Understanding driveway alarm features

Many of the products listed here offer similar features.  Some of the features are basic, while some are more complex features availale for integration purposes.

Below we lay out the major features with a brief explanatin of what the feature means and an example of how the features may be used.

Volume Control

Self explanatory.  When a product has volume control, it means the receiver will have a volume control knob or button to turn the volume up or down.

In some cases you can turn the volume all the way down, essentially muting it in case you want to silence the product in your office.

12VDC Output

Many of the products we carry have  feature called “Live 12V DC Output.”  On the Di2000S-AG kit for example, the receiver features a live 12V DC output on back of the receiver.   This allows you to connect accessories, like a strobe light, to the back of the receiver.  When the receiver chimes, for example, the strobe light is triggered by this 12V DC output.

The advantage of this feature is that your accessory does not have to have an external power source because the receiver will send power to the accessory.  In the example above, the strobe light does not need an external power source, it will get it from the receiver.

Do not confuse this with the speaker output of the Di2000S-AG or the C-relays of the Dakota brand of products.  We will go into C-relays a little more in a different section, but for now, know they are not the same thing.

Form C-relays

Common relays (c-relays) or sometimes referred to as “dry contacts” and are typically used to integrated the device with other products.  A good example might be integrating your driveway alarm product with your home alarm or the front gate to your home’s driveway.

Form C-relays outputs are useful for applications that need one circuit to remain open, such as a home alarm system.


When we mention the expandability of a product at Sensor City, we are specifically talking about the ability to add more sensors and/or more receivers, thus “expanding” your kit.

Let’s say your warehouse you have a front entrance as well as a back entrance for deliveries.  You could use a kit, such as the DCMA-2500 monitoring kit by Dakota Alert to monitor the main entrance to your warehouse.  Later you decide you want advance notice when a delivery truck pulls in the back entrance.  An additional sensor/transmitter, like the DCMT-2500 PIR sensor or the magnetometer probe sensor may be installed and work with the same receiver, thus making the system expandable.   

Receivers will work the same way.  As long as you use the same series in the same brand, the receivers will work with the transmitters.  Say you need another chime receiver in the front office as well as the back area workshop, you can expand the system by adding an additional receiver.


Most of the receivers listed on this site play a given number of different chime sounds.  In the case of the Rodann Driveway Alarms, for example, the receivers are capable of playing four different chime sounds.  Each chime sound then corresponds to a “zone” labeled as zone 1, zone 2, etc.  You then “pair” or match each sensor/transmitter to a respective zone.  

You may have a driveway PIR sensor at the front of your driveway and a compatible door/window sensor on the front door.  So that you can determine which sensor has been triggered, you would associate each sensor with a specific zone.  Zone 1, the PIR sensor on the driveway plays a “Ding-Dong” sound, while the door/window contact generates a “Dong-Ding,” this way you know which sensor was triggered.