Thought I would write a review on the RCWL-0516 for anyone interested in a microwave motion sensor. Today marks the 4th week of my testing with this sensor and I have found that it is very reliable. The sensor only detects larger objects that contain water e.g. human body, large animal, milk jug filled up and thrown. No false triggers from birds, trees blowing in the wind, etc… Range of detection is 15 to 30 feet (5 to 9 meters) that can be adjusted using a resistor. The RCWL can also detect motion through walls and glass although when doing so the range seems to be reduced, by roughly a third, depending on wall thickness (this may vary depending on supply power, I’m using 4.5v). Thin plastic, on the other hand, has no effect on distance which makes this sensor ideal for containment/protection. Unlike the PIR sensor, there is no built in light to indicate when motion is detected and personally this is something I prefer. The board, with addition components, offers several other features that I plan to test in the future, for now I’m using only the Vin, Gnd, and Out.
For my setup, I’m using an Esp2866 12E NodeMCU Development board, flashed with Esp Easy firmware. All power is supplied via spare Roku 5v 1mA wallwart and micro usb cable plugged into the dev boards usb connection. The Esp Dev board has a VU pin that tested, with a meter, read 4.5v. That being on the lower end of the RCWL operating voltage I was initially skeptical about the reliability but I’ve had no issues. Along with the RCWL, I also have 2 garage door sensors (reed switches) and a photocell for detecting if someone forgot to turn the garage lights out. Also the RCWL does have a convenient 3.3V 100mA output that could be used to drive the MCU but that’s another feature I haven’t tested.
Here’s some additional info and a link https://ita.ovh/files/rcwl-0516.pdf If you want to see them in action, search YouTube, there are several videos
Features of the RCWL:
Equipped with RCWL-9196 chip supporting 4-28V wide voltage input, high level signal output when detecting the motion with active repeat trigger 360 degree no blind angle detection with 5-7m deteciting distance, the detection not affected by the surroundings, better performance than the IR sensor Support night detecting function turn on /off, adjustable repeat trigger time and detecting distance by add the SMD components to the corresponding pins Working Voltage: DC 4-28V, Board Size: 35.9 X 17.3mm/1.41 X 0.68inch
Operating Voltage: 4-28V Operating Current: 2.8mA (typical); 3mA (max) Detection Distance: 5-9m Transmitting Power: 20mW (typical); 30mW (max) Output Voltage: 3.2-3.4V Output Voltage Driving Capacity: 100mA Trigger Way: repeat trigger Output Control Low Level: 0V Output Control High Level: 3.3V Operating Temperature: -20~80 celsius Storage Temperature: -40~100 celsius
If you decide to pick up a few of these sensors (they’re cheap, I bought 5 for $10 on Amazon) please share your experience and thoughts.
Amazon link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0732VQ4Q2/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B0732VQ4Q2&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=f52e26da-1287-4616-824b-efc564ff75a4&pf_rd_r=FJSRMDX6CFMTGCQN9PDM&pd_rd_wg=McmW7&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&pd_rd_w=OdTMI&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pd_rd_r=27f7e0fc-b82f-11e8-a24a-f51ac5fec97e