Does anyone know how door chimes work? (OT) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-07-2014, 09:25 PM   #1
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Does anyone know how door chimes work? (OT)

Some time ago I disconnected the old Nutone door chimes from my front door. Nothing was unwired, just removed the three hanging tubes, and at some point, one of these things with the spring fell out.

Problem is, now I can't figure out how to put them back together.

On the top piece (I think that's a solenoid) the thing that looks like a big nail has the spring on the top end (not shown.) On the one in my hand it seems attached to the other end, which is different.

I don't know that I put the chimes back in the right order, either.

Any help would be appreciated. I've looked online and can't find a good diagram of this type.

They do buzz (quietly) when the doorbell is pressed.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:46 PM   #2
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I recognize those chimes! I had those in my 1929 craftman home in Portland, right behind the door bell (laft and plaster)

If NO ONE answer up here, call Hippo Hardware here in PDX and ask if Mark(?) Marc(?) can help you... now, he may no longer be there... we're talking 20 years ago. But every single time I had a problem with the wiring in my Craftsman, Hippo (and MarK(c)) came to the rescue. Good people.

Hippo Hardware & Trading Co.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:54 PM   #3
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Mine are on the opposite side of the door. I figured out how to get one chime to sound but can't get the two-tone sound anymore. Hmm,, wonder if my neighbor has the same set and I could look at it. I'll have to check.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:58 PM   #4
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Buzzing is good, means the current is getting to the electro magnet coils. At least your wiring to the chimes is ok.

Your just not moving that plunger. This page describes the essentials of that type of door bell and the circuit image allows you to press the button and see the parts move (how cool is that!) HowStuffWorks "How Doorbells Work"

Good luck getting it repaired, hope you can because I like those cool old devices much better than the digital door bells they sell today.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:03 PM   #5
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Perhaps you have style "U" with one used tube.....

Vintage Door Chimes - Mechanisms

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Old 04-07-2014, 10:06 PM   #6
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Update. I put the plunger pin in from the left side and it will ring the left bell. I think it is supposed to ring one then come back and ring the other (the other plunger being for the back door, which isn't wired) but it doesn't seem to work to do that.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:09 PM   #7
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It was definitely two-tone before, and I can get two-tone but then the plunger flies out and lands on the floor.

Hmm, maybe an issue of how the chime is hung (obviously not the original hangers on two of the three at least.)
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:23 PM   #8
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I think one plunger fires on the button push, one on the button release. The middle chime may just be for a harmonic tone.

By having the front and rear wired opposite you get "ding-dong" for one door and "dong-ding" for the other.

Is it possible the flying plunger or it's spring is supposed to go in from the other side to be trapped? I worked on one of these with father in law about 30 some years ago but don't recall how it the parts assembled.

If the hanger changed then maybe the distance the plunger can travel is too far, any way to move/shift the hanging chimes closer to the offending plunger or move the coil toward the chime? Or does it fly out the other side?
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:37 PM   #9
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Fixed it! At least, got a two-tone ring. Lower plunger hits one then the other. I think the upper one is supposed to work with the back door (which has a bell that does not work, which is fine as nobody comes in that way, though if there were a bell on the other front door it would be nice.)

It was how the chimes were hanging. Non-original hanger had the right one hanging too low. I hope it stays fixed.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:46 AM   #10
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I've got a ceiling fan that has been acting up and have a few questions about it......just kidding. Glad you have it up and working Bobbie. I find it hard to just toss something that can be fixed too. My wife kind of hates that, but, well
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:18 AM   #11
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One of the links above is to the site of a guy who fixes and sells them (both.) There is a link to his new site on the home page, and on that site he has my set (one like it) for sale for $600. So I'm glad I got them working! He also has some other really, really nice ones- my favorite have four chimes and the top cover is a clock.

Here's the direct link: Mine is the Nutone K32.
http://www.knockdoorbells.com/vintag..._longbells.htm
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:31 AM   #12
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Geez, you guys and your science stuff. You do know all those previous notes are just arm waving, right? The REAL answer to the question is "Teensy Tiny Elves with Teensy Tiny Hammers". You push on the button, a little light flashes in the elves' waiting room, they run over to the bells and give 'em a whack. Easy-Peasy!
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:06 AM   #13
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Classic door chimes, classic campers (owners and rigs). Totally see the connection. Glad you have it working electronically. Think the elves were getting older and prone to naps that interfered with original elf powered design.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:29 AM   #14
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Similar- metal parts, plastic parts, unfortunately in the case of the chimes the plastic is Bakelite which is not quite as strong as fiberglass. (Mine cracked, but luckily not all the way through.)
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