Electronic Sensors

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A motion sensor, or motion detector is an electronic device that contains a physical trigger mechanism or electronic sensor that quantifies motion. It can be either integrated with, or connected to, other electronic devices that can alert the user of the presence of a moving object within the field of view, or magnetic influence. They basically form the vital component of comprehensive security systems often used in homes and businesses and adopted by paranormal groups for research and investigation.

An electronic motion detector contains a motion sensor that transforms a detection of motion into an electric signal that can measure optical (visual) or acoustical (audio) changes in the field of view. Usually detecting motion or sound up to 15–25 meters (50–80 feet) away.

The Five Basic Types of Sensors:

Active Infrared Motion Detector (IR) – Active infrared motion detectors use an IR sensor, as well as a source of radiation. The sensor is able to detect interruptions in the radiation it receives from the radiation source. This basically means that an IR motion detector is able to detect the signal of heat energy emitted by an intruder as it differs from the constant infrared scanning activity of the detector, as long as the intruder passes through it’s detection range.

Passive Infrared Sensors (PIR) – Currently the most popular type of motion detecting system. PIR motion detectors are relatively inexpensive compared to detectors that utilize other technology. A PIR sensor is able to use an optical collection system in combination with several different sensing elements. This allows the sensor to detect any changes that occur in ambient infrared radiation. The sensor is able to recognize a thermal infrared image (created by infrared technology combined with a heat sensor), which usually starts the transmission of an alarm signal back to the unit’s receiver. If the PIR sensor is connected to a monitored security system control panel, the control panel can interpret the alarm signal, and convert it into data to trigger the appropriate alarm.

Ultrasonic Motion Detector (active) – An ultrasonic motion detector is able to use sound energy in order to detect movement in a specific region. This ultrasonic sound energy is emitted in waves, which come from quartz-crystal transducers. When the sensor detects movement, the sound waves are disrupted, which triggers the sensor. Ultrasonic motion detectors are commonly used in automatic doors, since they are reliable and easy to install. The main limitation of an ultrasonic motion detector is that it can be blocked by any material, and can be easily disrupted.

Continuous Wave (Microwave active) – CW motion detectors use microwave signals to emit frequencies to bounce off of the surrounding area (which is why they are sometimes referred to as “microwave motion detectors”). The sensor is able to detect when there are subtle changes in these frequencies, since this would signal a disruption. When an intruder passes the field of a CW microwave sensor, he disrupts the frequency, which sets off the sensor’s alarm. CW motion detectors are generally more expensive than PIR motion detectors. This is because they are highly sensitive, and are very reliable over longer distances than other sensors.

Vibration Motion Detector – A motion detector that detects simple vibration can either be made from materials at home, or purchased as an electrical device. Most vibration motion sensors use the piezoelectric effect (as some materials generate an electric field) in order to detect motion. Simple do-it-yourself vibration sensors most commonly use a lever that activates a switch when it detects vibration.

The principal methods we’re interested in, is detecting motion that can easily be electronically identified via optical and/or acoustical detectors. Of which, infrared light or laser technology is most often used for optical detection, while motion detection devices, use sensors that detect movement and send a signal to a an alarm switch that usually produces a shrill sound that can be heard for great distances, or to an imaging device to start recording audio and/or video.

Many high-end security cameras are motion detector equipped with the cameras connected to a computer system (DVR – Digital Video Recorder) which in turn stores and manages the captured images to be viewed at a later time or viewed over a computer network.

The chief application of course being security systems, usually designed to detect:

• Detection of unauthorized entry,
• Detection the cessation of occupancy of an area to extinguish lighting, or entry into a darkened area to illuminate it.
• Detection of a moving object which triggers a camera to record subsequent events.

All of which can be used to detect and record paranormal activity.

At Desert Highlands 

We have tested a variety of Motion Sensors, but by far we prefer the ‘broken beam’ type of sensor. We use them when we wish to secure a doorway, walkway, hallway, and even by our hidden camera equipment. These sensors allow you to leave the room or area unmonitored, sending out a loud shrill when activated. Notifying you of activity in the area, and is totally battery operated. To be honest, these devices are not really useful for detection of entities and the like, but are useful to detect tampering by the living.  We would also like to point out that it is our experience that ghosts, spirits, and entities will very rarely trip any of these motion detectors. As our cameras have caught shadow figures moving freely in and around our sensors with no effect whatsoever. However, it is quite valuable in the detection of tampering by those attempting to perpetuate a hoax or fraud. Thus, the motion sensor can help ensure your investigation is valid and are therefore is a viable tools in your arsenal.

Wireless 2000 Driveway Alarm

Although the alarm is designed for driveways as an electronic monitoring system that automatically sounds an alarm when a car pulls into the driveway. The fact that it’s a portable, self-contained, light weight and simple to operate unit makes it a perfect addition to the Desert Highlands arsenal of detection equipment. The unit can easily be attached to a doorway with Velcro strips. Then when the trigger is broken, it alarms an electronic sensor that emits a loud pulsating alarm at the receiver up at the ‘home base’ monitoring area during an investigation to 2000 feet away.

OPTEX now brings the benefits of its advanced wireless technology in the form of greater RF transmission range with this Wireless 2000 entry announcer with a design versatility that makes it easy and convenient to use.

The system can be installed anywhere easily and quickly with no wiring, is fully battery operated and now allows for a 2000 ft. line of sight transmission range. Add the additional range unit repeater for greater coverage. The ideal choice for perimeter awareness and wireless remote control for the serious paranormal team.

Invisible Infrared Border Patrol Security Beam w/Alarm/Chime

Now when someone “crosses the line”. This high-tech device creates an invisible infrared beam up to 60 ft. long. When the beams crossed, a loud alarm or pleasant chime will be emitted. Use as an invisible playpen to alert you of your child or pet leaving a safe area. The alarm can also be used at night to scare off would-be intruders. In the chime mode, retail stores can use it to announce customers, or alert them when someone enters an area that is “off-limits”. Choose to have the chime sound only one time (when a customer enters a store), or continuously until you turn it off (when a child leaves a safe area). Distance can be set to high or low (max distance 60 ft.). In the chime mode, volume can be set to low, medium, or high. Two AC adapters are included. Three AA back up batteries are not included.

This pair of units create an invisible infrared beam between the two units with the transmitter and receiver create an infrared beam up to 20 meters apart. Alarms when someone moves through the beam. It has a three-volume level settings and alarm tones with two distance settings, it’s easy to align with the LED indicator lights on both units, and a warning sounds with a low battery warning signal. Great for catching hoaxers as well!