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Roboguard is a unique South African product that has been developed, manufactured and marketed in South Africa for over thirty years and is now, with literally hundreds of thousands operating successfully in the market place, a tried and trusted security system. At this years Pietermaritzburg Royal Show (2017) two farmers wives took the trouble to visit the Stafix stand to request that we pass on their appreciation and thanks to Roboguard for saving their lives, Both had been forewarned of uninvited guests in their yards which provided them with the time to be proactive and alert their Farm Watch, their husbands, and their family. The result was both escaped a potentially nasty situation unscathed. Why then are there still detractors denigrating the product? The answer can be summed up in one word – ignorance.

Some security facts. No one single security system on its own can provide a total solution to one's security challenges. All have their pros and cons and all, with specialist know how, can be either disabled or circumvented. The best domestic security system is a layered system. Starting at the perimeter with a good barrier wall or fence reinforced with monitored electric fencing, possibly also with torsion or vibration monitors, backed by thermal cameras. Perimeter access should be via automatic gates with access control linked to the house via intercom or GSM. The next layer is an external beam system. This can also be linked to cameras and security lighting covering the intermediate space between perimeter and homestead. Finally the homestead itself. This should be fitted with formidable burglar guards, have adequate security lighting, good solid doors with locks and trellis type security gates, an internal burglar alarm system and cameras all linked via GSM or landline to one's cell phone and reaction company, and a safe room into which residents can retreat into. This way one can protect ones family and monitor one's assets from anywhere in the world. Regrettably this can all add up to a tidy sum but one can add the layers as one can afford them.

What does Roboguard offer? The Roboguard system is a wireless linked (i.e. no cabling required) standalone, weatherproof, tamperproof, outdoor beam system impervious to lightning  that sends out a 110  degree double fan like set of beams which cover an area of up to 20 to 25 metres. The Roboguard outstation also transmits a product condition report back every 20 minutes to its portable base station (HQ) This HQ has internal rechargeable batteries and it can be situated up to 400 metres away from the outdoor Roboguard sentry. (Other systems only check-in every couple of hours.) One HQ can monitor up to eight Roboguard sentries.

For an alarm to trigger, both layers of beams have to be broken almost simultaneously. This means that if a dog walks under the top beam and it breaks only a bottom beam, no alarm will trigger. Conversely a bird flying through only a top beam will also not trigger an alarm condition. Both beams need to be broken simultaneously. Finally the Roboguard outstations do not have to face each other i.e. point to point as with most other beam systems. The net result is a highly flexible, easy to operate, stable, outdoor security system.

What are the myths and misunderstandings referred to in the heading?

Firstly, almost all problems associated with Roboguards can be attributed to ignorance or simply poor installation practices. Common myths and misconceptions debunked here are:

Myth - Roboguards give false alarms: Originally Roboguards were sold only to qualified installers who, at the retail price quoted, installed the Roboguard system free of charge. (This within a reasonable distance of their home base – otherwise some travelling allowance had to be charged.) Regrettably distributors and installers have started discounting and selling Roboguard product direct to the public and while it is possible to 'do-it-yourself' the purchaser has to be reasonably technically minded and practical to install the product satisfactorily. And here in lies the rub, – most people are not qualified to do a satisfactorily installation and, regrettably, this includes many burglar alarm technicians who regularly move from one firm to another and are often not in one place long enough to be properly trained. The net result is beams are wrongly sited, angled, or focused, and the 'walk test' is seldom conducted. All this results in potential for false alarms and the misconception that Roboguards are unstable. (Example - The Roboguard is positioned too low or is faced directly at bushes or a swimming pool where movement of the bushes or reflection off the water can cause a problem.) So as far as false alarms go nothing could be further from the truth. Properly sited, installed and commissioned, Roboguards are one of the most stable alarm systems available.

Myth - Roboguards are easy to jam: A myth persists that Roboguards can be easily jammed using a run of the mill gate remote. Any wireless system can be jammed by a signal from a more powerful transmitter operating on the same frequency. A Roboguard can transmit up to 400m whereas a gate remote can transmit up to about 60m.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to appreciate which is the more powerful transmitter. However, in exceptional situations, there is a possibility of jamming a signal but even this possibility can be easily overcome by simply inserting a Snitch. A Snitch is a device that warns you if someone is trying to block the signal.  Incidentally this device is also ideal for warning motorists when someone is blocking the locking up of their vehicle.

Myth - Birds will trigger the Roboguard. The misconception that large birds will trigger a false alarm is catered for by setting the Roboguard to Hadedah mode. So if you are plagued in the morning by these mobile alarm clocks adjust the setting on the Roboguard to Hadedah mode - something that cannot be done to any conventional point to point beams.

Price: Price is always a consideration. Regrettably quality does come at a price, but if one considers that no expensive and disruptive digging of trenches is necessary, or messy wiring is involved, suddenly the margins are insignificant. Also, being wireless, a Roboguard can easily be re-sited if its original positioning is unsatisfactory.

Repairs: And finally, if one uses a qualified installer the units can be installed professionally giving trouble free operation with back-up service.  And yes, Roboguards can be repaired and serviced in-house, something very few other beam systems can offer.   

 For further information contact your nearest Stafix Electric Fence and Security Centre.

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