Ring Video Doorbell 3 Wired Directly To A 30VA - 16VAC Transformer (NO EXISTING DOOR CHIME)

I am installing a Ring video doorbell 3. This doorbell will be wired directly to a 30VA - 16VAC transformer. There is no existing doorbell chime. So the power will come from the transformer straight to the Ring video doorbell 3. Do I need to install a Ring Wirewound Resistor for this type of install? I can not get a straight answer. Some say a wirewound resistor is required for the Ring video doorbell 3 and others say that the RIng video doorbell 3 is built so that no wirewound resistor is needed to directly wire it to a transformer. Can someone give the correct answer?

Hello @blmd777 ,

That’s an excellent question! And I can understand why there is so much confusion concerning “To Use or Not To Use” the 50 Watt, 25 Ohm Wirewound Resistor.

Confusion starts when you go to the Ring Support pages for wiring the Ring Video Doorbell 3 or Doorbell 3 “Plus” because in both of those online pages it says, "

  • " . . . to an AC transformer requires some knowledge of wiring. If you are uncomfortable reading wiring diagrams and hooking up wires, consult a licensed electrician for assistance."

Which is the same thing they say for wiring the Ring Video Doorbell (RVD) and Ring Video Doorbell 2 (RBD2). The Ring Video Doorbell 3 and 3 “Plus” are the newer versions of the older discontinued RVD2. But these online pages do NOT include the diagrams like they do in the RVD2 page! Huh?

For RVD3 directly to transformer:

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360042031971-How-to-Connect-Your-Ring-Video-Doorbell-3-Directly-to-a-Low-Voltage-Transformer-Without-a-Pre-existing-Doorbell-

For RVD3 ‘Plus’ directly to transformer:

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360041599492-How-to-Connect-Your-Ring-Video-Doorbell-3-Plus-Directly-to-a-Low-Voltage-Transformer-Without-a-Pre-existing-Doorbell-

For RVD2 directly to transformer:

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/205180710-How-to-Connect-Your-Ring-Video-Doorbell-Directly-to-a-Low-Voltage-Transformer-Without-a-Pre-existing-Doorbell-

Before I continue, and to clarify before any additional confusion is created for someone else who might be reading this post, the RVD2 was first released & available in the year 2017, and it is not the same model as the Ring Video Doorbell 2nd Generation/2020 Release (which I’ll abbreviate as “RVD2ndGen”). They are two completely different Doorbell models. The RVD2 is a discontinued model no longer sold on Ring.com although many people still own this model and you can still find/buy them in 3rd party stores. The RVD2ndGen is the replacement model for the original RVD and was just released in 2020. Because of all the “2” in their model names, they often get confused as the same model, which they are not.

So, what is the reason for needing a 50 Watt, 25 Ohm Wirewound Resistor anyhow? Well, we already know the Ring Video Doorbells (except the Ring Peephole Cam) can all be used to activate an existing house interior mounted bell-chime. The transformer power goes through that house-chime unit and through the Doorbell. And when you depress the button the solid-state relay closes to complete the circuit loop and your house-chime goes “Ding-Dong.” The house-chime provides an electrical resistance-load as the current goes through the doorbell’s solid-state relay when you depress the button. Without a Resistor to replace this resistance-load of the house-chime, if you depressed the RVD or RVD2 button, it would be like completing a “No-load” short-circuit. Yikes! That’s why there is a warning on the RVD / RVD2 page about a possible fire!

**But wait! ** What is an important difference between the RVD / RVD2 and the newer models like the RVD3 and RVD3 “Plus”??? Well, with the original RVD and the RVD2, the solid-state relay ALWAYS closes when the button is depressed (and the solid-state relay needs the transformer’s power to make it work too, which is why a simple check with an Ohm meter does not show continuity). This is **NOT ** the case for follow-on model versions of the Ring Doorbells models like the RVD2ndGen, and the RVD3 and RVD3Plus. These follow-on improved models have an additional option in their Ring App, the “In Home Chime settings/Advance settings” where you have choices of “None”, “Mechanical”, or “Digital” for your house-chime type. These house-chime-type settings do not exist for the original nor RVD2. “None” is where the relay is “turned off” and cannot complete the house-chime electrical circuit! Because the Ring company has no idea whether your house-chime is mechanical or digital, “None” is the factory default setting. With “None” set, the relay will never close. This is why many owners of these newer Ring Doorbells initially and mistakenly think their Ring Doorbell is defective when it doesn’t make the house-chime go “Ding Dong” . . . until they discover and switch to the appropriate “Mechanical” or “Digital” setting. Also, the “Digital” setting apparently has a built-in diode which is needed for a digital house-chime (with the older models, you physically had to attach a diode in the circuit).

When newer models do not utilize a house-chime in the electrical circuit-loop, as long as the setting for the relay remains on “None”, we know that a direct short-circuit will not occur. That’s a good thing. It would be a very bad thing to change that setting to “Mechanical” or “Digital” without a house-chime, because that would close the relay when the button is depressed!

In the meantime, while the relay is open because the button is not depressed, the doorbell is also drawing off a small amount of current from the transformer to “trickle-charge” the doorbell’s battery. This small current draw is insufficient to activate the house-chime. But this small current is still going from the transformer, through the recharging circuit of the doorbell, and still through the house-chime solenoid coils (mechanical) or digital circuits (digital). The mechanical and digital house chimes are providing a resistance-load on the transformer.

So here is the rub. Without a house-chime, you have to keep “None” as your setting or bad things can happen when the button is depressed. But is the “trickle-charge” small draw on the transformer, without the resistance of the house-chime present, still OK? Well, a small draw off the transformer shouldn’t make the transformer heat up, so that’s good. But are the internal circuits of the doorbell designed so they don’t need the additional resistance of the house-chime? Will the Ring Doorbell circuits heat up without the house-chime’s resistance there? Probably not, BUT I DO NOT KNOW THAT POSITIVELY. What I am sure of is that the Ring Doorbell DOES work fine with the additional resistance of a house-chime. And if I substitute/replace that house-chime with a 50 Watt, 20 Ohm Resistor, the Ring Doorbell will “think” the house-chime is there. So logically, I know using the Resistor cannot hurt my Ring Doorbell. But there might be potential damage to the Ring Doorbell without it. Until Ring Support clarifies the “To Use or Not To Use” Resistor question, I personally would use the Resistor , because I know it can’t hurt. It might not be needed, but it can’t hurt.

I apologize for this lengthy explanation, but I wanted you to see the logic I used to come up with my answer. I could be wrong, but at least I’ve probably given you something to consider instead of simply saying “Use” or “Don’t Use” like so many other just say, until Ring gives us a clear ruling on this in the Support article pages.

I hope you find this information useful. :slight_smile:

Hello @Caitlyn_Ring , @Chelsea_Ring , @Tom_Ring , or any other Community Manager,

May I ask a favor? After you read what @blmd777 and I wrote in this thread posting, can you definitively rule on the question about the “To Use or Not To Use” Resistor usage? And also pass along to the people who write the Ring Support articles to change/clarify/edit the online support article pages for directly connecting to a transformer?

  • Edit and clarify the “How to Connect Your Ring Video Doorbell 3 Directly to a Low Voltage Transformer Without a Pre-existing Doorbell” (to include wiring diagrams if the answer IS use the resistor). Maybe add the a note about only using the “None” setting for the “In Home Chime settings/Advance settings.”
  • Same changes/editing for “How to Connect Your Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus Directly to a Low Voltage Transformer Without a Pre-existing Doorbell”
  • Write and add a support article page for the Ring Video Doorbell “2nd Gen/2020 Release” doorbell model Directly to a Low Voltage Transformer Without a Pre-existing Doorbell". . . or combine all three (2nd Gen, 3, and 3 Plus Doorbells) just into one support article page if the wiring and resistor usage is the same for all (and then delete the two unclear pages for the RVD3 and RVD3Plus).

I do think they did a very good job on the wiring diagrams and instructions for directly connecting to a transformer to the Ring Video Doorbell original, the Ring Video Doorbell2, and the extensive wiring diagrams for the Ring Video Doorbell Pro. So, please also pass along Kudos for those article pages too. :slight_smile:

Thank You. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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Hi @Boone. Great work here! To confirm, a wirewound resistor is NOT needed with the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and 3 Plus. This information has been passed along to the appropriate teams to get the corresponding Help Center Articles updated. Thank you for bringing this to light and thank you for your help in the Community! Hopefully we will see this reflected soon!

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@Tom_Ring wrote:

Hi @Boone. Great work here! To confirm, a wirewound resistor is NOT needed with the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and 3 Plus. This information has been passed along to the appropriate teams to get the corresponding Help Center Articles updated. Thank you for bringing this to light and thank you for your help in the Community! Hopefully we will see this reflected soon!

Hi @Tom_Ring ,

Thank you for getting back quickly and providing the real answer! :slight_smile:

And although the topic is RVD3 and RVD3 “Plus”, can you confirm if it is also true that the Ring Video Doorbell “2nd Generation / 2020 Release” also does NOT need a resistor too?

There does not exist any Help Center Articles on this model for directly connecting to a transformer.

Thanks :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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Hey @Boone. The Ring Video Doorbell Gen 2 DOES require a resister if wiring direct to transformer. You can find the information about that here. :smiley:

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@Tom_Ring wrote:

Hey @Boone. The Ring Video Doorbell Gen 2 DOES require a resistor if wiring direct to transformer. You can find the information about that here. :slight_smile:

Hi @Tom_Ring ,

Ah Thank you. I must have I missed that page before during my search. :slight_smile:

And since the Ring Video Doorbell “2nd generation / 2020 Release” (not the older different model Ring Video Doorbell 2) is like the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and 3 “Plus” in that it does have the “In Home Chime settings/Advance settings” with choices of “None”, “Mechanical”, or “Digital” for your house-chime type, I did notice this Help Center Article does NOT have the same “Serious Fire Risk” Warning for the Video Doorbell 2nd Gen (which is correct as long as you select “None” on this setting). As the “Ring Video Doorbell 1st Gen” and the “Ring Video Doorebell 2” do have this “Serious Fire Risk” warning because they do not have the “In Home Chime” settings (no “None” setting).

Since the Ring Video Doorbell 2nd Gen does require a Resistor, apparently the ‘trickle-charging’ circuit or other electronic circuit in this model doorbell is different than the Ring Video Doorbell 3 or 3 'Plus".

Now we all clearly know, that to directly wire a Video Doorbell to a transformer (without using a a pre-existing house bell-chime:

  • Model “Ring Video Doorbell (1st Gen)” does need a Resistor for Fire Hazard.
  • Model “Ring Video Doorbell 2” does need a Resistor for Fire Hazard.
  • Model “Ring Video Doorbell 2nd Gen” does need a Resistor to work successfully.
  • Model “Ring Video Doorbell 3” does NOT need a Resistor.
  • Model “Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus” does NOT need a Resistor.

But, I’m happy that there is Help Article page for it. Again, thank you for pointing that out. :slight_smile:

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