Electric Gate Kits

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by sinewave, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. sinewave

    sinewave Screwfix Select

    Anyone fitted the latest generation of kits for wooden gates?

    Not had a request for this type of job for around 8 years so I'm sure stuff has moved on.

    CAME used to be a good make I seem to remember.

    I need some rams that'll hold the gates in the 'Shut' position as the Builder has mounted them too high off the deck IMHO to allow for the sloping drive but this is too high for a centre gate stop I feel so the Rams will have to be capable of doing this on their own.
  2. J.P.

    J.P. New Member

    Hmmmm the rams will have to ''hydraulic lock'' in the shut position - interesting one Sine.
  3. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    We have always used BPT - Give them the details and dimensions, and they spec the kit.

    Not used them for a couple years though.
  4. sinewave

    sinewave Screwfix Select

    Cheers Lec

    Will av a decko at their website!  :)
  5. seneca

    seneca Screwfix Select

    I fitted some Lockmaster ones recently Sine, customer bought them herself, (Ebay) no positive lock when closed, just relying on the electric ram to hold them closed. All worked ok but not brilliant as I think if someone tried to push the gates open when closed it would either bugger up the rams or wrench the brackets off the brick pillars, even though I attached them with big rawlbolts! No chance of fitting a centre stop as gates have an 8 inch gap below them when closed!
  6. I've seen some 'underground' ones which have 'stop' clamps located inside the casing, accessed via the cover on the top. Position the gates in the 'closed' position, and turn the clamps against the stop and tightened up.

    The 'ram' type of gate closer place huge leverage forces on their brackets due to the way they are fitted parallel - and close - to the gates, and if some twit tries to push them open - as they do - then expect damage to the timber. It's worth over-spec'ing how the brackets fit to the gate; fit steel plates (which go comfortable beyond the bolt fixing position) to both sides to spread the force, and bolt through.

    I think the 'underground' type has the connecting levers fitting to the gate at a higher angle, so the forces are more at right angles to the timber and mush less likely to cause damage if forced.
  7. sinewave

    sinewave Screwfix Select

    Interesting points re pushing open!

    However a centre stop will only guard against the gates being pushed from the inside out, which is unlikely?

    Pushing from the outside inwards will be forcing the gate leaves away from any centre stop so will not stop any motor damage.
  8. It's not motor damage I was thinking of - they're pretty strong, and so low geared that everything will break before the motor does :)

    I was just trying to show one of the differences between the underground type and the 'ram' type. I fitted a 'ram' type a few months ago on my timber gates, and am amazed at the force that's placed on the fittings where they join the gate - and the pillar.

    If you can visualise the way it's fitted; with the gates closed, the ram lies parallel with the gate. At each end of the 'ram' there's a metal bracket around 100+mm long which is joined to the ram by a pivot and sits at right angles to it - these brackets are bolted to the gate timber and the pillar. When the ram starts to operate, it pulls on that gate bracket, pulling it sideways to start with. Ditto when closing - when the gate hits its bump 'stop', the ram continues going for a second longer until it shuts down - you can see the bending force on that bracket. The bracket itself is fine (it's 8mm-thick steel), but where it's bolted to the gate takes a hell of a lot of force.

    The gate timber is the weak point - it'll compress and crack before anything else. When I first fitted the openers, I left the orignial 'knob' on the gate for decorative purposes, and added a 'please press button to open' sign below it. Did people do that? Did they bluggery. They just turned the handle and tried to push the barsteward... Result, crushed timber. And that was with large SS washers used to spread the load, and bolted right through the cross-rails. (Problem since sorted by removing the darned handle so twits have no option but to press the bludy button...)

    Are these gates just for vehicle use, no pedestrians? In which case it's unlikely you'll get any twits pushing on them anyways.

    Mind you - what's the wind like there?! Are the gates close-boarded? If so, they can take a hell of a draft. Choose a powerful - and strong - enough kit...

    From what I've seen of the design of the underground type of opener, the curved arms of the unit attach to the gates at more of a right angle, so when they start to operate, they 'pull' pretty much outwards, directly away from the gate - ie: in the actual direction they are opening. (With the 'ram' type, the bracket on the gate is pulled 'sideways' at a very low angle to begin with, and very stressful on the fixings.)
  9. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Could figure out a DIY one. For example, a cable and drop-bolt, so set that when the gate is in closed position, bolt is dropped to ground(in a locking hole) locking for both ways.
    Cable through whatever means (eyelets perhaps) from top of drop-bolt, gate centres, up the stile, across the rail and to outer side of post.

    Gate opening will pull on the cable, lifting the bolt and allowing it to exit the hole and clear the higher ground when gate is wide. A weighty bolt will drop itself when the gate is being closed.

    Position of cable fixings on outer post determine how high the bolt will be lifted when gate fulled open.

    As I say, a DIY idea.

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  10. Veeeeeeeerrry difficult to make a DIY system work smoothly.

    But, good point - the instructions with my setup (a mid-range Chamberlain/Liftmaster product) does say to add a magnetic lock if the gates will be subjected to high winds.

    I didn't. And the wind blew my bloody gate off...
  11. sinewave

    sinewave Screwfix Select

    Yes the Gates are for Vehicles only as there is a personal access gate to one side.

    Trouble is the drive way is now finished albeit gravel so there is only some ductwork across the gateway for cabling and a 13A FCU on one pillar.

    What they have for got about as a ground vehicle loop for auto exiting?

    Is there other options for this?
  12. Photocells?

    As in the 'safety - do not close the gates on my car' type thing. But could also be used for auto-opening. You'll almost certainly have photocells mounted on the pillars on the outside of the gate anyways, so's they won't shut if there's summat in t'way. A further pair on posts on t'inside wouldn't be a major hassle. Mind you, you often have an inside  pair just outwith the 'swing' distance so's the gates don't open on to your car at well - jeepers, you're gonna have photocells coming out off yer ears... I didn't bother with them, as I think you'd have to be pretty stupid to open the gates on to yourself. And anyways, all it caused was a wee scratch.

    Are they too posh to push a button?

    I also understand there's an auto-radio thingy - like a remote fob, but it sits in your car and opens the gates without you having to push any butts. Works to a set distance.
  13. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    Auto exit doesn't seem too popular.  Vehicles usually have a fob as they need to get back in anyway.  The inductive vehicle loops set into the ground are usually used in my experience in place of the IR beams to prevent the gates shutting on a vehicle.  IR beams seem the norm.

    I have installed the induction loops in warehouse to control fast rise/fall doors for forktrucks in the past.
  14. stateit

    stateit Screwfix Select

    All the electric gates I encounter in my patch have auto-exit, but then they are all at the end of long driveways.

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