Trip Wire Alarm

Being one of the most basic security systems, the trip wire alarm is designed to be easily installed.  The conventional trip wire security system consists of a wire stretched across a path. Once someone trips over the wire it triggers an alarm; a trap or some other kind of signal that would alert you of a movement.  Whether it is to secure the perimeter of your home, or another site, the trip wire alarm is designed to protect you from intruders.

Wired alarms are mostly set up and assembled by the homeowners themselves. However, variations that employ the use of laser technology are also available in the market. Simpler versions of these can also be made at home, but larger complex security systems employing this technology have to be bought.

Types of Trip Alarms

Trip alarms have been in use for centuries now. They have been used during hunting, camping, warfare and more. Over time, these alarms have evolved as an effective security system and are now being used as tools for protection from intruders in many households. There are quite a few variations of this alarm system but some of the most popular are:

  • Direct Tripwire Alarm - The wire placed across the path is directly connected with the cord, wire or string placed across the particular path.

  • Laser Tripwire Alarm - An invisible laser, typically an infra-red, is used instead of a cord or string.

  • Radio-frequency Tripwire Alarm - The tripwire system is connected with the alarm system via a radio transmitter.

How to Make Your Own Tripwire Alarm

You could make a tripwire alarm system at home. Following are some steps you can follow to set up a basic laser tripwire alarm.

  1. Choose a small radio frequency transmitter to activate the alarm.

  2. You will have to remove the circuit board, in order to make a small modification, which involves soldering some extension wires to the button terminals. This will enable you to activate the transmitter through an external device.

  3. Assembling the circuit can be tricky; you need to have all the components in order to complete the process successfully, such as circuit board, buzzer, switch, and photo-resistor and laser pointer.  

  4. Make sure to test the equipment first; set the switch to connect the buzzer so that even without the laser shining on the photo-resistor, the alarm goes off. When the switch is turned the other way around, the alarm should go off.

  5. If everything is working properly, solder it all together on a printed circuit board. A general purpose IC board would do in this case.

  6. The batteries are mounted in individual AA battery holders. The three battery holders are soldered together in series and the end leads are soldered to the circuit board.

  7. Once the whole circuit is soldered to the board, test it again to make sure that everything is working properly.

  8. Next you will need two pieces of wire, each at least 3 inches in length. Remove the insulation from both ends and then solder one wire to each side of the button.

  9. The switch and the batteries are connected to the board with wires. You can use hot glue to place them on the circuit board as this would help keep the entire circuit board intact. Make sure to tie down long cables with either tape or a rubber band.

  10. The security system that is simplest to set up would be a single beam tripwire. In this, the laser pointer is placed on one side and the alarm circuit on other. It needs to be ensured that in order for the tripwire to work, the laser pointer needs to be switched on at all times. One way to do this would be to tightly wrap a piece of tape around the button.

  11. Make sure that the two components of the system are firmly secured in their positions; this can be done by using adhesive glue. In doing so, it is recommended that you first mount the alarm circuit in place and then the laser pointer to the opposite side. Before securing it, adjust the position of the laser pointer so that it is pointed directly at the photo-resistor.

  12. Turn the switch on to connect the buzzer and activate the alarm and whenever there is an obstruction in the path of the beam, the alarm would go off.

This is just one way of making a tripwire alarm at home. Without stating the obvious, as evident from the instructions, you need to know your way around electrical equipment in order to accomplish this. If you’re not handy, then you can always buy more complex security systems online or at your DIY store.



Q:Can I set my tripwire alarm with a pet left inside?

A:A tripwire alarm will only be activated if a person or pet walks through the line. A tripwire alarm is the most basic form of alarm system you can opt for. If your pet is indoors and is free to move around the house, there is a chance it can trip the alarm. If you place the wires high enough, a small pet may not be able to trip the alarm.

Q:Do home tripwire alarm systems prevent break-ins?

A:Trip wire alarms are the most basic type of home security alarms. Tripwire alarms can come in a few variations, using laser technology and radio-frequency. The basic purpose of this alarm is to alert you in the event of a burglary or intrusion. The effectiveness of such systems will vary and also depend upon other factors such as location of the alarm. In most cases, a burglar is likely to retreat if he or she trips the alarm.

Q:How to make a DIY tripwire alarm?

A:Tripwire alarms are the most basic kind of alarms you will find. It is also possible to build a tripwire alarm with a few simple steps: purchase a wireless transmitter and receiver that will activate the alarm, connect wires to the switch on the transmitter, create a switch that will be activated by the tripwire, and set up the wires in the chosen pathway. It is important that you follow the instructions or manual that typically come with a DIY trip alarm system.

Q:What happens if my alarm system is tripped by mistake?

A:If you trip the alarm accidentally, it is important that you disable the alarm as soon as you can. If your alarm system is being monitored by a security company, you can call them and inform them about the false alarm before they dispatch security. However, there may be a limited time window for this. It is also important that you know about the laws regarding false alarms in your state. Most cities levy a fine for false alarms.

Q:What is the difference between remote tripwire alarm and laser tripwire alarm?

A:A tripwire alarm is a basic alarm system used in many homes. A wire or line is placed across a pathway. When someone walks through the line, it automatically triggers the alarm. On the other hand, a laser tripwire alarm is a more advanced version of the basic tripwire alarm. This device comprises of a transmitter and a receiver that send out a laser beam across the pathway. Any intruder who crosses the pathway will cause the laser beam to break, triggering the alarm.

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