Diy alarm with motion detector

Written by john landers
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Diy alarm with motion detector
Most DIY alarm systems include the installation of at least one motion detector. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Do-it-yourself (DIY) alarm systems with motion detectors go beyond the standard window and door sensors. These devices sound the alarm when a window or door opens because the act breaks the circuit. Motion detectors use an infrared technology that compares an intruder's body temperature to the air temperature. It then sends the signal that sounds the alarm when movement breaks the detector's beams. Basic alarms also have keypads and interior and exterior sirens.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Stud finder
  • 4-conductor wire
  • 2-conductor wire
  • Wire nuts
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire clamps
  • Telephone wire

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Draw a simple layout of the coverage area for the alarm system. Indicate the areas, including doors and windows, that the system will need to protect. Decide on the path where you want the motion detector to provide coverage. Take this layout with you to the alarm vendor and discuss your project with an associate. This person can use his technical knowledge and experience to help ensure you have the proper supplies to realise your security plan.

  2. 2

    Place the alarm panel in the basement, utility room or master bedroom closet. Run a stud finder across the wall surface to locate the studs behind the wall. Mark the position of the studs where you want to install the alarm panel. Secure the alarm panel to the stud using wood screws long enough to penetrate the wall material. Do not touch the motherboard on the inside of the panel with any metal object. Place the battery in the panel, but do not connect it.

  3. 3

    Refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for installing the sensors on the windows and doors you want to protect. Generally, sensors come in parts. Stick the magnetic switch component to the framing around the door or window. Attach the activation switch to the movable part. The components have peel and stick tabs on the back of them and the wires are already attached.

  4. 4

    Select a location for the motion detector that functions as a backup for the window and door sensors. Position the motion detector in a lightly travelled area where an intruder is likely to go once inside, such as a path leading to the master bedroom. Choose a corner-mounted detector for a large coverage area of 35 to 40 feet.

  5. 5

    Follow the schematic for wiring the sensors, motion detector and sirens. Remove the front cover from the case of the motion detector. Take out the circuit board. Secure the case to the wall with screws that penetrate the stud. Place the circuit board back in the case. Use four-conductor cable, which contains four wires. Connect the wires to the terminals on the motion detector. Connect the negative to the black, the positive to the red, the "C" to the green and the"NC" to the yellow. Place the cover back on the motion detector.

  6. 6

    Remove the cover on the interior siren and attach two wires: black to negative and red to positive. Some sirens already have the wires attached. Connect the wires to the exterior siren/strobe light. Wrap all connections with wire nuts and black electrician's tape. Secure the sirens in place. Attach wires along the walls with wire clamps and connect to the alarm panel. Do not pierce the wires.

  7. 7

    Secure the keypads in the master bedroom and at the most frequently used entrance door. Follow the wiring diagram for the keypads.

  8. 8

    Run the telephone line to the alarm panel and connect the wires. Program the telephone numbers into the alarm system. The alarm will dial the numbers in order when you activate it.

  9. 9

    Connect the battery and test the system.

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