🔲 The Door Chime Cover That Will Never Be

I had a digital chime that played Aloha Oe and the wired nest doorbell for a long time…

About a year ago the nest doorbell started doing something different, when someone would ring the bell, it wouldn’t chime inside, it wouldn’t ring outside, it wouldn’t transmit the image to the phone, and it would just turn off… pretty useful doorbell.

My initial thought was that the chime was shorting the power to the nest doorbell.

The price of the digital chime was a little steep, so I finally decided to order a simple electromagnet doorbell chime.


But it’s all about the base, no cover, no problem.

So I went down a rabbit hole of trying to design a kumiko pattern that I liked in illustrator that took a while, designed a box I was happy with that fit the dimensions…

Then I hung up the doorbell…

Some of you out there in internet land probably will guess what happened next.

I rang the doorbell and the Nest doorbell did the same thing, shut off, didn’t ring the bell.

So it must be the nest…

I searched the web to try to figure out why a wired doorbell would have issues…

It turns out the wired doorbell has a battery in it, and when the battery dies, it behaves this way.

So I figured I would follow the guide and replace the battery…

These aren’t designed to open neatly, and after inadvertent bilateral hand phlebotomy the case was open.

Then I sheered the one of the 2 battery plugs off the board.

I thought, will this beast work without a battery?

No luck, it won’t power on.

If I was more confident in my soldering skills in small places I’d give it a shot, but even if I were to get it back together, I kinda killed the front plate ripping it apart and would need to cut one out of veneer, and then build this amazing creation:

to hide the damage to the white case.

So now I am left with this…

Now the question is…

After getting annoyed with Nest, do I go back to them for another doorbell that is destined to fail, or do I go with ring, or someone else.

This nest seemed to be pretty snappy with motion sensing, and had a pretty good camera compared to my prior ring. Ring gave images of people as they walked away from the house, but maybe they are better now…

To close the loop with my initial door chime cover, all isn’t lost, when I get a new bell, hopefully my old chime will work, and I will use this pattern on a new box to cover the old digital Aloha Oe chime.

@bwente how fast could I have made the kumiko design in cuttle? I drew a bunch of lines through an octagon in illustrator, increased the line width, outlined, and merged, but it wasn’t fast.
I finally created a cuttle account, it looks pretty neat, but I haven’t played much beyond the demo.


For the adventure


That’s a bummer. We have a couple of the Rings and I really like them. They work great-good quality pic, etc.


We bought a Ring, but just the camera, because we don’t have a doorbell at all on our house. When we’re inside the house, we couldn’t hear if anyone came up at all, as we’re usually upstairs and the door is downstairs. The Ring has been great, because we have it mounted above the door and can pick up anyone even coming up the drive. It occasionally picks up a bird flying near, or a cat walking underneath, but it’s great for notifying us when anything/anyone approaches. Plus we have the advantage that if we’re not home, we can respond to them over our phone. We found that works great, as once we had a new UPS guy who couldn’t figure out how to turn around in our driveway (we’d watched as he tried before getting out to drop off the package, and it’s really not that difficult) and I could instruct him the best way to do so through the camera. It also has great night view. So all in all, we don’t need a doorbell. The Ring camera works better.


First time trying to create a kumiko pattern, apparently there are different variations.

So, creating the patterns are pretty simple, especially with snap to grid on. I think most vector programs would perform the same. I expect converting the “tile” to a pattern would be the same too. I think revisions are easier with Cuttle, but that may be due to familiarity.

I did a quick version, I think there are probably a dozen more ways to do it. I realized afterwards you would want a pattern to cut out and had to add a mask to remove the outer border.

The time consuming part would be making it fully parametric. But I think something like this https://www.kumikodesigner.com/ would be possible. It would be interesting to create and label the patterns likw “asa-no-ha” etc…


That is pretty cool! How were you able to do this with cuttle? I like your version!

Thanks @ellencadwell I thought about the camera situation and mounting our Venetian lion head door knocker onto our door.

Thanks @rvogt, another vote for ring.

My son was voting for the ring doorbell so that he could see who is at the door from the echo show, however our echo show is right next to the large glass door to the front of the house, so he could just literally swivel his chair around and look at who’s at the door without asking the device to show a video.

Anytime @Thumper369 maybe I can save someone the headache of a similar situation.

I want my consumer electronics to last forever and would have never guessed that a wired doorbell would have a battery.


I’m presuming it’s a backup battery in case power fails (so it won’t forget your WiFi or whatevs) but that it doesn’t work at all if the backup is dead is just poor design :-/


Open up the project I shared and start clicking around. I know it can be a bit daunting at first.

You can see that I created a base “tile” first and rotated it. Then used that component to tile and union.


We’ve had our Ring doorbell for a couple of years. The camera has a nice wide shot. We appreciate the access from our phones, and our Echo Show.