Product Type: Argos gadgets
Newest Review: ... more than this does, to be honest. It consists of the doorbell itself and a receiver that you put somewhere inside where you're going to he... more
Knock Knock... "Ring the doorbell you fool, I've spent good money on it!"
Argos Value 30m Portable Wireless Doorbell Kit
Member Name: GodfatherOfSoul
Argos Value 30m Portable Wireless Doorbell Kit
Date: 10/09/12, updated on 17/04/13 (267 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap. Simple to set up. Loud and clear ring. Flexible wireless/battery powered design.
Disadvantages: Inability to set a unique frequency channel.
During this time, we have relied on the common sense of visitors and deliverymen to read a clearly written note stuck over the broken doorbell urging the use of the archaic 'knocking' technique. Unfortunately, my faith in mankind was misplaced as you'd be surprised at how many people are unable to read such a notice - one such member of this failing society (a friend of mine) even rang me up to falsely claim that I wasn't in when they called round...
"Did you knock" I said
"No. I used the doorbell"
"The one covered with the notice saying [DOORBELL BROKEN - PLEASE KNOCK]?"
:-/ ... *cretin*
Anyway, I finally decided enough was enough and that knocking was obviously a socially outlawed practice - even when people did knock, it was so quiet that I half expected to open the door to be greeted by one of The Borrowers - so I opened the book of books (the Argos catalogue) and got browsing.
I ultimately decided on this Value Range Wireless Doorbell Kit and was elated that it was only going to set me back £5.99. The wireless nature of the kit appealed to me and although our previous doorbell was of the same type, this one was battery operated which meant that it didn't require a mains connection. I thought this was a much more convenient design and after a reservation and a short walk, I was ready to set it up.
=== Contents ===
In the box you will find the doorbell, the wireless speaker unit, a small bag of wall mounting screws/wall plugs, a wall bracket, a small 23A battery and an instruction leaflet (brief but clear).
The doorbell itself is a classically designed white unit with a central grey rubberised button. It is the same size as any standard doorbell and despite the price, feels solid and well made. The speaker unit is also white and whilst it won't be winning any prizes for style, it is simple and unobtrusive (119 x 68 x 32mm H/W/D) allowing it to blend in wherever you decided to place it. It does feel a little cheap and the plastic creaks when you handle it but that is to be expected for the price and despite this it still feels strong enough to withstand day-to-day use.
=== Setting Up ===
Setting up couldn't have been simpler for me. All that was required was to put the included battery into the doorbell and then stick it onto the doorframe using the sticky pad already attached. There are two screws and wall plugs included if you wanted to use the included wall bracket and screw it securely to your doorframe but I really saw no need for this because the sticky pad has secured it very firmly to our wooden frame. The doorbell has been up for around three months now and is still firmly attached. The great British summer couldn't even drown it from its position and it still works perfectly (the doorbell is weatherproof, but I really expected nothing less!) Not having to use the bracket also makes it ideal for PVC doorframes too.
Unfortunately, the 3 x AAA batteries required for the speaker unit were not supplied so I had to go on my usual pilfering raid through the house - which of course resulted in yet another remote control being rendered inactive. Once the batteries are inserted, you can position the speaker anywhere within 30 metres of the doorbell. That's quite a big distance and for most non-mansion dwellers will mean you can put it anywhere in your house. I've placed mine on top of the kitchen cupboard nearest the entrance so it can be heard all around the house. The back of the speaker also has a slot for a nail so you can hang it up on your wall (if you're short of pictures) and there is also a handy clip on the back too (more on that very soon).
=== Who's there? ===
When someone presses the doorbell, a wireless signal will be sent from the doorbell to the speaker unit and a loud and clear 'Ding-Dong' will be emitted, twice. At first I thought everyone was ringing the bell twice but it turns out that this is the default setting. So if someone feels the need to do a 'double press' it will ring four times! I sometimes find this annoying but it does make it very difficult not to hear it even when upstairs or doing a loud activity such as vacuuming or washing up next to a washing machine in the middle of a 1400rpm spin dry cycle.
There are three volume settings provided by a switch on the speaker but the melody is unchangeable so you are stuck with a rather bog-standard doorbell sound. That's nothing to worry about though and I quite like the traditional sound (plus, believe it or not, I have better things to do than customise my doorbell).
Ours is set to the lowest volume setting but is still quite loud and very easy to hear in day to day use - I can even hear it when I'm in the shower (which isn't much use really but at least it lets me know that I'm going to have to collect my parcel from the Post Office the next day).
=== Practicality ===
As previously stated, the range on the doorbell is 30 metres which is very handy regarding positioning the speaker in your house. The clip on the back means that you can attach it to your clothing so if you are going to be outside in the garden or in the shed then you can carry it with you ensuring that you do not miss that important parcel or visitor. The speaker itself is not the most attractive accessory so you won't be the trendiest of folk whilst wearing it but this flexibility is a great benefit over the mains required kits - such as our previous wireless doorbell. A downside to this is that if the batteries run out you will not immediately be aware of the situation - but on the flip side, it will still work in power cuts.
Unfortunately, the kit only has one frequency channel so if one of your neighbours also has the same doorbell within 30 metres of your speaker unit then you may find yourself getting up to answer the door to a ghost. This is because your speaker will sound when any like-doorbell is pressed, not just yours. Fortunately, none of my immediate neighbours are quite as price-savvy (cheap) as me so this isn't a problem I have encountered yet but it's something to bear in mind; especially as this is the cheapest doorbell kit in the ubiquitous Argos catalogue.
=== Summary ===
After finally getting round to replacing my broken doorbell I am very happy with my purchase. It is available for £5.99 from Argos and represents remarkable value if you are looking for a replacement bell. The set-up is incredibly easy and the wireless nature of the kit means that you can be up and running in no time at all. Durability-wise, mine has been in use for over three months and is still working fine without a battery change required and no problems or issues arising.
For such a cheap device I am astounded at how well it has worked and at the apparent durability of the whole system. The only real downside is the lack of a unique frequency channel but that aside I don't see the point of spending extra on a more expensive kit. If you need a replacement doorbell or require more flexibility than your current doorbell then this is a purchase I am happy to recommend - unless you live within 30 metres of my house - in which case, buy something else!
Thanks for reading :-)
Summary: A very practical and simple doorbell kit which surpasses expectations for the price.