Refinements in Intrusion Sensors

Traditionally, the saying pardon the intrusion has served as a polite excuse to interrupt something. Today, it conjures up ESPN’s popular sports talk show, “Pardon the Interruption.” But there was a time when that phrase would have come from the lips of manufacturers and installers as they apologized for malfunctioning intrusion sensors.

Fortunately, the devices have come a long way since then in terms of both reliability and capability.

Intrusion sensors have been around in one form or another for well over a century, but the modern era really began with the introduction of the passive infrared (PIR) motion detector in 1982. These groundbreaking devices were designed to respond to changes of IR energy levels within specific fields of view, sending an alarm signal when changes occurred in a given environment.

Although early generations were fraught with the tendency to falsely trigger, diligent research and design teams eventually ironed out the kinks to help establish the PIR as a staple of modern burglar alarm systems. Developments such as dual-technology sensors, which require activation of two technologies (e.g. PIR and microwave) to trigger an alarm, and sensors embedded with discriminating microprocessors have been among the most dramatic refinements.

As good as the technology has become and as ubiquitous as these sensors are, they remain only as effective as the people who make, install and use them. The following is a roundup of some of the latest and greatest sensors on the market today, along with a glossary of terms, installation tips and an update on creating PIR standards.

ADEMCO PIR’s Split-Zone Optics Ignores 40-Pound Pets
ADEMCO of Syosset, N.Y., a Honeywell company, says its Aurora motion sensor is designed to provide even better detection than previous generations of pet-immune PIRs.  According to the company, the sensor provides immunity for animals weighing up to 40 pounds, features a totally silent relay and delivers laser-sharp detection while minimizing inconvenient false alarms.

The Aurora offers the benefits of recent innovations in optical design, the use of an advanced single-chip processor and ADEMCO’s next-generation split-zone optics, which divide each zone into two stacked subzones. Each subzone is the same size as the original, but only has about half the sensitivity. To generate an alarm, a target must intercept both subzones simultaneously.  A human target is sufficiently large enough, while most pets remain undetected.

According to the manufacturer, the PIR packs features not usually found in motion sensors in its price range – most notably ultra-low current and dual-slope temperature compensation, which adjusts sensitivity at ambient temperatures both below and above body temperatures.

NAPCO PIR Has Chip to Discriminate Alarm Causes

NAPCO Security Systems Inc. of Amityville, N.Y., presents its new and improved IQ Profiler™ passive infrared (PIR) motion detector. The company markets the product as the “Quick Install” PIR that profiles objects to prevent false alarms.

This advanced microprocessor-based device can be installed with an ordinary screwdriver and features a library of false alarm and alarm sources.  A quarter-turn of a screwdriver in the back housing’s mounting disk and the unit embeds itself in any corner in less than a minute, with innovative self-projecting, fast anchoring wall pins. “Snap-down” terminal strips for connecting wires means there are no screws to fasten.

According to NAPCO, other features of the IQ Profiler include: Improved “Quick Catch” detection response; unique dual-focal lenses for superior pet immunity up to 50 pounds; casing that profiles the size of objects by producing beams three times as large as competitive sensors; single tool installation in less than 1 minute; instantaneous verification
of genuine alarms to prevent false alarms; shielded grooves-out lenses to prevent dust/dirt interference; Room-Temp Alert™; and look down/creep zones.

IntelliSense Glassbreaks Have 25-Foot Range

IntelliSense of Syosset, N.Y., a unit of Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions, has released the FlexGuard FG-1600 family of glassbreak detectors.  According to the company, the FG-1600 series is the industry’s most versatile glassbreak – the only ones to incorporate hardwired, wireless and V-Plex polling loop technology for enhanced flexibility.  All versions share the same packaging.

The devices feature patented remote test activation, centered wire entry holes and 45° terminal blocks to make installation easier. The physical design of the flush-mount version adequately covers any single gang box. Elliptical screw mount holes allow easy alignment and PC board components are enclosed to help prevent installation damage. The detectors mount virtually anywhere – on walls or ceilings. Optimum operation can be verified with the FG-701 glassbreak simulator.

The glassbreaks have no minimum range and a maximum range of 25 feet. Four adjustable sensitivity settings – ranging from very low to high – compensate for the acoustics of any room.  All FG-1600 glassbreaks are UL- and ULC-Listed for all types of glass, including plate, tempered, laminated, wired, film-coated and sealed insulating. The products are suited for residential and commercial applications.

Bosch Packs in 5 Layers of Detection Technology

Fairport, N.Y., Bosch Security Systems says its DS950 high-performance TriTech PIR/microwave detector provides excellent catch performance and freedom from false alarms with five layers of detection (including “look down” zone), patented passive infrared and microwave processing.

Other features of the product include: supervised microwave and PIR technologies; anti-masking capability; selectable PIR sensitivity; five mounting options; draft/insect immunity; and motion monitor signal processing.

The DS950 uses adjustable PIR and microwave technologies to provide an alarm condition upon simultaneous activation of both fields of protection. Its built-in Motion Analyzer II uses multiple thresholds and timing windows to analyze timing, amplitude, duration and polarity of signals to make an alarm decision.  According to the manufacturer, it will not alarm on extreme levels of thermal and illumination disturbances (heaters and air conditioners, hot and cold drafts, sunlight, lightning, and moving headlights).

In addition, the unit’s pattern recognition circuitry identifies and ignores repetitive false alarm sources, while adaptive processing adjusts to background disturbances. The microwave anti-masking function provides supervision trouble signal if microwave reflective material is placed within one foot of the detector.

Test functionality includes a three-color alarm LED with separate colors for alarm, PIR and microwave activation. Internal noise voltage test pins provide pattern location and background disturbance evaluation using a standard analog meter, and the trouble memory feature recalls trouble conditions.

Finally, switch-selectable one- or 30-day motion monitor supervision timers provide the detector with the ability to verify there is a clear view of the protection area. The memory circuit can also control this feature.

Visonic Detector Utilizes FM Digital Signal Processing

Visonic Inc. of Bloomfield, Conn., says its digital dual detectors represent the next generation in microwave and infrared technologies, signal processing and optical lens technology for superior detection accuracy, false alarm immunity and reliability.

The company’s NEXT Duo microprocessor-controlled dual detector incorporates new patent-pending frequency modulation (FM) digital signal processing (DSP) that is designed to eliminate much of the interference associated with amplitude modulation (AM) processing. Visonic’s p

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