Where to place my motion sensors

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Old 11-25-18, 09:04 AM
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Where to place my motion sensors

I am going to add some motion sensors to my existing Vista 20p panel. Would any experts here mind if I sent them a sketch of my floorplan and recommend where you place the sensors?
 
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Old 11-25-18, 10:14 AM
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If you have existing perimeter coverage with contacts on exterior openings; the best general locations for motions are spaces that have things like patio doors, large ground level windows, and pathways that lead to areas where valuables are likely to be stored.
 
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Old 11-25-18, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dm888 View Post
I am going to add some motion sensors to my existing Vista 20p panel. Would any experts here mind if I sent them a sketch of my floorplan and recommend where you place the sensors?
I was talking more about which corner of the room to place them in. Is it ok if I send you a sketch of the floor plan? I know which rooms I want them in, just want to be sure I put them in the best corner.
 
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Old 11-26-18, 01:37 PM
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-- READ THE INSTRUCTIONS --

Look at the traffic flow in the room. If the Detector is a Passive InfraRed (most likely):
1. Think of the detector as a camera and don't mount it where it "looks" out a window or glass-door. They can be allowed to see outside, but there are a lot of things to consider; best avoided.
2. You want the intruder to walk "across the picture". That is the most sensitive for this technology.
3. Strike a match and hold it about 6" in front of where you choose to mount the detector. If the flame moves around a good deal, there is probably too much air flow for this location.
4. Mount the detector securely. A poorly mounted motion detector will give you headaches.
5. Seal all openings into the detector. You want to avoid having to deal with a "critter" walking across the sensing element.
 
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Old 11-27-18, 08:49 PM
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If you are going to use just a Passive infrared detector, keep in mind that it is basically a "heat" detector. As mentioned by another poster, look to mount it where an intruder will move across the array. PIR's (Passive Infra Red) are not as sensitive detecting forward and backward motion. Observe where heat sources are in relation to the location of the detector. Not over or under an air duct. Ceiling fans can't be left running while the system is armed. Avoid aiming the detector directly at glass doors and windows. If there is a swimming pool on the property, flashing reflections in a room have been known to set off PIR's as well as bright headlights strobing through vertical blinds at night. Again, these are basically "heat " detectors so the location of skylights within the view of the detector can sometimes create a heat differential in an air conditioned room in the summertime. Keep in mind that motion detectors should not typically be installed higher than 8 feet. Also, the "so called" pet immune detectors will only avoid animals on the floor. Pets that climb on furniture will be detected. Cats especially are evil. As mentioned, seal all units where wire come though the case. The units generate a small amount of heat which attracts insects.

If possible, purchase dual technology motion detectors. This is a combination of passive infrared technology and microwave detection in one device. Each technology detects motion differently and the detector wont trip unless both technologies sees motion.

It's usually not a good idea to mount motion detectors near alarm system timed entry and exit doors. When this is done, when you walk to the keypad to exit, you will have to stand there still at the keypad until the motion detector doesn't see you anymore before you can arm the system.

That's about all I can think of right now.

Isn't a free education wonderful?
 
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Old 11-27-18, 09:54 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I do understand the basics of the sensors and have attached a couple of diagrams. The light blue lines indicate windows and the red lines are doors (all of the doors have contacts on them but the windows do not so far). The basement (second diagram) will get wireless sensors because I don't want to tear up the ceiling at this time and I imagine one would go in either the southeast or northeast corner of the rec room. I am thinking the SE corner because then it might even detect someone walking through either of the halls. There is a large mirror on the north wall of the rec room to the left of that doorway, if that makes any difference. I don't know if a second motion sensor is necessary or not but if so, I thought either above the door in that hall (which would catch someone if they happened to smash the French door and walk in, or if they came through the bedroom door), or in the bedroom. I should also note, the rec room has two heat registers in the ceiling, each one right near each window, and one in the wall near the SW corner. The furnace is located in the utility room.

For the first floor, I want to put one in the family room because there are 2 sliders (red lines) and 5 large windows (light blue lines). Those diamond shapes are where the heat registers are in the floor. There are also 4 skylights in the room, but the ceiling is not vaulted. The green numbers 1-4 are the possible positions to place it. Which one looks most suitable? If it were to go in 2, I should be able to put wired ones because I can access the attic there, but 3 or 4 and probably 1 would have to be wireless. The black triangle in the hall is where I thought of putting the other motion sensor which can be wired. The two bedrooms on the east side and the living room are on the second story above grade and would not be accessible without a ladder.
 
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Old 11-28-18, 09:56 AM
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I preferred aiming PIRs north if possible; that avoided the shift of the sun to the south in winter. South facing can be perfectly acceptable; just depends on what the detector will "see". If you're in a non-deciduous forest setting, the previous is pretty much moot. Between locations 1 & 2, I would probably have chosen 2 if it pased the "flicker test". I'm partial to hardwired devices. I'm also retired so I speak in past tense.

In the basement, I doubt the mirror would be a problem, unless it can "blind" the detector. I agree with the SE corner location. If you put a detector in the entrance hall, I would recommend mounting it opposite the door in the corner opposite the door's hinges. For any small area, be careful to select a detector with limited range.
 
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Old 11-29-18, 09:31 PM
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Would a plant affect motion sensors at all? Like if there was movement of the leaves from a breeze of a fan, or a leaf falling? Or would a fan affect it? My understanding is these detect changes in temperature so my guess would be no.
 
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Old 11-30-18, 02:53 AM
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If they are big enough, in the right spot, and generate enough motion, they _can_, but usually don't.

It actually takes a fair amount of relative motion to produce a trip, on even basic PIRs.
 
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Old 12-03-18, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ThisOldMan View Post
I preferred aiming PIRs north if possible; that avoided the shift of the sun to the south in winter. South facing can be perfectly acceptable; just depends on what the detector will "see". If you're in a non-deciduous forest setting, the previous is pretty much moot. Between locations 1 & 2, I would probably have chosen 2 if it pased the "flicker test". I'm partial to hardwired devices. I'm also retired so I speak in past tense.

In the basement, I doubt the mirror would be a problem, unless it can "blind" the detector. I agree with the SE corner location. If you put a detector in the entrance hall, I would recommend mounting it opposite the door in the corner opposite the door's hinges. For any small area, be careful to select a detector with limited range.
Hey MrRonFL,

I was just up in the attic yesterday and can actually run a wired sensor to position 1 in the family room, if you think that is better. It actually might be more open because there is a tall hutch about 2 feet away from No 2 on the east wall. No. 4 is probably bad too because there is a Christmas tree in front of it now. As far as the basement, that diagram is a little off as far as the vents. If I put it in the SE corner, the heat vent would be less than 5 feet away from it up in the ceiling. If I put it in the NE corner, the vent would be about 9 feet away in the ceiling. Would that be a problem?
 
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Old 12-03-18, 02:21 PM
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Location 1 looks good. I didn't see any vents on the basement drawing, but NE corner looks good also.
 
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Old 12-04-18, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ThisOldMan View Post
Location 1 looks good. I didn't see any vents on the basement drawing, but NE corner looks good also.
Yeah I forgot to draw the vents on the basement. So as far as location 1, I actually happened to be in that room this morning and it was a clear morning so I saw the sun come up. The eaves and the wall on the east side block the sun so it would not directly shine at the top of the wall in that NW corner of the family room where the sensor would go so I think it will work there. The sun does shine directly through the windows and door on the east side but that shouldn't affect anything as long as it doesn't hit the sensor, right?

A second thing I was thinking of was instead of placing it in the hall (where that triangle is), would I be better off putting another one in the SE corner of the living room? That would still catch anyone coming down the hall or coming up the stairs.

And finally, if we come in through the front door (which is the only door with delay), is there a way to delay the sensors from going off right away if the front door is opened to give you time to disarm? It shouldn't be a problem, as the keypad is right inside the entry door, but sometimes the kids go running in before it is disarmed and I want to make sure the sensor does not go off before I get it disarmed. And while I believe I am limited to the Honeywell 5800 PIR-RES for wireless, feel free to recommend reliable wired sensors. Thanks.
 

Last edited by dm888; 12-04-18 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 12-04-18, 07:12 PM
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If you program the motion with the standard interior follower-stay/away zone types, they delay along with the entry doors.
 
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Old 12-05-18, 11:55 AM
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Sun shinning on a wall should't bother a PIR. Just watch reflections; A sun-catcher nearly drove me crazy.

Careful placement and aiming will likely provide the catch area for the hall and stairs. But you may have to move away from the corner.

As MrRonFL said, a Follower Zone takes on the entry delay IF a Delay Zone is tripped first; otherwise it causes an instant alarm.

I'm going to bow out of new product recommendations. I've been retired too long.
 
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Old 12-07-18, 01:50 PM
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Oooh I see what you mean. Like if the reflection from the sun catcher shined on the sensor? I think it is ok where it is. I just wondered if the sun heating up the window on the opposite side of the room would do anything, since they detect changes in heat.
 
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Old 12-07-18, 04:50 PM
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The trick is that the hot spot has to produce something that _looks_ like relative motion, because these things look for the hot spot to affect more than a single point in the field of view. That's why suncatchers are such an issue, they produce an illusion of movement.

I've seen a laser printer/fax produce false alarms, in much the same way (if it hadn't been caught on security video, we might have never figured that one out...)
 
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