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View Full Version : Motion Sensors, how do they work?


Blacky
07-22-2010, 9:26 AM
Im not quite sure I understand how wireless motion sensors work, I just want one that will set off an audible alarm and notify me by phone or email somehow. I saw an add somewhere a while back for something like this but lost track of it.

Any pointers on how these devices work?

XDRoX
07-22-2010, 9:39 AM
I installed a top of the line alarm system in my home a few years ago from top to bottom. I didn't use any wireless motion sensors but the hard wired ones I used read body temperature. I set them to detect anything over 40lbs of body mass. That way pets can go undetected while no one is home. If I stand in front of one and wave my arms, nothing happens. But as soon as I move my torso, it will detect my movement.

If you want advice on installing a home alarm system I'd be happy to tell you what I know. In my case I sensored every window and door (including garage door). Motion sensored 3 large rooms, and even installed fire alarms to it.

If the alarm goes off it dials my cell phone 3 times. If I don't pick up and acknowledge, then it dials my wife's cell, so there are no monthly monitoring payments.

We also use key fobs to arm and disarm the system. All this cost under $800 for the parts.

Blacky
07-22-2010, 9:50 AM
Thanks Chris - I was looking at something like this (http://www.amazon.com/MA80-Motion-Activated-Alarm-Dialer/dp/B000ZHXTDI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1279820707&sr=8-1).

Did you wire your system yourself? We've got a cat so I was wondering how that would work. My neighbor used to set off false alarms all the time. I would prefer hardwire with battery backup. If I could tie it in with my security camera/DVR devices that would be cool too.

XDRoX
07-22-2010, 10:19 AM
Sorry but I'm not familiar with that unit. But if you it doesn't have settings for weight then I think you will have problems with pets setting it off. And yes I wired everything myself.
Check out homesecuritystore.com
Great website.
I bought my system from this site. It is commercial grade and does anything you'd ever need. I added extra sirens in my attic, you can hear my alarm from blocks away. Battery backup is standard on any nice unit and wireless sensors are optional. I only used wireless ones where it would have been very difficult to hard wire them. Wireless are much more expensive. A wireless motion sensor is over $100, while a wired one was like $30.
Also a quality burglar can jam wireless sensors with a signal jammer, so hard wired is always preferred by people that know. However my alarm even has a sensor to detect a jammer and will go off if a jammer is used around it.

Check out the site and if I can, I'd be happy to answer any questions I can.

Vin496
07-22-2010, 2:57 PM
http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p290/vincev07/magnets.jpg

ocabj
07-22-2010, 3:14 PM
You can beat motion sensors. Watch Sneakers. Great film.

Blacky
07-22-2010, 3:41 PM
You can beat motion sensors. Watch Sneakers. Great film.

The Robert Redford movie? Are you serious? Anyway, sensors + camera = pretty good security.

Rob454
07-23-2010, 5:54 PM
If you move very very slow you MAY be able to beat a motion. Problem is that nobody moves that slow. unless you get some really really cheap motion and even then I doubt it you will beat it. The motions XD was talking about are probably PIR=passive infrared/Microwave motion detectors. As for the wireless systems they work pretty well. In my 15 years I have never come across ANY burglar sophisticated enough to have wireless alarm system jammer. And I have done probably over 3000 residential and probably 1000 commercial security systems. Burglars simply dont think liek that. 99% of them are simple smash and grab. Contrary to what XD is saying wireless systems work. UNLESS you know how to retrofit a hardwired system in a existing home your best bet is wireless. There are some great wireless systems out there.

Motion detectors require a 12 volt power source. the security system works off a ( usually) normally closed loop. break the loop and you got problems. the detectors send out these invisible beams. they also get sent out in pulses. thats why when you move even if you move slowly you cannot not break the beams. Forget the movies. The way to defeat a detector is by getting to the main panel. if you know how its wired you can bypass it in the field. IMO a ton of work for a residential dwelling. its faster and easier for me to smash a window grab stuff quickly. by the time the central station calls and the PD shows up Im gone. What the alarm system does is minimize the amount of time the guy will be in your house with the potential of the PD showing up.

Good luck in your search.

Satex
07-23-2010, 6:01 PM
As for the wireless systems they work pretty well. In my 15 years I have never come across ANY burglar sophisticated enough to have wireless alarm system jammer.


Have any of your customers come across a system defeated that way? How would they know that it was defeated that way? If it was, then most likely that they thought the system just didn't work. Wireless jamming doesn't leave evidence behind.


And I have done probably over 3000 residential and probably 1000 commercial security systems.


You sound experienced - please share your thoughts about good systems. Any suggestions about: http://www.homesecuritystore.com/?



Burglars simply don't think like that. 99% of them are simple smash and grab. Contrary to what XD is saying wireless systems work.


Agreed. I am worried about the 1% that figured out that we are gun owners...


UNLESS you know how to retrofit a hardwired system in a existing home your best bet is wireless. There are some great wireless systems out there.


That's the main selling point of a wireless system. Please convince me wireless systems are worth it.

XDRoX
07-23-2010, 8:12 PM
Rob, great post. I didn't mean to make it sound like wireless sensors are useless. But for cost and other reasons I still prefer hard wired when given the choice. I used some wireless sensors in my house and feel very confident in them.

I also agree that an alarm system will only slow down the time a burglar is inside a house. This is what is key, especially for gun owners with well built safes. I would never consider owning a safe without an alarm system. A safe simply shows someone where all your valuables are. My safes are very well built, but given enough time and tools, anyone could get into them. I feel confident that my alarm system will prevent anyone from trying to get into my safes.

Satex, check out the website, it's a great site and sells everything. If you want to, first research alarm systems and then see if they carry the brand you want. They most likely will. They carry all the major brands.

Installing my own custom state of the art alarm system in my house was a very rewarding experience, and I would love to persuade others to do the same thing.

XDRoX
07-23-2010, 8:27 PM
Satex, also just noticed you live in San Diego. I live in La Mesa and would be happy to help you with any questions you have about installing a home security system. Installing the system is easy. Programming it is way more difficult, but I'd be happy to help you.

Many systems today are hybrid, meaning they take wireless and hard wired sensors. So as long as you get a system that takes both, the options are endless.

gn3hz3ku1*
07-23-2010, 11:26 PM
my house is already wired for one of those monthly pay services. do you think i can use the same sensors and just get one of those alarm units that calls me? i think they had brinks before

Satex
07-24-2010, 9:33 AM
I have been looking into those. I want one that will email/text me but it appears that most alarm manufacturers have relationships with alarm monitoring services, and therefore they will not cannibalize their service by offering you a module that will kill their service offerings.

XDRoX
07-24-2010, 10:28 AM
I have been looking into those. I want one that will email/text me but it appears that most alarm manufacturers have relationships with alarm monitoring services, and therefore they will not cannibalize their service by offering you a module that will kill their service offerings.

The systems that homesecuritystore.com sell are the same ones that the companies put in your house. The problem is that they have the master code and therefore re-programming it to call you instead of them would be difficult. I do not know how to do this.

The system that I bought from homesecuritystore.com is the same one that 3 of my friends have in their homes that was installed by a company.

But don't most of these companies basically give you the system for free in exchange for the monthly monitoring fess?

My system will not email me or text me, but it will call two different numbers up to 5 times each and when the call is answered the system tells you what zone was violated.

my house is already wired for one of those monthly pay services. do you think i can use the same sensors and just get one of those alarm units that calls me? i think they had brinks before

Absolutely. The sensors are interchangeable from system to system for the most part. You could probably even keep the unit itself if you found out how to reset the master password.

As I said in a previous post, programming these units is very difficult. It took me a week of complicated reading to understand how to program it. I just got finished installing a system in my cousin's new house, and I programmed it in under a 1/2 hour.

It can be very overwhelming at first to take on something like this, but it is very possible and very rewarding. Many professionals tried to discourage me in the beginning, saying that it's too complicated and easier to just get a company to come install a wireless system for free. But I didn't want the monthly payment and enjoy doing this sort of thing.

BTW, homesecuritystore.com also has a link to a monitoring company that charges $7 a month for do-it-yourselfer's if you feel more comfortable with a company monitoring your home.

spectr17
07-24-2010, 2:19 PM
Passive infrared sensors work on temp differential. Your 98.6F body moving through a 70F room works fine for detection. Once your raise ambient temp to near 98F you loose sensitivity. It's why your motion sensor on your porch light doesn't go off in the hot summer evenings until you're right under it. Mix in some microwave sensors to ensure better coverage in hot temps on say patios, porches, garages etc. that get hotter than inside the house.

Also lock you electrical panel, that would be the first thing some burglars shut off when they enter a home. Many systems don't have a back up battery, check yours and make sure it's big enough to handle at least a 6 hour outage.

Also check out PixController, they have some unique alarm and camera technology that will email you pics and video. http://www.pixcontroller.com/

gn3hz3ku1*
07-24-2010, 2:29 PM
Absolutely. The sensors are interchangeable from system to system for the most part. You could probably even keep the unit itself if you found out how to reset the master password.

As I said in a previous post, programming these units is very difficult. It took me a week of complicated reading to understand how to program it. I just got finished installing a system in my cousin's new house, and I programmed it in under a 1/2 hour.


got a link on how i can read up how to reset and program?

XDRoX
07-24-2010, 2:51 PM
got a link on how i can read up how to reset and program?

No, but homesecuritystore has a forum, well if it can be called that:D. It doesn't get as much traffic as cal guns but there are some very knowledgeable people there willing to help people out. So the first step would be to figure out what brand and model you have. Post on their forum on how to reset it and somebody should know how. However be prepared to re program the unit and that isn't easy. You may also want to see if your system's manufacturer has installers instructions on their site. That would probably tell you everything you need to know. But the instructions will be written for an installer, so they will be hard to understand.

gn3hz3ku1*
07-24-2010, 3:27 PM
cool thanks for your help. i guess worst cause i can buy a new unit and then just use the sensors that are already installed.

Rob454
07-24-2010, 7:58 PM
Have any of your customers come across a system defeated that way? How would they know that it was defeated that way? If it was, then most likely that they thought the system just didn't work. Wireless jamming doesn't leave evidence behind.

I personally have never gotten a call from a customer stating they were broken in with the alarm system armed and the burglar walked in as if it were disarmed. Anything is possible but the average burglar simply does not use those sort of tools. If you are talking about a high end burglar i doubt he would go hit your house. Those types are after real money not someones gun. The average homeowner is not gonna be dealing with a Dr Evil type of bad guy. But in all the classes ive taken Ive never heard anyone in the industry say that the wireless systems were defeated that way. Most of these systems are pretty sensitive in that way. They sense something wrong they will trip in alarm.



You sound experienced - please share your thoughts about good systems. Any suggestions about: http://www.homesecuritystore.com/?

http://www.homesecuritystore.com/p-1266-kit495-14cp01-dsc-alexor-2-way-wireless-alarm-kit.aspx

This is the one I would get. ive installed DSC systems and they are not hard to install. little of a PITA to program but its fairly easy compared to others. Some of the new DSC systems are ALL wireless. Wireless motions, door contacts, panic buttons etc. There is a ton of stuff out for them now. I can get anyone a catalog from my supply house. Some of the camera systems are ok. I got a Qsee at my house and it works great. May not be top of the line but it gets good detail. Im only trying to protect my house not the whole neighborhood.




Agreed. I am worried about the 1% that figured out that we are gun owners...

Yeah but unless you have your house painted with GUN OWNER LIVES HERE I HAVE GUNS, Your chances of getting robbed are as good as the next guys. The chances of you getting broken into will drop substantially if you have a security system. While I love my guns and I would be sad if someone broke in and stole them, ive done everything possible. i have a safe, a alarm system and cameras. And I have insurance also so I feel ive done everything I could to protect myself and my property.



That's the main selling point of a wireless system. Please convince me wireless systems are worth it.

Well ease of installation, no drywall patching and paint, less initial cost due to less labor. parts are slightly more expensive but not that much more.
your chances of getting Dr Evil to break into your house are fairly minimal, and you can alarm your closet door AND your safe door.

Depending on the system you purchase you can get a system that has partition capability so say you want your safe, the closet door and a motion covering the safe to be on partition 2. your house is partition 1. Say you basically leave partition two armed all the time. Disarm system pull out guns rearm system. Say one day you forget to arm the partition 1. Thats ok partition two is still armed. its liek having two systems in one panel. You can do a ton of stuff depending on the system you want to use.
Most hardwired systems have the capability to accept wireless receivers and modules. For the most part I would install either DSC line or Bosch ( used to be Radionics) security systems
Also you can program the system to auto arm at a certain time. So say you leave the house and you are 1/2 way to work and AH i forgot to arm system. if you program it ( say you know at7 am you are out the door so you program it for 7 15) so now you don't need to worry. it will self arm so you dont need to worry.
I do commercial systems 99% of the time and I use Bosch systems now. But once ina while a customer wants a cheaper alternative so we do a DSC. Bosch systems are very very reliable. once installed you rarely have a problem unless its wiring or animals but the system itself is not problematic. I replaced two boards in all my time doing this and it was due to customer error on one and the other was a electrician who hooked the ground up to a 120 v hot and fried the panel




My answers in bold.

Rob454
07-24-2010, 8:12 PM
Rob, great post. I didn't mean to make it sound like wireless sensors are useless. But for cost and other reasons I still prefer hard wired when given the choice. I used some wireless sensors in my house and feel very confident in them.

I also agree that an alarm system will only slow down the time a burglar is inside a house. This is what is key, especially for gun owners with well built safes. I would never consider owning a safe without an alarm system. A safe simply shows someone where all your valuables are. My safes are very well built, but given enough time and tools, anyone could get into them. I feel confident that my alarm system will prevent anyone from trying to get into my safes.

Satex, check out the website, it's a great site and sells everything. If you want to, first research alarm systems and then see if they carry the brand you want. They most likely will. They carry all the major brands.

Installing my own custom state of the art alarm system in my house was a very rewarding experience, and I would love to persuade others to do the same thing.

Oh I totally agree. i prefer a hardwire system simply because it wont require replacement of batteries like a wireless will. But unless your house came prewired with security wiring, then wireless is a simpler choice. That is unless you dont mind running wires to different parts of the house ( which is really not all thathard to do. a little PITA but its not impossible to do.

I think you and I are on the same page.:D. Like I said before if anyone needs a part for their security systme to let me know and if i can get the part Ill get it at whatever my cost is and whatever it costs to ship.

See if your system is able to partition. if it is you can put your safes and a motion on their own part of the system completely separate from the house alarm.:D thats always a good one cause most idiot burglars smash the keypad which does absolutely nothing.

Rob454
07-24-2010, 8:20 PM
I have been looking into those. I want one that will email/text me but it appears that most alarm manufacturers have relationships with alarm monitoring services, and therefore they will not cannibalize their service by offering you a module that will kill their service offerings.

Actually the manufacturers really have no relationship withthe monitoring companies. The alarm installation company does though. If you own the system in the house, be careful when you have someone monitor your alarm system. There are unscrupulous companies out there. Unscrupulous in the sense of dishonesty but not in a Im going to rob you kind of way. Most security panels have a lock out, download code and a installer code to get into programming. With those three codes you can take over the ACCESS to programming of a alarm panel. Lots of panels today are able to be dialed and programmed over the phone ( I do it all the time cause it saves me a trip to the customer to change a pass code cause he fired the maid and its a free service I offer. i dont charge a service call for it)
Now some companies will lock youin a 2 year monitor agreement and after the two years is up then they drag their feet on giving you access to your system. in some extreme cases they simply will not give you access back even if its your panel. yes there are some out there liek that.

i happen to work for probably the most honest guy inthe security world. he charges a yearly fee and thats it. After that you want out you get out. he wont change pass codes play games etc. I also am the same way. I have better things than to screw over a client. I want to keep you as a client not drive you away.

if anyone has questions on the security system world feel free to drop me a PM.

Also most of the door contacts, sirens and motion detectors are interchangeable between systems. keypads, main boards or wireless modules usually are not.

Rem1492
07-24-2010, 8:57 PM
xdrox, thanks for all that info! I may pm you in a few months when I begin this endeavour.

johnthomas
07-24-2010, 9:08 PM
Sorry but I'm not familiar with that unit. But if you it doesn't have settings for weight then I think you will have problems with pets setting it off. And yes I wired everything myself.
Check out homesecuritystore.com
Great website.
I bought my system from this site. It is commercial grade and does anything you'd ever need. I added extra sirens in my attic, you can hear my alarm from blocks away. Battery backup is standard on any nice unit and wireless sensors are optional. I only used wireless ones where it would have been very difficult to hard wire them. Wireless are much more expensive. A wireless motion sensor is over $100, while a wired one was like $30.
Also a quality burglar can jam wireless sensors with a signal jammer, so hard wired is always preferred by people that know. However my alarm even has a sensor to detect a jammer and will go off if a jammer is used around it.

Check out the site and if I can, I'd be happy to answer any questions I can.

They are not set by weight, they are set by mass and movement. A 2 oz curtain blowing in around in the range of the sensor will set it off. I have several animals and they don't set mine off.BTW I just got a bill from the city of Salinas for 111 dollars because of a false alarm which I did not know happened. I called the alarm company and they said yes it happened and they called the two alternate numbers on file. The two numbers they had were not even close to anything we have ever had.

Rob454
07-24-2010, 9:50 PM
They are not set by weight, they are set by mass and movement. A 2 oz curtain blowing in around in the range of the sensor will set it off. I have several animals and they don't set mine off.BTW I just got a bill from the city of Salinas for 111 dollars because of a false alarm which I did not know happened. I called the alarm company and they said yes it happened and they called the two alternate numbers on file. The two numbers they had were not even close to anything we have ever had.

You can also set it up with your alarm co to call you before they dispatch and only to dispatch on your say so. You can give as specific instructions as you wish. Also IF you are monitored i would STRONGLY suggest that you guys once a month trip the alarm system. Place the account on test and call the central station and then set it off and see if the system transmits the alarm etc. I do it once a month to make sure its dialing correctly