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Motion Detector Hacks

4404 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  RJ MacReady
I'm going to go over 3 different kinds of Motion Detector Hacks that I've built and some of the pros and cons of them.

First I will go over the tried and true hack that you've all seen on YouTube.


Wire Cable Electronics Technology Electronic device

This one is built like a tank. It can be made to be water proof and also has a ground if you use a yard spike.

The main con is that it cost about $35.

If you want to leave your props out all month long or live in a place that gets a lot of rain you may want to consider this build.

Next is the easiest to build and will cost about $17

Machine Wood Table Workbench Electrical wiring

First you will need this light for about $12


Light Socket Adapter for $3.25


Computer AC Power Cable. I get these from Goodwill for about $1.


This is super easy to build! Just strip the female end of the power cable to expose the 3 wires. Then strip the black and white wire and connect the white wire from the power cable to the white wire on the light fixture. Then connect the black wire of the power cable to the black wire of the light with the provided wire nuts.

Now just take your adapter and screw it in. You make need to trim the plastic cover back a bit.

Just make sure to leave the silver sticker so it will work in the light and the dark.

The pros of this little guy is that its cheap at $17 and easy to build with no power tools required and will still work as a light.

Cons are that some of the parts are cheap and its not at all water proof.

Now I will go over the cheapest one. $8.50

Wire Cable Technology Hand Finger

Here are all the supplies you will need.

Electronics Wire Technology Electronic device Cable

Power cable. $1.37 Can be found very cheap at goodwill on the first and third Saturday of the month.


Carlon Pvc Electrical Box. $1.50

White Receptacle $0.50 (in the store at least)


Then a Security PIR Infrared Motion Sensor Detector Wall LED Lights Outdoor RF. I found ones that shipped out of CA for the same price. Just look around a bit.


First take your blue box and drill a 5/8 hole in the back side.

Finger Electric blue Camera

Then attach the PIR with the provided nut.

Take your power cord and cut the female end off about 4 inches from the end.

Wire Floor Cable Wall Electrical wiring

Now feed both of the cut ends through the two openings at the top of your box.

Wire Technology Cable Hand Finger

Now take the power cable and spit them a few inches.

Wire Electrical wiring Cable Electronics Technology

Now take the two wires with ribs running down them strip and twist them together. Attached both of them to one of the silver screws on your outlet. Then take the blue wire from the PIR and attach it to the other silver screw.

Electrical wiring Cable Wire Technology Networking cables

Now take the red wire from the PIR and attach it to the gold screws on your outlet.

Electrical wiring Technology Electrical connector Cable Wire

Now take the two smooth wires and attach them together with the brown wire from the PIR using a wire nut.

Finger Hand Technology Thumb Cable
Finger Hand Technology Thumb Cable

It should be wired something like this.

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Now simply screw your outlet into the blue box.

Wall socket Electrical supply Power plugs and sockets Technology Electronic device

The pros of this guy is that you can build it really, really cheap. The PIR is rather nice from the price and has lot of adjustments.

The main con is that it takes the most work to build and requires a drill. This little guy is far from being water proof. I live in AZ and dont think rain will be a problem that time of the year.

That's my quick over view of Motion Detector Hacks if you have any questions or a better way of doing this please feel free to comment.
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Thanks for this, im making a zombie barrel (similar to Return of the Dead) and wanted to use my vertical oscillating fan to move the head. Didnt want it to run continuous so this is very helpful. Think i will go with option 3 since the wiring will be located inside the barrel.
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