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vancleaveterry

Automatic gate

16 years ago

Because we're in a remote location, I'm considering a security gate. We have a transformer at the home site which is 500 feet off the road and we'll need some form of power back at the road... 500 feet from the transformer. We have underground power.

Is solar power an option? But I also want a pair of 40 watt lights, one for each brick piller that will frame the gate. Is solar still an option?

If I get a swing style gate, how often will it strike exiting guests' cars unfamiliar with it's operation?

Any general ideas or suggestions on automatic gates will be appreciated.

Comments (24)

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I just decided to add one of these too. Here is a web site that I found that sells them - and the solar accessories too:

    http://www.amazinggates.com/driveway_gates.html

    You can do solar but you should also compare the cost to just trenching a line out to the gate. Our driveway is almost 700 feet long and the well head is about 600 feet away. When they were digging the well trench, I had them lay in some 10/2 direct burial cable to power the lights and the gate. I also had them lay in some low voltage wire that will be used for gate control and intercom. All I have to do is trench the last 100 feet. The 120V cable alone cost me about 300 dollars, the low volatge cable was around $150. You could rent a trenching machine and do it yourself - what type of soil to dou have?

    I don't think you can tap into the power company power until after it enters your house. So you will need to add a circuit inside and then run a line all the way to the front. The type of cable you need is special - direct burial - and it must be sized according to the length of the run and the wattage. Based on what you described, 10/2 wire should work OK - if you go this route. BTW - if you trench - you would also want to add some direct burial 16 guage 4 conductor wire (to control the gate) as well as some Cat5 & RG-59 cable (called a siamese cable) for a voice intercom and vider camera of you want that. That cable is pretty cheap - I think I bough a 1000 foot roll for 100 dollars.

    You can do the solar for power but then you will need a wireless system for gate control and an intercomm if you want that. I believe these are all available but you need to check the cost. Personally, I prefer the hard wired approach since it is typically cheaper and more reliable.

    I plan on putting in a remote intercom system so that when people come to the gate, they can ring a buzzer and I can open the gate with the push of a button - if I want to let them in! I will also have a CCTV camera and intercomm out there so I can see who it is and talk to them.

    My gate will swing in, so unless they are really bad drivers, they should not hit the gate. The gates have a programmable delay for closing.

    The only advise I can give you is that if you get a lot of snow in your area, make sure you set the gate high enough so that when you get a typical snow fall (hopefully only a few inches) - you don't need to shovel to let the gate open. Obviously, a big snow strom you are going to have to clear snow.

    We have a lot of yahoo's who just like to come down our driveway and check out our house - even with a bunch of very clearly marked NO TRESSPASS signs up. In the beginning we were OK with it - now it is annoying. As soon as I can the gate is going up! No more yahoo's!

    By the way, another nice little gadget to have is a driveway sensor - and I have one of these. If you are trenching anyway - might as well lay in the cable for this type of sensor. It is made by a copmany call Winland and you can find it on www.smarthome.com. This sensor detects when a car drives over it - so even though I do not have a gate in right now, I can catch the yahoo's before they make it half way down the drive. Once I get the gate up - if the driveway sensor goes off - that will mean someone has ran the gate - that's when the weapon gets loaded.

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  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    allison

    the entry looks great - that is exactly what i want. nicely done!

    very helpful post - i have to think about the police and fire dept and how to let them in if we are away.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks. You don't have to let them know when you are away. They need to be able to get in for an emergency 24/7, whether you're in town or not.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    regarding solar:
    I installed two openers for a dual swing gate with power from a solar panel (hooked up to a lead acid battery).
    This is working flawlessly for 5 years now.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    One of our neighbors has a single, flat, sliding gate. It covers the driveway entrance when 'closed' and slides to the side along the fence when it's 'open'.

    Is it worth it to only block the driveway if you don't fence the perimeter? (A question I've always had about 'gated communities' where there's no meaningful fence and no guard at the gate.)

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    There are some gate access systems that allow you to have many access codes so you can give some out to the pizza delivery place and them change that code after the delivery is done(but keep the other codes intact).

    As far as worrying about a car getting too close to the gate before the gate opens toward the car - you can get a custom sign made for under $100 and tell drivers to Stop Here - Gate Opens Automatically. (This would be for on the way out IF the gate does open automatically for cars that are leaving. You want to gate to open inwards toward the property and away from the street to give cars more room to pull directly to the gate when they are entering the property)

    Other options to ponder:
    -If you are walking out from the house and want to open the gate (say, you are taking out the garbage), you might need an access control box on the inside so you can open the gate automatically from the inside when you are not in a vehicle.

    -Consier a device, like a garage door opener, that you can use to open the gate. This is so you don't have to roll down your window and stick your arm out to press the security code into the access keypad.

    -Some gates at parking garages have electronic cards that you can place on your dash and these auto open the gates. I had one called TagMaster where I used to park.

    -For sure you want to allow room between the road and the gate to allow for a vehicle to be able to pull off the road and park in front of the date and/or for the gate to open. I have a neighbor that didn't do this and the cars wait in the street waiting for the gate to open. One day someone is going to get rear ended due to this. When UPS wants to deliver at your place, they need to be able to safely pull to the gate and then dig through their files in order to find your access code or call and wait for you to answer.

    -Think about building a box or some kind of delivery system when a delivery person doesn't have the access code and nobody is home and the gate is locked. Can they leave a package or note somewhere for you?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "As far as worrying about a car getting too close to the gate before the gate opens toward the car"

    Situations where damage to cars or the gate occur are usually prevented by embedding a sensor loop into the pavement. If a car is in the opening zone, the gate won't move.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Chisue, we live in a gate community without a guard. Gates stay open during the daytime due to construction (fairly new development) but close at 5:30pm and stay closed on the weekends. There is a call box outside you can put a code in to get in, we all have clickers to open from inside our cars or visitors can use the call box to call the houses (by name, not phone number). We also have a system to download on our computers, so we can actually see who is at the gate (it is about 3 miles from my house) and the cameras/video can be used if there is a problem (so far, none).

    Our driveway curves near the bottom, so we put the code box after the curve where the car would be straight (not in the curve). We have clickers to open in our cars and small, portable clickers we take on walks, taking out the garbage or working out in the yard to go outside the gate.

    The box is far enough from the gate when closed, so that when the gate is opening, a car would not be in the way.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't know if I would put my home number on the sign. Maybe I'm paranoid, but it seems like someone with ill intent could buzz to check if you are home, and if you aren't break in.

    How are the gates enabled so fire/police can get in without the code?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm not that paranoid, I guess, and I'm home more than not. We have a burglar system that will go off and dogs too.

    The fire department has the code on file. Same with the main gate. There are a lot of private gates in my area.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks Allison. I love your gate. I was wondering about the fire/police thing. We encountered something similar when we were building. Code requires that the electric meter be left unlocked or the fire department be provided with a key. My father, a retired cop, thought that was such a joke. He said they are not going to keep 2000 keys for all the houses in town. They will just take a sledge hammer to it to get it open. I imagine the same thing would happen to the gate - fire truck right through it. We live in a small town, often it is the town next door that actually responds to fires. Gates are rare here, even on mansions. We are considering a wood gate, and leaving it open most of the time. I was hoping we could set it up so that if it is locked we can unlock it from the house, but not use a keypad (maybe have remotes). If we were expecting the pizza guy (or whoever) we would just open it from the house ahead of time. How far away do the remotes work?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    allison

    i have given the ploice and fire access thing some thought and will actually use my security system to automatically open the gate if there is a fire/burglar alarm OR will give the alarm monitoring company the ability to remotely open the gate if the alarm goes off and they have to call fire/police/ambulance - which they will only do after a confirmation call to the house.

    I prefer to not give out any codes - and even if I did - no guarantee that they would not loose it.

    The gates i have found on line are typically made out of aluminum (you can get iron - but shipping cost would be a killer). What is your gate made out of? Also - the cost for the aluminum double swing gates delivered are in the 1800 to 2500 dollar range depending on style. Were you able to have one built locally that was cheaper? If so - I might have to check that option out.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "I don't know if I would put my home number on the sign. Maybe I'm paranoid, but it seems like someone with ill intent could buzz to check if you are home, and if you aren't break in."

    Instead, you could put your cell number on the sign. This way you can answer whereever you are and nobody knows whether you are home or not. Also note that just because you don't answer the call, it doesn't mean you are not home. You could be in the shower or on the phone or otherwise occupied and unable to answer the phone.

    Also, about a break-in if you aren't home That is one of the many reasons for the gate. What are the burglars going to do, leave their car at the gate and jump the gate and then toss 'the goods' over the gate on the way out?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sue, we recently sold two office buildings that were required to have Key Boxes for the Fire Department. Luckily, they were never tested as to whether or not they would actually use their key to open the key box or go through the front doors. lol

    I'll have to ask my DH how far away the remotes work - our smaller ones don't have as far a range, but we have one of the larger ones in a drawer near the front door and can open the gate from inside. I'd say it's about 300ft. I'll double check that when he gets home.

    Sniffdog, ours is steel and the ticket doesn't show the gauge used, but I remember it was thicker than ones offered online. We were going to have the gate made and install it ourselves, but DH decided just to let the gate guy do it all. The gates were 750 each for 1500 (I think this was just for the materials because the Labor line is too high just for installation). The keypad entry on steel post was 150. The Apollo 1600 Dual Gate opener was 2K. There are also items not priced out on the invoice: Greasable ball hinges, Solar Panel Battery Charger and Gel Cell Battery. Large remote opener 21 each and small 26 each.

    The option we did not get was Automatic Exit Probe 270.

    Sweet tea, I don't have good cell reception since we are in a valley so that's not really an option.

    I don't have cash and jewels stockpiled, so a burglar would be highly disappointed after breaking in our home. Besides, there are 30 houses between the main gate and our house with easier access.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Most of what a thief wants can be carried in a small bag. He doesn't need to haul it away in a truck. Our house was burglarized last summer; only items stolen were jewelry. We have no gate, no fence, no alarm -- but none would have deterred this person, who was in and out in probably 90 seconds. There's only about $50K gone from us, but over a million gone from a neighbor's home -- with gate and fence and alarm.

    How do you signal to or move gates when there's a power outage? That reminds me of a news story about a gated community were a group of thieves knocked out power, then split up to hit vacant houses simultaneously. They hopped the fence before the police were alerted and could get through the disabled gates.

    Where there's a will, there's a way, eh?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't think a gate does anything to keep out determined burglars.

    It does a good job keeping out casual trespassers.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    we have a security gate that opens straight up on a pivot on the right side of the gate. It is remote controlled via the garage door opener in the car or we can use the telephone keypad near the gate. Our system, as mentioned above, allows for multiple (I think 125) codes to allow for deliveries (that can be tracked). The gate has a battery supply to run the opening/closing sequence in case of lost power.

    A word of advice...make sure that the gate is installed with a few inches of space beneath it if you are in a snowy area. Otherwise, the gate will not fully close forcing you to get out of the car at 5 am to dig out a trench so the gate can close and reset the opening/closing sequence.

    It is true that a gate will not deter the most determined criminals; it does, however, serve as a message that the owner has money to protect his "castle"; around 20k. Usually, an owner who drops that kind of money for a gate will also have cameras, alarms, dogs, etc., and all of these will have battery backups, except the dogs. The gate certainly keeps out the curious and the "benign" trespassers.

    the web site for our gate: http://www.rsigate.com/index.html

    the company can paint the wrought iron any color and will do custom styles. Our iron gate is like the blue one on the home page, only black.

    caroyl

    Here is a link that might be useful: gate

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    As you can see, I have time on my hands today! LOL

    Anybody have what I'd want: a moat and portcullis?

    The logic that someone with a gate also has multiple alarms, etc. could also be read as an indication that there's 'stuff' worth some effort to steal in there!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    i only want the gate to keep the curious out. if a thief wants in - they will break the gate.

    my security system and camera network will deter most burglars - but if they are that determined - they won't care and will try getting in anyway.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We have a solar power battery back-up plus a natural gas generator that works when the power is off. The house sends an alarm to the monitoring company if there is a power outage and the generator doesn't come on - has never happened.

    When we first moved here, we'd get lookers that would drive all the way up the driveway so see the house......I didn't really care for this if I was outside in my pajamas with the dogs. >:( We didn't put up the gate or fence (about 2K feet of fence) to deter thieves. Like stated above, when there's a will......but to keep lookers out and the dogs in. The bottom two slits of the fence have barbed wire to keep the dogs in (spray painted brown, can't even see it).

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    chisue;

    I know what you're saying... but a crook could think that the owner is just protecting his/her family or is protecting the sanctity of his/her property with a lot of barricades and the escalating risks of all of the potential traps in order to "score" are non worth what may or may not be inside (assuming he hasn't been in the house). No question a bandit who wants in will try!

    Attack baboons could be the next hot security must-have...smarter that a dog, bigger teeth, and CAN climb trees to get "their" man! The moat is all good, too.

    caroyl

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    One hates to clutter up the forum with postings of "thanks"... but I just can't help it.

    Thank you all!

    Terry

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    we have an entry gate at my parents house - it swings out. I suggest avoiding this style unless you are going for a double door gate that is very ornamental and you are looking for an elegant look.

    the solar panel is simply a battery charging source that doesnt seem to provide a sufficient charge to the marine (deep cycle) battery. We do not have direct power to the unit. We have to charge the battery every 3 months or so with a slow trickle battery charger. not a big deal, but it takes about 2 days to get a full charge.

    i reccomend a sliding type gate. you can probably put laser/light thingies like in garage doors to make it stop or retract if someone tries to cross it while it is closing. our unit does have a sensitivity option that will stop the gate automatically if it hits something. but even at the most sensitive setting, it hits hard because its wrought iron.