Home Advances Solar LED Light with Motion Sensor and Video Camera
Remote Gate Monitor
I own rural acreage away from my residence. The land is wooded with 2,600 feet of frontage along a paved, township road. There's only one access driveway into the property and it's gated. I installed the gate about 100 feet up the driveway so I can safely pull off the road with a truck & trailer. The problem: teenagers "Park" in front of the gate late at night (it's dark & isolated) and I find trash the next day.
I purchased this product to maintain surveillance on the gate / driveway entrance. There's no electricity on the property so this product is uniquely suited to the location as it uses its own solar panel & battery.
To make it tamper-proof, I mounted it 11 feet above ground on a small telephone pole. Northern Catalog says it detects motion up to 33 feet. The product packaging & owner's manual say 26 feet. I installed it about 25 feet from the gate but it doesn't always activate if there's motion near the gate. Seems to detect motion reliably at distances up to about 20 feet. I currently have the mounting bracket adjusted so it's looking at the driveway in front of the gate. Eventually, I may relocate the pole closer to the gate.
When triggered, the LEDs light up that dark driveway about as good as can be expected from a battery-operated unit. It'll give those teenagers a real shock the first time that light goes on! Should be enough to discourage them from parking there in the future.
Unit comes only with the solar panel for charging. Found an old cell phone charger that provides the correct voltage (& has the correct plug) so I gave it an overnight "wall charge" before installation.
At this writing, it's been installed for just over two weeks. Even though the sunlight is not real strong at that location, it continued to operate for the two-week period.
We took it down two days ago and took the video files off of it (the unit does not include the needed cable but I already had a USB cable from an external hard drive that fit). There were 96 files. About half were of our own vehicles coming and going. The remainder were phantom videos, perhaps birds or animals that triggered the motion detector. None showed the teenagers.
We also noticed the date & time stamp is off by a month. Not sure why because I know I set these before we first installed it. The file that contains the date & time information is no longer in the unit, not sure what happened to it. I contacted customer support hoping someone could email me another file that has the date & time formatting information.
Here comes the bad news: the company / contact information shown on the packaging and in the owner's manual did not manufacture this product - they are merely the importer and provide no after-market support. In short, they are USELESS!
The unit still works - when triggered, the light comes on and the video camera records. However, I bought this unit to deal with a trespassing problem. and in order to get Law Enforcement involved, the date & time stamp on the video files need to be accurate. Now I'm not sure how useful the product will be.
November 27, 2012