Recommend pet friendly wired alarm sensors please

5 Sep 2012
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United Kingdom

I'm looking for recommendations on wired pet friendly sensors for my existing home alarm.

It was originally a monitored system but the control panel has been changed to a Galaxy 2-12 and the system has been fitted with an external strobe/siren.  It has worked great but recently my cat has started to trigger an occasional alarm.  The existing sensors are Aritech EP 125P and, as far as I can find out, aren't pet friendly.

I'd like to swap them for something similarly small which I can fit in the same corners and which won't cost the earth or be difficult to change.

Any advice welcome.  Thanks.
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Bosch blue line tritech like, for example, eBay Item number:190640135753.

If your cat is small and doesn't jump up, you could also go for a cheaper pet tolerant pir e.g. Blue line, Optex RX40-PT.
Thanks for the reply. What's the difference between the cheaper ones like these

and the ones at four times the price?
Buy the cheap ones if you like, just remember two very experienced alarm engineers recommend the Optex RX40-PT.

In the realms of alarm equipment, you get what you pay for. Buy cheap, buy twice along with all the aggravation.

£200,000 house insurance (example), but can't spend a FEW pounds to protect it. What's the difference in price, a packet of ciggies?
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The one you have linked to isn't dual technology - PIR only is cheaper.
Dual tech use microwave sensing as well as PIR to reduce false alarms.
To plagerise a well-known double glazing company - you only fit them once, so fit the best!

In this industry, it's usually "one strike and you're out"! If you call a pro out to a false alarm, chances are he'll replace the detector (unless there's a very obvious cause). Dual tech detectors are much less likely to false alarm and so keep everyone happy.

We wouldn't dream of putting a regular PIR in commercial premises, it's always a dual tech (but not a pet friendly!). Equally, we'd always use a dual tech in a garage, shed or outbuilding.

If you feel that you really can't afford a dual tech, a PIR with 'quad optics' is a good second best.

Advice given; you choose! ;)
Thanks guys for taking the time to reply.

I'm trying to get my head around the terminology.  I get that dual tech is both PIR and microwave technology, but then I'm a bit lost if I'm honest.  How about this Bosch...

It states "Blue Line Gen 2 Motion detectors include the passive infrared (PIR), the Quad PIR detectors and the TriTech detectors that combine PIR and microwave technologies for more advanced analysis.". So it's dual tech then, right?  Reading the data sheet for the Bosch it seems to state that it WILL know the difference between a cat and an intruder, whereas the Optex goes on about false alarms if even a rodent is on a shelf near the sensor.

Part of my problem is that my dining room is quite small and the table is in the firing line of the sensor, maybe 15 feet away.  Is the Bosch blurb telling me that it'll know it's just the cat on the table?  Even tho he never goes on the bleedin' table when we're in.

Also, that particular Bosch seems to require a fixing bracket for flat wall mounting but doesn't mention a bracket for corner mounting.  Is this correct?

I'm not trying to scrimp on the costs really, but if I can fit 4 sensors for fifty quid that'll do the job of more expensive ones then all the better. Hence I'm on here asking - it's so easy to get ripped off these days.

Further help much appreciated guys. 
that;s a quad PIR, it will mention dual tech if it's dual tech. do you need 4 sensors? think where they need to be so that one will go off if there's an intruder in the house you don't need to do every room necessarily.
The TriTech is a dual tech with extra marketing! :LOL: :LOL:

If you keep the cat in the kitchen, you only need to put the pet-friendly in the kitchen and can put straight PIRs (or pet-friendly PIRs) in the rest of the house. Or, if you keep the cat out of some rooms, these can have PIRs.

I don't remember the bracket details... I think it's to do with having a back-tamper for EN graded systems. I'll try and look it up for you.....

You're unlikely to get ripped off with different types. Of course, you might get a better deal on a specific model from one dealer over another but there really is a difference in performance between straight PIRs and dual techs and the DTs will always be more expensive.
The whole story...

Bought house with a monitored Galaxy 8 alarm installed (out of contract).  Zones are 4 internal PIR's, 1 garage PIR, 2 door contacts and 1 carbon monoxide sensor.  It had an MK7 keypad, internal siren/dialler, exit speaker/horn and 2 exterior dummy boxes.  The dialler was disconnected and I only had a user code.  The motherboard was completely different to the Ademco Galaxy 8 that it said on the label and I couldn't get an engineer's code for it.  The system worked ok but obviously only made a noise inside the house when triggered, and I couldn't change zone settings etc.

This was my first alarmed house and if I'd bought it without an alarm it probably still wouldn't have one.  However, as it's fitted, it might as well work, right?  So, after at least a year of not using it at all (and not worrying about not using it either), I did some research and decided that I might as well upgrade it since it was about 11 years old anyway.  That led on to changing the panel to a Galaxy 2-12, swapping the keypad to one with volume control and Keyprox, fitting an external siren/strobe, and using the existing wiring, sensors and horn.

But what about the cat?  So for the first while I set the system, day and night, so that if he set it off it only sounded the internal horn and didn't annoy the whole street.  Perfect, even when we baby-sat some gerbils on the dining table and locked the cat out the room.  But, the day after handing the rodents back and allowing the cat back in, the dining table must still smell a bit of Midnight and Star and if you're a cat you must investigate this and set off the PIR.  Ok, the dining room isn't the  room you'd burgle our house from, and bear in mind we weren't too bothered when we didn't use the alarm at all anyway, so that sensor was disabled.  Another few weeks on with no false alarms and the siren was set up properly.  Now fast forward about 8 months and the lounge PIR trips one day, and again about a week later.  Ok we'll lock the cat out the lounge.  Great, now the lounge one is good but he sets off the hall one.

So, this all leads up to what I'm trying to do.  I have 4 internal PIR's, it seems Felix will set off the dining room on the odd occasion that he fancies a walk on the table.  It seems he'll set off the lounge occasionally if we let him in there when we're not in, it seems he's going to set off the hall one if he can't get to the lounge for a look out the back window, and he's never set off the upstairs one.  So I'm trying to decide whether to change 3 or all 4 PIR's, and if I need to spend thirty quid on each of them or if I can get away with forty quid for all four.  Does it sound like a cunning plan to get one of the tenner Bosch sensors like the link earlier and fit it in my worst zone, then walk test the cat by placing some Tasty Chicken Dreamies on the table and throwing him in?  Assuming he doesn't set it off then I can replace the other 3 with the same cheaper ones.  However if he sets it off then fit that one upstairs and get 3 expensive ones for the zones he actually sets off.

As a side note about nuisance alarms the siren has only sounded twice with false alarms and both times were during the day.  I will test or soak test any new sensors so that they won't create a noise outside if activated.  I can also appreciate that some readers might suggest that I get an alarm company in but I'm the kind of guy who likes to play about with things so, sorry, but I'll only do that as a last resort.

As a side side note if you're a burglar then please ignore everything above.  The truth is I have lots of sensors everywhere, they all work perfectly.  I even have sensors on my sensors. The cat is really two territorial, ferocious and rarely fed Rhodesian Ridgebacks.  The alarm is always on and we're uber paranoid about security.  So much so, in fact, that our system has complete body, face and everything else recognition sensors and we'll have your mother's maiden name and your blood group within 1.3 seconds of you even thinking about breaking in.

Thanks again for your input, and any further suggestions welcome :)
I like the last paragraph... :LOL:

Yes, it's a plan. Putting stuff on soak test is a good idea, as is setting the alarm at night (or during the day), when you're in. You'll find that most pet friendly/tolerant detectors, PIR or DT, don't like pets jumping up on tables. They generally work by ignoring low down things and alarming on taller stuff. A cat, sorry Rhodesian Ridgeback, on a table is as tall as a short tealeaf, especially if the table is quite far away. Imagine the beam lines coming from the detector - a distant table will appear higher in the 'picture' than a closer one.

See how you get on with the pet-f PIRs...
Thanks again for all your help guys. I've ordered one of the cheaper Bosch PIR's and I'm going to try it in the dining room with the table full of cat treats.

I'll come back and let you know how I get on.

Oh - is it easy enough to figure out how/where to fit the anti tamper resistor? The existing ones are a normally closed circuit with a 1k ohm resistor.
Sorry for the slow reply - I've been a bit busy...

It'll probably be two 1k resistors

Twist the two resistor together an one end to make a 'Y', put one resistor across the alarm connections and the end of the other in one of the tamper terminals. Connect one of the wires from the panel into the same terminal as the single end of the alarm resistor and the other wire into the unused tamper terminal. Study the old detector before you disconnect it, if you're not sure, and remember to disconnect (or insulate) the 12V supply first. - If you pull the cable out of the old PIR with the power on, you're likely to let the magic smoke out!!! :confused:

Remember that it will only work when the PIR has its lid on. Use command 21 - Display Zones and enter the zone number (or use the A button to scroll) and you should be able to see OPEN, CLOSED or TAMPER O/C (Open Circuit) when you test it. To see the actual resistances, press the # button. You'll want to get a friend to wave at the detector whilst you watch the keypad or vica versa.
My memory is refreshing a bit here and I'm almost certain you're correct that there's two resistors in the existing sensors. Also, according to my doodles on the panel installation manual, the system is double balanced rather than normally closed as I stated earlier. I also remember playing about with the Display Zones menu, so a bit of swatting up with the manual and I should be good to go.

I'll take note of the existing sensor wires/resistors as you suggest, and will make sure I don't short anything out.

Thanks again.
You have all been very helpful.  I got the new sensor today but I've now got man flu so it might be the weekend before I get round to fitting it.

I have another question related to my system, and wondered whether you might take time to consider it.  If the's no replies after a while I'll start a new thread.

One zone is a carbon monoxide sensor, which is sensibly fitted upstairs.  At present should the nasty gas be detected it'll activate a full alarm and be a nuisance to the street when the alarm's set.  Also, it's not active when we're in, for the same reason.  This defeats the purpose of the thing so I'd like it to be 24 hr active, but only sound inside the house.  Is there an easy way to achieve this?  I thought of using one of the Trigger Header outputs feeding a speaker, and telling the CO sensor to be "fire" or something.  Can I do this and, if so, I assume I can't parallel wire it to my existing speaker as it is a speaker driver rather than a 12v feed, so what do I connect it to?

Your thoughts and suggestions very welcome.

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