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Old building, no ringer or doorbell

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  1. #1
    n78
    n78 is offline

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    Apr 2016
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    Old building, no ringer or doorbell

    Evening all. Need some advice on the old building, no guard, no doorbell or ringer situation I have just signed myself into. Current tenants just give the door code to people when they call them from downstairs.

    Was looking into the wireless doorbells or the ones that ring on your phone. While this still doesn’t allow me to buzz someone on, I at least know that a dozen lilies are being delivered and make my way post haste downstairs to retrieve them. I am however on the 5th floor and wifi link to this is not an option. Also don’t want to become concierge for the whole building.

    Is it possible to get something wired that I can remove, convince the whole building to put in some money for this (I hear the crickets now).

    Any thoughts??


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    208

    For an old building I'd forget about convincing others to chip in for a proper solution. No management + old building, just DIY something for yourself and chances are no one will care.

    I can think of a few options:
    - if the staircase is a circular staircase, such that there's a near-uninterrupted path between the door and outside your doorbell, try a generic wireless doorbell and place the receiver outside your apartment front door
    - is your apartment window on the same side of the building as your front door? If so can get a generic wireless doorbell set, put the receiver outside your window/balcony above the doorbell (so it doesn't have to transmit through as much concrete and weaken its signal).
    - find a wired doorbell kit, go down to the nearest hardware store and get a bunch of additional cable, similar in gauge to the doorbell kit. Splice it into the middle of the doorbell wires and wire it up yourself from the front door to your front door, using cable clips or duct tape and run it along the floor or whatever
    - ultra dodgy but perfectly feasible - if you have PCCW DSL wired to your apartment but not in use, the cabinet may be right next to the front door. Therefore you have 2/4 wires already cabled from the front door up to the inside of your apartment. Get a wired doorbell kit and wire it in (with a sparky/cabler doing it and assuming the cabinet is properly labeled). Quite probably beyond dodgy and into illegal territory but would certainly work the best. You wouldn't be the first to do this, not going to tell you how I can say this...

    Whichever of these, and put a sticker on the doorbell with your apartment number on it.

    john_1122 and john_1122 like this.

  3. #3
    n78
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    You are a legend! I would hug you if I could. This is so helpful. I will work my way up the dodg-scale. There is a window outside which I should unfettered access (No concrete) to the ground floor. Will give that a go and then proceed with ....other plans!


  4. #4

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    Jan 2015
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    I'll take a long distance air-high five in these times instead.

    Another dodgy option, if you're above the front door you may be able to run a wired kit down the outside of the building straight to the front door. On these older buildings I've seen internet and TV cables doing this so if it's already done, run the cable around the existing ones all the way down. Or wrapped around a downpipe. You would need access to your lower neighbours or the stairwell windows on the way down, though. Just don't let it sway in the wind for many obvious reasons.

    Quite probably breaks some sort of buildings ordinance I'm sure but point me to a building in HK that doesn't break some law. I'm not sure I've seen any.

    I'll likely cop some slack for these sorts of suggestions but on older buildings there's a lot more leeway on what you can get away with. Seemingly by the authorities as well. The state of some of these buildings and the work that's been done wouldn't be tolerated in a lot of other places. Don't get me wrong, I find them charming and full of character in a way, but my word some are in horrible shape.


  5. #5
    n78
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    This turned Macgyver super fast. My first thought was the outer wall in the dead of night but was worried about having to enclose the wires In some sort of plastic and sticking them to crumbly walls somehow.


  6. #6

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    Oct 2019
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    How about a bell and some string...

    mrgoodkat likes this.

  7. #7

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    Aug 2008
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    How about the new Xiami wireless door bell. It uses RF to connect with the wifi enabled base unit so should be good for 30M. Especially if wire your base unit in a waterproof bag through the window!


    https://medium.com/@chinereview/revi...2-177251892eaf


  8. #8

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    Haha - thanks for a laugh on a thursday morning! I'm not a BIG DIY-er but I do miss the culture of DIY when I'm in HK...sometimes paying a guy to do something I would do myself in the UK is easy and saves me time to focus on important things like playing xbox, but sometimes i bristle at paying some guy for something i could do myself in a jiffy.

    Quote Originally Posted by n78:
    This turned Macgyver super fast. My first thought was the outer wall in the dead of night but was worried about having to enclose the wires In some sort of plastic and sticking them to crumbly walls somehow.

  9. #9
    n78
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    I’m not sure I ever called in a handyman/woman in the UK. Not in a decade at least. Except the sky installation people. not even sure what the price differential is with Hong Kong for that kind of work.

    I should be clear: I do not own tools. Duct tape, a stapler and sheer will, have seen me through most crises. This doorbell thing is just the start. A rental fixer-upper. I was lured by the rooftop.


  10. #10
    n78
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    @Eastcoast - so the base unit is a ziplock bag of some sort outside my 5th floor window. The ringer is installed a few meters down on the ground floor in what we hope is a straight line. Is this correct?


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