Driveway Alarms

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I was thinking of putting an induction system in the driveway so that a bell would ring when someone pulls in. We have a long drive, partly hidden, and it would be good to know if someone is coming. I'd put it far enough up the drive so that it wouldn't be set off by people who are just turning around from the street.
I like the idea of a hard-wired system so that I don't have to worry about battery replacement. Has anyone had any experience with these? Any recommendations of brands to seek out or avoid?
Paul
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Pavel314 wrote:

You can rig your own with a motion-sensor (like for outdoor lights) and a bell.
Have fun.
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On 1/23/2013 3:21 PM, HeyBub wrote:

Motion detectors aren't consistent or reliable enough. Any time there are thermal changes the thing will be going off continuously
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On Wednesday, January 23, 2013 3:21:48 PM UTC-5, HeyBub wrote:

I thought of that but we have deer wandering up and down the drive at night which would set off the alarm. I figured an induction system wouldn't give false alarms, unless a metal deer walked up the drive.
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Pavel314 wrote:

Ah, yeah.
Consider a pneumatic sensor. You remember, the tubing over the driveway at gas stations and the like that acted like an annunciator.
Or, you could build your own - in layers.
Bottom layer: Foundation. Steel plate. Next: Fine copper - or similar - mesh. Next: Insulating layer (cardboard, non-metalic foil, etc.) Next: Fine copper mesh. Top layer: Wear surface (rubber sheet, etc.)
Wires are connected to the two copper mesh surfaces and, when they touch, they act as the switch.
But here's the trick: The insulating layer has largish holes in it to allow the top wire mesh to be pushed down and contact the lower copper mesh. These holes will be fairly large, 1" or more.
Or you could just say "screw it" and get a door annunciator that works off a door mat.
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On 1/23/2013 10:32 AM, Pavel314 wrote:

would ring when someone pulls in. We have a long drive, partly hidden, and it would be good to know if someone is coming. I'd put it far enough up the drive so that it wouldn't be set off by people who are just turning around from the street.

battery replacement. Has anyone had any experience with these? Any recommendations of brands to seek out or avoid?

The big name is Cartell. The equipment is great and works just fine as long as lightning doesn't strike to close. Another lesser known company is MFM sensors, out of Tacoma, Washington I love these guys. If a board gets blown out by lightning or whatever, you call Greg, ship him back the board and he repairs it for a flat rate, something like $35. These folks are just a pleasure to deal with. The model I use from them is D-376 I have had two locations with distances from probe to circuit board of over 500 feet and too many trees in the area of the probe wiring, where they just get fried too often. I experimented with a cheap Dakota Alert model.
((Amazon.com product link shortened)58994186&sr=8-1&keywordspa-2500 )
In both cases I mounted the transmitter on a post about 5' high and installed the receivers inside of poured concrete basements. One has been in operation about six years, and the other about a year now. I made no guarantees when I installed them, because they're so cheap, but they seem to work flawlessly and the customers love them. All of these units have auxiliary relays and timers to control piezo buzzers, lights, alarms, etc
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replying to RBM , Chris Perry wrote:

drive
((Amazon.com product link shortened)58994186&sr=8-1&keywordspa-2500
I have left MFM voice messages for several days. Do you have an email address or another way to contact them? Also, do you know how to put the board in "unsupervised" mode - is it as simple as cutting the white wire? Thank you.
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Get a big roll of bubblewrap from the package shipping store.
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replying to TimR , Chris Perry wrote:

Thanks for your reply but I have no idea what you mean.
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On Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 10:44:05 PM UTC-5, Chris Perry wrote:

It's that plastic wrap they use to protect delicate objects in the mail. It has large bubbles of air.
When you step on them they pop, but it needs a lot of force. A small animal can't do it but a car would.
If it's a long way from the house you'll need a microphone to pick up the noise.
The advantage is there's almost no way to get false alarms from rain, wind, squirrels, lightning, etc.
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replying to TimR , Chris Perry wrote:

has large bubbles of air.

can't do it but a car would.

noise.

squirrels, lightning, etc.
I have a Dakota Alert DCMA-2500 that works even better than bubble wrap. The sensor is mounted 30" above grade and set on the least sensitivity to avoid detecting squirrels and other small mammals. It's pointed at the gate and alerts immediately if the gate opens or someone sticks in their arm or tosses over a package (FedEx!). The receiver is mounted in the pantry and wired to the doorbell circuit. The transmitter and receiver are 260' apart with several walls, a deck, numerous trees and a 95' elevation change in between. The 9v battery in the sensor lasts for years. It works perfectly with very few - one or two a year - false alarms.
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On 1/23/2013 10:32 AM, Pavel314 wrote:

would ring when someone pulls in. We have a long drive, partly hidden, and it would be good to know if someone is coming. I'd put it far enough up the drive so that it wouldn't be set off by people who are just turning around from the street.

battery replacement. Has anyone had any experience with these? Any recommendations of brands to seek out or avoid?

back in the old days we used a dog to sound the alarm...
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On 1/23/2013 10:32 AM, Pavel314 wrote:

would ring when someone pulls in. We have a long drive, partly hidden, and it would be good to know if someone is coming. I'd put it far enough up the drive so that it wouldn't be set off by people who are just turning around from the street.

battery replacement. Has anyone had any experience with these? Any recommendations of brands to seek out or avoid?

I've been reading all the replies to the thread and thinking about my situation. I presently have a gravel driveway that goes between many trees, hooks 90 degrees and finally goes to either the back door area or the garage. I have an x10 motion detector at the bend in the driveway. It is installed on a lamp post. It is an AC powered and unfortunately it is no longer available, although I do have a spare. And, yes, it does trigger on deer, bear, dogs, possums and even squirrels, sometimes. I have it active 24/7 but I use an x10 smart controller to figure out when to sound the alert, light the floods, etc. I very much like the way it works. Yesterday, the UPS truck pulled in at 11AM and it alerted me. About 2 weeks ago, my neighbor walked over at night and the floods (plus the Christmas lights, which were still there) turned on and it alerted me inside the house. We will be paving the drive this spring, so I was thinking of an induction system, however, it won't work for people walking. Maybe a cross IR beam would be much better. At least it would probably miss the smaller animals and it probably wouldn't false trigger when a cool puff of air comes down from the top of the mountain behind. Anyone know of a nice cross beam system?
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On 1/24/2013 9:14 AM, Art Todesco wrote:

I use a set of New Line IRE 200 units at my house. I chose this make and model because it seemed the most flexible to me in it's power voltage, and that it uses a form C relay. Mine is set up to activate two piezo buzzers and several sets of outdoor lights. The piezos always chime, but the lights only come on if it's dark, and then they time out in five minutes. I did this install about 16 years ago and it hasn't missed a beat, so I can certainly recommend this company. Here is a link: http://www.selma.rs/cardin/html/instructions/zvl294.01.pdf
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On 1/24/2013 6:25 PM, RBM wrote:

After post my comment/etc. to the original post, I found this unit: http://www.smarthome.com/7460/Weatherproof-Infrared-Beam-Motion-Detector/p.aspx Available at several suppliers, but this was the cheapest.
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I'd highly recommend the Mighty Mule.
http://www.mightymule.com/mighty-mule-driveway-alarm.htm
Have had one now for almost a year and it works very well. It's installed on a 250' driveway about midpoint. Far enough from the street that it doesn't trip by passing vehicles, close enough that it catches the occasional curriosity vehicle. Although it has as battery in the sensor, I've yet to have to replace it.
It replaced an Optex IR system that was useless with false alarms. Any induction system will ignore people, so if that's your concern you may want to layer in some other detector.
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On 1/25/2013 8:59 AM, Art Todesco wrote:

http://www.smarthome.com/7460/Weatherproof-Infrared-Beam-Motion-Detector/p.aspx

It looks fine. The new line give you the option of powering with AC or DC, and it gives you a normally open and normally closed contact making it a little more versatile.
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On Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 7:32:58 AM UTC-8, Pavel314 wrote:

ell would ring when someone pulls in. We have a long drive, partly hidden, and it would be good to know if someone is coming. I'd put it far enough up the drive so that it wouldn't be set off by people who are just turning ar ound from the street.

t battery replacement. Has anyone had any experience with these? Any recomm endations of brands to seek out or avoid?

Try Marsh Products:
http://www.marshproducts.com/vehicle.htm
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On 1/8/2015 12:21 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I had several variations of PIR motion detectors and they are all subject to false alarms. These are caused by animals and even the wind. Living on the side of a mountain, animals (deer and bear) and winds are a problem. Sometimes there will be warm winds from the top and other times cold winds. Either way, a change in temperature will cause the PIR unit to trip. BTW, I had a PIR unit in my old house in the Chicago suburbs, and didn't get too many false trips, but there were some. Anyway, I now have a wired in Optics unit that has an IR source on one side and a detector on the other. It's a whole lot better for my area. I should have gotten one of the unit where you have the source and detector on the same side and a reflector on the other ... but it's too late for that. I ran the wire in the same plastic conduit where I ran power for Malibu lights, so it wasn't that bad.
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I get well over a year on one set of AA batteries with this system and that includes sub-zero winters. Much easier to install than a cut or preconstruction system.
http://www.mightymule.com/mighty-mule-driveway-alarm.htm
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