Alarm PIR's


I have an alarm system that has a PIR in the detached garage. Every time we go on holiday the alarm triggers via the garage PIR. I can pinpoint it to when the dustbin men come by looking at the alarm log, and also my neighbour tells me! I leave a key with her so she can turn off the alarm and reset.
Now my (limited) understanding of PIR's is they work on heat/movement. How is it being triggered by the bin lorry? The lorry only gets as close as approx 50 feet, so I do not think vibration is the cause. My thoughts are the flashing lights on top of the cab. There is a gap at the top of my garage door of approx 3/4"and the PIR is moulted at approx this height, is it possible that the 'lighthouse effect' of the lorry light is somehow crossing the PIR sensor and triggering the alarm or am I barking up the wrong tree.
I have had a guy look at it (not an alarm engineer but an electrician acquaintance of a friend) and he seems to think it will be down to spiders although he couldn't see any evidence of webs etc in or around the PIR, also the spider theory wouldn't explain why it only goes off on a Weds morning when the bin truck arrives, unless of course the spider is hiding from the bin men;-)
Cheers
John
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wrote:
<snip>

It might not be hiding - it might be coming out to see what the noise/vibration is...
http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Notes/Pied_piper.htm
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Stephen Howard
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On Thu, 26 Feb 2009 10:04:12 -0000 someone who may be "John"

Sounds unlikely, unless the flashing lights are emitting a fair amount of heat. However, the lorry has a large engine which does give out rather more heat.
Is the sensor "looking" out through this gap? If so events outside may trigger it, depending on the detection pattern.
Sensors should not "look" directly at windows or gaps, to minimise false alarms. If your sensors do then they were installed incorrectly. Note that this is not the only factor in placing such sensors.
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David Hansen, Edinburgh
I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents me
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"John" wrote

I believe it could be down to spiders inside the passive. Check inside the device for evidence and make sure that the cable entry is sealed to keep them out in future. Also consider getting a dual-tec passive for this location - far less prone to these false alarms.
Phil
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Thanks for this but if it is down to spiders etc. why does it only trigger when the bin men arrive (anytime between 7.15 and 8.15 AM). Also there doesn't appear to be any evidence of spiders webs etc and the cable entry hole is blocked with a dab of silicone sealant. I have some damp proof membrane that I can use to cover the gap on the inside of the garage door to see it this helps.

Is this the same as my understandinfg of a 'double knock' zone?
Cheers
John
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"John" wrote

OK forget the spiders. I had occasional false alarms from a hall passive and replaced with dual-tech which has not given any problems. Haven't heard the expression "double knock" but there is a description here http://www.diy-alarms.co.uk/catalog/index.php?cPath !_23_26_37_53
Phil
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No; 'double knock' means the sensor has to trigger twice to alarm. Some PIR sensors have a jumper to select such behaviour. Alternatively, some alarms can be programmed to look for double knock (and sometimes across different zones).
Dual tech is two different technology sensors in one unit, normally PIR and radio wave doppler shift. The units are normally jumpered to only generate an alarm if both detectors trigger. They are less liable to false alarms, and are used in more expensive commercial alarm installations, but there's no reason you can't use them in a home alarm. (They are sometimes used in garages where hot air from a recently parked car can trigger a PIR, and in conservatories where heat from the sun can generate false PIR alarms.) They require careful setup to ensure the microwave isn't seeing outside the desired protection area. Many of these have anti-masking detection, which will either trigger the alarm contacts or the tamper contacts if the doppler detector picks up movement which the PIR doesn't see, so you don't want the doppler detection zone spilling outside your garage doors, for example. They are typically twice the price of a good PIR (or perhaps four times the price of a dirt cheap PIR).
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Andrew Gabriel
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wrote:

No, in all probability right idea, wrong part of lorry. It's most probably the exhaust, which on many lorries has a vertical section to chuck it out at height. Another possibility is that compressing the waste of many households will cause the rubbish itself to rise in temperature - I'm not sure by how much, but it happens to hay when it is baled - and thus the whole lorry is warm compared with its surroundings.
I have a PIR that activates an alarm at my front door, to warn of visitors and prowlers, and I think it is sometimes set of by my neighbour's heating outlet, which is about 15m away, perhaps because of the clouds of steam and exhaust that it causes to swirl around in front of the house. It also seems to be sensitive to voltage spikes.

When I was doing up a cottage, in the lean-to that contituted the temporary toilet, there was a spider's web under the basin, right in front of where one sat on the toilet. One day, I found that if I sang (vocal range approximately baritone, if anyone else wants to try :-) when on the toilet , the vibrations in the web would bring the spider charging out of hiding, thinking it had caught something.
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I don't know whether that is what is happening, as I said the lorry only gets as close as 50 feet. The PIR doesn't pick me up on my driveway when cleaning the car etc and I am only 20 feet away. I realise trhat I am smaller than a bin lorry but is it really likely that the heat from the lorry (or engine/exhaust) is being picked up through a 3/4" gap?
Cheers
John
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There is your answer. Seal the 3/4" gap. Shouldn't really be a gap there anyway.
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I am going to try this but if the gap wasn't there the door wouldn't open, as the door is 2" thick and sat in a 2" thick wooden frame. I appreciate the gap may be a little on the large side for clearance but all the other garage doors on my Cul-De-Sac are the same, and sometimes if not opened correctly the door fouls on the back edge of the frame.
Cheers
John
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They work on movement of heat sources, so you on your driveway may be too faint and or occupy too small a solid angle against the background heat 'noise' in the environment, especially if you have a dark coloured car, whereas the side of the bin lorry will occupy a much bigger solid angle than you, and its exhaust will be much hotter than you.
As you suggest, try covering up the gap for the duration of a few bin men visits, and if that fixes it, consider moving the unit.
wrote:

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To restore balance to the world John wrote in snipped-for-privacy@bt.com

free.uk.diy.home,uk.d-i-y
Remount it so it looks in to the garage not out so above the door looking in.
Chris
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If I remounted it this way when the door is opened (up and over double) the door would block the PIR so Mr Burglar could quite happily empty my garage.
Cheers
John
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To restore balance to the world John wrote in snipped-for-privacy@bt.com

Would it not be triggered by the door,in so doing it's job- PIR's should always point into the space not out.
Chris
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Surely PIR means Passive Infra Red which presumably means it reacts to heat movement. Won't that mean that the door would need to be at a different temperature to the surroundings to trigger it?
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Keith W
Sunbury on Thames
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Hi John, I would just change the P.I.R. Spiders can't do this. Vibration or slight movement can. Also check for corrosion around the terminals. Kind Regards,
Micky Leeds U.K
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I doubt spiders have alarm clocks. Why don't you just try angling the sensor downwards so that it won't be triggered by movement of a warm object at 50 ft? 30ft should be plenty, you can test the activation range of course by doing a walk-by in broad daylight if you increase the ambient light sensitivity control first.
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To be honest, I'd never considered putting a PIR in a garage as there just seemed too much possibility of drafts and spiders triggering them in error.
What I did at my last house was run an infra-red dual beam detector inside the garage and covering the entire length of it on the side with the window/side door. So anyone breaking through the widow (or getting past the reed on the main or side doors for that matter) would end up breaking the beams. Both beams (a few inches apart) had to be broken so even a large garden spider crawling across the detector wouldn't trigger it.
Google "dual beam"+detector to get an idea what sort of products are available. They are more commonly used for outbuildings and perimeter protection.
Note this was on a wired system, but I think some manufacturers do wireless beam sensors.
HTH Midge.

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I have a dual technology PIR in my garage. Works a treat.
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