From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Hott Rod electric water heating element
Date: Fri, 08 Oct 1999 02:21:40 EDT
Steve Wolf wrote:
> I sure recommend it!
> See http://www.wolfelectric.com/family/motorhome under approrpriate hot water
> topics. I did have an element fail and they replaced it as per their
> warranty. Cost me, I think, $7.50.
Hey, I LIKE your web page. Especially the "It ISN'T brain surgery"
part :-) About your burglar alarm. I help a friend of mine who has
a burglar alarm business so I end up seeing a lot of gadgets. Check
http://neonjohn.4mg.com/files/misc/motion_detector.jpg This is a
motion detector that is almost completely immune to tripping from
the motion of pets. I've been testing this unit for several months
for my friend. I have a large cat who regards every single surface
in my house as his playground. I have the detector set up looking
out across one of his favorite play areas. It is hooked up to a
counter that will register each alarm. So far in 6 months, no false
alarms. It costs about $80 and is available from just about any
Second tip. I have a wireless remote hooked to my alarm so that I
can arm and disarm it from a pocket transmitter. I used one of
those high security "tumbler" units that changes the code on each
actuation. My alarm panel allows me to arm and disarm the system
with a contact closure to a specified alarm channel. That means I
push the button to arm, push it again to disarm. I'm going to add
this same system to my MH when I get time.
Third tip. I use a surplus police siren for the audible alarm. The
100 watt speaker is mounted inside. It is designed to make the
interior uninhabitable. This is very effective at stopping a "smash
and grab" burglar who would not be deterred by a simple alarm. I
have this in my restaurant and another in my concession trailer. A
smash and grabber learned the hard way about the restaurant system.
Tossed a brick through the window and then cut himself on the glass
so we had a nice blood trail. Got about 20 feet inside and then
turned and ran. The QUIETEST place in my restaurant registers 140
db on my decibel meter. In the concession trailer it pegs the
meter. I bought my siren at a hamfest for about $20. I figured
this out after a smash and grab artist grabbed the cash register out
of my previous restaurant despite a monitored alarm system.
PS: Being a ham, you might enjoy
http://neonjohn.4mg.com/files/misc/tower1.jpg through tower3.jpg.
These are photos of our digital radio club mounting a refrigerator
on the 1000 ft tower of Chan 11 in Atlanta. Inside the fridge was a
PC running Karn Kode and some 56kb RF modems. This was a high speed
packet switch that covered all of metro Atlanta.
BTW, if you get a "forbidden" when clicking on the above URLs, just
go in through http://neonjohn.4mg.com and click through the
directories. This site sometimes won't let you click right in
because they want to force you to read their banner ads. *Sigh*
Guess that's the price of a free web page.
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Hott Rod electric water heating element
Date: Fri, 08 Oct 1999 21:04:05 EDT
> Hi, John,
> Was fascinated by your motion detector inside alarm information.
> Although obviously cat-proof, what about adults who get up in the middle
> of the night for a "pee-call"?
Oh, this would only be for when I'm gone. When we're in the RV, the
burglar alarm is my Cold .45 auto and my wife's Lady Colt .38 :-)
> We don't have an inside alarm, but would like to find one -- but
> one that I won't set off accidentally.
OK, but think this through a little. I'm an NRA certified firearms
and self-protection instructor so this topic is near and dear to my
heart. An alarm might seem desirable at first but consider what
happens when it goes off. If you're lucky, the perp is scared off
and runs. But what if he isn't or what if he gets disoriented and
can't run. Now you have a huge racket going off in the house (or
MH), you can't hear the perp's movements or even talk with your
spouse and the perp is either really pissed or scared sh*tless,
depending on his predisposition. You've given up your element of
surprise plus there is bedlam. And in your MH, assuming the perp is
coming in through the door, all an alarm would do is tell you what
you already know - you have no escape path and you're in deep
doodoo. Or a target-rich environment :-)
If I was a very deep sleeper so that I'd have to worry about not
waking up at the sound of an intruder in my MH, I think I'd want a
quiet alarm, perhaps a vibrator, that would wake me but not let the
perp know I'm awake. I'd probably set up some door switches
(especially if I had a basement) and leave it at that.
Probably the single best thing you can do in camp for security is to
get and use some motion-sensing lights. These will scare the crap
out of even an innocent person who wanders into your camp. I
installed a system of these around my BBQ restaurant and completely
stopped the petty larceny that had become a problem. People had
been loading up their pickup trucks with my hickory wood! These
lights are cheap at Lowe's et al and work very well. One at your
door and perhaps one on the opposite side of the MH would do the
trick. If you want one that runs off of 12 volts, a burglar alarm
PIR sensor will work fine for that application. They're designed to
run on 24 volts AC but I've found them to work just fine on 12 VDC.
Funny story: My restaurant straddles US 11 with the dining room on
one side and the pit and storage on the other. I have a 1500 watt
quartz-halogen light on top of the restaurant that shines on the pit
and wood pile. It wired into a motion sensor near the pit. It is
normally pretty dark out there otherwise. One night a day or two
after I installed this setup, I was in the restaurant late and I saw
a cop car rolling up beside the pit. They like to park there to do
paperwork. Just as he came to a stop, his car tripped the motion
detector. Instant daylight! He jumped so hard that his head poked
the roof of the patrol car! He started darting his eyes around like
he was under assault. When he saw me standing in the front window
laughing my butt off, he gave me one of those "paybacks are hell
looks", complete with the shaking finger :-) If it scared the cop
that bad, consider what it does to the sot intent on stealing wood!
> The wireless remote for the alarm sounds like a handy addition.
Yeah, I really like it. At my restaurant, I use an FBII top of the
line alarm panel. One capability it has is to allow each alarm
channel to be programmed as to how many actuations in how much time
it takes to constitute an alarm. For example, the cheap PIRs I used
will sometimes "flicker" from hot air currents when the heat turns
on or whatnot, which would cause a false alarm. I simply program
the panel to require two contact closures within a specified time
period before an alarm is recognized. This completely and totally
eliminates false alarms. This feature also is an added bit of
security on the wireless remote. Even though I use a high security
remote, I wasn't completely comfortable. So I programmed the input
to require multiple button pushes within a certain period of time
before it will disarm. I specified the parameters so that it takes
some practice to get the right number of button pushes done within
the time window. That would make it very had for someone to just
guess - if they even knew it was necessary. I have a tiny little
LED mounted in a fairly hidden location but where I can see it from
the outside. This LED is on when the system is armed. That way I
know positively that I've armed or disarmed the system.
> And the surplus police siren for the alarm should get the attention of
> any "good guys" in the area, and scare heck out of the "bad guy(s)"
> So how will you prevent false alarms, and what will you use for
> the siren, when you mount this is in your MH ? Or will you just plan to
> use it just for outside motions and vibrations ?
I'll use another police siren. I bought several in a box at a
hamfest. I'll probably mount the amplifier box in a cabinet
somewhere or maybe under the hood and hide the speaker wherever I
can find space. This will strictly be for use when we're gone or
when the MH is parked at the restaurant. I'll use a pet resistant
motion sensor inside (cuz we take our cat with us) and put some
switches on the hood and hatches. The combination of passive
infrared and microwaves pretty much eliminates false alarms from the
> Final shot: Enjoy reading your Posts (Postings? I'm a novice on
> the web.) on the various topics of this NG.
Thank you again!