Does what it promises - easy installation
Written: Jun 21, 2008 (Updated Jul 13, 2008)
a Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Easy installation, transmits through the woods without wires. No false alarms from animals.
Cons:Does not detect pedestrians or bicycles. False alarms in storms, power outages.
The Bottom Line: Get this if you want an invisible system to detect vehicles on a driveway that is 12' wide or less, but have large animals that would trigger a motion detector.
I ordered this alert for a house that we are building in rural New Mexico. We did not want a motion detector because we have elk, deer, and other large animals out here that would trigger false alarms. We did not want a hose-type detector across the driveway because we don't want people to know that we have this system.
Installing this product couldn't be easier - we listened to the four available chime tones and selected the one we wanted, we flipped a switch or two as described in the instructions, then buried the probe just a few inches in the sand on the side of our driveway. We then put the weatherproof transmitter in the woods (nailed to a tree) and the receiver in our RV, which is about 300 feet away. The only wire that we had to bury was the one between the probe and the transmitter, which can be placed wherever you want it - the signal from the transmitter to the receiver is wireless and can travel up to 3,000 feet. Once installed, the system is just about invisible.
The outdoor transmitter runs off of one 9 volt battery. The receiver in your house plugs into a standard outlet. As for battery life, we haven't had the system long enough for me to comment on it. I also don't know how we will know if the battery is running low, but I'll update this review when we get to that point.
The first time we tried the system it did not work, so we turned up the sensitivity from the one-half position to the three-quarters position. It then started working and has performed like a champ ever since. It not only detects cars and trucks, it detected our neighbor on her ATV. It does not detect mountain bikes.
I love this thing. Now when I hear a vehicle on the road at night I don't have to get up and see if it is coming down our driveway - I can relax, knowing that the bell will tell me if someone is approaching the house. Once our home is completed, all we need to do is bring the transmitter inside and plug it in.
I also like the fact that this system can be expanded. When we build a fence out back to enclose our garden and fruit trees, we can add a Dakota motion detector out there - if it goes off, we'll know that an animal is inside of our fence. The existing receiver can be used for both the driveway probe and the motion detector, so we won't have to buy two different alarm systems. The motion detector will have a different alarm tone than the driveway alarm, so we will know which one was triggered.
I would recommend this alarm to anyone who wants an easy, reliable driveway alarm, but keep in mind that it will not go off it someone comes down the driveway on foot or on a bicycle. If your driveway is wider than 12 feet, it is possible that some vehicles traveling on the edge of it will not be detected. In out situation, the driveway is lined with trees, so it is not possible to avoid the alarm.
UPDATE: Now that it is monsoon season I have learned a few more things about this alarm. Close lightning strikes can cause the alarm to go off, and if the power goes out completely, when it comes back on the alarm will sound its default chime. We have short power outages on a fairly regular basis, and when they occur in the wee hours of the morning, it is annoying to be awakened by bad classical music. But I still like the system, even if it is a little overactive.
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