This hack will allow you to create a motion sensing electrical switch
You can use this to trigger electrical devices from solenoids to motors to cameras.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: What You Will Need
Along with basic soldering skills...
You will need a PIR motion sensor mine is from a defunct home alarm.
A small relay, preferably 12V DC coil type.
A transistor NPN type I used a 2N3904
A diode for inductive suppression I used a 1N4001
Stranded wire, Discarded network cable will work in a pinch
12V DC power supply ( Check the requirements of the sensor)
Step 2: Test the Sensor
If this is a used or surplus device you should check the operation before using.
Remove the top cover and examine your sensor.
My sensor uses a 12 V DC supply for operation. The power terminals of the device should show the proper voltage and connection. I used this power requirement to select a relay that was also triggered with 12 V DC.
Connect power, wait for the light to go off then test for motion activation using your hand. The light should go on, stay on for a short time, then off again once the motion stops.
This model worked but the relay connection next to the power connection would not activate so a second method will be needed.
Step 3: Prep the Wire and Solder
Disconnect power and disassemble the device.
Since the relay terminals would not work I chose to use the LED as the relay trigger point.
Since I was going to use this to trigger a remote device, I needed to have 5 feet of stranded wire.
Cut and bare the individual wires in the bundle. You should also tin them at this time using a soldering iron.
Drill a hole for the wire in the back panel of the motion sensor if there is not one.
Feed the wire through the hole in the back and connect to the power terminals and relay trigger points.
If you are connecting to the LED then carefully solder one wire to each leg of the LED.
Red and Brown to 12VDC+
Black and Green to 12VDC-
Blue to LED Anode
White to LED Cathode
Step 4: External Relay
Since there is not much room in the sensor case I chose to connect a relay at the opposite end of the wires.
My relay needed 12 V to trigger and since there was only a fraction of that for driving the LED I used a 2N3904 in TO-92 form since I had several of them in my parts bin.
Using standard transistor wiring, Connect the LED power wire to the Transistor Base (B)
The 12V power is connected to the one relay coil contact and diode Cathode,
The other relay coil contact is connected to The transistor Collector (C) and the diode Anode
The Transistor Emitter (E) is connected to ground.
The other relay coil terminal is connected to the 12V ground of the circuit.
Attach your power source and test for operation. You should hear the relay trip when the LED is active. Seal and protect all bare wiring with electrical tape or Hot Glue to protect against shorting.
Now when the sensor is tripped the LED activates and the relay is activated. Now you can attach your favorite electrical device to the NO and GND contacts of the relay for activation.
One of mine is currently attached to a water valve solenoid from an old washing machine which is attached to a garden hose and is used to scare a skunk out of my back yard…
I have built another that triggers a Zombie Hand Halloween prop in another instructable.
Black Power supply Ground
Blue transistor base
Brown relay coil and diode Cathode
Other relay coil to Transistor Collector and Diode Anode
Green Transistor emitter
Relay contacts NO is switch + for device
Relay Ground is switch -
And Relay NC was left open
One final note:
I am starting to find that no matter what you do there is always someone that has done it before you. I found this clip after I completed the build, Enjoy, I know that I did…
Step 5: Onward
This is an example of what I have used this for recently...
Check out https://www.instructables.com/id/Zombie-Graveyard/
Participated in the
Hack It! Challenge