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Overview of gate access control equipment. A gate operator can be activated by several types of devices such as keypads, card readers, telephone entry systems & vehicle detectors such as loops and photo eyes.


Keypads are available hard-wired or wireless. The less expensive wireless units (seen on the right) have only one access code, and are constructed of plastic. Do not mount low cost wireless keypads on metal. It will severely reduce its transmission range. 

The Linear model MDKP keypad (on left) has 338 codes, and several outputs. It is solidly constructed with lighted keypad. Find Linear MDKP Keypad Here

Hard wired keypads (below photos) generally have lighted keys, and are constructed well enough to withstand a lot of usage. They generally have 2 output relays and can control a driveway gate, and open the lock on a walk through gate. Find DTKP Wireless Keypad Here
It is recommended that the keypad be mounted on a gooseneck located on the driver side of the vehicle. It should be reachable for the driver without exiting the vehicle. Find AAS Keypad Here

Fire department access is a requirement in most counties and cities. The bottom right keypad has a “Knox” lock installed on the side. This allows emergency access for fire and medical emergencies. To purchase this type of lock contact your local fire dept. They will supply an order form and small catalog of Knox’s products.
Find Doorking 1503 Keypad here

    Telephone Entry Systems:

Telephone entry is available for residential (top photos), and commercial units seen below.

A telephone entry system allows you to communicate with the person at your gate, and control your gate from any phone in your home that is on the same line as the entry system.
Find Elite Telephone Entry System Here
     Find Doorking 1812 Telephone Entry Here

 Residential systems as seen above can also call outside numbers such as your cell phones which allow remote control. They typically have 7 day timers that can open and close the gate on schedule, plus numerous other features

Commercial systems are used typically on multiple dwelling sites such as gated communities, and apartment buildings. They can interface with card readers and computers that allow the system to track users. Emergency access locks are required on all gate systems (see keypads above) Find Doorking 1837 Telephone Entry Systems Here

    Card Readers:

Card readers are used primarily on commercial installations such as gated communities, office buildings, and apartment buildings.

They can be stand alone and open a single gate or a door. They may also be connected to an entry system that tracks users and controls access.
FInd Card Readers Here

    Loop Detectors & Loops:

See Diagram
Loop detectors are used to detect the presence of vehicles.

Exit loops are used to open gates to allow a vehicle's exit.
Safety loops are used to prevent a gate from closing on a vehicle. Two loops can be wired to one detector. This is frequently the case in safety loops. Loops are placed in front and behind the gate. Find Loop Detectors Here

Typically the wire loop has 3 turns of wire and is connected to a loop detector (pictured on right). Some gate operators have built in sockets to accept loop detectors and some models require the detctor to be wired in.

Loop wire has special insulation and is inserted into slot cuts that have been made in the asphalt, or concrete. The loops are sealed with loop sealant (below right).

Pre-formed loops are placed below the surface prior to laying asphalt or pouring concrete. They are available in several sizes depending on driveway width.
Find BD Vehicle Loops Here

Self contained probe style
detector (bottom left) can only be used as an exit device. They are buried a few inches below the surface beside the driveway. Find EMX Probe Style Loop Detectors Here

Authentic Loop Sealant
should be used to seal cut in loops. Sealant comes in asphalt and concrete colors. It is best to use a commercial grade sealant verses asphalt in a tube found in hardware stores.
Find Q-Seal Loop Sealant Here

    Photo Eyes:

Photo eyes can be two piece (through beam), or a single retro-reflective type. The through beam units are a little harder to install and generally cost a little more.

The through beam unit is more dependable since it does not rely on a beam bouncing back. Available in several range capacities. Find EMX IRB-325 Photo Eye Here

The retro-reflective units bounce their beam off of a reflector located across the driveway. They are easy to install, and generally dependable. Make sure that the housing on any photo eye is rated for outdoor use. Find Retro-reflective Photo Eye Here


High quality low voltage wire and cable are essential for long lasting trouble free installations. Much of the wire on a gate installation is below grade in conduit that eventually floods. The wire insulation has to withstand this environment.

Low voltage control. See at left is Belden 4/22 and 2/18 wire. This wire is used to interconnect keypads, telephone entry systems, other low voltage items, and power them

Cat 5 UF (underground feeder) communications cable. It is generally placed in conduit and used to run telephone com lines to an entry system. Standard Cat 5 cable cannot withstand water filled conduit and will short to ground after 4-5 years.

Loop wire. Has a special formulated insulation to handle direct insertion into concrete and asphalt.

Gate operator extension cable. This is used to extend distance from operator to control. Used often in bi-parting gates. This type of cable has 3 or 4 16 AWG (American wire gauge) for power and several 18 or 20 AWG conductors for control.

Find Electric Gate Wire and Cable Here

   Surge Protection:

Surge protectors are highly recommended for all gate operators. This is cheap insurance to protect an operator from surges and lighting strikes.

Find Ditek SUrge Protector Here