Invisible Magnetic Reed Switches

This is an idea I’ve been meaning to try for a while. I wanted to install magnetic reed switches on our kitchen windows for the security alarm. The kitchen is the most likely place where an intruder would try to enter because the window is low and out of sight. The good thing about reed switches is that the alarm will activate as soon as the window is pried and before any one actually gets inside the house.

I didn’t want to use the bulky white plastic reed switch/magnet combination sets. I wanted the install to be completely invisible using glass reed switches. Here’s how I went about it.

Kitchen windows before starting the project.

I first lifted a couple of tiles on the roof above the window so I could see what I was dealing with and to make sure there weren’t any mains cables near where I would be drilling. I drilled holes for each lead of the reed switches. These had to be drilled up at a slight angle facing away from the house so as to avoid the header above the window frame. I then pushed up some draw wires.

Using a chisel I cut a slot just slightly deeper then the thickness of the reed switches.

I soldered in and heat-shrinked the reed switches. My Weller Pyropen is brilliant for this kind of work.

The reed switches are gently pushed up into the slot which is then filled with polyester builders/automotive filler

Once the filler has hardened it is sanded and then a thin then layer of wood filler is added to make sure the surface is flat and smooth.

Finally the surface is sanded, primed and painted to restore the window frame to it’s original state.

The only thing left to do was to add a small neodymium magnet to the top of both window sashes. I first used double-sided tape to position the magnet and find out where it needed to be glued, then glued it in place with epoxy.

Done! Totally invisible reed switch install. Hopefully this is useful to someone. It’s really not much harder than doing an install with plastic units and looks much tidier.  Most of the work is in running the cable to the right place which you have to do either way.

alarm, home security, reed switch

7 Responses to Invisible Magnetic Reed Switches

  1. Bob James December 12, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    I think this would go nicely with a small video camera and recorder opposite . Triggered quietly by a reed switch. See, I think it is better to catch the bastards in the act rather than let them look and go away because its too hard. Then you have a chance of stopping them in the future rather than them just getting a hand slap and going to the next place . Chopping their hand off is still the best punishment I can think of.

  2. Philippe December 11, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    Nice work,

    But I think is a bad idea, see security it’s better because it’s deterrent and maybe, why not put some fake ? ;-)

  3. Bob December 11, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Why not just buy off the shelf hidden switches. Dril a couple of holes and insert them. Job done, faster, have a beer.

  4. Dillon November 6, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    You’re lucky that you had easy access above your window frame. I tried doing this to some doors at my place and couldn’t run the wires internally. I had to run them up the wall. Luckily it’s inside a closet and not in place sight. I love how clean yours turned out though.

    • RhysGoodwin November 6, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      Hey Dillon, Yeah access was pretty easy, especially since I could just lift a couple of roof tiles.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Cheers,
      Rhys

  5. Esmae Goodwin October 29, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    Very clever – now can you design some for our aluminium joinery?

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    […] [Rhys] wanted to secure his home against burglars, but didn’t want to go the normal route of using those bulky plastic magnet and reed switch deals. So he sourced some glass reed switches and made his own completely hidden security system. […]

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