THE SHORT STORY: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I want to know what sort of microphone would be suitable for picking up the sound of a car horn from around 10-20m away. It would be mounted outdoors and the signal used to detect the sound of the horn and turn on/off an exterior light.
THE LONG STORY: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I'm hopefully soon to receive a new headlight to replace the cracked one that's in my car currently, and I had the thought yesterday that it might be handy to set it up inside a box. Then locate it where it can illuminate a part of my driveway which can be difficult to reverse down at night.
That should be easy enough, though I will be assuming that halogen car headlight bulbs work OK on 12VAC, unless someone here wishes to advise me otherwise. The issue is having the light turn off once I have reached the point of the drive where my car can be returned to it's rightful forward orientation.
To this end I looked for some radio control circuits, and happened across a circuit to trigger an action upon receiving a certain audio tone, with theoretically good scope for relatively fine adjustment and stability (ETI Circuits Cookbook #5, pg. 80 "Tone Operated Switch). I'm now thinking of using this to detect the sound of the car horn, and control the light (perhaps with a small addition so that two toots are required within a period of time).
This leaves me with the problem of what kind of microphone I should use to detect the sound of the car horn, and unfortunately this is an area where I am not very knowledgeable.
To use, I have some cheap Electret microphones, and the head of a Dynamic microphone I got with some other electronics parts (if it works). I'm not against buying something if it's fairly Cheap.
Should I simply put an Electret mic at the end of a large cone pointed in the direction I would be approaching from? Or would I be better off using something with a bigger diaphragm, even a speaker? Any advise appreciated.
P.S. For those worried about me disturbing the peace of my neighbours, the nearest other residence is over half a Kilometer away.