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Author Topic: Tips for mounting sensor for driveway chime?  (Read 3562 times)

whitenack

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Tips for mounting sensor for driveway chime?
« on: August 10, 2011, 10:55:01 AM »

Hi all.  This website has been so helpful.  I appreciate everyone's patience as I ask tons of questions.  I am learning a lot.  I got a box of goodies in the mail this week and have gotten to work setting things up.  This has created even more questions...

I am setting up an active eye motion sensor near the driveway to trigger a chime to let us know when someone driving up.

At first, I had a little trouble getting any range out of the sensors because I was setting the sensors against the trees in my yard and that seemed to interfere with the RF signals.  Even trees that were within 15 feet of the receiver.  I searched the forums (yea!) and found the coat hanger trick.  Slipped the wire behind the sensor, and then had to bend the wire so it sticks out at an angle from the tree, but it worked.  I was able to place the sensor a good 125-150 feet from the receiver, with the signal going through an exterior wall.

Can you guys give tips on how you mount your sensors?  Is a tree as good a place as any?  I have trees that line the driveway, and I'd rather do that than drive a post just for a sensor.  What do you guys use?  What is the best way to mount one to a tree.  Right now I just have it tied tight to the trunk, but need something more permanant. 

Another problem I have is false alarms.  The chime went off in the middle of the night last night.  I assume a squirrel was checking out my new addition to his favorite stomping ground.  If the chime goes off at random times, especially at night, this is not going to work.

Any help is appreciated!
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whitenack

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Re: Tips for mounting sensor for driveway chime?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011, 02:02:17 PM »

Just to update, the false alerts continue today.  I have heard that sunlight can sometimes give false alerts, so I am trying different trees and opposite sides of the driveway.
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dave w

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Re: Tips for mounting sensor for driveway chime?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2011, 02:09:40 PM »

Can you guys give tips on how you mount your sensors?  Is a tree as good a place as any?  I have trees that line the driveway, and I'd rather do that than drive a post just for a sensor.  What do you guys use?  What is the best way to mount one to a tree.  Right now I just have it tied tight to the trunk, but need something more permanant. 

Another problem I have is false alarms.  The chime went off in the middle of the night last night.  I assume a squirrel was checking out my new addition to his favorite stomping ground.  If the chime goes off at random times, especially at night, this is not going to work.
I used short screws into trunk.
About the only way to get rid of night time chimes is to use CM15A and AHP "Smart Macros" to set up conditions which limit sounding the chime to a time window. Also try repositioning the motion sensor to make it more resistant to falsing
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whitenack

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Re: Tips for mounting sensor for driveway chime?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2011, 08:06:33 PM »

Ok, due to the layout of my yard, the sensors are either aimed toward the street and pick up passing cars or are staring straight into the sun.  Both provide constant false alerts. 

What I would like to do is go up about 10' up the side of a tree (have good, straight trunked oaks with no lower branches) and aim the sensor toward the ground at about a 45 degree angle.  This would give me 10 feet of horizontal coverage out from the base of the tree, which should be enough to cover the driveway.  The question is creating a bracket our housing for the sensor to keep that 45 degree angle and allow it to mount to the tree. 

I see one from the forums that was made out of legos, but wondering if anyone had other successes.
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whitenack

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Re: Tips for mounting sensor for driveway chime?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2011, 08:11:09 PM »

And I also should add that the housing should incorporate or at least not interfere with the coat hanger mod due to the increased distance from the receiver.
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dave w

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Re: Tips for mounting sensor for driveway chime?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 08:39:39 AM »

The question is creating a bracket our housing for the sensor to keep that 45 degree angle and allow it to mount to the tree. 
Maybe metal pipe strap? It is soft and mallable. Shelf mounting "L" brackets bent to the angle needed? An exploratory trip to Home Depot is always fun.
Since you are mounting 45 degrees downward, you might want to seal the mounting holes in the battery compartment with some silicone sealent.
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jrwhit

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Re: Tips for mounting sensor for driveway chime?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 11:20:50 AM »

I have a suggestion. This was mentioned by Dave_X10 and has worked very well for me. If you put your sensor in a birdhouse this restricts the field of view to a useable level. My birdhouse has a front panel that drops down providing access for positioning if needed. It also hides the unit from view and the weather. I think Dave and I have an "upgraded" sensor from another company for a "Driveway Patrol" but the same setup should be helpful for an X10 setup.
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whitenack

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Re: Tips for mounting sensor for driveway chime?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2011, 03:52:30 PM »

I have a suggestion. This was mentioned by Dave_X10 and has worked very well for me. If you put your sensor in a birdhouse this restricts the field of view to a useable level. My birdhouse has a front panel that drops down providing access for positioning if needed. It also hides the unit from view and the weather. I think Dave and I have an "upgraded" sensor from another company for a "Driveway Patrol" but the same setup should be helpful for an X10 setup.

Thanks.  I see on the internet some kits for fake birdhouses that disguise a sensor.  I think I can make one from scratch pretty easily.  I wonder if I really need to bother with angling the sensor down toward the ground?  Surely if I don't point it toward the road it won't pick up my neighbor's driveway 150' away?
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HA Dave

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Re: Tips for mounting sensor for driveway chime?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2011, 08:44:36 PM »

..... I think Dave and I have an "upgraded" sensor from another company for a "Driveway Patrol" but the same setup should be helpful for an X10 setup.

Yep. I found the driveway patrol worked best for me... but there are MANY solutions available out there. I like the idea of an electromagnetic sensor as well... (maybe next time).
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