Driveway Gate Openers
An Explanation of Electric Driveway Gate Opener Equipment Options
Driveway Gate Opener Equipment Demystified:
A Basic System:
The Basic Driveway Gate Opener Equipment package includes the motors, the control panel, a wireless keypad, two remote controls, obstruction photo beams, and an exit sensor.
A wireless keypad allows a four-digit number to be entered to open the gate.
The Exit Sensor opens the gate automatically when approached from the inside. Great for the homeowner who won’t need to do anything to open the gate when leaving the property - the gate opens automatically as you drive past the sensor buried alongside the drive.
The Exit sensor allows service and delivery personnel who have been granted access to the property and need to exit but do not have a remote control, to do so. Drive by the sensor - the gate opens!
The Photo Beams are a safety device preventing the gates from closing if any obstruction is in the path of the gate movement.
The Remote Control is a key fob-style unit that fits on your keychain and is used to operate the gate with the push of a button.
Solar and Electric 120VAC Systems:
Here's a little information about both . . .
- Solar eliminates the need to dig trenches and bury electrical wire to supply electricity to power the gate.
- Solar gate openers are not connected to the electric power grid, which can, and will cause power surges that damage the electronics in a gate opener.
- When a storm knocks out the electric power, a solar gate opener keeps on working - powered by the built-in battery bank that is energized by the sun.
120 VAC Electrical Power
- With an electric source near the gate, use the available power and "install good surge suppression equipment.”
- An optional battery backup component can be added to keep the system running during a power failure. All BFT gate openers have a built-in manual override. A battery backup is not necessary to open the gate during a power outage if you are willing to open the gate manually.
- If the electrical source is a long way from the gate location, this is when the cost of the 120 VAC Electric Driveway Gate Opener will cost more than a Solar Powered system. Trenches dug, wires buried, misc. Electrical boxes, connectors, surge suppressors, battery backup, etc., can quickly add up.
- The 120 VAC systems allow for more sophisticated power-demanding audio/video driveway gate opener equipment options like the Wi-Fi or Cellular call boxes shown below.
With 8 hours of direct sun daily, a Solar Powered Driveway Gate Opener is a fantastic option.
- Clean, free power from the sun, no increase in the electric bill.
- It's not connected to the electric power grid - so power surges can not damage the electronics.
- It comes with a built-in battery backup.
- Truly trouble-free.
- If you need power-hungry accessories like audio/video communication intercoms, these require 120 VAC.
Lets start with what is included in the basic package . . .
Motor option #1:
BFT Phobos A40
The BFT Phobos A40 irreversible electromechanical linear worm drive operator is a premium motor for swing gates up to 16 feet and 1100 lbs.
A powerful, long-lived, and dependable motor.
Motor option #2:
BFT Kustos Ultra BT UL
The BFT Kustos Ultra BT UL linear drive operator is a premium motor for swing gates up to 16 feet and 1100 Lbs.
PHOBOS or KUSTOS - What's the difference?
- The same internal motor powers both.
- Both are equally solid and dependable motors.
- The Phobos is less expensive.
- The Kustos is a telescopic operator.
- A Kustos motor has a completely enclosed housing.
The advantage of the Kustos is the enclosed housing. This setup ensures maximum protection against external agents (water, dust, dirt, etc.) and total protection for people, preventing any access to the moving parts.
Kustos is equipped with internal mechanical stops that make it more resistant to movement from wind or any external force.
Both motors are excellent.
Two remote controls are included with each gate opener kit.
If you need more than the two remotes supplied with the kit, order at the time of installation: $40 each
A battery-powered wireless keypad.
- A four-digit number is entered to activate the gate.
- Backlit for night operation.
- Easy to change the code.
Most of our customers use this wireless keypad - Give the code to family members and service people to let them enter. The exit sensor (shown below) will open the gate to let them out when they leave. Codes can be easily changed as needed.
This wireless keypad has no audio or video communication between you and your gate.
Its only function is to open or close the gate when a four-digit number is entered.
DIABLO EXIT SENSOR
It opens the gate automatically when approached from the inside by a vehicle, drive by the sensor buried along the driveway, and it opens. Great for guests, delivery trucks, and anytime a car needs to exit the property. It is included in the basic package.
BFT Thalia Control Board
The brain that makes it all possible!
Solar-powered systems include the Ecosol interface, a 10 W Solar Panel, and two 7ah batteries.
That completes the list of components included in a basic package that will do everything a driveway gate should do.
Our 120VAC electric gate opener package will include the mandatory "high voltage surge suppressor" to protect your gate equipment from power surges and spikes.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
A rough ball park price . . .
Solar Powered Automatic Gate Openers and the equivalent 120 VAC Electric Gate Opener system cost the same for a basic system. A basic driveway gate opener system includes the motor or motors, the control box, a wireless keypad, an exit sensor, two remote controls, a surge suppressor for 120 VAC systems, and the installation cost. The solar collector panel, interface, and batteries are included with the Solar Powered System.
Single Gate Automation Cost:
A swing gate opener kit installed on an EXISTING single gate:
- BFT PHOBOS A40 single $4350.00 installed
- BFT KUSTOS Ultra BT single $4700.00 installed
Double Gate Automation Cost:
A swing gate opener kit installed on an EXISTING double gate:
- BFT PHOBOS A40 double $4600.00 installed
- BFT KUSTOS Ultra BT double $5300.00 installed
* The cost of a gate, post, and installation of a gate is NOT included in these cost estimates.*
We charge $500 to install a driveway gate (dig the holes, set the post in concrete, hang the gate).
Once you decide on a gate and know the cost of your gate, add the cost of the gate plus the gate automation cost (the Phobos or Kustos Kit - choose one ), plus the gate installation cost ($500.00). This will give you the total job cost.
Optional Equipment For Driveway Gate Openers
The following items are not necessary to operate your gate but can add useful functionality:
Battery Back Up System
Battery Backup Systems for 120 VAC electric gate openers are available for $425.00.
Provides auxiliary backup power in the event of an electrical power outage.
It can be added to any BFT gate opener system.
It is not included in the basic package.
Not necessary for a solar-powered gate. A solar gate has a battery bank included.
7-Day Programmable Timer
Timers make it easy to designate access and lock-out times in residential and commercial applications.
Timers extend the life of your equipment, reduce power consumption, and save wear and tear on gate hinges and motors.
Allow gates to automatically open and close at designated times for employee access, night time security, scheduled deliveries, residential gated communities, and work crews.
Siren Operated Sensor
A Siren Operated Sensor is used to open Residential, Commercial, Airport, Government, and Military Gates during an emergency. SOS is the fastest way for emergency responders to access your property without stopping and leaving their vehicle to enter a code or use a key.
Every Emergency Vehicle already has the key: a siren. This system saves vital seconds in all emergencies with sirens triggering gate operators.
Not included in the basic package.
$550.00 - installed.
Audio / Video Intercom Systems
Many companies have surfaced with sophisticated electronic devices that allow you to use your home wi-fi or cellular service provider and screen visitors at your gate using your cell phone and PC.
Cellular solutions require a service provider and their monthly service fees. The BFT brand cellular intercoms will not work with Verizon but require AT&T or T-Mobile, which are not very dependable in this area.
NOTE: BFT works with any standard AT&T or T-Mobile SIM Cards; it is not compatible with CDMA networks such as Sprint or Verizon.
Wi-Fi is a good solution but requires a STRONG Wi-Fi signal to be available at the gate.
I have been reading about a system with a sim card that works with a "mobile" account that is compatible with all cell phone service providers. More information will be forthcoming as I learn. If you need this, I can offer more details upon request.
Cellular and Wi-Fi Options . . .
Cellular or Wi-Fi: BFT Video Intercom System with Keypad
Monthly cell phone service provider fees if you use the 4G Access Point option.
This intercom is compatible with cellular or wi-fi networks.
Pedestal mountable with modern blue illuminated keypad buttons.
Marine-grade brushed stainless steel construction with gloss acrylic trim and powder-coated aluminum hood.
- Speak to your visitors from anywhere in the world.
- Grant access remotely - Send a command via the smartphone app to open your gates.
- No Touch Access - PROX Cards
- Voicemail - Visitors can leave a video message when unanswered.
- Multi-User - Add up to 8 maximum devices per Intercom ID. (incl ADMIN user. Four maximum for optimal performance.)
- Connect via WiFi, LAN Cable, or 4G Access Point (Sold Separately) (Dualband WIFI. 2.4 & 5.8G wifi (802.11 b/g/n/a/c)
- Coin Cell Battery to retain important system settings while a device is off. E.g., date-stamp.
- The volume of the external speakers is adjustable at the call-point.
The problem in N. Georgia - it is only compatible with AT&T or T-Mobile, and their service is very spotty.
NOTE: it works with any standard AT&T or T-Mobile SIM Cards; it is not compatible with CDMA networks such as Sprint or Verizon. You are good to go if you have existing services with these providers!
Land Line Telephone Driveway Gate Intecom
DoorKing 1812-081 Residential Surface Mount Telephone Entry System
We are all familiar with this one. This old-school audio-only intercom is for a home phone landline integration. Intercoms that use the existing home phone to communicate are "hardwired," meaning that a phone and electric wire must be buried underground from the home to the gate. Gate activation is controlled from the home phone handset.
Visitors are easily identified by voice communication and can be granted or denied access directly from a touch-tone home telephone.
The intercom is $900 - plus trenching and wire installation cost.
- Distinctive double ring identifies visitor calls from regular calls.
- Do Not Disturb setting.
- Hold open feature.
- LED lighted face plate
Wi-Fi Smartphone App
The B-eba Wi-Fi expansion card connects the device where it is installed to the web via wi-fi protocol. Through the U-control management app, the B-eba card is registered on the home wi-fi network and thus allows the operator to be remotely managed. All U-Link protocol compatible BFT devices can be managed with U-control, whether they are operators, central units, or receivers. Therefore, automation devices by other brands can also be remotely controlled using the U-Control app. The U-control app is free and available for Android and IOS smartphones.
B-eba is a great inexpensive solution for allowing remote access control using your smartphone. $435.00
B-eba allows you to let service personel, friends, guest use their smartphone to operate your gate and remove the previledge when no longer required, all from the settings on your smartphone.
U-Control is the App for the remote management and control of a U-Link device like a driveway gate opener. The device connects to the home Wi-Fi network thanks to the B-Eba Wi-Fi.
You can open, close, or stop a U-Link device remotely or locally with just a touch.
You can instantly check gate status (open / closed / moving) using the dedicated button.
GPS technology can automatically open and close the gate when the owner approaches using the IOS version of the app.
Other users(up to 5) can be invited to use the same gate. Invited users can control the gate from their smartphone with the rules set by the administrator. The system sends the administrator a notification for each operation performed by the invited users. This feature can be set and deleted from the administrator’s smartphone settings.
You can enter the name and references of your installer in the U-control app. In case of a system failure, the installer will be contacted directly from the U-control app, emailing the last error detected by the central unit.
How To Manually Open a BFT Driveway Gate
In the event of a power outage or system failure . . .
A BFT Brand automatic gate opener is equipped with a manual override. In the event of a power failure, slide back the cover on top of the motor, insert the key and turn clockwise to disengage. Once the motor is unlocked, the gate can be gently pushed open and closed.
Mandatory Surge Suppression for all 120VAC Driveway Gate Systems
Surge Suppression is installed on all Driveway Gate Opener Systems powered by the 120VAC electric power grid to protect the electronics in your gate opener from unexpected grid-generated power surges and spikes.
For additional driveway gate equipment, driveway gate installation, and driveway gate purchasing information:
Visit our sister website. DrivewayGateOpener.com
Much of the data is a repeat of what is presented here, but there are differences. More pictures of gates, mostly.
I appreciate your interest in North Georgia Fence Company.
We look forward to working with you on your project!
Sam McCombs / N GA Fence Co /owner/operator