Queensland Gate Automation


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Important GSM Module Settings

How cool is GSM technology? Way cool, we reckon. The ability to open your gate with a (free!) missed call from your mobile phone – from anywhere in the world no less! – is something straight out of science fiction. And this is but one of a myriad of possible functions that you could use one of our GSM devices for. The future is here, ladies and gentlemen.

And we’d like to make sure you get the most out of this wonderful, space-age technology. To this end, we’ve documented in this communication two easily overlooked yet mandatory setup procedures that you need to ensure you’ve covered in order to get your GSM product up and running quickly and conveniently.

1.    CLIP must be enabled on each phone

CLIP, or Caller Line Identification Presentation, is basically what allows the device being called to “see” or “recognise” the number calling it during the ringing signal, or when the call is being set up before the call is answered.

On any GSM device, you need to ensure that CLIP is enabled on all mobile phones learned into its memory. An easy way to check is to ring any number from your phonebook and, if it comes up as “unknown” or “private number” on the other party’s phone, your CLIP is not enabled and your GSM module will not react to it. It makes perfect sense when you get right down to it. After all, you wouldn’t open the door for someone if you didn’t know who was on the other side of it!

But what you may not know is that, on contract SIM cards, you also need to enable CLIP on the SIM card going into the GSM module. This you’ll have to do by first inserting the SIM card into a phone and enabling CLIP before inserting it into the GSM module.

2.    Airtime must be loaded on the GSM device SIM card

In order for a GSM device to communicate with an online portal such as G-WEB, from which units are administered, it needs to at least have a little bit of airtime loaded onto the SIM card since synchronisation is a data transaction. It is important that the unit is topped up with actual airtime, not SMS or data bundles, since the latter two usually expire within a month of being loaded.

CENTSYS manufactures the infinitely useful G-SWITCH-22 GSM device, and the advanced MyGSM range.

Posted in: Automatic Gates, Driveway Automatic Gates, Electric Gates, GSM Devices

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Why we do things the DC way

Why We Do Things the DC Way

A long, long time ago there was a very heated, very public battle of wits between DC disciple Thomas Edison and his AC adversary, Nikola Tesla. Their feud was what started the age-old power struggle (literally) between direct current and alternating current, and while there has since been numerous accusations that the Father of DC’s character was less than savoury, there can be no doubt that this method of power distribution has made the world a better place (as has AC!).

In fact, DC has made such an incredible impact on the world that it has become a fundamental part of CENTSYS’s design philosophy. But why exactly has direct current become the preferred method of power distribution? Why is it that so many appliances nowadays has a built-in transformer and rectifier circuit to change the input AC voltage to low-voltage DC? And why do we at CENTSYS bank on it with our own products?

Well, we’ll tell you…

It’s More Cost-Effective to Implement

This is true for a number of reasons. Firstly, DC devices have only two conductors (namely positive and negative) versus the three (live, neutral and earth) needed for AC equipment. Since DC allows us to operate at much lower voltages, less insulation is typically needed which in turn leads to reduced costs.

Also worth noting is that DC circuits are generally less complex and require less components and yet they provide superior motor control to AC (another benefit – especially from an access automation point of view where one can accurately adjust running speeds for enhanced safety and security  requirements).

Reliability and Autonomy

This point is probably a bit hackneyed, but we all know that it’s true. When the Dark Knight does rise (we’re talking about power failures, in case that metaphor was a bit obscure), it’s important that your appliances carry on working despite the sudden loss of mains power.

Direct current makes this a possibility. You’ve all heard the term “battery backup” being used – now, the battery being a staple of DC power distribution – is what allows your gate motor to dutifully carry on serving you even during lengthy power failures.  AC machines can still be outfitted with backup, but it requires costly additions such as DC converters. Backup is native to DC machines.

Lightning Protection

This point ties in very closely with the one above. Since DC operators gives you a mechanism to fairly easily decouple yourself from the main utility grid using solar power and other energy generators, you are effectively putting another level of protection between you and possible lightning damage.

Higher Starting Torque

While it’s true that AC motors produce higher running torque, think in terms of gate automation. What is more important: setting your gate in motion or keeping it that way? If you guessed “setting your gate in motion”, congratulations! You know your stuff.
DC motors produce superior starting thrust, which is what you need especially if your gate is slightly on the heavy side. Once it’s on the move keeping it that way is, well, automatic.

Improved Collision Detection

DC machines have been found to be more sensitive than their AC counterparts from a collision detection perspective. This is an important feature to have in your automated system, especially if you have kiddies or pets around.

In a nutshell, the load speed profile of DC motors is such that they tend to slow down when obstructed whereas AC motors are synchronous and only slow down when they literally stall against the load. It is quite simply easier to electronically detect a DC motor hitting an obstruction which in turn allows us to apply more sensitive anti-crushing protection.

It Allows Us to Operate in the Safe Zone

Edison once notoriously performed a public demonstration involving an elephant to show the dangers of alternating current, but that’s kind of a cheap shot (not to mention utterly inhumane) and we won’t resort to that here. Besides, at high voltages DC can be much more dangerous than AC.

The fact is, the DC we employ in our gate motors is of the low-voltage variety (typically around 12-24V) which means that it is much, much safer than the AC alternative.

Please note that our aim is not to slate AC in any way. On the contrary, one of our most robust operators – the A10 – is an AC mean machine and offers myriad benefits such as a higher duty cycle and improved running torque that a DC unit might not be able to provide. Our goal is simply to provide you with some insight as to why DC is such an important part of our design philosophy.

Posted in: Automatic Gates, Electric Gates, Welcome

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Choosing the right gate motor

Choosing the Right Gate Motor

Let’s say, hypothetically, that you have finally grown tired of your old jalopy and you’re in the market for a new, more reliable, mode of transportation. Naturally, there are a number of factors you would consider and things you would weigh up before finally settling on a car.

Is safety an important consideration for you? Are you in the market for a family sedan or a sports hatch? Are you looking for something with superior fuel economy?

Similarly, when you’re preparing to have your world rocked by the amazing security and convenience provided by a gate motor, there are some things you need to think about to ensure that you get one that’s right for your application. But don’t worry, with some handy tips from your favourite access automation company you’ll be wielding that remote like a magical sceptre in no time.

AC or DC

We’re not referring to the Australian rock band of course (although our gate motors have been known to rock!), but rather to the form in which electric power is supplied to your operator. AC, or alternating current, means that the gate motor is being powered directly via the 230V mains supply from a distribution board in your house.

DC, or direct current, on the other hand, is a method of power delivery relying on some sort of “power store” such as a battery. You’ll find that the vast majority of CENTSYS gate motors are DC-operated.

And there’s a good reason for that. Power delivery, especially in South Africa, is unfortunately quite unreliable and we’ve all borne the brunt of load shedding before. Your gate motor, being the holder of so many titles – security guard, butler, etc. – needs to be on duty around the clock, and DC units are able to continue operation even during lengthy power failures, whereas AC gate motors are not.

On the flipside of the coin, AC motors have a virtually unlimited duty cycle and will work tirelessly as long as they are being fed mains. Both of these modes of power delivery have their virtues, you simply need to decide which is best suited for your application. If you live in an area where power outages are commonplace, a DC unit is probably the best bet.

Weight of the Gate

Unless you’re an ant or former Governor of California (and sometimes actor) Arnold Schwarzenegger, you probably can’t carry much more than your body weight. But through the miracle of engineering gate motors are able to relatively effortlessly lug around several hundred times its own weight.

But that doesn’t mean it should be unrealistically loaded. Subjecting it to that kind of abuse will invariably lead to problems down the line, so first get an approximation of what your gate weighs before selecting a motor. The good news is that gates are usually much, much lighter than we think. For example, if you can lift one side of your gate to about the height of your shin, chances are it doesn’t weigh much more than 250kg.

Pull Force

This is more an extension of the previous point than a whole new heading. Pull force plays a monumental role in what gate motor you install, and has a direct impact on both the reliability and the service life of the operator. If you struggle to open and close your gate manually, be sure to choose a device rated for a high push force such as a D10.

The easiest and most accurate way to determine the weight of the gate is to use a pull scale as found in any angling goods store.

Swing or Slide

This one might seem fairly obvious if you already have a gate fitted, but if you’re looking to install a gate where there isn’t currently one this might warrant some thought. The truth is that both swing and sliding gate motors are equally rich in merit and which one you choose to fit simply depends on preference or, in the case of an existing gate, what the setup necessitates.

If you are going with a swing gate, remember to take into account factors like the length of the individual leafs, wind loading, etc.

If you follow these few simple selection guidelines you’re assured of a gate motor that’ll faithfully serve you for years to come. And if you do get stuck, remember that our technical support centre is open Monday to Friday from 7am until 6pm. Their number is +2711 699 2451.

You’ll also do well to check out our awesome access automation selection guide. Or download your swing gate operator selection chart, or yoursliding gate selection chart!

Posted in: Automatic Gates, Driveway Automatic Gates, Electric Gates, Gate Hardware

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9 Reasons To Get Electric Gates

We are forever reminded by the news, friends and family about the ever-rising crime rate and how we should increase the security of our homes and become more vigilant. And if security isn’t a priority, maybe comfort and convenience are more of a driving force for you. Nobody enjoys arriving home on a stormy night only to get soaked both opening and then closing their gates.

There are many reasons to get electric gates, here are our top 9:

1. Security

An electric gate is the barrier between your home and uninvited guests, opportunistic burglars, car thieves, vandals and criminals. Because electric gates are powered by motors, it is difficult for intruders to force them open. You can also choose to increase your home security by including video surveillance, intercoms, alarms and the like.

2. Privacy

If the thought of prying eyes and sticky-beak neighbours gets your back up, then solid gates would suit you perfectly. These are usually heavier than other gates, so to save you physical injury, electric gates offer the perfect solution.

3. Comfort

Enjoy opening your gates from the comfort of your car or home with the push of a button. There’s no need to get wet in the rain or cold in winter.

4. Convenience

How often have you gone out and either forgotten to close your gates or worse, couldn’t be bothered to close them because it’s too much effort? You won’t have this problem with electric gates; you can even set them to close automatically.

5. Children

Just as you don’t want intruders to enter your property, you don’t want your children or pets running out into the street either. As mentioned in point 4, electric gates can be set to close automatically and you can rest assured that children and pets will be kept safe within the confines of your premises.

6. Strays

Keep other people’s animals and strays out with electric gates. You spend too much time caring for your garden for some silly animal to dig it up and damage your plants.

7. Value

Add value to your home with an attractively designed set of electric gates. People often think of automated gates as a luxury item and therefore increase the value of your property.

8. Insurance

Having an electric gate means that you are committed to keeping your property secure and insurers will often offer a discount because of enhanced perimeter protection.

9. Affordable

Electric gates are a lot more affordable than they used to be thanks to advances in technology. So now it’s not only the rich and famous that are able to afford automatic gates, you can too.

With all these benefits, it’s not surprising that more and more people are installing electric gates.

So don’t put off securing your home, making your life easier and adding value to your property.

To find out more about gate automation and installation from Queensland Gate Automation – experienced professionals who truly understand quality and security; please feel free to contact our Gold Coast based company on 07 5537 8958 or visit our online store  www.qga.com.au.

Posted in: Automatic Gates, Driveway Automatic Gates, Electric Gates, Sliding Automatic Gates, Swing Automatic Gates

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6 Safety Tips for Automatic Gates

Opening the gates to your home has become simple, convenient and reliable. Modern access control is at your fingertips and is as simple as pressing a button on a remote control.

However, safety is still the number one concern with any automated gate system, that’s why we’ve decided to share our top guidelines for safe installation.

 1. Keep the area clear!

This is without a doubt the number one guideline. Too often we hear about accidents involving automated gates and these can be prevented. Firstly, it is imperative to keep your eyes open for any person or thing in the way before operating the gate. Secondly, safety devices should be fitted to the gates. You can select from a variety of safety beams or loop detectors, which detect any obstructions and prevent the gates being operated until the area is clear.

 2. Prevent unauthorized access.

It is important to keep access controls out of reach of curious children to prevent accidents. You should also take care in keeping operating covers locked at all times and the keys stored in a safe location.

3. Be electricity wise

A qualified electrician should always be involved in the installation your gate operator. They will take care in not shorting the battery terminals, earth the electrical equipment and prevent damage to devices. They will also be able to advise you on any additional requirements you may need.

 4. Set your sensitivity settings

While swing gates require a lower setting to compensate for environmental conditions such as wind loading, please remember that the lower the setting, the harder it will be for the gate to stop. Speak to an expert about the best sensitivity setting for your gate.

5. The gate stops here

Endstops are an important part in the safety and functioning of your gate. Most gates are set to stop when encountering an obstruction. If there is no mechanical endstop, the controls won’t be able to identify where the gate should stop and it will continue to run and potentially come off the rail. It is recommended that a robust material such as steel is used to construct this endstop and be fitted to both the opening and closing positions.

6. Keep your gate on track

Similar to endstops, your gate needs guide rollers to keep it on track. Without guide rollers your gate would be very wobbly upon opening and closing and eventually come crashing down. This can cause immense damage to your property and worse injury to any innocent bystanders.

Accidents can be prevented, ensure that the right care is taken in maintaining and testing your gate regularly.

The team at Queensland Gate Automation are well qualified to provide you with the highest quality products and expert advice regarding your gate motor, accessories and safety features. We strive to assist our customers with all the information they may need for a successful installation and ongoing maintenance.

Please visit our online Gate Automation Store or for any advice, just give us a call on 07 5537 8958 (international +61 7 5537 8958).

Posted in: Automatic Gates, Driveway Automatic Gates, Electric Gates, Remote Control Gates, Sliding Automatic Gates, Swing Automatic Gates

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5 Tips To Choose An Automatic Gates

Long gone are the days when automatic gates were a luxury item which guarded the entrances of mansions and private estates. With the increase of crime and our ever growing use of technology, homes with automated gates are becoming more popular. Not only are they an effective way of protecting your homes and family, they are practical and convenient.

Installing an automated gate is a major investment and you should be aware of all the various options available before proceeding.

Here are 5 points to help you choose the right automatic gate system:

1.  Power supply needs

The majority of gate systems require a standard domestic power supply in the gate area. This should be installed by a qualified person. This power supply will also need to be used for intercoms and lighting systems related to the gate system.

 2. Sliding or swinging?

The type of entrance you have to your property will determine the type of gate you will need. Driveways that slope upwards toward the house would require a sliding gate. This option takes up less room than swing gates and gives full access to your driveway from all angles. Sliding gates also offer the highest level of security.

 3. Suit your style

The type of gate you decide to install will be determined by your needs and property type. If privacy is a priority, you should consider a gate that is solid. If aesthetics is more important, consider something more decorative, like wrought iron or steel gates or even multi bar timber gates which give a lovely rustic feel.

 4. Operating and Access control systems

It is important to weigh up the type of operating system required. Hydraulic systems are quieter, offer better resistance to wind and generally have a longer life span, however they are more expensive to install. If wind and noise is not a priority, electro mechanical systems are the more economical option to consider.

There are many choices available for access control systems from voice and video intercoms to key operated switches and digital pads. We recommend you check out the options and compare prices before making a decision.

 5. Contingency plans and safety

In the event that there is a power failure or system failure all gates are fitted with emergency manual overrides. Ask your installer on instructions to use this feature.

Safety should never be compromised. The user should always check the entrance is clear before opening or closing the gate, however automatic safety devices can be fitted. Safety beams detect any obstructions like vehicles and people and will not allow gates to be operated until the area is clear. Loop detectors can also be fitted, but these only detect vehicles.  Injury and damage to people and vehicles can be prevented with a properly specified automated gate system and should be tested regularly.

Make sure you find a well established company to install your gates. They should be able to advise you on everything you need to know. Check their references and see if you can view any of their past installations. Local companies also offer superior after sales support and you get to have face to face interaction.

Once installed, remember to maintain your gates!

Contact QGA for more information on automated gates and access control systems.

Posted in: Automatic Gates, Driveway Automatic Gates, Electric Gates, Remote Control Gates, Sliding Automatic Gates, Swing Automatic Gates

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