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Driveway Alarm Recommendation

Tanker

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#1
Can you recommend an airhose/schoolbell system and a light or magnetic style sensor system?

I work at home and my house is centered on a rural, square parcel and my driveway (350’) is only visible from the front of the house. I need instant notification of when a vehicle is coming down or sitting in the driveway when I’m in/behind buildings and house. My house is noise insulated and there’s a lot of ambient noise from the county road, orchard tractors etc… so I need an alarm that’s loud and connectable to a future home alarm system. I have an inside dog but it barks only after cars are at the back door; I plan to get an indoor dog as well.

Thanks
 

TnAndy

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#2
Tried a bunch of them, the most reliable ( and it ain't 100% ) is Dakota Alert MURS system. Get both the mag probe transmitter ( you can bury it beside or in the driveway if not paved ) and also get a second motion sensor transmitter. You can use up to 4 transmitters per receiver...each one will sound with a different zone, in voice "Alert Zone 1 (or 2,3,4)" 3 times. Decent volume on the receiver, just needs to be centrally located. Range is several thousand feet, trees, hills and all. About 400 bucks with both transmitters and a receiver.

I got mine here, but shop around, prices change:

www.absoluteautomation.com/long-range-driveway-alarms/index.html


Second best ( and I have this one too ) Miltronics

www.drivewayalert.com/systems/driveway-alert%C2%AE-lr

Range is 'maybe' 400'.....they claim 1,000, but it would have to be line of sight, for sure....no 1,000' at my house. Cheaper at 99 bucks....BUT....you'll probably want a second transmitter in case the first one misses ( non of them are 100% near as I can tell ).....so that's another 50 bucks...AND you DEFINITELY want an external noisemaker ( plugs into the receiver ), like the door bell chime http://www.drivewayalert.com/accessories/doorbell-chime ....25 bucks ......because the buzzer built into the receiver isn't worth a crap.....if you're not sitting right next to it in a quiet room, you won't hear it. The doorbell chime is fairly loud (louder than a standard doorbell) and does the job they should have built into the receiver.

About 1/2 the cost of the Dakota unit, but less alarm as well.
 
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Nickelless

If coffee is gold, I own Fort Knox
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#3
Andy, what do you think of ear-splitting, high-pitched motion-activated alarms outside to deter unwanted visitors approaching the back door of a homestead? I'd been pondering this and blinding floodlights to keep people out of my back 40 and especially away from my garden and back door.
 

TnAndy

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#4
Andy, what do you think of ear-splitting, high-pitched motion-activated alarms outside to deter unwanted visitors approaching the back door of a homestead? I'd been pondering this and blinding floodlights to keep people out of my back 40 and especially away from my garden and back door.
Nickelless,

It would depend on your situation, as they vary, but I prefer the stealth mode myself.....to the point of hiding the transmitters on my driveway alarms where they aren't obvious ( they have to have SOME exposure to work, of course ) by painting them camo colors, hiding all but the "window port" on the motion type inside a shed or bird house, that type of thing. I want to know what's going on, but I don't want the intruder to know HOW I know....keeping the element of surprise in my favor.

Problem with all types of motion activated alarms/lights is not only will intruders set them off ( and thus learn where the alarm IS ), but so will dogs, deer, trees branches flapping in the breeze, even birds, etc....so much so, it's BEST if you can set the transmitter where you can see it from the house so you can do a visual check on WHAT is setting it off....and then MAKE yourself religiously do that check when it goes off.....the one time you don't will be the time you should have.

The OTHER problem is they don't work 100% of the time. So it's best to have overlapping fields of coverage, if one doesn't pick up a motion, hopefully the 2nd one will. This is why I have several types of 'driveway' ( perimeter ) alarms.....I keep enough units to ring my place with overlapping coverage should the need come down the road....you got to sleep sometime.

I like blinding lights...but again, I like to be in control of when they go off.....not on a motion detector so much ( though there are places for them ).

I have a lot of flood lights around the place, wired to a bank of switches out the back door of my bedroom and sunroom, both of which look down over my place, and in the direction most likely someone would approach. I can turn on floods hundreds of yards away from the house, not only for seeing, but for back lighting....nice to silhouette potential targets between me, and the light source.

We could also get off into a splendid, completely theoretical, discussion of other trip wire and electrically activated defensive devices that make one man able to deliver hell to many, but, alas, this is a public forum.
 

JohnPA

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#5
Add me to the Dakota Alert fan club. 1/4+ mile away and the MURS works flawlessly.
 

Goldhedge

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#6
So, where is the best location to put the claymores?
 

TnAndy

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#7
Over the fireplace flanking the family crest, I guess.....

:cheerful:
 

CiscoKid

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#8
Good information in this thread. :thumbs_up:
 

Armed.peasant

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#9
The Dakota Alert has never let me down, you have a lot of options with Dakota and I like that you can chose 5 different frequencies in case you have interference. Like Andy I have tried many others, but I'm very happy with Dakota. I got mine form Amazon.
 

Tanker

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#11
UPDATE:

As with most of my projects, cost and expediency caused me to settled for a cheaper alternative and postponed getting the higher quality (more expensive) item.

Last September I got a "buried sensor driveway alarm" from the local feed store; it was a mule brand or something like that, for $100. I installed it exactly to the details in the instructions and it worked great for about 3 months then stopped working (dead of winter), even with new batteries. Then this March, it started working again all on it's own and is working great; it even detects large equipment, trucks & buses going by a good 50' away and also a child on a bicycle going right by it as fast as they can. When it's been working however, once in a while a small car creeping along can get by it but then our dog alarm goes off.

It's been OK for the cost and it's application but if it was a longer drive and not visible from the house I'd go for something more reliable. So I give this thing a 3 out of 5 stars. ;^).