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What the World Needs Now --
Anti-Theft Hanging Basket Alarm
  

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A while back I received a call from a woman who was in tears while describing a problem she had.  She had a number of expensive plants hanging from her home’s front porch.  It seemed that within weeks of her placing a new plant on a hook near her front door, it would be stolen.  She walked all around her neighborhood but could not tell who was taking her plants.  No one else had similar plants.  She figured that the thief was in the neighborhood but they were putting the stolen plants inside their home or in their back yard, out of sight.  She wanted to know if there was something she could do to prevent future thefts and perhaps identify the thief. I gave it some thought. 

Her first priority was to stop the thefts but she also wanted to find out who the thief was. Perhaps she could prosecute and get some money back.  She could install a very loud personal alarm type device to the plant, which uses a 9v battery powered piezoelectric siren.  She could wire it up so when the plant and the hook were separated, the alarm would sound.  But, that could be tricky for the woman to wire up properly. 
Also, the alarm box might get wet when the woman watered the plant, which she says she did almost daily.  What else could she do?  If she really wanted to catch the thief red handed, she could set up a security camera, illuminated with invisible infrared lights.  The camera would be triggered by a passive infrared motion sensor.  When the system detected motion on the front porch, the camera would be activated.  Such systems are often used by hunters to capture still images and even movies of wild game walking on a trail.  But, such a system would be expensive and still may not stop the thief.  My mind went wild imagining some other high tech methods using GPS devices and such to identify the thief but then, it dawned on me. 
 Very Loud Personal Alarm  Game Camera

Yes, she would really like to find out who was taking her plants but in the end, what she needed was to just stop the thefts.  After talking to her some more I suggested a low tech solution.  I suggested that she make it much more difficult for the thief to take her plants by wrapping some stiff wire around a couple of the wires or chains connecting the plant body to the metal hook.  She would then continue wrapping the wire around the eye hook, attached to the ceiling.  This would prevent the thief from just lifting the plant off the hook and running away with it.  She thanked me for my time and we said our goodbyes. 

A few days later, I got a call from her.  She said she took my advice and secured the hanging plant to the eye hook.  So far, the plant has remained untouched. 

Sometimes, a problem can be solved with a simple and direct solution, without any technology.


4th Quarter -  2012    

Index Circuit
Diagnosis
Experimenter's
Corner
Good Idea
gone Badly
What the World
needs Now
Wily Widget


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