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Our recommended equipment is the Dakota DCMA-2500 sensor and base station. MSRP is $189.99, I got mine with a simple google search for just over $100. This was chosen for our initial installation as it was wireless, and boasted an extended range -- our test installation is about 800' line of sight. (This product boasts 2500'. We have not tested the Dakota product beyond the needs of our test setup.)

The software simply acts upon a switch closure that you'll wire into the parallel port of your computer. Anything you can find that provides a status change across a relay or switch (passive) contact will work. The only limitation is that the closure duration must be fairly long, more than 1 second as this is a polling system with a 1 second interval.

This means that any alert mechanism, whether wired or wireless, infrared, motion, metal detector, air hose, simple magnetic reed switch for a door, etc. will work just fine as long as the monitor has an external relay connector. We can handle NO (normally open) or NC (normally closed) switch contact.

Dakota DCMA-2500 specifics:

  • You will need to configure the jumpers in the receiver unit for 10 second hold duration, the default is 1 second.

  • Note that this detector looks for heat. It does NOT look for reflection from a builtin transmitter, it simply looks for heat in front of the sensor. With a car, the warmth from the engine, or even the surface of the tires is detected. So you want to orient the unit to point somewhat down the driveway, thus allowing more time for the heat to be noticed. You do NOT want to place it perpendicular to the driveway as I did when I first set it up and had poor detection results. (This was from a call to Dakota Tech Support.)

If you have some other system, please contact us and let us know of anything we should make others aware of.

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