Gate Automation

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Series1 Stu
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#1 Gate Automation

Post by Series1 Stu » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:18 am

Hi All

I am in the process of installing new metal gates across my drive and am looking for advice on gate motors and control systems. I am not really finding any reviews online or getting any reliable advice from potential suppliers or installers. I'm sure that underground motors are preferable and SMS/internet access for opening & intercom etc.

Double gates will be 12' (3.6m) overall width and hung on steel posts.

Any words of wisdom from the collective would be appreciated.

Regards
Stuart

If you can't make it work, make it complicated!

'62 FHC - Work In (slow) Progress
'69 Daimler 420 Sovereign
'78 Land Rover Series 3 109
'94 X300 XJR basket case

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christopher storey
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#2 Re: Gate Automation

Post by christopher storey » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:49 am

There is a neighbour of yours who is just about to motorise his gates with underground motors . If you PM me with your name and phone no.I can ask him to ring you and you might find it useful to compare notes
Last edited by christopher storey on Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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abowie
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#3 Re: Gate Automation

Post by abowie » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:06 pm

Centurion
Andrew.
881824, 1E21538. 889457..oops. Jezza the V12 XJS race car.
http://www.projectetype.com/index.php/the-blog.html
Adelaide, Australia

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Robsan
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#4 Re: Gate Automation

Post by Robsan » Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:57 pm

Try Google.....................

https://www.google.com/search?client=fi ... automation

from that google list check the first one ?? Gate Auto...................

https://gateauto.uk/product-category/el ... gIOsvD_BwE

They have a chat facility :-)

I have no affiliation, but am an Automation engineer [ retired]............. thats how I would approach the issue. Ask the experts and keep your engineering and common sense head on ?

post back or pm if you need anything

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Robsan
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#5 Re: Gate Automation

Post by Robsan » Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:04 pm

Just a thought................. motors require power supplies which need cables

position sensing [ limit switches or proximity sensors] require cables [ differant voltages to the motor power cables]

Communications speakers etc require also cables and again differant voltages

all cables need a route back to base [ house or garage] and preferably in ductwork .......... You can use drainage duct for a water tight seal if neccessary.

Motors or any equipment that is installed below ground should be located in a chamber that has good and proven drainage.

so consider the underground stuff before the gate posts are concreted in ?

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Heuer
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#6 Re: Gate Automation

Post by Heuer » Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:20 pm

I motorised my gate recently and did all the work myself. I even have it controlled by Alexa!
Image

I used this kit: https://www.easygates.co.uk/product/nicehome-aria-400/

Don't even think about using underground motors because when they fail (they will!) you will have to dig up your drive. Moisture and electrics do not make good bedfellows. A professional install will cost you £2,000+, my DIY cost £500.

The motors run on 24V but I ran a 25m armoured cable from an outside 240v supply to the control box mounted on the gate post. One end of the actuator arm attaches to the post, the other to the gate. Fire it up and the electronics will work out the end stops. You will need to run a low voltage cable under the drive for the second actuator (I only needed the one). There are various bells and whistles you may want to add (IR sensors, safety contacts, switch control at the gate, antenna for extra range, flashing lights etc) but they are optional extras you can add at any time.

Apart from the voice control I have a sensor on the LH post which detects if the gate is opening/closing and Alexa announces it. At the top of the LH post I have waterproof rocker switch so delivery drivers can open the gate when required although Alexa opens the gate automatically at 6:50 for the paper girl. This is the only gate into our property so we need pedestrian access who use the switch.

I spoke to many gate companies and gave them my wish list and they all said it was impossible (Alexa) and I was not qualified to do the work, I was a danger to myself and others etc etc. Some even refused to sell me the kit saying I had to use their approved fitters. Even Easygates had a pink fit when I told them I had hacked into the gate control so I could use Alexa! They completely lost it when I told them I was not buying their coded remote controls as there was a guy in Romania selling compatible ones for £9.99 on eBay.
David Jones
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Series1 Stu
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#7 Re: Gate Automation

Post by Series1 Stu » Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:35 am

Thanks everyone

I have the armoured cable run in already and the drive is in need of resurfacing so now is the perfect time.

I am trying to decide what automation to use so I can plan installing the gate posts and any ground works in advance.

I have spoken to Gate Auto and they want in excess of £5500 just to supply and install the automation, which on its own is around £2200. They obviously have enough work on.

Thanks for the Centurion suggestion from the other side of the World, Andrew. I am working my way through their website and trying to make sense of it all.

I'll get there but I really need to get new gates up and the automation can follow.

I fitted a new galvanised cattle gate last week, took half a day and cost less than £200. :shrug:

Regards
Stuart

If you can't make it work, make it complicated!

'62 FHC - Work In (slow) Progress
'69 Daimler 420 Sovereign
'78 Land Rover Series 3 109
'94 X300 XJR basket case

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Heuer
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#8 Re: Gate Automation

Post by Heuer » Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:34 pm

Series1 Stu wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:35 am
I am trying to decide what automation to use so I can plan installing the gate posts and any ground works in advance.
You need the gates in place before deciding on how to automate as there are various calculations required to do with angles of the actuator to the gate itself and of course the weight. Also do you want a ram, articulated or underground system. Look for one with an ECSBus system as you connect accessories with just two wires.

This questionnaire will help you decide: https://www.easygates.co.uk/product-cat ... ener-kits/

For really heavy gates you need something like this: https://www.easygates.co.uk/product/nice-toonakit-3/

I also found these guys helpful: https://www.theelectricgateshop.co.uk and they recommended the Rogers brushless motors for quieter, faster operation and longer life. Not sure if the advanced technology is worth it at x2 the price of conventional motors.
David Jones
S1 OTS OSB; S1 FHC ODB

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ALAN COCHRANE
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#9 Re: Gate Automation

Post by ALAN COCHRANE » Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:03 am

Hi Stu

I automated my driveway gates many years ago and have to agree with David that underground motors are not a good idea.
I plumped for motors that attached to the gate and drive rubber shod wheels. The only thing I found awkward was finding the right spring combination to ensure the wheels stayed in contact with the driveway while the gates are opening.
I've not had any problems over the ten ears since I fitted the kit. You will need to install a duct across the gates to accommodate the cable required at the far side motor
Here's the link to the company:-
https://www.theelectricgateshop.co.uk

I don't see the kit I have-they now all seem to operate with actuator arms.
Overall very pleased with it.
Alan Cochrane

1962 S1 OTS-850389,1968 Triumph TR250, 1971 Triumph GT6 Mk3, 2008 Porsche Boxster RS60 Spyder

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ALAN COCHRANE
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#10 Re: Gate Automation

Post by ALAN COCHRANE » Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:48 am

Sorry David didn't see your link to the Electric Gate Shop so that's a +1 for them then. I had no hassle from them about fitting the kit myself, although it was in 2008. Not so much H&S around in those days.
One thing I would recommend though is to have a sliding bolt to manually fix the gates in position. The traction of the wheels can be overcome by a very strong wind gust when closing or conversely forced open. Although this may not be a problem with the arm actuator version though.
Also agree about the remotes. £30 from the dealer or £4.95 off eBay-no contest really.
Alan Cochrane

1962 S1 OTS-850389,1968 Triumph TR250, 1971 Triumph GT6 Mk3, 2008 Porsche Boxster RS60 Spyder

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Heuer
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#11 Re: Gate Automation

Post by Heuer » Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:12 pm

Even our five bar gate gets moved by strong wind although the arm prevents it opening more than a couple of inches before returning to the stop. Unfortunately that sets off our Alexa telling us the gate is opening/closing/opening etc. I toyed with fitting the optional electric lock which is activated as soon as the open command is issued but as the problem is not too bad I did not think it worth the trouble. My worry was the forces it was putting on the ram arm and fixings but the gate company assured me no harm would be done.

The ram is a very simple affair consisting of a long coarse threaded screw driven by a motor at one end. A big nut rides the screw and is attached by a bracket to the gate so no strain is put on the motor if the wind or a person tries to force it (almost impossible). The screw is easily accessible for greasing which is about all the maintenance required other than greasing the hinges once a year.

H&S has now gone over the top as you need sensors to detect if anyone is between the gate and a wall/fence, bump sensors on the gate in case someone gets in the way (despite the on board electronics doing that anyway) and a flexible barrier between the gate and post in case a child put their fingers in there when it was closing. They also want a flashing amber light/sounder when the gate is in operation (it has to start before the gate starts to move) and IR sensors to detect the presence of a blockage or car. You can see why professional fitters want £5k for the work and to give a signed compliance form.

Alexa was a huge NO because they said having the gate open on a schedule or voice command was forbidden as you need sight of the gate in operation at all times. When I pointed out the gates can, as standard, shut automatically after 90 seconds when I would be half a mile down the road their response was "that's not the point".
David Jones
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Simon P
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#12 Re: Gate Automation

Post by Simon P » Wed Dec 09, 2020 2:26 pm

Heuer wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:20 pm
I motorised my gate recently and did all the work myself. I even have it controlled by Alexa!
Is that wise? Have you not seen the film '2001'?

"Open the pod bay doors please, Alexa"

"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that...."

:bigrin:
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Gfhug
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#13 Re: Gate Automation

Post by Gfhug » Wed Dec 09, 2020 2:48 pm

Simon, I would more remark on his point that he could be half a mile down the road after 90 seconds. Makes you wonder just how long his drive is :bigrin:

Geoff
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#14 Re: Gate Automation

Post by Simon P » Wed Dec 09, 2020 5:12 pm

We're all making the assumption that 'Alexa' is the eponymous voice control device, and not simply one of the many members of domestic staff required to run David's country pile....

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