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Old September 3rd, 2010, 11:09 AM   #1
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"Quiet on the Set" / "On the Bell" bell?

So I'm getting tired of yelling for everyone to shut up and stop walking around when we roll tape, and I'm thinking we need to ring the bell to get everyone quiet on the set like they do in proper stages.

But so far, after searching the web for months as well as every hardware store in a 50 mile radius, all I can find are the parts to assemble a simple bell/buzzer myself, not a complete device where you plug it in and the bell rings when you push a button and stops when you let go.

Does anyone have any suggestions on where else I could look to find one of these things? Do they even exist in a pre-assembled state? I mean, it makes sense if they don't, as normal usage for doorbells and the like would dictate having to assemble them in the field because you have to usually run wires through walls and mount the bell and button in different places.

I suppose I'll have to bite the bullet and just wire this silly little thing together myself but it'd sure be nice if there was a prefab off-the-rack solution. Really makes me miss the old days when I worked at a real studio with a real sound department. I know it's pretty ridiculous to stress over something this simple, but I suck at the do-it-yourself thing and will likely end up electrocuting myself and burning down the studio, not necessarily in that order.

(I was able to find the Red Light fairly easily at a Party Supply store, for what that's worth...)
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 11:41 AM   #2
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Kinda pricey, but ... Bell & Light System
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 11:49 AM   #3
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Wow, Steve, that's exactly it... knew I could count on you. I'm chagrined that I didn't find it myself. Just goes to show that what you get out of Google is only as good as what you put into it. I was searching for alarm bells & buzzers, doorbells, etc., and coming up with nothing useful.

It is indeed a little pricey, but maybe not so much considering the alternative.

Thanks again.

Postscript: and of course now that I know what this particular unit is called, a search at B&H shows they got 'em... Now the challenge is seeing if we can find a similar cheaper unit. I guess what I'm looking for is a simple pre-assembled/wired doorbell, but if I want it cheap I'm going to have to do it myself.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 06:54 PM   #4
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Go down to a local "large" hardware store I'm sure you will find something there in the door bell section ... the Internet is good things but sometimes a hands on approach is better.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 06:58 PM   #5
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Why not a real brass bell from the marine shop? It could also do double duty to match audio sync for multiple cameras.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 07:13 PM   #6
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A real bell rings on and on. It would probably get into some shots.

What about a simple compressed air horn for boats? Or a bull horn with a loud tone?
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 07:32 PM   #7
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What about a bicycle bell? maybe bolted to the tripod ar sound cart
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 08:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian P. Reynolds View Post
Go down to a local "large" hardware store I'm sure you will find something there in the door bell section ... the Internet is good things but sometimes a hands on approach is better.
No, as I mentioned, I've done that and they've got everything, just not put together. Bells I can get. Bells, wires, buttons and transformers. It's the assembly I fear.
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A real bell rings on and on. It would probably get into some shots.
That's exactly what it's supposed to do. It needs to ring for a second or so (or as long as you hold the button down). One long burst means we're "on the bell" and all noise must stop. Two short means we're "all clear" and you may resume breathing.

Basically a schoolyard or fire alarm bell. Even a simple buzzer would do. I was just hoping to find the whole thing put together so all I had to do was plug it in, but sadly it doesn't seem to exist, even in a form a simple as a doorbell. And even the doorbell "kits" are meant to be hard-wired into the building's circuit mains, not plugged into a wall outlet. And they mostly chime like Big Ben rather than ring like a fire alarm.

Who'd have thought something so simple could get so complicated?
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 08:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian P. Reynolds View Post
What about a bicycle bell? maybe bolted to the tripod ar sound cart
Brilliant! But some people might think that the muffin lady was coming with a snack. :-)

In my town we have a place that recovers old building materials from houses (etc.) that are being torn down. I would strongly suspect that you could find an old-fashioned doorbell in a place like that. Or maybe one of those little portable toy SFX players with a sound appropriate for whatever film genre you are shooting at the time.

When they put in the new electric passenger train system ("MAX" here in PDX), they were very quiet, and they had wimpy little OEM "horns" on them that nobody took seriously (for a vehicle that weighs several dozen tons and can cut you in half without even a bump.) So they got a good digital recording of a big diesel railroad engine and they use THAT to warn people to get out of the way.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 08:18 PM   #10
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Good idea, but again a recycled doorbell will be in pieces and was not likely plugged into an outlet. The individual pieces I can easily get new.

But keep those ideas coming, folks. Thanks.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 09:12 PM   #11
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Sport umpires whistle?
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 09:34 PM   #12
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Just a note: but after the OP described it as a "fire alarm bell" I did a simple Google search on that specific phrase and there are a WHOLE bunch including 12volt, 24 volt AND 120 volt units.

I know the OP said they don't have much wiring experience, but if you went 12 volt and just used an extra computer hard drive transformer - you could fool around and try things with no danger.

Just a thought.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 09:45 PM   #13
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Intrigued, I did a bit more research.

There's a MANUAL fire alarm bell being made in China.

Looks WAY cool - Easy to mount - Probably dirt cheap - and NEVER runs out of power!

Don't know where you'd find a single unit retailer - but here's the manufacturer link...

Manual Fire alarm bell (Hand-rotary) products, buy Manual Fire alarm bell (Hand-rotary) products from alibaba.com
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 11:46 PM   #14
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The "large" home improvement store should have a wireless door bell. Simply plug the bell into a standard 110 socket press the button and you've got a doorbell. I've had one on my house for the better part of 15 years. Some are louder than others but when you ring the bell at my house there is no doubt someone is at the door.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #15
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Yes, plenty of wireless doorbells at Lowe's, Home Depot and every local Ace Hardware in my area, but they all play the Westminster Chimes. Again, I can easily buy all the parts I need -- bells, transformers, button and wires -- separately, but I was looking for a complete system I could just plug in. I'll keep looking.
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