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    Monitoring the Driveway for activity.

    I want to monitor the driveway for vehicle and pedestrian traffic to turn driveway lights on upon arrival. I want to turn the lights on as soon as the threshold is broken. The driveway is approximately 50 metres long and branches off a shared driveway (Think of a fork with 3 prongs and the 3 houses are at the end of the prongs)

    To-date I've used standard Motion sensors mounted on the house for monitoring our driveway with limited success.

    So I'm thinking of using a Photocell as used in electric gates mounted at the threshold of the driveway and after some advice / experience.
    Have you done this kind of setup already ?
    Can you reccomend photocells ?
    Do I need to run power cables to both transmitter and receiver ?
    Is the output just a dry contact relay which I can wire into a sensor ?
    Are there better ways of doing this.

    Many Thanks.

    Phill

    #2
    We have electric (2 leaf type) gates here so already had 2 sets of (BFT 130) type photocells installed. The BFT photocells just use a relay with COM / NC / NO type connections. The gates were only using one of these so I connected to the unused terminals. I suppose the interface to Homeseer could be anything but in my case it's via a Visonic MCT-100 > RFXCOM.

    Having 2 sets of beams means that with a couple of Homeseer events I can detect if someone is arriving or leaving depending which beam is triggered first. It also reduces false positives which can happen with only 1 beam, for example if a bird flies through one beam.

    Something else to watch out for with the IR beams is direct sunlight. Occasionally I will see false triggers in very bright sunlight but again, the use of 2 beams allows me to filter most of these out.

    Yes you will need power to both TX and RX for standard photocells although I see there are a few wireless units (Optex is one) on the market now which may be an alternative.

    Paul..

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      #3
      Depending on the distance you want to cover, you can also use a sensor with a retro reflector so you only need to provide power to one side of the path. I have used this device for over 10 years as a safety detector on my gate with no issues other than the reflector can become obstructed occasionally with sticky snow. But that would affect any IR beam arrangement.

      Do you have a way to prevent pedestrians from walking on the 'wrong' side of the post?
      Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
      HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548, NUC i3

      HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF | RFXCOM | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3 | EtherRain | Ubiquiti

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        #4
        This device was designed to do this with out a lot of false triggers.
        http://store.homeseer.com/store/Dako...Kit-P1252.aspx
        -Rupp
        sigpic

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          #5
          You could use an in ground detector. Those sense the magnetic field disturbances of a vehicle, and pedestrians will not set it off.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Automated View Post
            You could use an in ground detector. Those sense the magnetic field disturbances of a vehicle, and pedestrians will not set it off.
            I think Phill wants to detect both.
            Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
            HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548, NUC i3

            HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF | RFXCOM | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3 | EtherRain | Ubiquiti

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              #7
              Originally posted by Rupp View Post
              This device was designed to do this with out a lot of false triggers.
              http://store.homeseer.com/store/Dako...Kit-P1252.aspx
              But won't that miss pedestrians?

              Probably not a problem in Alabama or the UK, but in this part of the world that hose would last only until my driveway plow came the first time!
              Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
              HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548, NUC i3

              HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF | RFXCOM | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3 | EtherRain | Ubiquiti

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Uncle Michael View Post
                But won't that miss pedestrians?

                Probably not a problem in Alabama or the UK, but in this part of the world that hose would last only until my driveway plow came the first time!
                That's just one of many different types of detectors. Here are many others that would work for both.
                http://store.homeseer.com/store/Dakota-Alert-C244.aspx
                -Rupp
                sigpic

                Comment


                  #9
                  +1 on the dakota alert stuff.

                  I've used the buried vehicle detection unit and an outdoor motion detector. Both work really good. the wire on the in-ground sensor seemed a bit weak and wouldn't stand up to compacting gravel, so I encased it in carflex, other than that, it's worked great for over a year, no problems. I like the buried sensor better than motion or beam break since wildlife won't set it off, but if you're after pedestrian detection then that wont work.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I agree with the Dakota product does a very good job. I have tried other lower cost detectors without as good of a result. The receiver has 4 channels and the transmitter can be setup to transmit different chimes so easy to recognize with audio where the motion is from. In my case it is about 400 ft. between transmitter and receiver and the 9V batter in the transmitter will last a year. It is waterproof, but condensation will still rust the 9V battery terminal connector. I connect DS10 for the contact closure on the receiver to interface with W800.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Just remember! You need a pretty long driveway to use the direct burial sensor. I have one and it doesn't work on my 35' or so driveway as large trucks passing by set it off. My property is all back yard. I don't look out the front windows much because the view is mostly traffic. I do look out from time to time though because my foxy neighbor across the street likes to perform domestic tasks scantily clad to flirt with me.
                      Originally posted by rprade
                      There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks all for your suggestions. Something for me to review over the Holidays ready for a 2015 project.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You can add geophone sensors for people in your walk if you want. Very sensitive stuff.

                          Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to you and yours.
                          - Pete

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                            #14
                            What about the Dakota Alert Break Beam Detectors? The kit includes the wireless receiver... which can be interfaced to HomeSeer a number of ways (ADIO-100, MimoLite, Everspring SM103, Ecolink Tilt Sensor, etc...)
                            Learn About HomeSeer

                            Comment


                              #15
                              This likely wont be a way you want to do this, however....

                              Vivotek cameras (they make most of the Network Camera hardware then ites OEM to the customers wants), has zone detection (very sophisticated, ive installed them in Tim Horton outlets to detect licence plates), then it changes a digital output (dry contact) as well as the camera records data.

                              I use the Vivotek hardware, most arnt cheap (360 vandal proof dome camera is about $800

                              This would then tell HomeSeer there’s movement.

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