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Aviary Court, Wade Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 8PE, UK

A Guide to Active Infra-Red Beams...


1. What are Active Infra-Red Beams?

Active Infra-Red Beams, sometimes called Point-to-Point Beams, are a reliable and long-established method of intruder detection. Once set up they are extremely stable, with a high detection rate and low false alarm rate.


2. How Do They Work?

Active Infra-Red Beams* are sold (and work) in pairs, comprised of 1 x Transmitter (Tx), and 1 x Receiver (Rx). The Transmitter sends out a modulated (Pulsed) beam of infra-red light which is detected by the Receiver. Any object breaking this beam will be detected, and this action can generate an alarm.

*note: not to be confused with Passive Infra Red (PIR) detectors, which, in basic terms, do not emit a beam of any kind, but instead look for a moving heat source (a person, vehicle, or animal etc), which, if detected, can generate an alarm. Unlike PIRs, Active Infra-Red Beams have a very precise detection area, so can be used on open sites and near chain-link and open fences without the risk of nuisance or false alarms from activity outside the protected area. They are therefore particularly suited to both intruder detection and monitored CCTV systems where a high detection rate with minimal false-alarm rate is required, or to cordon-off secure or dangerous areas from working areas.


3. Where Can They Be Used?

Takex Active Infra-Red Beams are weatherproof, and can be used both indoors and outdoors, singly, in- line, or stacked one above the other to create an invisible wall of beams. Different models will cover different distances, up to 200m externally**, so they are ideal for perimeter protection as well as particular area protection- roadways and gangways, or as invisible barriers around high risk areas etc.

**note: each beam type has an external and an internal range, the external range being half the internal range. This is because externally the range may be affected by thick mist and fog, driving rain or snow etc.

4. Twin Beams or Quad Beams?

Twin Beams have 2 x parallel beams, approx. 2 (50mm) apart, Quad beams have 4 x parallel beams, the outer ones being approx. 12 (300mm) apart. Both Twin and Quad beams can be used externally, but as all the beams must be broken simultaneously to generate an alarm, Quad beams are less likely to generate false alarms due to wild animals, birds, leaves or litter / plastic bags etc blowing through the beams. Check the site environment, or refer to Takex for advice. Also, some Quad beams, because of their higher power, can have a greater range than twin beams.


5. Single- or Multiple-Channel Type?

The infra-red beams are modulated (pulsed) at a specific frequency so each Receiver knows which Transmitter it is paired with. For single-beam systems use the Standard (Single Channel) types. For sites requiring In-Line or Stacked beams, or where multiple Receivers are in very close proximity, in order to avoid interference (Crosstalk) both Twin and Quad beams are available as Intelligent types with four individually selectable channels. For advice, or assistance with system design, please refer to Takex.


6. How Are the Beams Mounted?

All Takex beams are suitable for wall mounting, or for use with pole-mount brackets (pole ∅38-45mm). Wall-Mount and Free-Standing Beam Towers are available for use where there are no mounting points, or to disguise the mounting height or number of beam units used. High-Security sites can use towers with pressure-sensitive Anti-Climb tops, or can use staggered mounting points where the beams cross in mid- air, denying intruders a solid object to try to overcome the detection area.


7. What Power Supply is Required?

Takex Active Infra-Red beams require a 12VDC or 24VDC power supply with a rechargeable standby battery and use less than 120mA (at 12Vdc) per beam set. Low-Current and Solar-Powered versions are available for Battery-Operated or Wireless applications- please seek our advice.


8. Can Takex Beams be used on GRADE-3 Installations?

Please contact us for more information on this subject.


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