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Home Driveway Alarm


This DrivewayPatrol Driveway Alarm is one of those ‘As seen on TV!’ products, which means the quality is questionable, but the price is outstanding due to mass production, and they are thoroughly tested. The idea is simple: just hide the motion sensor along your driveway, put the speaker unit in your home (within 400 feet), and when someone walks or drives into your driveway, you hear a chime. It can be handy for security, alerting you to guests, or for quite a lot of other purposes.

This is a passive infrared sensor, so you don’t want to put it in a windy bush or at a level where the cat will set it off, unless you want your cat to set it off. Some people use this type of motion detector at ankle level by their door to let them know when their pet wants to come in. They can also be useful if you are making a racket in a workshop or are in the back yard and you want to be alerted to visitors. There is no wiring necessary, as the wireless driveway alarm takes three C batteries for the sensor, and a 9 volt for the chime (not included).

There aren’t many products out there that still use C batteries, and if you are like me, you don’t want to be buying odd battery sizes all the time. My solution was to get these Sanyo rechargeable batteries with charger. They come with 8xAA, 2xAAA, and four each of these plastic shells you can put a AA battery inside of in order to make them work as C or D batteries. They work great, and rechargeable batteries have gotten so much better in recent years. I use them for everything now. Everything from AAA to D batteries actually put out the same voltage, they just made all the bigger sizes to hold a charge longer, but the new AA batteries hold more than the old D batteries.

There is a similar driveway alarm system, the Bunker Hill Driveway Alert System, that you can find at Harbor Freight. They are similar enough that I’m guessing they are using pretty much the same guts. Harbor Freight is known for having really cheap stuff, but amazon has thisĀ Driveway Patrol unit for around half the price ($11 as of this writing).

If you are looking for a DIY driveway alarm solution, It would be easy to whip up something fun with this DIY Motion Detector Kit. By putting the sensor in your driveway and hooking it up to your indoor lights, you could have the interior lights come on whenever someone approaches, which would both leave a convincing impression that you are home even when you aren’t, and if you are home, alert you more directly than traditional outdoor motion lighting when someone is outside.