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Access Systems

There is several ways to open your gate:

Swing Gate Operators

There are four types listed below:

Digital Keypads are usually stand-alone, but many units can have slave keypads attached to them. They access codes are user programmed. Most models can open the gate momentary or lock it open. This type of entry device do not normally have a way of communicating with residence. A pushbutton signal can generally be added.

Telephone Access Systems have built in keypads and communicate from the gate to the residence or business through the existing phone system locally or the phone network.

The residential type mostly uses the phones in your home, and are directly connected to them. They also have the capability to use your phone line to make outside calls. This is very convenient when you’re not at home. The gate can be opened remotely through any phone including mobile phones.

These are very sophisticated devices and can do many tasks. I have listed just a few of the more often used features

* controlled by any phone in your house that is on the line connected to the unit

* Open and close gate by time of day and day of week

* Have codes that are restricted to time and dates

* Codes that expire after a certain date

* Optional built in CCTV cameras

Card Readers: These are more popular in commercial installations and community gates. The cards are exclusively numbered. If a card is lost it can be removed from the system. Many of these systems can track the card user’s activities. There are close proximity readers that need to be with a few inched to operate. There is long distance reader that can read a card up to 10' away much like the fast track cards for bridge tolls

Barcode Readers: They are just like the card reader except the use a laser to read a decal on your vehicle with a barcode printed on it.

Radio Remotes: Almost all gate systems have a radio remote. They are similar to the ones used on your garage door. Some of them are a little more sophisticated in that they are numbered and the gate system can track them. Most of remotes are good for 100', You can extend their range by adding an external antenna. Some units are rated for very long distance, but I have never seen that type live up to the range they specify.

Loops: Are buried beneath your driveway during construction or cut in for existing driveways. They act much like a metal detector and open the gate when you drive over them, or act as a safety preventing the gate from closing on your vehicle. These type of loop have a separate circuit usually located in the gate control cabinet.

Exit Loop: Used to open gate upon exit. You can have more then one exit loop. They should be installed as far back from the gate as possible, Do not exceed 400'. It is nice to drive through a gate that is already open, if you have the luxury of a long driveway.

Safety and Reversing Loops: These loops are in front of and behind the gate to prevent the gate colliding with a vehicle.

Shadow Loop: Used to prevent a vehicle from following another vehicle in. They are not used very often, and mostly on community and commercial gates.

Probe Style Detectors: These are self contained and used primarily as an exit device. They are also used as an annunciater for approaching vehicles.

Swing Gate Operators with Arm On Top.
This is the most common units found. They are generally the work horses of the industry. Most of these units have heavy gear reduction oil bath gear boxes. They are generally very heavy in waited and large in size. Many of them weigh up to 100 pounds. A high end unit like this can last up to 20 years. A couple of drawback to them is the arm has to be removed to remove the cover for service. Some of them have an access panel to service the controls, but you still need to remove the cover to service the mechanics. The other drawback is the arm generally ends up in the middle of your gate where it can be unsightly.

Swing Gate Operators with Bottom Arm. DoorKing is the only operator I know of that has the arm on the bottom. In general they are not built as heavy as the top arm units, but last as long. The two benefits of this type of unit is that the cover pops right off to reveal the entire unit and is one of the easiest s units to service on the market. The other benefit is the arm on the bottom makes a very clean install, and won't detract from your gate esthetics.

Linear Ram Arms. These units are being used more frequently and offer an ease of installation since they do not need a concrete pad or footing. They are small and mount directly to the gate. There are two types:

Jack Screw Linear Arm: The jack screw type are more common. They have had problems with jerking the gate when starting and stopping in the past, In the last few years the "soft stop" function has been refined. A drawback to them is they have a little slack and the gate can wiggle a little. It is correctable with a positive stop in single gates, but much harder to correct in Bi-parting gates.

Hydraulic Linear Arm: These units use a built in pump and hydraulic fluid to operate. They usually cost more. The benefit is they do not have any play the closed and open positions and can operate the gate silky smooth. This looks very nice on bi-parting gates. The drawback is they can leak hydraulic fluid as they get older. All of these units require positive stops on the gate.

Underground Operators: They are the Rolls Royce of operators. They are almost completely invisible. They are a little more costly to install and service, just like any fine automobile. They come in two flavors, mechanical and hydraulic.

Mechanical Underground Operator: These are mostly run on 24 Volts DC these days with a separate control panel. Very dependable, but a little harder to adjust for height differences on bi-parting gates. They have built in motors and limit switches on most models so positive stops are not necessary, but still recommended.

Hydraulic Underground Operator: Still the choice for the most outstanding installations. They are silky smooth and the operating pressure is fully adjustable. They require positive stops. They come with built in pumps and external pumps. The control cabinet is separate. On very classy installations the control cabinet can be flush mounted into a column.

Cantilever Operator: This operator lifts the gate into the air from one end on a fulcrum. It is a specialty item. It is useful in some space restricted installations or areas of heavy snow