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Line Alarm

Help stop me losing any more jackets
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Most people who have lived in an area like mine - terrace with a washing line out the front, near a pub studenty type area - will have put out their washing at one point, only to come back out to find it nicked by local tearaways.

So hows about some form of sensor attached to the line to tell when the tension on the line is getting lighter. The alarm can either go off loudly outside to scare off the fiends or inside to give you enough time to get outside and give them a shouting yourself...

Seaneeboy, Jan 29 2003

Colpitts oscillator http://www.tpub.com/neets/book9/35e.htm
A good starting point. [8th of 7, Oct 17 2004]

[link]






       It would be very easy to make, but futile. The type of people that are doing this are either going to just yoink and run anyway, or spend some time being gentle.   

       Obviously it would be possible to take the clothes without setting off the alarm because you would have to give the tension sensing mechanism a bit of a dead zone to prevent the alarm going off every time your clothes are hit by a gust of wind. Which is what I think blissmiss was getting at.
RoboBust, Jan 29 2003
  

       A modified fishing-rod line sensor might be able to do this. They can discriminate between movements caused by water currents, and a fish biting.   

       I agree it would be tough to make this work on windy days - the very time you want to dry your clothes in the open air.   

       I think it could be done by conductivity. If the line was one end of a circuit, and the other end was ground, anything touching the line would close the loop and drop the resistance, which could be easily detected. Alternatively, a metastable RF oscillator tank circuit (probably a Colpitts design) could be used as a proximity detector.
8th of 7, Jan 29 2003
  

       [IVnick8or] whoops, fixed :)
Seaneeboy, Jan 29 2003
  

       I favor a shotgun. Oh, yeah, I read they sent someone to jail for that. How about a big, hairy Alsatian?   

       Or move to the States, where defence of property is an entirely adequate defence (with shotguns, that is, but not Alsatians, oddly).
DrCurry, Jan 29 2003
  

       // How about a big, hairy Alsatian? //   

       We dry our dog with a towel. I don't think a big hairy Alsatian is going to take kindly to being pegged out on a clothes line. But if you would care to demonstrate .....
8th of 7, Jan 29 2003
  

       [8th], Doc's big hairy Alsatian is trained to look like a fur coat.   

       But I'd do it with high voltage to the clothes line. 10000 volts, and the wetter the clothing, the better. Bear in mind that if someone grabs your stuff both he and your jacket will catch fire.
Amos Kito, Jan 29 2003
  

       //How about a big, hairy Alsatian?// - No thanks, I've just had one, and I couldn't possibly eat any more.
PeterSilly, Jan 29 2003
  

       The first Alsatian of the day is the hardest to resist. Have you tried hypnosis, or the gum or the patches ?
8th of 7, Jan 29 2003
  

       "I think it could be done by conductivity."   

       I like this idea, but it would be possible to just yank the jacket without setting off the alarm. Instead, assuming it is a single wire, one end of it could be detatched and the clothing threaded on, when the circuit is broken the alarm goes off.   

       Or you could use the oscillator. Heh.
RoboBust, Jan 29 2003
  

       Get a peacock.
skinflaps, Jan 29 2003
  

       Daftie me accidentally deleted another annotation. [Po] said something like "As the closes get dried, they get lighter". True, but drying is a lot slower than lifting...
Seaneeboy, Jan 30 2003
  

       If you hooked up your washing line to the mains electricity would it cook your clothes??
veitchy, Jan 30 2003
  

       I know you can microwave damp socks,it's great!
veitchy, Jan 30 2003
  

       Yes, but only up to the point where you've evaporated all the moisture, after which it all gets more exciting that one might want. Not only can this damage your microwave, but the smell lingers for days.
8th of 7, Jan 30 2003
  

       //Po] said something like "As the closes get dried, they get lighter". True, but drying is a lot slower than lifting// small p in po and I would definitely not say *closes*
po, Jan 30 2003
  

       You can easily get proximity devices intended as burglar alarms: use one of those. If the thefts primarily occur at night, have the lights come on whenever someone comes into the garden. Should be enough to spook them.   

       Or, rig the detector up to a camera, and take the resulting pictures to the police. This has almost elminated grafitti and vandalism in some remote sites in the US. If you can't afford the camera, and don't want to lose another jacket just to catch the culprits, put up one of those signs, "Premises protected by CCTV," and an ominous looking black dome.
DrCurry, Jan 30 2003
  

       Hmm, I think this idea could be adapted to tell one when one's recently clean clothing has been blown from the line and scattered all about by a strong gust of wind. Then one could rescue said particulars before the wind helped them reach the vice-like (specifically a vice steeped in dog saliva) jaws of next door's boxer.
Zircon, Jan 30 2003
  

       boxer shorts
po, Jan 30 2003
  
      
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