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PIR Motion Detector/Home Security


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#1 Shah

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 11:34 AM

Hello All,

I need some advice on what security system to install.

House boundary wall is about 180' * 80'. I want a motion detector system for outside of the house. There are no other houses nearby. I would like a day/night detection system (say if something moves 50' from the wall). Any recommendations, ideas on what is best and how much does it cost etc.

Thanks,
Shah.

#2 temp

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:41 PM

What do you want it to do when it detects something? Our outside lamps are standard DIY store PIR sensors, sadly they are also triggered by rabbits and cats. Not a problem if it just turns on some lamps but if it's going to be sounding an alarm it might be another matter. Achieving a 50ft range with those might be tricky. I think I get about 35-40 foot?

For the house we opted for a wireless alarm system by Visonic. Seems pretty bomb proof. Their system is really intended to be professionally installed so I don't know if Visonic provide any customer support to the public. The main panel has numerous features that you will probably never need. The installation manual took some reading. I think (for awhile at least) the BT system was a badged version of the Visonic system.

You can set the system up to call a mobile phone if the status changes or it detects an intruder. I think it may even be possible for the newer models to stream video of the inside of your house to your smart phone but I've not investigated. This might be handy because the police no longer attend an alarm call unless someone has confirmed that there has been a break in. If you can see the b_____s on your smart phone that will probably do!

If you want a monitored alarm then the monitoring company will probably want to install the system as well.

The batteries in the Visonic wireless sensors last a long time if you turn off the indicator LED in them after initial set up.

You can arm and disarm the system using a wireless key fob like you do your car. No need for a keypad on display in the hall or any need to panic and rush the kids out the door before it arms itself. You lock the door then arm the system from outside. You could even connect the alarm panel to an electronic lock if you wanted to. Then it would be exactly like your car.

Google says they make outdoor sensors but I've not investigated them.

Edited by temp, 04 September 2013 - 09:42 PM.


#3 joiner

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 06:27 AM

Anyone know if these are available in the UK?

http://www.indiegogo...m-mobile-device

#4 jsharris

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 07:18 AM

Most of the places I've worked all my life have had perimeter security of some type and it has often been less than reliable in terms of false detections. The one system that was pretty rock-solid used narrow very low power microwave beams (similar to the doppler microwave motion detectors used on some alarm systems) set up as combined break-beam and doppler detectors. We had it set up in a sterile zone between the second and third perimeter fence level (yes, we did have three perimeter fences, one inside another!). It used microwave beams directed from one sensor to another in straight lines, but with the ability to discriminate small targets (mice, rats etc) and not set off the alarms. I've no idea whether something similar exists for the domestic market, but if it is I would guess that it would be prohibitively expensive.

Infrared break-beam detectors are pretty reliable and aren't subject to false alarms from small animals, if set at the right height. They do need to be positioned around the perimeter in straight lines, though, and they can be subverted (if they are known to be there) by crawling under the beam.

Passive infrared (PIR) detectors don't have the range you need, as temp has mentioned. Doppler microwave motion sensors may have that sort of range, but still suffer from the false alarm problem with small animals (and the doppler microwave sensors are a bit more expensive than PIR).

One perimeter alarm technology that is reasonably reliable are buried vibration sensors. These detect foot steps on the ground and can usually discriminate between large animals (like people) and small animals. They are costly though, and need a buried cable connecting them up. They are also probably less suitable for use in an urban environment, where they may get false alarms from people walking nearby.

All told I think it's probably a bit of a challenge to get a domestic perimeter alarm system to work reliably at this sort of distance from the building. It's probably cheaper and more effective to make the perimeter secure and then alarm the entry points.

#5 Nickfromwales

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 07:58 AM

Hi, I have wireless PIR motion detectors half way up my garden which trigger 2 500w halogens up by my guttering facing out to the garden so if someone walks down the first 2 foot of my garden they get zapped. Any one who comes from the side of my house ( front entry ) gets 2 500w halogens off one PIR switched circuit but with 2 PIRs linked to these 2 halogens so I have 360o detection from the eave of my gazebo. If either of these 2 PIRs have a detection, both the lower halogens light at the same time. That PIR needs to have contact rating of at least 1kw, some cheaper one are much lower and can't switch additional loads. I would suggest in this instance, a quality burglar alarm for the house, professionally fitted and monitored ( at a fee ) and then fitting 2D energy saving vandal resistant bulkheads at the corners and remote extremities of your property all switched via a contractor relay and brought on and off with an automatic "dusk till dawn" lux sensor. This would give an all-night ambient light cover for the outside of the property with a reasonable running cost and also giving the impression that the house is occupied when strangers 'pass by'.
Nuisance detection is a pain and halogens are too expensive to run continually, so that's the way I'd go as thieves like the dark. I'd only consider halogens up close to the house so if anything comes that close you get a blast of high intensity light and it would be specific to that area, ie you'd know instantly where the close activation had occurred by just looking out of the window to see which light had triggered.
Regards, nick

#6 Shah

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:25 AM

Thanks a lot for the replies guys.

Let me explain a bit more the situation. We have a farm house outside UK and it was burgled yesterday. There was a big gang to do this job. Family was held hostage while they went through the belongings etc. Thankfully no one was hurt badly....
The boundary wall is about 6 foot high. The perimeter is secure enough but the aim is to get an advance warning if people are trying to get to say within 50 foot of the boundary wall. Then family will have enough time to call police or for help.

Just started looking at the alarm systems but I really want a basic wireless system which will trigger an alarm or even call a mobile phone etc.

I was thinking of mounting the PIR sensors on the wall at 6 foot height. Will this work? Don't know anything about Infrared break beam detectors but have read about the Radar system with a camera.

Thanks,
Shah

#7 joiner

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 01:06 PM

We had a wireless system here for a few years, but I took it out because the false alarms, whilst not frequent, tended to happen at the most inconvenient time and always when we were miles away from the place. It phoned up to three numbers.

Other than the false alarms, I was impressed with the system's allowing the PIR sensors to be set 'to a height', allowing the passage of small animals. It could also be programmed to isolate zones allowing passage for humans through regular routes around the house, or set just to be triggered by external sensors.

Never found out what triggered the false alarms.

I guess if you just wanted it as an early-warning system it would be fine. Pity I can't remember what it was called! Sorry.

(I left the PIR sensors on the internal walls to act as a deterrent to anyone looking through the windows. A burglar would know what he or she was looking at! :ph34r: )

#8 joiner

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 01:09 PM

On the general theme of alarms...

I was advised by a policeman friend that he wouldn't fit a burglar alarm with an outside box because even if it was genuine and the alarm worked, no one took any notice of them until they became a nuisance which they then complained about to the police. He'd been burgled twice! :wacko:

#9 notnickclegg

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 01:31 PM

The senior policeman I have for a neighbour would not agree with your friend (and he has an alarm fitted).

Edited to add: sorry Shah, I should also have said I'm deeply sorry to hear what happened. I hope everyone makes a speedy recovery.

Jack

Edited by notnickclegg, 05 September 2013 - 02:16 PM.


#10 Shah

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:50 PM

Thank you guys. Everyone is doing fine after the traumatic experience.

Any suggestions on the products or brands I could look at?

#11 joiner

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 03:27 PM

You could try getting a dog!

Although that's no guaranteed defence. Despite Jack's neighbour's confidence in external signs, my friend's second burglary was carried out after he'd bought a dog to supplement the external box (which carried the name of a genuine alarm company, not one of the blank covers or one with a name known to be "pretend"). The perps simply broke a window in one room and unlatched a window, which had the dog racing into that room. The second perp then broke a window on the opposite side of the house, which had the dog race over there. With the dog occupied with a waving hand (or whatever they'd used), the first perp sneaked in and locked the dog in the room.

Meanwhile, start shopping...

http://www.ciaalarms...f1954-20-uk_gse

http://forum.ctc.org...hp?f=15&t=75045

#12 notnickclegg

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 03:59 PM

View Postjoiner, on 05 September 2013 - 03:27 PM, said:

Although that's no guaranteed defence.

And that's exactly the point. There's no guaranteed defence, no matter what you do.

As for your mate:
- Why was his window not fitted with a deadlock (or why wasn't it locked)? Does he think they're ineffective too?
- It sounds like he's just installed a dummy box. If it had been a real alarm, all the dog-tricking stuff would have been taking place while it was going off after they unlatched the first window. Not many burglars will hang about trying to lock a dog in a room while that's going on (certainly can't see it happening in my area). Admittedly it's hard to run a PIR based system without false alarms if you have a big dog!

My (real) alarm has two boxes, both of which have flashing lights to show they're on. You can also see PIRs through at least a couple of windows, and through the glass in the front door you can see a flashing LED from the reed switch/shock sensor on the back door.

In a row of otherwise similar houses where some have alarms and others don't, I believe a crim looking for an easy job is at least more likely to start with the unalarmed places. That's all I ask of my alarm system.

Jack

#13 Shah

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:04 PM

sod's law the dog was sick!!!! :( so he didn't make any noise...

#14 jsharris

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:08 PM

We're in a low crime area, so not likely to get the nasty sort of attack that Shah's relatives experienced, but we have had spates of petty theft, usually sheds being broken in to by kids.

We've got high (10ft plus) hedges around our current house that are pretty much impenetrable, meaning anyone has to come in via the drive. I have a CCTV camera and floodlight mounted on the garage, that has a motion sensor and tracker. Anyone coming up the drive not only activates the camera and light, but they can see the camera tracking them. We had one instance around three or four years ago where a couple of young lads tried it on, but as soon as the light came on they looked straight up at the camera, looked at each other and ran off.

The good news was that when we gave the video to the local community police officer, she called us back a few days later to say both lads were known to them, they used our video to help get a warrant to search their place and they recovered stolen bikes, lawn mowers etc, so charged them. The bad news is that, despite having a long list of previous convictions for theft, the two lads got off with a few hours community service.

Edited by jsharris, 05 September 2013 - 04:08 PM.


#15 notnickclegg

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:53 PM

View PostShah, on 05 September 2013 - 02:50 PM, said:

Any suggestions on the products or brands I could look at?

If you want someone to do it for you, you could do worse than make sure they're accredited. I looked into this after we were burgled and it seems SSAIB is the main one in the UK: http://ssaib.org/

If you want to do it yourself, Honeywell are one of the better ones. I ended up using their stuff and have had no problems. There are a couple of other brands that came recommended, but I can't seem to find them with a quick search. Best place to find out about this stuff is on alarm installers' forums.

Good luck.

Jack

#16 joiner

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 05:18 PM

:) Deadlocks would certainly have helped, but it was a rented cottage and I'm going back more than 20 years and although the technology has improved immeasurably the principle of "if they want to get in they will" still applies. Agreed, the trick is to make it as hard as you can for them.

The cottage was on a large country estate and all the other residents were also at work. (One of the arguments for a 'silent' alarm that phones you - and you can get them now that use cellphone technology so no wires to be cut, although can't find a link to that system.)

The dog was a healthy Labrador obtained at about a year's age from a rescue centre and so noisy and large. (My memories of that/those incident[s] are what make me leave all the doors of our place open to give the dog free run, just in case any scrote trying it on this place wasn't taught the distracting-a-dog trick during their time in a Young Offender's Institute.)

The system he'd had fitted (professionally, through his police contacts) would have been a good one for its time.

As highlighted by Jeremy, there is also a good case for installing cameras, especially hidden ones around the house.

I love this!


Edited by joiner, 05 September 2013 - 05:19 PM.


#17 joiner

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 05:22 PM

At least if you can't stop them you'll catch them! :angry:

#18 Shah

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 06:42 PM

Thanks guys.

Some good ideas. I will do a bit more research on Honeywell and also read through the forum.

#19 temp

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 07:21 PM

How about an IR laser beam tripwire? Google initially found just a kids toy and a lot of DIY sites where people are trying to build their own. Many seem to be building crude single beam devices which people say are prone to false triggering due to bugs or rain. Google then led me to this which uses four beams to try and prevent false alarms. http://www.bigbrothe...pricing-198.php No idea if it's any good though.

Edited by joiner, 05 September 2013 - 09:16 PM.
Typo


#20 Shah

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 07:39 PM

IR laser beam is good but it will be too late as the intruder will be almost inside the perimeter.

I guess it can be used as a secondary system on each boundary wall. So a motion detector can detect a person outside the boundary wall and set off an alarm inside the house. That sensor should also send message to 1-2 mobiles. Then if the intruder is about to climb onto the wall then the secondary system can confirm the intrusion to perimeter. Enough time for the occupants to move to safe place if outside the main house building. Not sure if I am making sense...

Edited by joiner, 05 September 2013 - 09:15 PM.
Typo