Winter Break Projects Part 3: Doorbell Installation
Two days ago, on Tuesday. I finished the install of my doorbell. Overall the process wasn’t too difficult but I did find myself in a bit of a pickle early on. I did not yet install the doorbell chime, because that will require a fish through an interior wall that I did not have time for.
The first step I took was not taking pictures of the process. Sorry. (⁄ ⁄•⁄ω⁄•⁄ ⁄)
The real first step was cutting a hole in the siding of my home where the original hole for doorbell wiring was. The second step was not looking into that hole to inspect the cavity. I then went under the house to feed the fish tape through the existing hole where the high voltage wiring went through, and the existing doorbell wiring. After feeding the tape up through that hole (without cutting the power, because I’m an idiot) I went back up to the hole in the siding to find….an empty wall cavity. Upon closer inspection I saw that the cavity where the doorbell wiring used to be was empty and that the existing wiring must have been fished into it from inside the wall and not from under the house. ლ(ಠ益ಠ)ლ
Realizing the issue, the next thing I did was panic. Why not? There was a large hole in my house now and a possibility of no doorbell to fill it. I didn’t panic for long though, I went back under the house with my drill, estimated where I thought the cavity was, adjacent to the existing wiring hole, and then drilled a new hole, blind, because I’m an idiot.
Did it work out? Yes. Should I have done that? Absolutely not.
After the wiring was run and terminated, and the doorbell installed, the last step was adopting it into my UniFi controller and setting up Scrypted so I could pipe the feed into HomeKit. (As good as the UniFi Protect app is, I don’t want to lose the HomeKit functionality.)
Scrypted was harder to setup than the doorbell installation. I ran into so many issues. First, I can’t install Xcode at all on my home server (Late 2012 Mac Mini with Open Core Legacy Patcher to run a more modern OS.) so I could not use home brew to install the app. Second, no other option would work as an alternative. What I settled on is spinning up an Ubuntu virtual machine to run the software. It’s a little overkill, and I will eventually setup a raspberry pi to do the same thing instead, but it works for now.
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