Drivewway sensing, again

I’m currently using openhabian.

I have lots of zwave devices and a few raspberry pi’s running as mqtt clients, a pi as a mqtt broker, and the mqtt binding set up in openhab.

For sensing the driveway one of the pi’s is simply monitoring the dry contact of a Guardline driveway sensor.

When the Guardline triggers it closes the contact and a simple node-red flow on the pi issues an mqtt packet. The OH binding picks it up and does"stuff".

Note, I said “when it triggers”. The Guardline picks up people flawlessly as far as I can tell, but, the thing I want it to “see”, vehicles, it misses about half the time. (How it misses a UPS truck, but senses a Ford focus is kind of puzzling… I’m guessing it has to do with time in coverage area. It’s PIR, so it has a warmup time.)

So, my question is, has anyone come up with a vehicle sensor that works for driveways that doesn’t cost more than the entire rest of my HA system?

I should note, the reason I chose the Guardline was because the sensor can be put up to 500’ from the receiver and the batteries last up to a year. Important since my driveway is about 300’ long…and is not easily dug up to allow buried sensors.

I just looked at the website and seems to be a neat device. The advertisement videos show the sensor picking up vehicle so it may be a placement or setting issue. I would contact Guardline and ask these same questions.

Sorry, I didn’t mention I’ve already been around the horn with Guardline.
And I’ll add they have been VERY responsive. Their documentation and guides are very good. (Far better than many of the zwave purveyors… :smirk: )

They have already suggested a variety of placement adjustments that did not improve things.

They even sent a replacement sensor to see if that is the issue, does not appear to be.

Did you get to keep the old sensor?

Well, they do want it back, but, I still have it.

I was going to suggest hacking the old sensor to see if adding an addition component is possible. I’ve been using this for motion detection and it’s been reliable. Maybe a way to add it to your existing sensor so either PIR or RWCL can trigger the alarm?

Are you suggesting this might sense the water based life form in the vehicle? Or the vehicle itself?

(The Guardline is quite reliable with people walking by, just not vehicles.)

The sensor has to opened to put the batteries in, so I have a pretty good idea of available space. And, it’s pretty tight.

I assume the RCWL-0516 module works through plastic, so making a weather tight housing would work.
Have you tried it with an ESPxx in the same case?

How much current does it draw? (Thinking battery life…)

I’m wondering if a cheap 400mHz transceiver pair would work to get the info into the house. (Avoid a processor in the box…) Maybe LoRA?

Not sure what sets it off, but works on my vehicles. I have it mounted 4’ off the ground so maybe it does pick up the driver. I know it senses thru glass and sheet-rock very well.

Yes, it reads thru plastic and I have seen videos of others using with esp in the same case. Note, I’ve also read where the power supply, esp and sensor position/location (if all in the same enclosure) is critical.

I don’t remember but I think it’s posted in the link, or in another link on the post. You might be able to use a small 12v battery with a solar panel.:thinking:

If the 300’ distance is open for the most part, you should be fine with either.

I actually found a listing that says it draws 3mA max.

(PS: the link you provide for the RCWL board shows as currently unavailable, but there are plenty of other Amazon listings.)

The solar panel thing might work. (:thinking: Andreas Spiess (youtube guy with the Swiss accent) did something on running ESP’s on solar/battery, if I remember correctly.)

The typical sense point would be more like 50’ from the house. :wink:

For the price for 5 units it’s worth the experiment. :slightly_smiling_face:

(And I have an ESP32, still in the wrapper. And let’s see, a 400mHz transceiver pair kicking around some where. :blush:)

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I like watching that guy, he makes some good videos.:grinning:

If you don’t mind the wait, ordering from China is half price and you may can find a good solar panel. If like me and want it now, then it’s still cheap on Amazon and you can get a cheap 12v solar panel (for car battery charging) from harbor freight.:wink:

Hmm…the HF idea is appealing and might be the way to go. (But, I’m standing here looking at a 14W panel just looking for a use. (yeah, I’m a bit of a pack rat… :blush: )

When it comes to electrical parts I’m the same way.:roll_eyes: I got the HF idea b/c I found one in a box the other day and can’t for the life of me remember buying it.:smile:

If using Esp32 and only going 50’, any chance of using bluetooth (may need a second esp32 if 50’ is to far)?