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Home Security System - Need help with some considerations

Netduino Security Sensors Distributed

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#1 Daniel Minnaar

Daniel Minnaar

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 07:13 PM



Since I reside in South Africa, personal security is a big concern. I've decided to rather spend $500 on a Netduino solution instead of paying a monthly fee of $50 to a security company. I'm now in the design phase, so I'm considering the various challenges and requirements ahead.


So far I've identified the following requirements:

  • Indoor motion sensors for each room (3-4 rooms)
  • A loud speaker in the ceiling
  • A bright alarm light outside
  • An activation/deactivation interface

I live in a cul-de-sac - I'm very well acquainted with all my neighbors and we're always on the look out for each other. My idea behind this system is not so much armed response but more of a 'scare away' tactical approach. I suspect the audible alarm and visual light will be sufficient enough to deter intruders.


When I consider that the motion sensors use analogue signals, the first challenge I can identify is the distance between all the sensors and the central Netduino. I would guess the average distance between each sensor to the Netduino would be around 15 meters. I can only imagine that I'd suffer from noise and loss of signal issues between the sensors to the Netduino.


I've considered using an XBEE approach, but what other alternatives are there?


As for the siren and light, I'll just use external power with a relay to get them going.


Is there anything I've overlooked here? I've got a bunch of nice toys lying around such as the Nwazet Go kit with touch screen, a GPRS shield, couple of Netduinos, sensors etc.


Where to now? :)





P.S: I've got a Kinect, and some exposure playing around with the SDK, could this influence my decision? Hmmm...

Edited by Daniel Minnaar, 04 April 2013 - 07:16 PM.

#2 cutlass


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Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:01 PM

You need to look in detail about the many different types of motion sensors.  And, the problems/limitations with motion sensors.


As far as I know, all motions sensors just use a digital/relay output.

There are cheap POS motion sensors for ~$25/each, very good motions sensors that go for ~$300+, and everything in between. :)


IMHO, I like the Honeywell products more.  And, the multiple exterior motion sensors around my house show that. :)

BTW, any motion sensor and small animals can be an issue. Also, be careful of rapidly "changing heat/infer-red/light".  So, no motions sensors pointed towards a window, be careful of trees and the sunlight getting blocked/un-blocked and coming into the room/window, etc.  Also, heat sources like AC, furnaces, refrigerators, etc might be a problem.





Since I reside in South Africa


South Africa, huh?  Want some snow? ;)  We have plenty during the winter. :)

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Good Luck!

#3 sebswed


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Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:13 PM

Hello Daniel


I love Xbee. You can even use them as stand alone devices to connect your sensors to.


I found a very informative totorial series (1-5) on Youtube also a nice project is to connect an ionization smoke detector to your analog port and plot the data so you can program your own smoke detector and set the values for it to activate etc. http://dzlsevilgeniu...e-detector.html


There is even a way to connect a RFID card reader to it without the need of a micro controller


Like Cutlass said PIR (motion) detectors are sensitive for direct sunlight and drafts so might have to test and change the position of the sensor to find the perfect place. I don't know about the area you live, but I used to live a "short" (3 year) period in Thailand and there we had some large rats (uninvited) that could trigger the sensor.

Netduino Plus 2 (v4.2.2.2)

#4 GaryDyksman


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Posted 13 May 2013 - 06:25 PM

Hi Daniel, how is your security project going? I am from Pretoria and I am undertaking the same project, I have am working of a prototype, using a motion sensor from Micro Robotics and a LED flood lamp, I have even got a laser to use as a trip wire . Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

#5 thepryvalis


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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:26 PM

I'm working on a basic Alarm system to secure 2 rooms with 3 PIR sensors.. I'm kinda stuck with the parts that I need... till now I know that i will use a LCD display and a netduino plus... I'm not the smartest.. hope somebody can help me figure out what parts i exactly need to make this come to a good end. :/ 

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