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Old 05-27-2009, 04:35 PM #1
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Default DIY Home Laser Security System

I know, I know, you can buy these for a song but I want to build my own...because I feel I have the ability to do so and just the 'coolness' factor of doing it myself and having it work is worth the time and effort for me.

In any case here is why I am posting.

I have the First/front side mirrors in plenty (30 mirrors between 10-13 inches long and 1-2 inches wide and a friend who works at a local glass manufacturer who can cut these for me in any lengths I wish for free) and I have mounts so that isn't a concern. I have the electronics knowledge to build my own control/alarm box with remote, so I can activate/deactivate the system from outside my apartment...I used an old car alarm, modified it so it will use not only it's vibration sensor (which will be attached to my front door), but also an IR beam detection sensor (I have a few laying around) built into a circuit that will activate if the beam is cut. Oh, also instead of the LOUD and VERY ANNOYING car alarm, I changed it out for a slightly quieter, programmable alarm circuit (Oh the geeky fun I can have with the alarm...)

In any case, I'm down to lasers and mounting. I'm sure I would want to use something like 808nm laser diodes (IR) but the problem is I am not sure the power I would need, what I may need to do for the beam as I will be bouncing it around A LOT, and the best positioning.

I have included a VERY ROUGH diagram of my crappy apartment below. I wanted to cover all my windows but with the bedroom doors shut, there is no way I can do this with just one beam. Sure I am covering the majority of my apartment, but I have ~$60,000 in computer equipment in my Den and that is the main concern I have, but I can't just focus on protecting that room.

I was thinking of three separate systems, with the two remote bedroom units connected via a wire to the main unit for coordinated activation/deactivation/alarm modes but I don't have the parts right now for three separate units, even if the two auxiliary bedroom/den units are simplified laser/beam detection only systems. I want to keep this as simple as I can...you know the engineering maxim "The more complex a system is, the greater chance of system failure"

Also, I am thinking about bouncing the beam around my apartment in one direction, so the top 1/3 of my windows are covered, then back so the bottom 1/3 of my windows are covered..basically creating a dual beam system instead of a single beam system that someone could sneak under or over easily with out even knowing the laser is there. Given I would be essentially doubling the distance the beam would need to travel, would I need to use a more powerful laser or would I be able to get away with using some lenses to re-focus the beam?

The "X"ed out areas I don't care about. Closets and the Bathroom I am not concerned about covering for obvious reasons.

Finally, when we are looking at front door, I was thinking of a diagonal beam instead of a horizontal beam. Should I just look at a dual horizontal beam instead like the rest of the apartment?

Thanks for any help in advance.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I was looking at ~200 to ~250 feet total distance for a one-way beam.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:30 AM #2
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A 10 or 20mW should do it, depending on how sensitive your sensor is.Your main concern is divergence.At that distance the dot is gonna be quite big, but if your mirrors are big enough (and bigger mirrors will be easier to allign too) you'll only need an additional lens right in front of the sensor(a magnifying glass, pretty much).

But why does your beam have to follow the perimeter so exactly? Can't you make it shorter and use less mirrors if you just focus on covering windows and front door(basically only the entrance points)? But then again I can't tell much difference between the door color and the wall color in your diagram...Maybe I'm missing some doors.

Maybe you could also install some greenies that fire in all the directions of all entrance points when the alarm goes off for an extra panic effect (or some 100W 808nm diode arrays lol)

Btw, you should use goggles and a good cheap unfiltered camera to make all the allignments just to be safe and save a lot of frustration.

Last edited by Switch; 05-28-2009 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:27 PM #3
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Hey bschott...

if this is just a Laser experiment/project for fun and learning then I can see why you
want to do this...

But if you want to protect your goodies... then I would suggest the "KISS" approach..
Use a few IR Motion sensors... they have anti-false alarm circuitry and are
inexpensive and easy to set up...

The problems I can see with the Laser Alarm is that (according to your drawing) you
need at least a dozen mirrors (if you only use 1 beam per window/door) and at least
3 beam detectors...

The mirrors will be mounted to the walls where they could inadvertently be bumped
into... Not to mention periodic mirror cleaning... and the possible false alarms caused
by flies or other insects walking on the mirrors or crossing any of the beams...

Just my $0.02..

Jerry
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:38 PM #4
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I think its a cool project to set up, but that it will not be a very practical system to use.

Alignment is going to be a total nightmare - you would have to precisely align all components and make sure they stay put no matter what. Looking at 200 foot beam, misaligning any mirror or the laser by even one tenth of a degree would cause it to completely miss the sensor at the other end.

As far as detection goes: Modulate the laser, probably best somewhere in the 10-100 kHz range. This makes detecting it a lot easier, since you can filter out any signal from ambient light, and use a pll to lock the signal if need be (like an FM radio). It also prevents anyone from fooling the system by illuminating the detector.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:53 PM #5
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I've done this before for a laser data transmission project....

An easier way would be to modulate the Laser at 40khz...
then you can detect the laser's modulated beam with a standard
IR remote control detector similar to the GP1U58Y or the PNA4613.

http://www.semicon.panasonic.co.jp/d...DED_discon.pdf
(yeah.. I know the PNA4613 is discontinued)

They have a demodulator and amplifier built into a 3 pin package..

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Old 05-28-2009, 03:42 PM #6
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ALSO..... like benm said cool but not practical. But it could be practical. The main reason people have home alarms and work alarms (not just for the window sticker), is for the remote monitoring service the alarm companies offer. Well you could do this your self. there are car alarm kits that send text messages to you if your car is getting broken into. But I think for that option you have to be with in a thousand feet or so. Or you could buy one of those cheap IP addressed web cam kits that can call you through your internet connection when a motion sensor is breached...

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Old 05-28-2009, 09:48 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lasersbee View Post
An easier way would be to modulate the Laser at 40khz...
then you can detect the laser's modulated beam with a standard
IR remote control detector similar to the GP1U58Y or the PNA4613.
It might be - you could even use standard RC5/RC6 signals as a modulation in some known sequence to improve resistance against using another laser to fool your system.

One side effect this might have is that it will seriously mess with all of your remote controlled devices (even if you use only the carrier!).

This reminds me of another project i still gotta build some day: the one mile range tv remote (people will hate me, but its for science, right?)
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:05 PM #8
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have you considered that even a fly would make the alarm to activate?

Like others said, if thsi is a project for fun go on but if you plan to use this as a realy security system... well I think it will wake you up everynight xD
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:05 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benm View Post
It might be - you could even use standard RC5/RC6 signals as a modulation in some known sequence to improve resistance against using another laser to fool your system.

One side effect this might have is that it will seriously mess with all of your remote controlled devices (even if you use only the carrier!).

This reminds me of another project i still gotta build some day: the one mile range tv remote (people will hate me, but its for science, right?)
I couldn't see why he would need to have the Laser Alarm
active (modulated beam ON)
if he is at home watching TV... or even why a narrow laser
beam would be picked up by a TV receiver's IR sensor if it is
not aimed right at it...
Just a thought...

BTW... not all IR remotes use the RC5/RC6 protocols...

Jerry
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Old 05-30-2009, 04:26 PM #10
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You can use some idea from this circuit, datasheet here, but no english !
http://www1.produktinfo.conrad.com/c...ins=62&lang=FR
http://www.conrad.fr/barriere_photoe...words&ns_fee=0


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