My ERA-DSTX Outdoor Driveway Motion Sensor is Not Picking Up Cars

Although not common, every now and then receive calls from customers who state the ERA-DSTX driveway monitor sensor is not picking up cars, sporadically picking up cars, or not picking up cars at night.

Trouble Shooting Your ERA-DSTX Driveway Sensor

Positioning of the sensor:

Passive infrared motion sensors are designed to trigger when the combination of heat & movement is detected in the monitored zone. In most cases, the positioning of the sensor is the likely culprit when you are not getting the results you expect. We will go over some tips below, but full details may be found in the ERA-DSTX user manual, located under the section titled “Mounting the Transmitter.”

  1. Ideally, the sensor/transmitter should be mounted approximately 3′-5- off the ground, 20′ from either side of the driveway.
  2. Ideally, mount it on a wooden post, fence, or tree, trying to avoid mounting it on metal siding as the metal could interfere with the transmission.
  3. Make sure the transmitter is mounted in a way that the wind doesn’t make it move.
  4. Sounds weird, but there have been issues where the sensor isn’t working on one side of the driveway, and simply moving it across the driveway seemed to do the trick. There’s no real explanation other than something interfering with the detection or transmission.
  5. Check the angle of the sensor. The sensor doesn’t do as good of a job picking up tires. Make sure you have it 3′-4′ up, and the lens is level….not pointing down into the ground too much or pointing up over cars.

Change the “Outdoor Filter” Setting

The sensor/transmitter has a dip switch that changes the outdoor/indoor filter to on/off. Ideally, you want this dip switch set to the “on position” (switch in the up position). This makes the sensor a little less sensitive so things like the wind may not set it off.

However, if you aren’t getting the desired results, turn the filter off, which will make it a little more sensitive, and see how that works.

Check the Sensor Detection Zone Range

Again, this is another filter setting. The sensor/transmitter can have a detection zone from 25′-100′ (or sometimes more). This setting may be changed by moving the dip switches. Ideally, try to position it within 20′ of the driveway. If you have the dipswitch set to 25′, but the sensor is 35′-40 feet from the driveway, it may not pick up movement.

Change the Reset Setting

Sometimes we have received reports of inconsistency because the reset setting is switched to a higher value. This setting tells the sensor/transmitter what the waiting period is before it starts to detect movement again. It can be set to 10 seconds or 120 seconds.

If you have a lot of traffic in and out of the driveway, car after car, you may want to set it to 120 seconds so it isn’t constantly going off. However, if you have it set to 120 seconds and two cars pass at 60-second intervals, you won’t hear the alert for the second car.

Is the Battery Good

Make sure you have a top-quality 9V Alkaline battery as it does make a difference.

Is There Anything Blocking the Radio Signal?

The line-of-sight range from the transmitter to the receiver is up to 4,000 feet, however, environmental factors may cut down on this range. If possible, try moving the transmitter/sensor a little closer to see if that improves the signal.

If you go through these troubleshooting steps and the unit still continues not to meet your expectations, please don’t hesitate to contact us.