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Nest Doorbell (Battery) Not Charging When Wired

Andy2510
Community Member

Hi.

I think there may be a few similar questions to this one, so apologies if I needed to reply to one of those rather than start a new thread.

I've recently installed a new Nest Doorbell (Battery) to replace my standard wired pushbell. The wires are still in place so I've reused those. My original chime was a Micromark 6V DC battery powered mechanical one, which I've replaced with a Honeywell "Ding Dong" D117 mechanical one, and have wired it up to a new 12V 1A transformer (Eterna BT4812) so it should be giving out 12 VA max. The bell is rated at 12V and 15W (roughly 15 VA I believe) max and is wired up to the manufacturers instructions.

 

The bell will chime when the button is pressed so there is a circuit in place and complete. However, the bell will not charge. In fact, I had it plugged in during the day yesterday and the battery % dropped from 63% to 57%. Strangely, overnight the battery didn't drop at all, and it wasn't plugged in. I tried a test earlier and plugged it in again with the camera off - again no charging, but no battery drain either. Even now it's at 56% and running off battery!

 

The transformer is plugged directly into a standard UK 13A plug socket with a plug fitted with a 3A fuse. Between the transformer and bell chime is a short piece of speaker cable and then from the chime to the Nest doorbell itself is the original bell wire. I wondering if either of those cables is causing resistance (neither cable is getting warm to touch though however most of the bell wire is hidden). I can't test to see the power at the bell as my multimeter doesn't seem to have many AC settings (mostly DC) and the few it has doesn't seem to be set for this task.

 

Any ideas why the bell isn't charging when the mains is on? Transformer not giving out 12VA, wiring reducing the current, the connector clips for the bell not got a good enough grip to the copper of the bell wire (hard to see if it has)? Any help will be appreciated as this is tearing my hair out!

 

Thanks and regards

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Andy2510
Community Member

Hi Brad. I haven't tested it for a while due to other circumstances. I've just unplugge dit for a bit to see the battery percentage, and it's gone up to 52%! So it's on very trickle charge it seems!!! I'll have to set different zones to get better performance (i.e. to block out the neighbours garden).

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12 REPLIES 12

mdr2
Community Member

HI Andy,  I have one of these  new doorbells and mine seems to be working okay.  And it looks like your transformer is at the bottom end of the specks for the camera.   If you go into the GOOGLE HOME app and select the camera and then select the GEAR icon and then BATTERY what does it say?  Mine says "Plugged in" and has circle with an infinity sign.

Andy2510
Community Member

Hi mdr2. When it's plugged in it says "Plugged in" in the app with the infinity symbol as you mentioned. Which it must be as the chie does ring when the button is pressed, so the wiring does seem correct. I've tidied up the wiring a bit more now and tighten up a few screws/sorted out some pinched cable from where the grip may have been a bit too tight and tried again for a few hours. No charging again, however this time no decrease in battery charge either. Also, it seems since turning off last night to turning off tonight, charge has dropped just 1% so I'm wondering if the battery meter isn't reading right just yet.

I've seen a post on here that someone set up there Nest Battery doorbell with a Byron 776 with built in 8VA transformer and got that to charge. Though that would be very slowly!!

This isn't the first transformer I've tried. I tried a 24V 0.5A plug in one from Amazon which was awful so went back - it ran very warm and had a smell of warm oil (like a drill or jigsaw goes after prolonged use). I also stupidly got a Ring one (because - official so must have some quality) but failed to realise that Ring bells are DC and not AC. Pity Google don't sell an adapter for their range of bells in the UK.

mdr2
Community Member

Hmmm, sounds like you have tried a lot.  I'm here in the U.S. in a newer home so I guess I just got lucky.  

At the end of the day all I can think of is this:  Is your camera in an area where there is a lot of motion and it wakes up frequently (whether it records a clip or not).  Cars going by or a tree or bush waving in the wind keeps waking up the camera many times per hour?  In this case the transformer is slowly charging the camera only to have the battery drain when it wake up.  ... this is just a theory

So the only thing I can think of is to continue to get a stronger transformer.  Keep in mind the magic number seems to be the VA rating.   So take the volts and multiply by Amp to get VA.   For example 12V x .5A would only be 6VA.   Just make sure that the volts stay in the range of the camera specs.  The VA rating is just the minimum.  

Andy2510
Community Member

This is king of part of the problem I'm having - this doorbell is designed for the US market which - after doing some belated research - is based on the standard AC bell systems you have over there. Over here in the UK, doorbells are normally battery-powered DC (mechanical chimes using 4 C cell batteries for 6V) or plug-in electronic wireless chimes. For a simple mechanical chime and push-button, we would need a hefty transformer to knock our 50Hz 240V AC standard down to that level! We don't tend to need 24V 1A bell transformers normally. Looking at the specs, it seems in the UK and Europe, the Nest Doorbell can operate between 8-24 VA and in the US it's a bit higher.

When plugged in the camera is constantly on. In battery mode, it's only when the bell is rung. In our situation, the path is shared between us and next door, and their 3 young children are running around quite often so it's not worth have the "person" notification on. The area in our front garden is already covered by a CCTV camera with a hidden mic so I don't need the bell's functionality on anyway.

I need to keep the volts and VA rating in the range of the chime too - the rated maximum is 12V and 15 Watts (which is similar to 15 VA - it's too late at night for me to understand why watts and VA are not the same even though they are both volts x amps! It's 10.55pm here!)

I'll keep testing to see what gives. I'll try again with the camera off to see if charging starts.

Andy2510
Community Member

Just a quick update - with power on and camera on - battery stayed at 56%. Power off and running on battery overnight - still 56%. Power on and camera off - still 56%. Again power off overnight - 56%. Maybe it is charging but the battery meter isn't going up unless it's charged via USB-C? If so - is this a bug with the device and a firmware fix would solve it?

Brad
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hey folks.

 

Just popping in to see  if you still needed assistance with this issue? Please let me know!

 

Best Regards,

Brad.

Andy2510
Community Member

Hi Brad

 

I've had the bell plugged in the last few days. I'll unplug it and check on the battery charge soon. After posting on Monday, it did drop to 50% overnight running on battery, had it plugged in on Tuesday and it did rise to 52% and it stayed there when unplugged overnight again.

 

I'll test later and update.

Brad
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi there, Andy2510.

 

I would adjust your alerts, and all the monitoring settings as that would help you save battery. But please keep me updated and let me know if you need further assistance.

 

Best Regards,

Brad.

Andy2510
Community Member

Hi Brad

 

I'll try that. Battery did drop to 34% when plugged in. Yet 2 days of battery-only operation and the charge dropped to just 30%

Brad
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

Hi there, Andy2510.

 

I am glad to see that it didn't drop as much, but I know that it should be able to last you 3 weeks on a single charge. This may be different for each individual, but I would continue to finetune your system to help the battery last longer. Please let me know if you still need some help.

 

Best Regards,

Brad. 

Andy2510
Community Member

Hi Brad. I haven't tested it for a while due to other circumstances. I've just unplugge dit for a bit to see the battery percentage, and it's gone up to 52%! So it's on very trickle charge it seems!!! I'll have to set different zones to get better performance (i.e. to block out the neighbours garden).

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Brad
Community Specialist
Community Specialist

@Andy2510

 

I am very glad to hear that the battery life has improved! That is always good to hear. And setting Activity Zones will definitely help you out! Because this has been resolved, I will be locking this thread for Forum Moderation.

 

Best Regards,

Brad.