustrates what they look like and how to change them:
Changing The Security Codes On Heath Zenith Wireless Chimes
Heath Zenith Wireless Chimes use radio frequency to communicate between the push button or transmitter and the chime unit, also known as the receiver.
Our chimes are designed with 128 different security code possibilities to help ensure that it will work in any environment. However, on rare occasions, outside interference or another wireless product may cause your chime system to operate when no one is pressing the push button.
By simply removing, adding or repositioning a jumper or flipping a switch or two, depending on the model of your chime or push button, you can quickly and easily find a code setting with no outside interference.
Be sure to read and follow all the instructions and warnings included with your chime and push button. You can also download a PDF version of your manual as well as view other informational videos at www.hzsupport.com.
Your new push button will have eight jumpers or DIP switches. Some Heath Zenith Wireless Chimes will also have eight jumpers or DIP switches. Position 8 determines the chime tune selection and does not affect the code setting. See your manual or find additional videos on our website that will discuss tune selection.
Jumpers or switches 1 through 7 are used to program security code for your chime system. Positions 1 through 7 must match exactly on the push button and the chime for them to communicate with each other.
Any changes made to one unit must also be made on the other unit. Locate the jumpers or DIP switches on the chime base. If the chime has a removable cover, the jumpers or DIP switches will be located behind the cover.
If the chime does not have removable cover, then the jumpers or DIP switches will be located on the rear of the chime or in the battery compartment.
If the chime is a plug-in style chime, remove the chime from the AC power source and open the small panel on the rear with a screwdriver. Now open the push button by carefully inserting a small screwdriver into the slot at the bottom of the push button and twisting.
The cover will pop off and the jumpers or DIP switches are located on the circuit board. If the jumpers or DIP switches have not been changed yet, you will notice that there are three jumpers on pins 5, 6 and 7 or DIP switches 5, 6 and 7 are in the on position.
As a matter of convenience for the customer, all Heath Zenith chimes and push buttons are shipped with security code settings in these three positions. So any push button or chime you purchase will work together straight out of the package.
To change a security code, add, remove or simply move the jumpers on your chime in any combination. Now make the same changes to all push buttons that you want to work with the chime. As an example, you can move the number 7 jumper to the number 1 position on both the chime and the push button.
If your push button has DIP switches instead of jumpers, you can move the number 7 jumper to the number 1 position on the chime and on the push button, switch number 7 DIP switch to off and the number 1 DIP switch to on.
Anytime you experience interference with your chime, simply change the security code on both the chime and any push buttons until the interference goes away.
Just remember, whatever changes you make to locations 1 through 7 on the chime, you will need to make the same changes on all push buttons.
The instructions that come with your chime will explain how to set it up or find additional videos on our website that will show you how to set up and use your new Heath Zenith chime as well as other products available for your home.
Your security code has now been changed. You can now enjoy your new chime system without interference from an outside source.
We know this is a confusing topic. If you’re product is experiencing interference from other devices and you need help changing privacy codes, please give us a call at 1-800-366-7235 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will help you sort it out and help you get your product working the right way.