Electronic Theft Deterrent Designs

Security Challenge Electronic Project Ideas

Security Cameras We know our customers love a good challenge, so we put then to the test! The electronics security challenge called for some new ideas that would scare off a burglar with an electronic device or strategy to deter a theft. Below are some of our favorite responses.

The contributions in this article were contributed as an exercise in creativity. Jameco does not recommend that any of these solutions be implemented in real life if considered harmful and/or dangerous.

Several years ago, I had my truck broken into 3 times. The tools in my truck were personal tools, not supplied by my company, so it was beginning to feel as if I was buying hammer drills and sawzalls for the world! My pickup truck had cab on the back that I had the windows spray-painted to help remove temptation, however that didn’t work either.

I had enough! I mounted an access control reader on the back window (not visible from the outside), and a Honeywell/Northern Computers panel on the inside. I added a stepper relay, along with a 360 motion and glass break detectors. Swipe an access card/keyfob and the system was disarmed. Swipe again and it was armed.

Now for the 'benefit' of the burglar, if the area was violated, an 112db air horn (on the inside of the bed) would be activated. Additionally, if I was near either my home, office, or girlfriend's house, a wireless transmitter would send a signal to a common receiver that I had in all three places. This would give both audio notification in the house/office (as if I couldn't hear the air horn), and activate a dedicated zone on the nearest alarm panel to call the monitoring center.

Lastly, two windshield washer pumps would activate, spraying thru copper tubing. One reservoir contained ammonia, and the other bleach that would cross-spray each other.

All powered by a separate car battery, with a few heavy duty diodes for charging and a relay to keep from discharging back through the truck when not running.

I still have all of my tools to this day!

— Dean Mires

In my electronic high school class, we hooked-up and old Ford spark coil to the doorknob. When the door was closed the spark went through the latch into the metal door frame. As you got a good grip on the knob before you turned it, you got a good zap! After someone stole the batteries off of my RV that was sitting right by my house, surrounded by security lighting, I seriously considered hooking up an old plate transformer to the chassis to prevent future theft.

— Chuck Johnson

My tools unfortunately live in a Quonset hut shop with a tarp for a door. It gets pitch black at night, and a feral cat in the area gave me a really cool idea to use that darkness to create a security illusion.

The idea is to create a facsimile of large animatronic feline eyes that would utilize a diffused yellow-green light and some reflective materials to appear lifelike. I'd create a few nature-inspired animations to make the illusion seem lifelike.

These animations and recordings of a lion/tiger roar would be triggered by a motion sensor. If done well enough, it just might cause someone to need a change of pants, but if not, the roars would be heard and someone would be alerted.

— John Hicks

This security device would include three battery powered, solar charged boxes that were hidden from view. Box one would contain a motion detector connected to an RF sending unit. Box two would contain an RF receiving unit connected to a sound producing device. It would be placed about 20-30 feet from the type one box.

At first trigger, it produces the sound of a pump action shotgun chambering a round. On the second trigger, perhaps the sound of a twig being stepped on. On the third, maybe a low voice "yeah, I see him". On the fourth, the sound of a shotgun being fired, presuming it can reproduce the sound accurately.

The third box contains an RF receiving unit connected to a natural light/IR video camera with recording apparatus placed more or less on a line from the type two box to the type one box again about 20-30 feet from the type one box. On being triggered it would record the actions of the thief.

You could even add an LED flashlight to the second or third boxes for added effectiveness.

— Kate Parlee

Tie a remote panic button into the security system that allows one to select the door/window that is being viewed and broken into. Remotely deploy a foam based pepper spray that I use for dog training and to protect against a dog attack. This foam doesn't only disable the criminal but also contains a dye only visible under a black light, marking them for later identification.

Scott A. Leibold

Keep the regular doorbell connected, so a would-be intruder can hear it from outside. Use the doorbell signal to trigger a 10-second timer. When the timer expires, play a high-fidelity recording of a 12-gauge racking a round, from a speaker hidden in the overhang directly above where he would be standing. That location makes it impossible to quickly locate the source of a short sound.

Optional: Trigger a security camera to record him beating feet out of my yard!

Steve Hendrix

This project is a blend of natural and electronic technology. Take a protective loud dog or build a “Robodog” and some very noxious liquid, say skunk for example and build a smart collar that will spray a perp with this evil smell. “Robodog” could employ all sorts of nasties from chilled larval insects to corrosive battery acid.

The collar arms itself whenever the family is out, thereby avoiding a happy barking accidental spray. Of course the collar would have a GPS cloud link for recovery etc.

Alex Prokop

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