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Doorbell Phones and Paging

Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated ProgrammerPosts: 1,917
Has anyone found a product that adds doorbell phone and wholehouse paging functions to a distributed audio system? We can get the doorbell phone and paging through a panasonic phone system, but it lacks the annoying (but requested) ding-dong sound over the speakers. We can use the ELAN Z600, but it requires some work to get everything to work properly and the doorphone portion doesn't work as well as I'd like.

As I write this, another option comes to mind. Anyone know of a reliable device that will play a sound from a contact closure?



  • Joe HebertJoe Hebert Junior Member Posts: 2,159
    Re: Doorbell Phones and Paging

    Hi Jeff,

    Have you tried CFSound? I'm using this as part of a phone interface solution. It's a pretty sweet product for $120. I haven't done any long term testing with it but so far it's been working great.

    CFSound will play sounds from contact closures or from simple RS-232 commands.


    Hope this helps.

    Originally posted by Spire_Jeff
    Anyone know of a reliable device that will play a sound from a contact closure?
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    One of the things I've done with Panasonic systems is to turn off the audible ring throughout the house, and assign it to an extension with a modem on it. The modem connects directly to a serial port on your NetLinx, and you can watch for the RING message to play a sound throughout the house, or on your touchpanels (which wouldn't require any other hardware if you use the @SOU command). You can also skip the modem and use one of the many ring detection devices out there to generate a contact closure on ring. I like using the modem because it allows me to do other things with the phone system: for example, I have an alarm system set up for a customer where he can set up to 4 alarms on every one of his telephone extensions from any of his touch panels, and the phone rings on alarm. The same modem also talks to his DoorKing gate control. Modems are dirt cheap and you can used them for a lot of things. Yet another thing I have done is watch the SMDR outputs of the Panasonic system to trigger specialized events bsed on the Caller-ID information (warning though, Panasonic doesn't send the CID info until after the call is complete - asi in, after you hang up - when you must have the event happen before the call is picked up, you need a serial CID box). It turns your system into an elaborate distinctive ring generator. When Dad calls home from his cell phone, they know its not just another telemarketer becasue the kitchen lights are flashing...

    I have also used i!-MediaPlayer to play sounds throughout a house on contact and telephone events, but I was never really happy with it. For one thing, you need to dedicate a computer to your system (which is fine if it pre-existed, but hard to justify buying for that purpose); for another, i!-MediaPlayer is just a little flaky. But that's another option.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Thanks for the great suggestions. I'm sure I can get the boss to agree to one of them. I am liking what I briefly read on the CFSound device simply because of the versatility and the options for triggering it.... Why waste a valuable rs232 port if you only need one or two contacts, but still have the option of 232 when you need multiple sounds.
  • Joe HebertJoe Hebert Junior Member Posts: 2,159
    Yes, the RS-232 port does indeed come in handy for multiple sounds. I?m using the CFSound in conjunction with an AMX AXB-DTMF+ to provide a phone interface for control and feedback of a home automation system

  • the8thstthe8thst Junior Member Posts: 470
    For a quick solution that works very well look into the Niles DBI-1


    It has multiple chimes and two contact closures for Door 1 and Door 2. The doors can have different sounding chimes as well.

    The cool part about this is that it outputs a 12v trigger while it is playing the chime and then the trigger goes low when the chime is finished.

    It is a cool inexpensive piece.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Has anyone played with the Denon DN-F400 sound generator piece? I am working on installing one of these for a client to handle doorbell functionality. It seems rather powerful, but it is lacking a module from AMX :)

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