Guardline vs Chamberlain Comparison
There are many different types of Wireless Driveway Alarm, but they all operate under the same basic principles.
They generally include two main components; a receiver and a sensor.
The plug-in receivers can be mounted in a convenient location, and come in a variety of forms. Some of these include motion sensors, beam sensors, probe sensors, and hose sensors.
Each comes with its own set of advantages and limitations, making it important for consumers to ensure they understand their own individual needs before committing to one type of alarm system.
Most beam, hose, and probe sensors are best used for detecting movement across a specific point, such as vehicles over the edge of your driveway.
The most common and often most effective type of sensor is the motion sensor.
Motion sensors use infrared beams to detect movements of vehicles, people and animals over a wider range.
One common fallback of motion sensors is that they have a tendency to set off “false alarms”.
For example, an alarm might be triggered by a squirrel running past your front door, which can be frustrating if it occurs regularly.
On the flip side, many systems come with flexible features and settings that allow you to avoid such false alarms. Magnetic systems are less prone to false alarms since they rely on small magnetic shifts rather than movement.
However, magnetic alarms systems are only useful for large vehicle and metal object detection. This renders them far less useful as a general home security system. In most cases, the average consumer will find motion sensor alarm systems much more effective.
There are a number of other factors that contribute to the effectiveness of wireless alarm systems. These include the build quality of the system, the availability of customizable features, and the ease with which the system can be set up.
If you’re looking for a driveway alarm that lacks any of these features, you’re probably looking in the wrong place. With so many different types and models, it can often be a challenge to find the type that’s right for you.
One of the interesting stuff about working from home is that you will get a number of business visitors. I don’t receive visitors every day hence there is no need for a receptionist.
However, given that I don’t know most of the people. It is a good idea to get a wireless driveway alarm, to know that they are on my property, driving up the driveway.
Chamberlain Wireless Motion Alert Security System
This is an all-around wireless alarm system with impressive features for well under $70.
It comes with one sensor, one base receiver, and includes mounting hardware and non-slip feet.
For properties that require increased coverage, the system can be expanded to include up to 3 additional sensors per receiver.
The Chamberlain Wireless Motion Alert Security System is fairly easy to set up. As long as you pay attention to the sensitivity ranges, you should easily be able to get everything working in a timely manner.
It offers 1/2 mile range sensitivity from base to the sensor. The first step is to place these sensors anywhere within this range. Once they’re up and running, you can make adjustments to the sensitivity setting until you’re not getting any false alarms.
During mid-day hot sun, light wind, this might start giving out false alarming so much, that you just unplug the base to shut it up. At night, when cars passed it on the driveway, it alerted maybe 75% of the time.
It would usually pick up pedestrians, but I get a few of these.
You can dedicate half an hour to do this all at once but with numerous false alerts during the day, or you can tweak the settings slowly over time until you’re not getting any false alarms.
At the upper range of the sensitivity settings, the sensors can detect the movement of even small animals, but you can lower the sensitivity to ignore objects of a smaller size. Lower sensitivity is best if people are your primary concern.
However, if you also want to detect the movement of dogs or cats, keeping it on the higher sensitivity setting will be more effective.
The Chamberlain Wireless Motion Alert Security System is built with Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors that detect movement based on the temperature of moving objects relative to the outside temperature. Detection based on temperature does have one downside.
The sensors have a hard time detecting vehicles, especially in cold conditions, because the vehicles driving outside are generally the same temperature as the outside air itself, it is more difficult for the alarm to detect a vehicle.
Stormy days, frigid days and icy days where the vehicle sheet metal is the same temperature as the outside, detection is pretty much non-existent.
The key is to position the unit so it can see the back of a vehicle as it passes. What will happen is the device will detect the tailpipe which is very hot. However, if you’re more concerned about animals or people, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Tip: Mount it one foot off the ground pointed towards the tailpipes, and it will work nearly 100% of the time, no matter the temperature or weather, ignore Chamberlain’s printed directions to mount this sensor four feet off the ground pointed towards the hood of vehicles.
Following Chamberlain’s directions, our detection rates were around 50%-60%, with lower vehicles being missed. On rainy or cold days, the detection rate was nearly 0% for any vehicle.
Each sensor can be set to have its own distinct sound and light indicators when triggered. That way, if you set up multiple sensors on your property, you know immediately the location of the object that triggered the alarm.
The sensors can detect motion from up to 30 feet, with a 120 degree viewing angle. Sensors won’t be triggered by the wind.
The Chamberlain sensor is fully weatherproof. It’s durable enough to fully function even in extreme weather conditions like rain or snow. The receiver is made out of plastic.
But this won’t be a problem as long the receiver is set up indoors and isn’t moved around, which is usually the case. The non-slip feet also help in this case.
The Chamberlain CWA 2000 has everything a basic wireless motion alarm should. It’s easy to set up, comes with some useful customizable features, and is durable in varied weather conditions.
Its temperature based sensors do have drawbacks, but for a low price, the Chamberlain is a solid alarm system that meets all the basic needs.
The Chamberlain CWA2000 has a long-range and it comes with many useful features such as adjustable sensitivity and LED lights. However, the ringtone is so low or high pitch you can barely hear the alarm. Also, the sensor won’t constantly detect and alert on every people or vehicle.
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Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm
The Guardline driveway alarm system comes with one sensor, one receiver, AC adaptor, and mounting hardware. It is an ideal, simple to use, motion detector for your property.
It can keep running on AAA batteries and additionally the included AC connector, can be easily placed anywhere in your home.
You will need to buy the batteries separately: 4 AAA batteries for the receiver (which can also work with the AC adaptor included in the package) and 4 AA batteries for the sensor.
The sensors require battery power, which makes sense given that this is a wireless setup.
To extend the range, you can add up to 16 sensors per receiver for full detection coverage. The receiver does include a battery backup, but it normally runs on AC power.
A nice feature is that the receiver also provides a battery test for the remote sensors.
Simply run the test and you know whether a sensor has batteries that require replacement. A sensor will also light an LED on the receiver when its battery power is low.
The small device is easy to program and uses a high volume ring. It also turns on blazing LED lights when a sensor is triggered. Both of which are customizable.
The sensor will transmit a signal to the receiver whenever an animal, person or vehicle is detected. You will then be notified by either a sound, a flashing LED, or both, depending on how you have the receiver setup.
The open-air movement locator IR sensors comes with defensive covers and a simple mount section. The comprehensive instruction manual is thicker than most other manuals.
However, you just need to read the quick start guide to know how to set up the alert, it is relatively easy to set up.
You can set up the sensor and receiver within a range of 40 feet. The compact receiver can be programmed to monitor 4 different zones, 4 sensors per zone, each of which can include up to 16 sensors.
There are over 20 high decibel ringer volumes to choose from, so even if you take full advantage of the 16 sensor capability, you can still customize the alarm chimes to specific locations.
Basically, you place batteries in the sensor, hold down the ‘Learn/Next’ on the receiver, pick a few sound options and wave your hand before the sensor and you have finished the setup.
Guardline is not kidding when they describe their ringer volumes as “high decibel”. The chimes are extremely loud, which is a great feature for large properties, but might be overkill for smaller spaces.
There is an adjustable audio alert volume if you do find the alarms overly loud. There’s a volume handle located on the base station.
Make sure to be considerate of others in the house when testing otherwise it may scare them.
When you’re setting up the device, you can pick “zones” for the sensors to be allocated to.
You could program it so that zone 1 is your driveway and zone 2 is your backyard.
You can pick how far away you need the sensor to monitor.
For example, if you wanted it to disregard quick moving articles like autos or other objects. The adjustable sensitivity on the Guardline sensors is especially good for minimizing false alarms.
You can change it to ignore quick-moving objects, or you can opt for a photograph sensor option rather than IR detection.
You can also set up a “rest clock” between alarms if you find they are being triggered too regularly. Even better, You can even temporarily deactivate the sensor for 60 minutes in the event that you know people are coming over, expecting company within a certain time period, or in case you are leaving the premises
Since the Guardline Driveway Alarm allows for many sensors per receiver, it does tend to use up a bit more battery. However, the batteries should still last for up to a year with average traffic.
The sensors themselves are not weatherproof, but they do come with a weatherproof hood that protects against sun, rain, and snow.
The Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm is pricier than the Chamberlain but includes a lot of customizable features and expansion capabilities that compensate for its price tag.
The great thing about the Guardline is that it comes with a lifetime warranty, which is a nice fallback considering it is less durable in extreme weather conditions. In rare cases, heavy rain causes false alarms.
Installing the hardware is also quite easy. You get everything needed except something to drill holes for the anchors. The anchors are long enough that they work fine with rounded surfaces.
I was able to stick one of the sensors on a wooden fencepost without problems. The sun shields on the sensors keep false positives to a minimum.
Make sure you point the sensors downward, as recommended in the instruction, to keep late day false alarms at bay.
It is made in China and is entirely plastic. The lifetime guarantee is good to have but it would still be best if you avoid dropping it.
Install the sensor in a well-protected area, preferably away from the sun and the wind. The sensor can be mounted to posts, walls, fences, and trees.
Though more expensive than other similar products, it has been proven to be worth the money. (you do get what you pay for in this case)
You can’t pick what color the sensor comes in. This might seem like not much of an issue but some may want to keep their sensors hidden or apply camouflage tape to avoid being noticed and damaged by criminals.
Some of the tones for zone alarms can be somewhat annoying and it is probably a good idea that they are so that I won’t breeze right through an alarm while working.
All things considered, this is a good quality product for protecting your driveway.
The High-quality Passive Infrared sensor is a little expensive, but that expense is more than offset by the long reception range it provides and the lack of false alarms.it is easy to install with the ability to monitor several zones and lifetime warranty.
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Guardline or Chamberlain?
Smaller Residential or Commercial Properties
For smaller residential or commercial properties, we recommend the Chamberlain Wireless Motion Alert Security System.
This all-around option is great for people who want a basic alarm system at a good price. It’s easy to use and has enough customizable features to help individuals with basic needs tailor it for their property.
Do mount it one foot off the ground pointed towards the tailpipes if you want it to detect vehicles.
Larger Residential or more Complex properties
For larger or more complex properties (such as houses with backyards, garages, etc), we recommend the Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm.
Its ability to accommodate dozens of sensors and zones at once makes it ideal for people who want extensive security coverage of many different areas.
It has a longer wireless range than the others I looked at, about 1,000 feet. The signal from the remote sensors is quite strong in my house, so I can move the receiver just about anywhere and expect notification of someone coming up the driveway.
It’s in a slightly higher price bracket but compensates for this with extensive customizable features that some users might find indispensable.
Additionally, it may not be ideal for areas with extreme weather conditions, but well suited for milder areas.
Take my advice and use the quick setup to start with.
The book makes everything sound way too complicated.
The system comes with a quick setup sheet that makes setup a breeze.
All you really need to do is put batteries in each unit, assign each sensor to a specific zone, and then give each zone a unique sound.
I also strongly recommend that you use lithium batteries for the sensors if they are to be used in a location where the temperature goes below 20degrees F.
Alkaline batteries freeze around 15 degrees F; lithium’s are good to 20 below zero F. Don’t point them towards the sun or prevailing snow storms winds. Use lithium’s and expect 10+ months out of each set of AA batteries.