REVIEW: RISCO WatchOUT DT Extreme Outdoor Motion Detector

The Risco WatchOUT DT Extreme  is considered one the the best outdoor motion sensors. They are hard to find, likely because they are not used by the DIYer, mostly used by professional installers for high-end security installations. Here I will put it to the test.

Features:

  • Dual PIR sensor
  • Dual Microwave detector
  • Dual tamper switches
  • Wired interface with NO & NC contacts
  • Anti-mask and dirty lens outputs
  • RS485 Bus (ProSYS)
  • IP65 rated enclosure
  • Pet immunity lens included

Product Breakdown:

RISCO315DT-A

The housing has 3 components, the back plate that attaches to your wall or mount. The center section that holds the PCBA. Then there is the front cover.

The back plate is plastic, and has a variety of cutouts you can make for mounting and wire passthru. The installation manual has a legend for which cutouts to poke thru the housing and the cutouts are labeled. They are not quite knockouts, but you have to drill or cut them out with an exacto knife.

The center section with the PCBA has the front and rear gaskets. It hooks into the bottom of the rear plate and has a single screw for mounting it.

The front cover is has the shade, which is permanently attached. The PIR lens is quite large and  has replaceable optical elements for pet immunity, long range, etc. The front cover attaches to the center section by hooking in on the top and has a screw on the bottom.

RISCO315DT-B

The PCBA has the dual microwave sensor on the bottom and the dual PIR sensors in the center. The yellow wires are for the rear movable tamper switch.

Installation:

RISCO315DT-D

I was replacing the DSC LC-151 on this installation. So, wanting to recycle the holes I had in the wall and not add new ones, I ignored the mounting legend and put the holes in the back plate to reuse those holes. I have a 22/4 wire run to this position, so reused that as well. The unit is about 8ft above the driveway.

RISCO315DT-E

For wiring, I simply ran 12VDC power on RED (+) and BLK (-). I then ran my alarm contacts thru the alarm. I also ran it in series with the front tamper switch, jumping it with my end-of-line-resistor( EOLR). I actually didn’t wire up the rear tamper switch properly in this photo, but later moved things around so that it was wired properly.

Right below the wiring block is the RELAY/BUS selector. I am using the relay connections and not the ProSYS RS485 bus, so its set to the left.

RISCO315DT-I

On the bottom right is the microwave adjustment (red dial). It’s at the default position here/

RISCO315DT-G

On the right is an 8 position DIP SWITCH

  • DIP 1 – LED ON/OFF
  • DIP. 2/3 – PIR Sensitivity, giving 4 possible settings (low/mid/normal/max)
  • DIP 4 – Alarm (PIR AND MW) or (PIR OR MW)
  • DIP 5 – Long range or wide angle (should match installed optics)
  • DIP 6 – LED – RED only or RED/YEL/GRN
  • DIP 7 – Anti-mask enable
  • DIP 8 – Proximity enable (microwave detection)

RISCO315DT-H

There is also a mechanical adjustment for the PCBA, which shifts the PIR optics up and down. It basically reduces the detection range of the unit. This adjustment is confusing as the makings are for you to set the desired mounting height of the unit on uneven surfaces.

Testing:

RISCO315DT-F

Testing:

I have a driveway that passes in front of the unit. The sensor is on a wall, about 8 ft above the driveway and 8 ft back from the driveway. The alarm contacts are wired to my Ademco Vista 20P as a monitor only zone, which is programmed as a zone follower on my Envisalink EVL3 to send me text message alerts. RISCO315DT-J

Once mountged, the unit dials in pretty quick. The LEDs are visible in daylight, which makes walk testing it easy. My concern was getting it to pick up people and cars. It works great for picking up people, but cars passing by difficult to get 100%. The PIR adjustment works ok as I was getting false alarms from hot windy days and I was able to dial it down. But with only 4 settings, I felt it was limiting.

The Microwave setting is a dial, so I dialed it up to max and down to min and didn’t see much of a difference with respect to detecting vehicles.I had the unit programmed to PIR and MW to trigger the alarm.

In my iterative progression of settings, I had dialed down the PIR to LOW and left MW at midway to eliminate all false detection. At that setting, it would pick up people fine, but struggled to detect vehicles.

In the end, I had all the settings dialed up to maximum to test detecting of vehicles, and found that with all the false alarms, it was still missing vehicles. Perhaps it is the speed in which they pass by the sensor is not letting it get picked up.

If I was only interested in detecting people, then this unit is rock solid.

Review:

My purpose for installing this is to be notified of people and vehicles approaching the house. The sensor is not meant to trigger an alarm, just a notification. I have cameras covering this unit, so as soon as I get an alert (alarm chime) or text message, I can check my camera feeds. At some point, I will have the unit trigger my camera recording as well.

The unit is relatively large, but luckily the color is almost a perfect match for my wall.If you are looking for a discreet sensor, if it matches your wall color, it blends in..

As far as usability and adjustment, the 4 positions for the PIR sensitivity is  almost enough, more is always better. With MW, it’s unsure what the adjustment is doing, but at least you have a dial and ideally enough adjustment.

The mechanical adjustment of the height of the optics is confusing at first. The manual has one sentence telling you have to adjust it and it’s not clear as to how and why you adjust it.

The unit can be purchased for about $170 online, but it’s not widely available. For that price, I would expect this unit to work flawlessly, which for me, it did not meet expectations. The ProSYS RS48 bus is not really a DIY setup and it likely adds to the cost of the product. So it’s not good to pay for a feature you will never use. If this thing was under $100, I’d be more willing to recommend it.

I give this unit 3.5 stars out of 5.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s