This is a review of the DWA-8 Driveway Observer alarm system. Purchasing a quality driveway alarm can be an important part of your home security. Your home alarm system can provide protection if someone breaks into your house, but often it is nice to know that someone is approaching your house before a break in or alteration happens. To alert you that someone is nearby, you can use a driveway alarm. Driveway alarms though like many other products come in at many different prices. Some are priced rather low in the $20 dollar range and then some are priced much higher.
This review is on the DAW-8 Driveway Observer alarm. You can purchase this alarm for approximately $145 dollars online. The system comes with a sensor that will go beside your driveway and then a receiver that will go inside your house. The unit is wireless so you don’t have to mess with running any wires. However, you will need to check on your batteries ocassionaly. Not often, since the unit is only transmitting data when it senses motion. The unit’s sensor is a motion detector. This is important to note. Let’s compare this with a different type of sensor, the one commonly found associated with a garage door that will prevent it from closing when a car is parked partially in the garage. A garage type of sensor works by transmitting an infared beam across to another sensor. This would be an ideal driveway sensor because it would only detect something breaking that beam. A motion detector on the other hand will detect motion and that could be around the general area of your driveway, but it may not necessarily be a car coming down your driveway. It could be a cat, dog, etc. That’s why this unit can be set off by someone walking down your driveway, a cat, or dog, etc. I have motion detectors at my house that are ocassionaly set off by trees blowing in the wind. If you are looking for something to mainly let you know when a car is coming down the driveway, then consider a product like the Dakota Driveway Wireless Probe. It only senses metal objects such as cars and won’t go off if a person or animal passes by it.
The range on the DAW-8 Driveway Observer alarm is far at approximately 1000 ft. The manufacturer makes this note:
The outdoor weather proof transmitter that can be mounted either overhead or to the side . It is powered by a nine volt battery , installed for your convenience and lasting about one year. There are six dipswitches on the inside of the rear cover the will assign ID Codes by using the first four and the last two will notify you by one of four zones that have been activated by an audible tone. There is also an antennae that can rotate 360 ° for optimal transmission to the volume controlled receiver up to a realistic 1000 feet away ( the Driveway Observer ™ has been tested at 1800 feet in laboratory conditions ; we feel that 1000 feet is a closer approximation to what will be realistically achieved). The beam projection will either 20 feet and 1 foot square or 50 feet and 2 feet square.
So here are some points that make this product very attractive. You can setup multiple units of these around key points on your property to cover your perimeter. Sounds scary huh, but you may seriously want to know of someone is coming up from one side of your house or not. Setup multiple units and then change the unit’s dipswitches so that you know which unit is alerting you to someone.
I found the unit to work very well. The battery will last a long time since it is only transmitting information when the alarm is tripped. It will use some battery power for the sensor, but just low battery power. It is powered by a 9 volt battery. It did go off when animals would pass by but I did help the unit some by raising it up higher. Dogs are rather short and if you raise this up to about 5 feet high you will get both cars and people that will walk through the beam.
I recommend as well disguising where you place this sensor so that it is not easily seen by people coming down your driveway. You need to maintain as much as possible the uppper hand and the element of surprise. All in all, I would recommend this product and I feel it is priced at a good price point for what you get and how usable it is.