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kmartcachier

Doorbell Cache Multi or Puzzle

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I had an idea for a two-stage cache that uses a wireless doorbell to reveal the second stage. Im wondering if anyone has any ideas of the best way to do this and if there are any unique challenges that I might encounter.

 

If anyone knows of one like this (after all everythings been done before, right) that would help out a lot!

 

And if not, any other thoughts would be great!

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I have been trying to think of a good way to do this too. I have not found a doorbell that is weather proof yet though.

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I have been trying to think of a good way to do this too. I have not found a doorbell that is weather proof yet though.

Maybe use one of these...

Phone%20Box%20Large%20Open.JPG

 

 

What kind of range do those doorbells have on them? what about battery life?

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I did mine and the doorbell only made it thru one year. It stayed dry but the michigan winter took its toll. Stage one was the ringer with instructions telling them to walk around the cemetery until they found the caches with their ears. It got great logs.

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I think some of them have pretty good range - ours used to go off when someone rang the doorbell at a house a block away. Strangely, the other doorbell gave it a different ring.

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I had an idea for a two-stage cache that uses a wireless doorbell to reveal the second stage. Im wondering if anyone has any ideas of the best way to do this and if there are any unique challenges that I might encounter.

 

If anyone knows of one like this (after all everythings been done before, right) that would help out a lot!

 

And if not, any other thoughts would be great!

What about a cheap MP3 player that you could affix somehow and preload with a file that would give info when play is pressed. maybe change the battery once a month...

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I am thinking about gutting the button end, and putting it inside something like a soda bottle preform, using a new switch. I would put the ringer in a lock & lock.

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Shouldnt the button already be pretty water-resistant? They are made to be left outdoors.
You'd think so, but no... they are not.

 

I had one of those out for about two years. I was surprised to find that the lithium batteries in the push buttons held up well enough to work in our Minnesota winters. I had two of the push buttons in a small Tupperware container, and the final doorbell inside of a Lock 'n Lock.

 

Everything was fine until the push buttons eventually started to work sporadically, for some reason. It was probably oxidation on the contacts, but I wasn't able to clean them well enough, or else it was something else. I still have the pieces, and they always seem to work... until I decide to put it back out again. That's when they will fail.

 

I asked some retired friends with more time on their hands to adopt it, which they did, but eventually it became too much work for them as well. If you are interested in reading about it, the cache is Push My Button II.

 

(One other issue that may be a problem for you is being able to hear the doorbell through whatever sort of container you chose. In my case, the Lock 'n Lock seemed to let enough sound through, but I know someone that adopted the idea but found that it muted the bell too much in his case)

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This is a very old topic. Sorry, but I saw it for the first time today.  I am currently creating a multi cache with a wireless doorbell.  I plan to use an indoor, 5 story parking garage for the final, where the doorbell itself will stay dry.  Stage one is outside the garage, in a lamppost skirt (most likely).  At stage one you get a picture of the area near the final.  On the back of the picture it will say "go here".  Also, at stage one you find the doorbell ringer, which will have "use this" printed on the side.  Wish me luck!

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It's a good idea to place one or both stages out of the elements.

 

Stranger Finds has both stages out in a swampy area, and it worked for a year and a half. Then both stages succumbed to water. I renovated the cache, based on the things I learned from the first setup. Plus I've had to deal with pretty much everything knowschad mentioned.

 

When I set it up, I discovered that the doorbell sound doesn't carry outdoors. My stages are 30 feet apart. Beyond that, my cache wouldn't work as planned. Indoors, the thing was loud and clear a hundred feet away. And the doorbell is not shut entirely into a box. That would have made the situation even worse.

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I've found a doorbell cache (Ding Dong Ditch) and it worked quite well. Unlike kunarion, my experience was that the sound carried fairly well, as the final was about 150' from the initial stage and I could hear it pretty plainly. It was harder to pinpoint just where the sound was originating from, but it got me in the correct area. I would think a cache like this would almost require an annual or semi-annual maintenance visit to make sure the batteries are in good working order.

 

If there are multiple people at the cache, finding the final should be pretty easy as one person could just keep ringing the bell as the others homed in on the sound.

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Posted (edited)

I too am in the process of creating one like this. I am going to have my button inside of a birdhouse, and the receiver mounted inside of another birdhouse, however, there won't be a bottom piece to the birdhouse, as it may dampen the sound, as kunarion mentioned. Also, you might not want the final cache to be in the same container as the receiver. The birdhouse containing my receiver is going to be 12-15 up a tree, so cachers cannot reach it. Instead I am going to have the final container at the base of said tree (probably an ammo box).

 

At one I have found, the button and receiver were roughly 100 feet apart. The CO did mention in the description that the cacher must walk about 30 feet towards the final while pressing the button; that was how the stages could be separated that much. If your button is going to be stationary though, the final may have to be much closer. 

 

I LOVE your idea whyteman, of having this placed in a parking garage! The only problem I see with it is having strangers hear the doorbell sound. Try to find a wireless doorbell which has the "car alarm" option. It may blend in better. ; D

Edited by TwistedCube

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13 minutes ago, Crow-T-Robot said:

I've found a doorbell cache (Ding Dong Ditch) and it worked quite well. Unlike kunarion, my experience was that the sound carried fairly well, as the final was about 150' from the initial stage and I could hear it pretty plainly. It was harder to pinpoint just where the sound was originating from, but it got me in the correct area. I would think a cache like this would almost require an annual or semi-annual maintenance visit to make sure the batteries are in good working order.

 

If there are multiple people at the cache, finding the final should be pretty easy as one person could just keep ringing the bell as the others homed in on the sound.

 

Mine has some design challenges.  It's not far from noisy traffic, and also noisy soccer games at times.  Lots of trees and brush to deaden the "bell" sound.  And of course I bought the cheapest doorbell.  The nicer ones are larger and need bigger protection boxes.  It would be much better not being placed in a steamy swamp, except that I though it was cool to have a doorbell there.  And, since just walking 30 feet may mean mud up to one's ankles (or much worse), I have a lot of choices of placements for the Final.  People need to know the direction, to avoid committing to a slow, muddy search in a 30-foot radius. But I also discovered that animals will munch on my doorbell box (then it fills with water).

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10 minutes ago, TwistedCube said:

I too am in the process of creating one like this. I am going to have my button inside of a birdhouse, and the receiver mounted inside of another birdhouse, however, there won't be a bottom piece to the birdhouse, as it may dampen the sound, as kunarion mentioned. Also, you might not want the final cache to be in the same container as the receiver.

 

A "birdhouse" for the bell is a neat idea!  My doorbell button is inside a locked birdhouse, and it's a puzzle box, too (it provides clues).  My cache pretty much uses ideas I've had for the past ten years, ideas that I had ruled out as being impossible for an outdoor cache. B)

 

My "bell" box is separate from the actual cache as you mention.  I sure don't want cachers opening it.  It needs to stay dry and hidden.  But on the way to that "bell", everyone seems to be seeing the actual cache.  So the bell seems untouched, except that squirrels eat it.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, kunarion said:

 

A "birdhouse" for the bell is a neat idea!  My doorbell button is inside a locked birdhouse, and it's a puzzle box, too (it provides clues).  My cache pretty much uses ideas I've had for the past ten years, ideas that I had ruled out as being impossible for an outdoor cache. B)

 

My "bell" box is separate from the actual cache as you mention.  I sure don't want cachers opening it.  It needs to stay dry and hidden.  But on the way to that "bell", everyone seems to be seeing the actual cache.  So the bell seems untouched, except that squirrels eat it.

 

I am also going to be theming the cache after "The Wizard of Oz" by calling it "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead!". The birdhouse containing the button will be painted black with a green stencil of the Wicked Witch painted on the sides. I am going to be designing the perch of the birdhouse to look like her broomstick so when the cacher pulls it out, a trapdoor drops releasing the doorbell button with the striped legs and ruby red slippers of the Wicked Witch of The East. 

 

I was also thinking of attaching one of those stick on door alarms to inside of the final container to seal the deal. If only I can find one which plays back the sound of the Wicked Witch laughing...

Edited by TwistedCube
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I placed a LBH that uses a doorbell to locate the final.  I had a couple challenges to implementing it.  The first was keeping both units dry.  I used an ammo can for the doorbell, which cut down significantly on the range and volume, but keeps it dry, and then a larger vitamin bottle inside a screw top water bottle to hold the button.  I had planned on placing it under some long discarded cement chunks but found that the doorbell couldn't be activated through the ammo can AND the cement so I had to change it a bit.  The ammo can is now hiding less than 20 feet away, covered and out of site but the doorbell can be heard, albeit faintly, which means they'll have to wander around a bit.  I just replaced the battery in the button for the first time, as it finally weakened enough to not trigger the bell.  It is still in place and the original battery lasted 2 1/2 years.  Neither container has had water issues, which was my biggest concern.

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9 hours ago, TwistedCube said:

 

I am also going to be theming the cache after "The Wizard of Oz" by calling it "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead!". The birdhouse containing the button will be painted black with a green stencil of the Wicked Witch painted on the sides. I am going to be designing the perch of the birdhouse to look like her broomstick so when the cacher pulls it out, a trapdoor drops releasing the doorbell button with the striped legs and ruby red slippers of the Wicked Witch of The East. 

 

I was also thinking of attaching one of those stick on door alarms to inside of the final container to seal the deal. If only I can find one which plays back the sound of the Wicked Witch laughing...

 

The trap door witch legs idea sounds pretty awesome! :P

 

If you want to play custom sounds, look at sound players for dolls.  There are many kinds, and some you record from a microphone, others from a direct connection (to a phone's audio player, for example).  Clip off the "record button" wires, and leave just the play button, which can be connected to a doorbell button.

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