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Old 1st November 2018, 11:20   #1
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Default Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

This will be my first thread in Team-BHP and I'm really excited to share the experience. It is always thrilling to drive around in the rain, but once you get home, getting drenched just to open your gate dilutes the whole idea. Not only that, being a geek, accomplishing a task with a click of a remote button or by a voice command is surely sits atop lists. After some basic research I finally decided to invest in getting a remote operated gate installed at my home. The whole project could be divided in three segments.

1. The actual gate (INR 22,000)
The old gate which was installed was made of steel sheet hence very heavy to move around. Also, it required additional support of rollers on the non-hinge edge to support the weight. Often some debris would get stuck on the roller's rails which made it even more difficult to open/close. So first action would be to replace this gate with a lighter one. The new design was utilizing an iron square piped frame, a tad thinner metal sheet to cover the bulk and light aluminum panel to cover the periphery. Being lighter meant that the rollers could be done away with and the whole gate only rested on the hinges.
Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house-picture1.png

One important part of the gate was the stopper. This allowed the gate to close at exact location cancelling out minor movements of swing mechanism which would make both the gate leafs not to be co-incident. This was a retrofit hence it looks a bit out of place with the gate.
Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house-img_4767.jpg

2. The swing mechanism (INR 35,000)
With a leap of faith, I decided to get the mechanism from AliExpress. The cost went up more as I requested the part to be shipped by DHL. When it arrived, I made the connections for a test run. And, it failed miserably . The manual provided had abysmal information. Then I tried searching the web for more detailed information. Surprisingly, another manufacturer (who I found over Youtube) helped me with a more detailed manual, videos and connection diagrams. That restored my faith again. Tested it again and voila! This system consists of an AC motor, a wormgear setup and a piston rod which is moving the gate leaf. For installation, we had to put up the mechanism at various points to see which is allowing the full movement of the gate.
Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house-img_4758.jpg
Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house-img_4761.jpg

Finally, due to the pillar structure, we had to install another angle to get the movement right. Lesson learnt, normal screw and dowel setup did not support the weight of the swing mechanism. We had to use concrete wedge anchor (locally it is called 'chera bolt' in Bengali).
Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house-img_4759.jpg

3. Electrical (INR 2000)
The first step here was to make a trench on the driveway to allow the cable to pass from one side to other. Once a wiring pipe (with the cable inside) was installed the trench was closed out with concrete. This coincided with some masonry work at my home so saved some money there. The making of a wire trench is one of the downside of automatic swing type gates over sliding ones.
Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house-picture4.png

Then we brought electrical connection from the house out to the gate. I had an old project box laying around which I used to house the main control board. Also some pipe glands allowed proper cable pass through. An additional safety device I added is a RF Relay. This is basically a switch which can be operated by a remote control. This allows me disable the main circuit remotely, like before going to bed. I got this one from the erstwhile eBay India.
Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house-img_4762.jpg
Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house-picture2.png

For the remote, both the transmitters are quite like a car lock/unlock fob. It operates on 433 MHz hence the range is quite good. I have no problem getting the gate opened from a non line of sight distance of 50 ft. There is also a small key which can be used to bypass the swing motors allowing the gate to be operated manually. Both the remotes work on a single 12V 27A MN27 battery. Out of the 4 buttons on the swing gate transmitter, only 2 are operational. One for dual leaf operation and other for single leaf operation.
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Finally some thoughts:
  • The whole process could not be complete without the help of the masonry person, the iron/steel fabrication workshop and the people associated with it, and my local electrician who help bring electrical connection to the gate. Other the other side, thanks to another Youtube channel (mentioned in the video) for helping with the wiring and programming sequences.
  • If someone is exploring options, there is an American company called 'Mighty Mule' who also manufactures automatic swing gates so that can be another choice over AliExpress.
  • Next, I'm exploring the option of controlling it via Alexa. Amazon USA has already introduced the 'Echo Auto' for use in cars, perhaps soon it will come to India. Coupled to that there is another product called a 'RF Bridge' by 'Sonoff' which can transmit 433 MHz signals when triggered by smartphone or Alexa.
Finally a small video to see the gate in action!

Last edited by chiro3110 : 2nd November 2018 at 10:00.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 08:16   #2
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

Linking to a thread on automatic sliding gates (Automatic sliding gate for my house?).
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Old 3rd November 2018, 11:07   #3
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

Very nice job! You'll look like a total gangster with the gate opening automatically as you approach (provided you slyly push the button without anyone else noticing!)

The capacitors - did they come with the MCB, or did you add them yourself? Is it to smooth out power delivery?

The amber light to the right of the electrical box - is that a warning lamp that operates when the gates are opening/closing? That is a very smart addition.

Depending on how far your car is parked once inside the gate, might an RFID sticker in the car + sensor near the gate be another way of triggering it? I'm sure you considered it, what were the reasons for ruling it out?
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Old 3rd November 2018, 11:35   #4
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
Very nice job! You'll look like a total gangster with the gate opening automatically as you approach (provided you slyly push the button without anyone else noticing!)
Thank you very much! The remote can actuate the gate before my last turn to my home, so pretty much when I'm in front of the gate it's already open halfway.


Quote:
The capacitors - did they come with the MCB, or did you add them yourself? Is it to smooth out power delivery?
The capacitors have with the circuit board. Even a spare pair was provided. Without them it seemed the motors stuttered a bit (when I hooked it up for a test run). So, yes, it smooths the motor operation.


Quote:
The amber light to the right of the electrical box - is that a warning lamp that operates when the gates are opening/closing? That is a very smart addition.
Yes, the amber flashing light activates when the motors are in motion. The AliExpress ordering page let me add accessories like this light, a security numeric pad, IR obstacle detector etc.


Quote:
Depending on how far your car is parked once inside the gate, might an RFID sticker in the car + sensor near the gate be another way of triggering it? I'm sure you considered it, what were the reasons for ruling it out?
To be honest, I never thought of this idea but it would be so cool! Quite like the Fastag system. Perhaps for that some additional programming would be required like adding a Arduino board with a RFID scanner and a switch the operate the 433 MHz transmitter. My next idea is to add 'Alexa' control to it!
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Old 3rd November 2018, 11:50   #5
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

I have a garage with a remote operated sliding door. I disconnected everything and use it manually because I have very naughty kids who enjoy pushing the wrong buttons and the fear of the door closing at the wrong time made me very uncomfortable. It's probably okay if my kids get hurt but imagine my car getting crushed!

Last edited by androdev : 3rd November 2018 at 12:14.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 12:16   #6
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

Just a curiosity, did you thought of adding/installing Sonoff switches to your circuit to enable voice-activated open close using Alexa or OK Google commands?

Edit: Sorry, My bad I skipped the last line in your post that already says it. Actually recently I ordered few Sonoff switches from Banggood (yet to be delivered) and am exploring what all can be done using it.

Last edited by rkhare : 3rd November 2018 at 12:28.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 12:48   #7
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
I have a garage with a remote operated sliding door. I disconnected everything and use it manually because I have very naughty kids who enjoy pushing the wrong buttons and the fear of the door closing at the wrong time made me very uncomfortable. It's probably okay if my kids get hurt but imagine my car getting crushed!
Thank you for the fair warning. It would be cruel if any stray animal walks in while the gate is closing. I will try to keep an eye out while operating it. Also, also a last measure of safety, I can kill the relay switch to halt the gate movement anytime. In future, may be obstacle detection feature comes through.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rkhare View Post
Just a curiosity, did you thought of adding/installing Sonoff switches to your circuit to enable voice-activated open close using Alexa or OK Google commands?

Edit: Sorry, My bad I skipped the last line in your post that already says it. Actually recently I ordered few Sonoff switches from Banggood (yet to be delivered) and am exploring what all can be done using it.
Yes, actually I am planning to add Alexa to it. But contrary to using switches, I would need a Sonoff RF Bridge (also on Banggood). Please do share how you plan to utilize the Sonoff switches.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 12:50   #8
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

This is Soooooo frigginí cool!

When I used to watch some of these auto-on gates in the movies, Iíd wonder where the gate walla guard is hiding Well now I know!

The warning light is a good idea considering this is remote operated and people inside may not always know when some triggers the opening mechanism from outside.


Iím curious to know the current weight of each gate.

Sam
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Old 3rd November 2018, 13:23   #9
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

This is brilliant! Hats off to you. Rated the thread a well deserved 5 stars.

Just a word of caution, the added weight of the remotes to your car keys may eventually cause some damage to the ignition key cylinder. Maybe you could find a way to keep the remotes inside the car? I know of some garage openers that are integrated into the sun visor of the car, so you could explore that option in the future.

Cheers!
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Old 3rd November 2018, 13:28   #10
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

During my school days there was an Uncle in the locality who specialized in these motorized/automatic gates. He did take me to the work shop for a demo & I was amazed back then by the sensory automation.

Your work is excellent, never thought one could retrofit a system to an existing gate, great job, its so satisfying when the gates are open welcoming you home.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 15:14   #11
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

I had researched too on this topic but left it midway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiro3110 View Post
I'm exploring the option of controlling it via Alexa. Amazon USA has already introduced the 'Echo Auto' for use in cars, perhaps soon it will come to India. Coupled to that there is another product called a 'RF Bridge' by 'Sonoff' which can transmit 433 MHz signals when triggered by smartphone or Alexa.
Till then you can replace a blank switch in your car with the remote control functions. So you won't have to carry a separate remote along. Like this:



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Old 3rd November 2018, 16:50   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samarth.bhatia View Post
This is Soooooo frigginí cool!

When I used to watch some of these auto-on gates in the movies, Iíd wonder where the gate walla guard is hiding Well now I know!

The warning light is a good idea considering this is remote operated and people inside may not always know when some triggers the opening mechanism from outside.


Iím curious to know the current weight of each gate.

Sam
Thank you. For the gates, each leaf is around 58inch x 62inch. I won't be able to give the exact weight, but during installation 2 persons were able to handle it easily. The iron fabrication guy mentioned around 50-60 kg. Add to it the aluminum panels, and some margin, ballpark 75 kg per leaf.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Viraat13 View Post
This is brilliant! Hats off to you. Rated the thread a well deserved 5 stars.

Just a word of caution, the added weight of the remotes to your car keys may eventually cause some damage to the ignition key cylinder. Maybe you could find a way to keep the remotes inside the car? I know of some garage openers that are integrated into the sun visor of the car, so you could explore that option in the future.

Cheers!
Thank you. I shall keep that in mind. For now I keep the car fob and gate keys separate. While in the car, I normally throw the gate keys in some cubby hole.


Quote:
Originally Posted by batish View Post
Till then you can replace a blank switch in your car with the remote control functions. So you won't have to carry a separate remote along. Like this:
This is such a nifty DIY and a good solution to the problem pointed out by @Viraat13. Though a downside might be to pull out the remote every time to change the battery.
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Old 4th November 2018, 16:30   #13
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

Great idea. I think I will have to install one of these at my parents place. . It is very convenient to have especially if the drivers are elderly.

From the looks of it, your wiring is not sufficiently protected against wind, rain, etc. Your electrical cabinet is also placed very dangerously. Please take care of it professionally. Imagine knocking of your electrical cabinet or pulling off a hot wire getting stuck to a moving car or a bike? It is really dangerous. I would advise you to cut off power to it until you take care of your wiring. Don't use an electrician who can only do jugaad stuff.
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Old 5th November 2018, 11:25   #14
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

Great Idea and congratulations on not giving up after failing in the first attempt
Can you tell us what happens in case of a power failure, wire snap etc, can you still manually operate this gate?
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Old 6th November 2018, 15:34   #15
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Default Re: Installed! Remote-operated Gate at my house

Great setup at an amazing price. I didn't have the time to go with DIY.

Mine is a sliding gate and I bought the package at a local dealership. Apparently they import everything from Italy (most gate mechanisms I researched were from Italy).

Setup cost me Rs 60,000. It is expensive than yours, but I am just enjoying the convenience. After getting used to the remote gate, there is no going back.
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