i have been using the Lamson Pir's now for some time and the batteries seem to last great.
i have one cam unit that has been going on the same batteries(3) for well over 2 months now with a 4 second timer and have had no problems at all.
i also have another unit that i have just had around here on the bench now for about a month or so. doing some more testing with and keeping it around to show friends. this thing has been run thru it's flash sequence several hundred times showing people how it works when they walk by it and the batteries still have 8.95 volts in them.
i made me a battrery level indicator to use on all my cams and incorporate it in them to keep up with the battey condition each time i check them in the field while changing film and such.
i have found them next to where you find outdoor lighting , such as the low voltage walkway lights and stuff.
also have seen the GE units and they are usually by themselves in the electrical section next to where you find recepticle outlets and switches.
one thing that makes em harder to find is that you go in the place looking for Lamson wrote on something...lol and you will overlook it as it has Lamson holmes on the back of the package in small writing.
the package will have DIMANGO products on it.
keep digging and you will find em, look for the DIMANGO products in the light products sections then read on the back of the package to see Lamson Holmes .
the model number that i have been using is the HS3100D
Thanks Gun Docc - I have a cam sitting here with no PIR, so think I'll build up one of those Dimango units. I have been bulilding my own day/night sensors with relays, but would rather have that feature built into the PIR unit. Using 2 relays plus the shutter & film advance makes a lot of noise. Have you tried the dusk to dawn feature on your units?
no i have not tried the dawn to dusk feature yet but may try it.
the instruction sheet that comes with it says you can make it operate only at night or either 24 hrs day/night just by setting a dip switch on the sensor board. it has 2 levers that can be set either way you want it so it should work good if you want only nightime pics.
may be just the ticket to get away from the hot weather during the daylight as it cools down a bit at night .
Gun Docc - I got one of these a ways back under the GE name but it is the same. I tore into it not realizing there was already instrucs on Jesse's page and inside the socket there is a little IC chip. I started probing around the contacts on the little chip and found 2 points that close when the sensor is tripped and open back up when it resets. You can even hear it click(very faintly) like a relay. I'm no electronics wiz (in fact i barely qualify for novice) but seems maybe this could be used to trip the cam without having to add anything else?? Sorry about the long post but I was wondering if you ever tore one of the sockets apart. It was pretty tough stuff but once inside there's a very small board with the chip (relay?) I'm gonna be building some more cams and would like to go with very low current draw on the new one's. I haven't had a problem yet with cams shutting down and don't think I'll bother with a timer on the new one's. I imagine a 9 volt battery at .06 ma's (idle) would last a very long time.
Here is a pic of the little chip with 2 green wires soldered on. These would attach to the camera wires and I'm Done! Have you messed with this little chip yet?
yes i knew the GE unit was exactly the same as i noticed one at Lowes and seen that the units were made by the same manufacturer in Japan.
with the light socket chipset ?
like you i had to play with it a bit and did notice the faint click from the light socket and then i tore it apart to see what made it tick....hehehe
the small ic chip inside the light socket had me puzzled too for a while then i tore into one a while back just to have a look see of what made the thing time out after the sensor tripped. tough litte bugger to get apart too.....hehehe
it may be utilized but i have not tried to use it as it has a 1 minute time that the light stays on after the sensor trips and i was wanting a faster time between pics for the camera's that i place out in the woods.
i did not want to miss ole mossy horns when he was trailing a hot doe..lol
the cam would take her pic as she went by and then miss ole big boy as he went by as the timer would have it held from taking his pic, so i give up on the light socket timer but may give it another look as to whether the camera could be fired using it and also shorten the time of it too while i'm looking it over. might be able just to change the resistor value and it would work. have to give this another look.
it also seems to have a voltage regulator to keep the 120 volts from the light socket from backfeeding into the PIR but this may be done away with on the camera issue.
That little board is a pain to get out of the socket isn't it you guys? I believe the chip on that little board is a triac. Triac is basically a dc controlled switch for AC loads. I looked up the number on the chip in my cross reference books but it didn't match anything.
I thought about using the contacts you found Gizz but figured too many people would mess up the chip board digging it out of the light socket. It kind reminded me of cracking walnuts. Sometimes you get the whole nut and sometimes you got a big mess in your hands.
I had one of those huge pair of Metal Snips that allowed me to kinda "chunk" the socket away. I'm gonna do some testing with the little chip this week and also check the current draw. I'm just trying to find a very very low draw PIR and this one seems to be the ticket. I have an OWL wired and I'll hook it up later today and see what happens.
Gun Docc - do you mount the fresnal flat in your enclosure? Any other tricks or tips with this PIR i need to know about? Battery Meter?
Looks like an orange,white,brown,gold resistor. 390? Should I go up or down?
Maybe I'll remove it and start working my way up.
Well since I work out of my own office I figured I could take a look and if I change the resistor on the "socket" board to 1.8k the delay is 30 seconds but seems a little "shaky at best meaning I get mixed results. I think the resistor I need to find is on the PIR board. I'm doing some tracing from DIP switch that allows you to change from 1min to 10min. There's gotta be a resistor somewhere that is controlling this.
Me again then I gotta get to work!
After doing some tracing I found the 2 resistors that determine the 10min and 1min settings. R16 (470k from the factory) controls the 1 minute setting and R17 (3.3M from factory) controls the 10 minute setting. I swapped R16 with a 100K and get about 7 or 8 seconds until reset!! Cool beans - this means that this sensor can be used with very little mods (tearing the socket down and wiring to leads, swapping R16 for whatever value you want).
Gun Docc - thanks for suggesting the Resistor swap, this looks to be a very very low draw PIR. A standard 9volt alkaline battery at 595 ma by my calcs should last about 250 days!!!
From what I can tell so far this pir could still shut down the camera if held closed for the 3 to 5 min time-frame. So adding a timer Per Spectr's instrucs is still necessary if this concerns you.
didn't mean to make you loose all that valuable time from work on this but it seems your like me when it comes to wanting to know what makes er tick...lol
just couldn't leave it alone till you done some testing huh ? i checked the resistor last night after i made the last post and came up with 388 with my fluke dmm.
i thought about it today while at work but figured i would do a little bit of probing around with the chipset tonight but now i don't need to as i can do as you done, thanks.
''quote'' It kind reminded me of cracking walnuts. Sometimes you get the whole nut and sometimes you got a big mess in your hands. .......hehehe
yeah that chipset is sure hard to get to as i had to chew away at it with the dremel tool plus a pair of snips to get it out...lol
YES i do mount the fresnal lense flat to the inside of my enclosure with 3M super yellow(which NASCAR uses to glue on lug nuts too...hehe) and also use rtv silicone to top that glue to make sure of a good seal.
as to the battery level meter i have been using on my units ? i was in a scrapyard one day and found some type of big electrical panel that looks like it came out of some type of factory or mill but have no idea what it was..lol
but anyhow this big panel had about 75 little meters on the face of it so i decided to whack a few of them out just to see if i could maybe use them and what they are is a analog meter that shows you from 0 to 1 milliamp and has a swing of a little over an inch on the dial.
to use this with a 9 volt battery, simply hook it between your battery leads to show movement . i had to do some testing to find what voltage would overpower the meter and then had to reduce it thru a resistor . i run the positve side of the battery thru a momentary pushbutton switch which is reduced thru the resistor to keep it from pegging the needle on the meter.
with a 8.2k resistor the meter will just barely peg the hand on the meter with a brand new alkiline battery with it showing 9.55 volts.
with a little more testing with a reostat to reduce the battery voltage i then placed a mark on the meter face to show when the batteries fell to around 6 volts and figured if they got this low that it would be time to change them.
so my battery tester is what you say of the homebrew design...hehehe
but hey it works flawlessly to show how strong or weak your batteries are.
if interested in one of the little milliamp meters to make a battery level indicator from , let me know as i have at least a couple dozen of them and i may part with only a few.(like to hoard the good stuff...hehehe)
so drop me a line by e-mail if you want to give one a try and i will see what i can come up with.
here is a scan of one of the meters i found in the junkyard that i have been making my battery level indicators from. it has all kinds of goodies on the board such as 2 toggle switches, a reostat switch , a center off slide switch , the meter itself , 3 green led's , 2 yellow led's , 8 smaller red led's , some type of counter ? , and a whole bunch of resistors, capacitors and the like , some of it i don't have a clue to what is butr there is a bunch of goodies on them that can be used .
I figured you was gonna go do that Gun Docc. I got to learn a little bit anyways. I sent email to GE but they didn't reply in 30 seconds so I went ahead and traced the circuit. I was suprised (really) to find the resistors that quick.
As for that thingy you got there? umm dat's one of dem there uh meter thingy's. un you know to measure dat stuff wit'd.:| Not a clue!