I saw a mention on your site of the Dakota Alert system, and since I’ve been using one for about a year, I thought I’d sent you a few comments.
First, I had tried a previous Dakota Alert system, several years ago, and found it unreliable, then tried several others and also found them either too short ranged or unreliable. I have a 1500′ driveway, about one half of which is blocked by a hill and trees.
I ran across the MURS system sold by a company in Canada, and didn’t even know until I got it that is was a Dakota Alert brand, or I probably wouldn’t have ordered it.
So far, the results of using it are mixed. I bought the two different type sensors, the PIR and the magnetic driveway probe. You can connect a total of 4 of either type to the system.
The driveway probe began giving trouble immediately. It would go off every minute, whether something was tripping it or not. I called Dakota Alert, and they sent me a replacement. It did the same thing !
I called and talked to one of their folks, who I ‘assumed’ knew their stuff, and he was puzzled….even though he could hear the “ALERT ZONE 1” going off in the background of my call each 60 seconds as we talked. I asked “What are the odds I would get TWO of these units bad ?” Uh, well, I don’t know. I’ll check into it.”
So, they sent a THRID unit, and it DID THE SAME THING!
Guess what I finally figured out: I had a single bad battery in the [set of] 6 AAs, brand new out a package ( what are the odds of that ? )…..and when the voltage gets low, the unit starts this behavior to warn you the batteries need replacing–like the ‘chirp’ of a smoke detector.
What I found amazing was that Dakota Alert apparently doesn’t know that!
So, my magnetic driveway probe works just fine….100% reliable and the batteries do last about six months, at which time it will start the every 60 second alert mode to let you know to change them.
Now, the PIR unit is a different story…..it seems to be about 50% reliable. About half of the time, a car passing it will set it off, and the other half, it won’t. I’ve tried changing the various settings for sensitivity on the unit, but it seems to make no difference. And this unit is actually closer to my house, about 400′ and in line of sight, than the mag probe unit, which is at the far end of my drive and blocked by the hill and trees.
I’m going to keep the system, because having tried several others before, this is the best so far……but it’s still a far cry from what I would call 99% reliable. – A.D. in Tennessee