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Topic:
Gate contact open sensor to use as trigger
This thread has 29 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Wednesday February 8, 2012 at 18:51
Mario
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Client wants to turn on driveway/landscape lights when the gate opens.
She has a gate opener (Apollo 1650) that uses limit switches to tell the motor when the gate is in open or close position. Tech support tells me there is no current on the sensor, just like there wouldn't be on a standard window/door alarm contact. Obviously there has to be some sort of voltage/current to tell the opener when the switch is open/closed.
There are no other outputs/indicators that I can see to use as triggers.
I didn't see an LED in the box that I could tap off of, and there doesn't appear to be any communication port.

I don't think it would be vise to just wire one of my HAI's zones into this switch. Can you think of anything out there that I can use in this case?
Any micro relay or optically isolated sensor?
Post 2 made on Wednesday February 8, 2012 at 19:49
BigPapa
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There has to be some kind of status output on the Apollo that you could wire a micro relay to.

[Link: apollogate.com]

Read page 14: try the Siren output, 12VDC when gate is opening. Micro relay between that and HAI, timer on HAI.
Post 3 made on Wednesday February 8, 2012 at 20:02
audioslayve
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You could always use an external outdoor contact and integrate it into the gate..?..make look nicey

Although I 99% sure that I grabbed a contact from the same controller once
The optimist claims the glass is half full; the pessimist claims it is half empty. An engineer observes that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Ps, you can't fix stupid
OP | Post 4 made on Thursday February 9, 2012 at 01:33
Mario
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Thanks guys for the info.
Ryan; I looked at the manual that came with the gate operator but it didn't have this page in it. I'm thinking it may have been homeowners installation guide, and not as complete, or they were given an older manual or something.
The gate operator is only 5 months old.
I'll have to go and pick up a relay from AI* or maybe even local Radio Shack and try it.
Post 5 made on Thursday February 9, 2012 at 02:32
Ernie Gilman
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On February 8, 2012 at 18:51, Mario said...
Client wants to turn on driveway/landscape lights when the gate opens.

Great idea. The gate manufacturer should have thought of it and sold more controllers!

She has a gate opener (Apollo 1650) that uses limit switches to tell the motor when the gate is in open or close position. Tech support tells me there is no current on the sensor, just like there wouldn't be on a standard window/door alarm contact.

Tech could be right, but not understanding that it could be used. An open alarm contact has no current, but one that closes passes some current. This implies that while the sensor has no current, there is voltage across it. If you add a very high impedance voltage sensor (high enough impedance that the gate does not confuse its current draw for the current drawn when the sensor closes), then you could monitor the state of the sensor.

Obviously there has to be some sort of voltage/current to tell the opener when the switch is open/closed.

Again, tech could be, well, technically right. He said there's no current. If the switch is open, there's no current, but one can read voltage across the switch. Of course it's also possible that the tech is a "tech" who doesn't really understand the thing.

There are no other outputs/indicators that I can see to use as triggers.
I didn't see an LED in the box that I could tap off of, and there doesn't appear to be any communication port.

That Siren voltage that was not described in your manual is just the ticket... almost.  See below.

This is indeed a solution:

On February 8, 2012 at 19:49, BigPapa said...
Read page 14: try the Siren output, 12VDC when gate is opening. Micro relay between that and HAI, timer on HAI.

The one detail to work out with her is whether you have stated this properly, that she wants lights on when the gate is opening.  The manual states that there's a 12 volt siren output when the gate is moving, meaning opening or closing.  If the gate is set to open, then close, you'll have to test to see if the siren voltage stays on from beginning of opening until end of close.  It would look pretty silly at night for lights to come on while the gate opens; lights go out because gate stops moving; twenty seconds later gate automatically closes, turning lights on again.
We can't give you a good answer, or maybe any, without the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 6 made on Thursday February 9, 2012 at 09:30
BigPapa
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On February 9, 2012 at 02:32, Ernie Gilman said...
The one detail to work out with her is whether you have stated this properly, that she wants lights on when the gate is opening.  The manual states that there's a 12 volt siren output when the gate is moving, meaning opening or closing.  If the gate is set to open, then close, you'll have to test to see if the siren voltage stays on from beginning of opening until end of close.  It would look pretty silly at night for lights to come on while the gate opens; lights go out because gate stops moving; twenty seconds later gate automatically closes, turning lights on again.

Good point Ernie but the HAI has elaborate logic programming that likely can work around this. I'm an HAI noob but Mario's HAI experience is pretty deep.

There's a few other circuits that can be exploited: the Lock circuit will provide 12VDC when the gate is Closed. An NO relay to this can provide the trigger to the HAI as well. I figure Mario has 3 or 4 options with a relay control here.
OP | Post 7 made on Thursday February 9, 2012 at 13:12
Mario
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Yeap, looks like I'm picking up Altronix RB5 from local branch today.
It's not self-contained (enclosed) as I would like it to be, but it's going inside the gate operator enclosure that has the main board just mounted to the back wall.
If you know of a relay that has terminals or leads (12"-16" long would be great), that's available at RadioShacks, ADI or local electrical supply house, let me know.

I'll try the lock circuit as first choice or siren as a second option.
HAI doesn't care if the zone is open or close as long as it's set to aux.
From the programming standpoint, a trigger (change of state) is what initiates the routine such as:

WHEN gate IS NOT_READY (or SECURE)
AND DARK
Front_Landscape LIGHTS ON FOR 25MIN
Driveway LIGHTS ON FOR 10MIN 

Edit: no more scraping on landscaping

Last edited by Mario on February 9, 2012 13:51.
Post 8 made on Thursday February 9, 2012 at 13:19
Ernie Gilman
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If you end up with

Front_Landscrape

you'll want to have them raise the gate a bit :->
We can't give you a good answer, or maybe any, without the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
OP | Post 9 made on Thursday February 9, 2012 at 13:53
Mario
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On February 9, 2012 at 13:19, Ernie Gilman said...
If you end up with

you'll want to have them raise the gate a bit :->

That's up to the gate installer.
Funny thing is, the gate does scrape a bit at one end.
Yea, I fixed it.
Post 10 made on Thursday February 9, 2012 at 23:12
audioslayve
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Hows the weather down there Mario?
The optimist claims the glass is half full; the pessimist claims it is half empty. An engineer observes that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Ps, you can't fix stupid
OP | Post 11 made on Friday February 10, 2012 at 04:21
Mario
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On February 9, 2012 at 23:12, audioslayve said...
Hows the weather down there Mario?

It's nice. Today it got up to 45deg and only 45MPH gusts.
You should come and visit.
Post 12 made on Saturday February 11, 2012 at 16:38
audioslayve
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On February 10, 2012 at 04:21, Mario said...
It's nice. Today it got up to 45deg and only 45MPH gusts.
You should come and visit.

ahhh ya, getting a bit windy. Sand blowing in areas you wouldn't think possible haha. I almost miss it. If I do we should get up for a beer. A little Turtle Mountain action.
The optimist claims the glass is half full; the pessimist claims it is half empty. An engineer observes that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Ps, you can't fix stupid
OP | Post 13 made on Sunday February 12, 2012 at 06:27
Mario
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On February 11, 2012 at 16:38, audioslayve said...
ahhh ya, getting a bit windy. Sand blowing in areas you wouldn't think possible haha. I almost miss it. If I do we should get up for a beer. A little Turtle Mountain action.

You got it. I don't drink, so I'll by your DD. Do you remember seeing that sign on Southern Blvd just west of the pub?

Oh, and I hate the fricken wind. Two years ago I did a beautiful job with the grass field for my daughter's birthday (August). After the winter and the April winds/sandstorms, the grass field looked like a dirt patch. I still can't get it to come back like it was when the sod was first put down.
OP | Post 14 made on Sunday February 12, 2012 at 06:30
Mario
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I had my wife pick up the Altronix RB5 from local ADI. I went to the truck to put it on my "to be installed" shelve and on the opposite side of the van I found 5-6 relay boards that I pulled from a T-Stat swapping job last year.

Yea, that's another thing I had laying around, but just couldn't remember.
Post 15 made on Sunday February 12, 2012 at 09:07
charris
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We have done this both ways: 1) With the gates' light/siren/relay output like Big Papa said and 2) installing our own magnetic contact. In other cases we installed a PIR on the inside wall next to the gate.
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