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Jobar International RET3731 Driveway Patrol
|Price:||$13.53 + $4.78 shipping|
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- Driveway Patrol infrared wireless alert system
- Use to monitor the mailbox, garage, driveway or countless other places
- Battery operation and 400' range means no wiring is necessary
- When a vehicle or person passes the sensor, the receiver emits an audible tone
- Requires one 9 volt and three C batteries, not included
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Jobar international ret3731 driveway patrol
When a visitor--wanted or unwanted--approaches a house on foot or in a vehicle the motion-detecting sensor unit of this warning device sends a signal to the receiver indoors, which chimes an alert. The device is wireless and has a 400-foot range. It requires three C-cell batteries for the receiver and one 9-volt battery for the transmitting sensor. (Batteries are not included.) The sensor is housed in weather-resistant plastic, installs with a screw on any surface, such as a mailbox post, garage, or door, and measures 4-1/4 inches high, 2-5/8 inches wide, and 2-1/4 inches deep. The portable receiver has an identical housing, can be set to chime high or low (or turned off), and measures 5 inches high, 3-5/8 inches wide, and 1-1/2 inches deep. --Fred Brack
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For me, I found it best to point the sensor a little more toward where cars and people approach my property. I built a shelter out of a wooden fence section for the sensor to protect it from rain and attached the shelter to a tree next to my driveway (see the picture that I posted).
Is this thing perfect? No. For this price, what do you expect. But for me, it will do just fine. In fact, I already ordered a second kit so that the back side of my property is covered too.
1) Avoid pointing toward rising or setting sun as you might get false alarms in the morning or evening. Also if it is in a place where the shadows of tree leaves moving on the lens will give you false alarms also.
2) As most PIR detectors, they are least sensitive to objects moving toward them as opposed to side to side so keep this in mind when you place them.
3) I found that a height of 7 feet works well in an open area like a yard or parking spot and 5 feet if you want a small area like doorstep small deck.
4) Make sure the sensor is mounted very solid so it will not move. I use the mounting hole and velcro on the back.
5) Although I have done it, These units are not sealed enough to just hang out in the weather as water will eventually seep in through the front lens or where the case mates. I run a small bead if silicone around the case joints and along the bottom of the lens area and case to keep the driving rain out and have several that are attached to a telephone pole for two years and are still working. Or you could put it in a birdhouse in the right application.
Range of the unit.
I consistently get 300 feet or more with these as long as the sensor and reciever are placed well.
1) The sensors antena is in the back of the unit so if it is pointing in the direction of your reciever the range will be reduced by almost half in my experience. Side on works ok but if your looking for range beyond 200' you wont get it unless its at 45 degrees or straight on.
2) DO NOT mount the unit on anything metal or have metal between the sensor and the reciever otherwise your range will be greatly affected, this goes for the reciever as well.
3) The less things that are in the path of the sensor and the reciever the better. I like to put the reciever/s in a window on the same side of the house as the sensor for the best results.
4) Battery condition in sensor affects range.
1) come on guys, its a $15.00 unit! , you cant buy a good PIR detector for less than $40.00 let alone wireless and a reciever. It's not human presence detection system. Place the units correctly and it will give you a pretty good idea if someone is around or comes in the driveway.
2) Since it relies on changes in the heat signature, it might not pick up a car that was sitting in the sun all day and the same teprature as the the area in front of it. Its pretty good especially if the car drives by the unit not toward it. Its a $5.00 sensor element if that but works well for what it is.
3) I have only had one bad unit out of about a dozen so thats not bad but you can get a bad one. Just ensure you go through the tips above before you give up on the unit.
4) if you buy multiple units it is hit and miss with the frequency settings which you cant change. You might get 3 units that work with the same reciver or have 1 that only works with its reciver. I have six right now working on two different recievers so one is the front of the house and in the front window and one for the back.
I hope this helps anyone with these units out.
After an hour I started having an increase in false alarms and realized that the unit outside was in direct sunlight and I placed a shade over the top. All false alarms went away after the 30 second reset period. In order to confirm this sensitivity to sunlight I switched the units and had the same result. The next thing I wanted to know as the actual area of coverage. Using the indoor unit I determined the area to be approximately 15 degrees wide for each unit. The farther away from the sensor you are the wider the area of coverage. (like a slice of pie) Sensitivity distance is dependent on the object size and speed of transition across the sensed area. More importantly, the difference in temperature (called the Temperature Differential or Delta 'T') between the local area (Ambient Mean Temperature - AMT) and the moving object has the greater influence on how each sensing unit "Decides" when to trigger an alarm.
For example: A person running directly across the path of the sensitive area will trigger an alarm far more often where-as a cat strolling across at an angle may not. Both of my units sensed my walking at a casual pace 50 feet away from the units. And both units triggered an alarm at 100 feet during the cool evening and night time hours from a passing car.
Next, I wanted to determine if the "400 foot" transmitting distance was actually achievable. After several attempts to send a trigger 400' I'm convinced that 400' feet is the theoretical distance that the signal strength can be recognized by the receiving unit. This distance was not achieved under normal operation. But I was able to get an alarm signal at that distance with a parabolic reflective surface behind the receiver which helped focus the weak signal. Note: this distance is based on line of sight and is reduced by signal absorbing objects such as walls, chain link fences and other solid obstructions.
In the end I believe that the greatest influence for false signals is the sun. But in chatting with other owners I've also become aware that in urban environments there is a possibility that one or more of your neighbors may have a system just like yours. If you've never had any false signals and all of the sudden you start getting them it very well may be that one of your neighbors has just installed one or more units and you're able to pick up their transmitter. I say this because of the specifications that indicate that there is only ONE frequency for every Driveway Patrol sold. If you have neighbors with these installed within your reception range, you're more than likely to get their signals and they will be picking up yours. Keep that in mind when considering the purchase of the DP system.
SO... What's my final take on the Driveway Patrol motion sensor? It does what it claims to do, almost. Set-up is important and proximity to other systems can be a big pain. If your in an area with a lot of activity these things will indeed drive you crazy. The constant beeping (aka Radio Shack entrance chime) of the false alarms will make you turn it off. The volume has TWO settings... Loud and LOUDER. They aren't discrete and some people will call that a benefit. Others won't care and the rest of the noise sensitive world will hate them. My solution was to wrap the lower half of the receiver in a layer of foam held in place with rubber bands. That took care of about 50% of the volume and from there on the system has been great.
So (1) Keep these out of the sun (you may even need to make an enclosure that will offer ample protection from the heat and light of the sun)
(2) Place your transmitter at a right angle to the general direction of travel
(3) add some sound deadening material to reduce the noise to a bearable level.
(4) Hope that your neighbors close by don't already have these installed.
If you can do this you'll be able to know when folks come to visit whether they are expected or not.