Q. What are my options for opening a motorized gate?
There are many options for opening your gate ranging from simple to sophisticated:
A. Slide Gate Operators:
These operators are perfect for motorizing a cantilever or overhead track type gate. These systems will fully open and close the gate. You must take into consideration the type of gate, length, weight, and cycles of use. Slide gate operators are available in various horsepower, voltages and phases. In cooperation with other access devices, a slide gate operator will provide security and convenience to your gate.
A. Swing Gate Operators:
These operators are perfect for opening and closing a swing type gate. You must take into consideration the type of gate, length, weight, and cycles of use. Swing gate operators are available in various horsepower, voltages and phases. In cooperation with other access devices, a swing gate operator will provide security, convenience and prestige to your residence.
A. Barrier Arm Operators:
Perfect for controlling traffic flow, these operators place a vinyl or aluminum arm across the lane of traffic. With the use of various access devices, the arm can be easily raised or lowered. Barrier Arm Operators are available with various length arms. Take into consideration the width of your drive, frequency of use, voltage and phase when selecting your operator.
Q. What types of systems are available to control the movement of my gate?
Access control systems range from a very inexpensive single code, key or card that provides access but no programming to complete access control system that independently controls multiple gates and users access to them by time, day and number of uses.
Access control systems can be organized into the following categories:
1. Standalone Systems
A standalone system controls a single gate, Any additions or deletions of users must be done at the each unit individually, usually through a ten number keypad. The most popular applications are sites in remote locations where cost is a prime concern. Most standalone systems provide some limited access control such as time zones, but they lack in the powerful features and benefits found in other systems.
2. Programmable Systems
Programmable systems control multiple gates through a master controller, system hardware, phone line and a personal computer. Controllers are located by each gate and wired together for data communications to a computer or modem. Each gate controller can be programmed so users have defined levels of access by day, time of day, holidays, hierarchy and other means. The controller stores users’ activities and can produce a report for managements review. Management makes changes to users through a computer connected directly to the access control system or remotely by an optional modem. The most common applications are apartment complexes, gated communities, commercial and industrial facilities and single family homes.
The devices listed below will most likely be available in both standalone and programmable systems.
Q. What specific devices are available to control my gate?
Transmitters & Radio Receivers:
Just like your garage door opener, this device may be located on your vehicle’s visor. Simply push the transmitter button and a radio frequency code is sent to the transmitter. If an authorized code, the gate will open. A transmitter will often open a closed gate or stop a closing gate and return it to the full open position.
Standalone transmitters often use a mechanical dip switch technology where you match the dip switch settings on the transmitter to the receiver. Rolling code technology is also available in standalone systems to prevent others from guessing your code through sending hundreds of codes to your receiver in a matter of seconds. Programmable transmitters that integrate with an computerized controller allows you to provide an individual code to each transmitter to track use and manage time zones.
In today’s newer automobiles, you have the option of a built in “Homelink” type system that takes the place of the independent transmitters. These systems will also work with your gate operator as well as your garage door opener.
With the use of a four or three digit code, you can operate your gate remotely from a weather-tight enclosed keypad on a goose neck stand (not included). Available with a lighted background, call button and intercom features.
Standalone keypads are programmed at the keypad and have very limited users and capabilities. Programmable keypads are linked to a controller and your computer. Programmable units are available with an almost unlimited number of users. The individual wanting to enter the gate simply types in a three to six digit code using keypad. Some keypads are equipped with a light that varies from red to green when a code is accepted. If the light remains red, the code is not an authorized code and the gate will remain closed.
Proximity & Card Readers:
Just like swiping your credit card at the grocery store, you can incorporate a card reader to open and close your gate. This unit will be located in a weather tight enclosure and attached to a gooseneck stand (not included). Simply swipe the card through the reader. These units often incorporate red and green lights to advise you if your card is a valued card capable of opening the gate. If valued, the reader will send a message to the gate to open or close.
A more user friendly type device is a proximity reader. The card is not swiped but simply waved in front of the reader. In this event, the card or the reader is less likely to wear and fail to read over time. A proximity reader is less sensitive as you only have to get the card close to the reader. Proximity readers also utilize key fobs which may be attached to a key chain and are about the size of pocket watch. More sophisticated readers provide greater range and flexibility where you can simple place a card up against your front windshield and drive slowly past the reader head, allowing the reader to read the card.
Standalone systems utilize a single card with the same identity. Programmable units allow you to provide a card to each user with its own individual identity thus tracking use of the card and controlling entry via time zones. From your home computer, these systems will also allow you to quickly remove a card’s authority to access the gate.
Telephone Entry Systems:
These systems are wired to an existing phone line or will require a dedicated line. When an individual approaches the gate, they will have the option of entering a code on the touch keypad and entering. If they do not have a code, they may simply press a “CALL” button. Once this button is pressed, a call is placed to the homeowner’s house phone. A call from the telephone entry will have a distinct ring. The homeowner may then pick-up the phone and carry-on a conversation with the individual at the gate. At some point, the home owner may press a button on their phone’s keypad that signals the gate to open.
Standalone systems are typical on residential applications where there is just one phone number to be dialed. With these systems, simply programming may be done at the unit or by phone.
Programmable systems provide users the ability to scroll a tenants’ list, find the tenant’s name and dial their three digit code on the keypad. If the tenant answers their residence phone, they may speak to the individual and provide access by simply touching a button on their phone. These systems come with several options, including: computerized programming via modem, time zones for activating specific keypad codes, full screen for viewing, scheduling automatic gate opening and closing cycles, etc.
Q. What other devices may I need to operate my gate?
Loop Detectors & Loops:
These devices are perfect for detecting vehicle traffic while on top of the loop. Designed to open a closed gate, keep an open gate open or reverse a closing gate to full open; a loop detector will provide both safety and access for vehicles. Wired to the swing or slide gate operator, the detector can be adjusted for sensitivity and frequency. Loops (not included) are installed in the pavement below the vehicle and wired to the detector.
Designed for safety and security, a battery back-up can be installed in the operator to function when the power goes out. The back-up unit will sense the loss of power and respond with closing the gate (fail secure) or open the gate (fail safe). Larger systems will provide repeated but limited operation for opening and closing the gate after a loss of power.
Mount your keypad, card reader, or any other control device on this cantilevered stand, making it easier to approach and operate. The stand mounts to the concrete with the use of anchors (not included) or may be set in a concrete footing.
Three Button Stations:
The most simple means to remotely activate a gate operator, a three button station can be used to open, close or stop the gate. Weather enclosures sold separately, these devices are perfect for manually operating the gate while in view. These devices are available in a two and single button configuration.
Perfect for installation both inside and outside the gated area. Weather tight enclosure available, this device provides those with a key to open and close the gate.
For use on swing and slide gates, these devices can provide up to 1,300 pounds of holding force. Perfect for securing pedestrian gates in cooperation with other access control devices. Designed for outdoors use with various brackets for mounting.
To meet compliance with the UL325 Code, these devices are capable of detecting vehicle and pedestrian traffic, providing safety from injury. With a 30’ range, the cell will detect anything that crosses its path. Available in various voltages, this device is wired to the operator. When its path is broken, the cell will send a message to the operator. Power is necessary at one end of the opening to the detector while a reflector is installed at the other end.
To meet compliance with the UL325 Code, these devices are capable of detecting vehicle and pedestrian traffic, providing safety from injury. With a 75’ range, the infrared detectors will detect anything that crosses their path. Available in various voltages, a device at both end of the opening is wired for power and controls. When its path is broken, the detectors will send a message to the operator.
Seven day timer:
This device can be installed in your gate operator to open and close a gate at a specified time each day of the week. Wired to the operator, you may program the time for the gate to open and then close for a seven day cycle. This device should only be used in conjunction with pedestrian and vehicle safety devices.
How will my gate know when to close?
There are a number of options but the most common is to have the gate automatically close through the use of a timer to close. The timer is adjustable from just a few seconds to over a minute. The timer can be set from the time the gate is opened or from the time the car clears a certain point. These timers are included with the gate operator.
What prevents the gate from closing when something is in the way?
All motorized gates must be installed with safety devices that prevent property damage or injury in the event of an obstruction to the gate. All gate operators supplied by American Fence conform to industry standards regarding safety. In addition for full compliance we will install additional safety measure to help prevent injury or property damage.