More About Hardwired Driveway Entry Alerts
Hardwired driveway alerts make for a very reliable option to get notified when a car is going up or down your driveway. While they do tend to be more reliable, it does come at the cost of a more intensive installation process. Mier Products line of driveway alerts is very flexible. They are robust enough to be used for commercial applications, but are also great for residential installations. They can be used as a self-contained system or connected to an alarm system. Mier’s Drive-Alert can be even be used to add some home automation capabilities to your property. The Drive-Alert probes work by detecting distortions in the Earth’s magnetic field that is caused by large metal objects (that contain iron) making them very good at avoiding false alarms. Whether you are a home owner that just wants to know when they have a visitor or a business owner that wants to know when someone pulls into their drive-through or a farmer protecting his valuable equipment or anything in between, the Drive-Alert can provide you all the features you need and more.
Because the probe is looking for sudden changes to the magnetic field near it, there are three factors that affect the system’s performance: size, speed, and distance. The probes can detect a larger iron object from further away than a smaller iron object since they will make a larger distortion. Faster moving objects produce more sudden changes than slower moving objects. And the closer a metal object is the easier it is to detect. A truck that is going 65 miles per hour can be detected up to 50 feet away. A car moving slowly down a driveway can be detected up to 8 feet away. While a person wearing steel toed shoes would need to walk within 1 foot of the probe. For most installations, this means that the probe should be placed near the driveway and further away from the road.
Installation of the probes, cables, and control panels is fairly straightforward. Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Typically you will want to bury the probe so that the edge of the driveway is within 12 feet. It can be buried under the driveway to extend the effective range of the probe for a wider driveway. The probe should be buried 6 inches deep and parallel with the driveway. The cable is rated for direct burial. It is recommended using PVC pipe or something similar to prevent any damage to the cable. Also, you should avoid using splices since these can easily fail and cause false alarms or no alarms. Even small nicks to the cabling can allow enough moisture into the wire to cause false alarms. The cable should also be at least 20 feet from electrical wires and never buried with other wires such as telephone wires, alarm wires, or siren wires.
You can test the placement of probes by laying it on top of the ground where you would like to bury it. However, the probe must be absolutely motionless or it will cause false alarms. Also, the probe and cable are very prone to damage when on top of the ground. You must ensure that they will be as protected as possible during the placement test. We also recommend double checking the integrity of the cable after this so that you know that it is in good condition before you complete the installation of your Drive-Alert system.
Mier Products’ Drive-Alert has two main components: the DA-500 and the probes. The DA-500 is the control panel or the brain of the operation. It has the terminal strip that allows for the connection of probes, Mier Drive-Alert accessories, and other devices. The DA-500 also has a built-in whistle to act as a chime. The control panel is not designed for outdoor installation. The DA-500 has options to adjust the sensitivity and also the time that the whistle will annunciate. The timer for the whistle can be set from 1 to 12 seconds. The sensitivity is set to maximum and the whistle set to 1 second when you receive it. The DA-500 provides a relay with terminals so that you can set up the system to trigger not only Mier’s accessories, but devices such as gates, sirens, cameras, and alarm systems. It has both NO (normally open) and NC (normally closed) terminals to provide you with maximum flexibility. We do have the DA-500 console only so that you can pair it with the probe and cable length that meets your needs. For your convenience and value, we have a bundled package that features a DA-500 and a probe with a 100 foot cable. We have cable lengths available up to 500 feet.
Mier’s DA-505 Timer Control is a great, simple accessory that allows you to power up to 10 amps of devices. It can be used to activate lights, sirens, and surveillance equipment to name a few. The DA-505 has an adjustable timer that will activate the devices for 1 to 45 minutes. It attaches directly to the DA-500 relay terminals labeled NEG, +24, and NO. The devices that you want to be activated by the DA-505 need to be plugged into the AC receptacle on the Timer Control. In addition to having the timer the DA-505 can be set to manual mode and keep devices on continuously when activated. To turn off devices when in manual mode or before the timer has expired, the reset rocker switch just needs to be flipped.
The Mier DA-500 can also be expanded to feature wireless chimes using the DA-066 Remote Chime Transmitter. This can be used to add a more pleasant chime than the whistle that is built into the DA-500 when used in conjunction with a DA-070 or DA-068 wireless chime. The DA-068 is a wireless plug-in chime and must have an open AC receptacle to operate. On the back there is a volume control and two switches. Switch “A” must be in the on position. Currently, switch “B” has no effect on the function of the chime. The DA-070 is a battery powered wireless chime. Since it is powered by two C batteries, this chime also has the benefit of being portable so you can move it with you to make sure that you can hear any chimes that go off as long as you are still within range. The chime address must be set to “4” for it to function with the Remote Chime Transmitter. Installation of the Remote Chime Transmitter is no great task. It comes equipped with all the wires you will need. The red wire should be attached to the +24 VDC terminal. The black wire connects to the NEG terminal. You will also need to jumper from the NEG terminal to the C terminal. Finally, the white wire should be connected to the NO terminal. Note that you must turn off the whistle in the DA-500 as well. If you connect the Remote Chime Transmitter and do not turn off the whistle feature of the DA-500, you will blow a 1 amp fuse in the control panel. The DA-066 Remote Chime Transmitter must also be mounted outside of the control panel. The Remote Chime Transmitter also features a push button that can be held for 2 seconds to activate the remote chimes.