Motion Sensor Types?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by PeteCress, Nov 30, 2016.

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  1. PeteCress

    PeteCress n3wb

    May 23, 2016
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    Paoli PA USA
    I'm using a couple of Home Depot's motion-triggered 500w halogen floods to illuminate the field for my critter cams, but have been having trouble with the motion sensors - especially in cold weather months.

    I tried substituting one of these: RAB Lighting SMS500 Mini Sensor, 180 Degrees Detection Pattern, 500W Power, 120V, Bronze Color: Job Site And Security Lighting: Industrial & Scientific, but no improvement.

    They tend to come on for no apparent reason and stay on.... and no amount of adjustment/tuning remedies it.

    Been fooling around with a Raspberry Pi for heating/cooling a backup server in my garden shed - where the critter cams also live.... and I am thinking about hooking up a motion sensor to the Pi and having it turn the lights on/off.

    But I have no clue about motion sensors. For the one in the link above (about sixty bucks!) they do not seem to specify the type of sensing. ..... OTOH when I Google for Pi projects around motion sensing, the term "PIR" (Passive Infra-Red) almost always comes up - and those things are really cheap.

    The Question: Is PIR bottom-of-the-line, top-of-the-line, or what?.... the requirement is to detect small animals like foxes, raccoons, 'possums, dogs, cats, and so-forth after dark with minimal false alarms due to shrubbery moving in the wind and so-forth.

    The critter cams have constant IR until they detect the greater illumination of the 500w floods... but that could be turned off if it's a show-stopper.

    Recommendations type-wise?
  2. tigerwillow1

    tigerwillow1 Pulling my weight

    Jul 18, 2016
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    Most of this type of motion sensor has a manual mode to force the light on. If it's in the instructions, it will say to turn the switch powering the light off, then quickly back on. This turns the light on until you leave the switch off for a longer period. The big problem with this is that a short power glitch puts the sensor into manual mode. I have one on an outbuilding, and every couple of weeks I have to walk out there to get it out of manual mode.
  3. nayr

    nayr Known around here

    Jul 16, 2014
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    Denver, CO
    your have any heat signatures (IR) that could be triggering it? for example my dryer exhaust is capable of triggering the rear motion lights and isint something you'd really think of.. in the winter months its alot more sensitive as the surrounding temps are so low in comparison to the hot air coming out that it dont take much to blow it past the sensor and set it off.

    dual tech sensors w/microwave and pir do very well against false alarms.. or even dual PIR beams that pet immune sensors have will require both to activate at the same time to trigger.. (a down angled beam and a horizontal beam)
  4. Razer

    Razer Pulling my weight

    Apr 1, 2014
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    I have a lot of Optex PIR sensors in use. The ones I use range in price from $40 to stinking $815 a pop. Oddly I am no longer buying the $800 version as it falses too much and is generally unreliable. Had a lot of failures on those SIP-100 models.

    Now, the HX series I have used a lot and I have had good results. I just ordered 8 more yesterday of the HX-80 model which is just basic PIR and reliable for me. I use these to protect fence lines and want the narrow beam they offer in most cases. In cases where I want less falsing and a wider beam I use the combo microwave and PIR sensors with good results. I use the HX-40DAM usually.

    Search Security Products | OPTEX[0]=field_product_sensor_type%3APassive%20Infrared%20and%20Microwave

    See the above link for the combo units available.

    I have used the FTN series on fences or pinch points too with good results and the one has been up for three years now and still works fine. Beams might work better as PIR sensors are usually tuned to NOT trigger on animals, they specifically mention in a lot of units that they are "pet safe" so they will not false on household dogs and cats. Hard to get something sensitive enough to hit on smaller animals and still not trigger on swaying branches and such. Microwave would be my best thought on that, or beams that you can set up that animals will cross and trigger then like the FTN or BX series.

    Search Security Products | OPTEX[0]=field_category%3APIR