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Gates Servicing Background

The 2 biggest mistakes people make when automating their gates

Are you considering automating your home or business gates?

If so, it’s a good move. The convenience of opening your gates with the push of a button will make your life easier and can also enhance your security. You’ll be less likely to leave your gate open and the wrong people won’t be able to gain entry.Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 11.28.55 AMScreen Shot 2017-03-16 at 11.28.55 AM

But there are a number of choices to make when automating your gates. To ensure you don’t make costly and inconvenient mistakes, consider these two tips.

1. Choosing the right motor:

People think that all gate automations are basically the same. After all, it’s only a motor and some electronics, right? Wrong! Each gate has its own requirements. When selecting the correct motor for the gate, you’ll need to consider the weight of the gate, the distance it has to travel and the force that it will require to operate correctly.
Some motors and control boards are cheaply made and will not last. Some even use plastic gears inside which, although they may work at first, will wear out very quickly. And it would only take a small bump or a gust of wind on the gate to beak them.
Here are some key questions to ask gate suppliers:

  • Are any of the gears made from plastic? If so, keep away.
  • Is the motor strong enough for the weight of the gate? For example, gates weighing more than 400kg will require a heavy duty motor.
  • Will your gate be opened and closed many times a day? If so, a motor with a higher duty cycle is best.
  • Does the gate need to travel more than 4 metres to open or close – or up or down hill? If so, again, go for a heavy duty motor.
  • Is the motor supported locally with a full range of spare parts available should the need arise. If not, steer clear.

2. Incorrect installation:

Once you get the right motor, your next task is ensure it’s installed correctly. Unfortunately, a common mistake is the failure to secure the motor properly by bolting it into concrete or into a welded steel plate that’s stable.

While the gate may still work, it will quickly wear out the gears and shorten its life considerably.
If you have swinging gates, the motors also need to be mounted with the correct geometry. Otherwise, the gates will jerk, rather than smoothly opening, and put excessive strain on the motor. This will also shorten its life.

Finally, it’s extremely common to see control boxes that aren’t properly sealed. Insects, bugs and moisture will get in and ruin your system. You can check for this by checking that all holes or gaps are properly sealed.

If you implement these tips you’ll avoid making costly and inconvenient mistakes with your gate automation. If you’d like expert technical advice from a true Gate Guru, just give us call.

How to open your gate with your smartphone

For a long time when entering our property, we had to stop the car, unlock and open the gates manually, drive in and then get out and close them. Not much fun in the pouring rain or on a boiling hot day!

A few years later we have automated our gates. Yet, even though a simple push of a button on a remote control is all that is needed to operate them, there are still a few things that annoy us with this.

Firstly we have to have a remote control in each vehicle. If we want to go out in a friend’s car we have to remember to take a remote with us and then to return it. Anyone that we want to give access to our property (eg. a cleaner or a gardener) also need a remote. We have to make sure that they return them when they don’t need them anymore!

The batteries in all these remotes need to be replaced regularly and everyone has to be careful not to lose their remote so as not to compromise our security. Surely there must be a better solution!

There is and it is fantastic. I recently installed a special interface (adaptor) which allows us to control the gate using our smartphones. No more worrying about remotes! We never go anywhere without our phones. Each of us has an app installed that lets us open and close the gate. My phone is an Android and other family members have iphones, but we are all able to operate the gates with them. The remotes still function as a backup and for anyone who doesn’t want to use their smartphone.

A few seconds was all that it took to give the cleaner and the gardener access using their phones too.  At any time we can remove their ability to access our property if we want to. We can also limit their access to specific times and can see who went in and out, and when. We can even send a visitor a special code which will allow them access for as long as we want. At any stage we can cancel anyone’s access with just a few clicks.

On some models the app automatically pops up when we approach the gate just waiting for us to tell it to open or close them. Some are even able to work with a small “Etag” type device called a dongle. With one of these installed and a dongle in our car, we wouldn’t even have to use the smartphone for the gate.  As soon as the car approaches the gate it will automatically open. What will they think of next?

Gate Gurus supplies a range of smartphone gate control interfaces.  Contact us to make your life simpler and easier on (03) 9028 4464  or via email on info@ gategurus.com.au

rib gate

How to protect your home or business

How to protect your home or business

Security is a growing concern everywhere. People are trying their hardest to protect themselves and their properties. Which is why you should make it as difficult as possible for anyone who should not be there to access your property.

While it may not be possible to ensure that your place is completely impenetrable like Fort Knox, it should at least be unattractive to your average burglar. Here are 5 simple  steps you can take:

  1. An unclimbable fence

To make your perimeter safe, install an unclimbable fence. Many existing fences have places where you can get a foot hold, which make them very easy for anyone to climb. In this case, a panel can be installed so the outside face is smooth without anything that can be used to climb. If the existing fence is too low, sometimes an additional panel can be installed to increase its height.

  1. Lockable gates

Assuming that there is a secure fence of reasonable height around your property, the entrance should be secured with lockable gates. We recommend automatic ones, as the hassle of getting in and out of the car to unlock and open them means that most people will eventually just leave them open. This is an open invitation to be burgled. It also allows anyone who wants to enter to do so. Who knows if someone who shouldn’t be there is lurking on your property?

  1. CCTV cameras and burglar alarms

There are many other elements to securing your property. Having CCTV cameras installed can be a deterrent and also may provide useful evidence for the police if an incident does take place.

A monitored burglar alarm is also a good idea. That way, if someone does attempt to break in, someone will be dispatched to check it out.

  1. Intercom system

An intercom system will allow you to know who is at the gate. Most can be connected to the gate control or to an electric lock on a pedestrian gate to allow visitors to enter.

  1. Make your property look attended

Simple things like having someone collect your mail if you are away and leaving some lights and maybe even a radio on make the property look as though someone is there. Objects that can be used to climb on (eg. rubbish bins) should be kept within the property.

If you implement these suggestions, you’ll have increase your level of protection for your home or business.

If you need professional assistance, Gate Gurus specialises in the installation, service and repair of automatic gates. We supply new gates and most existing gates can be retrofitted with automation so they can easily be kept closed and your home or business secured. Contact us to protect your home or business on (03) 9028 4464 or via email on info@ gategurus.com.au

Automated Gate Remote

What to do if your remote control is lost or stolen?

Here are the top 5 actions you should take if your remote control is lost or stolen:

1. Disconnect the power.

Your gate remote control like a key, should not have any identifying information on it, so if it is lost it won’t be traceable to your property. If it did have identifying information, then we recommend disconnecting the power until the gate can be made secure.

2. Change your code.

If there is a possibility that it can be linked to your address, then the programming code needs to be changed. Some remote control receivers can be reprogrammed by changing the position of small switches on the control board or receiver. The position of the switches on the other remotes should also be changed. Always disconnect the power before opening up any piece of electric equipment.

Other remotes require electronic programming which can vary according to the make and model of the receiver. This is usually best left to a qualified technician.

3. Switch to manual

You can still use your gate provided you switch to manual mode. Usually, a key is required. Once it’s unlocked, the gates can be opened and closed by hand. A chain & padlock can also be used to keep the gate locked temporarily for safety purposes.

4. Get a new remote (and a back up)

Obviously, you’ll need a new remote control. But be careful here because there are so many different makes and models that you can easily end up with one that doesn’t work properly. Be in touch with a gate expert to ensure you’re making the right choice.

And, this time, we recommend buying a spare remote, so you’re not stuck if it ever happens again.

5. Program your remote

The last step is program your new remote so it can communicate with your gate. Every remote and gate is different. In some cases, it’s relatively easy and you can do it yourself if you follow the instructions. Other gates are more complicated – especially if they don’t have switches – and require a gate expert to assist you.

That’s it. Good luck with your new remote. And let us know if you need any expert support or advice from a Gate Guru. We’re always happy to help.