Queensland Gate Automation


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D5-Evo: The Apex Predator of Gate Motors

D5-Evo: The Apex Predator of Gate Motors

It is not often that the worlds of natural science and access automation meet, but I do think that I have, quite by accident, found a parallel.

It was while channel surfing recently, perhaps sub-consciously scouring for material for our next blog post, that I happened upon a show about apex predators, and it got me thinking about our tried, tested and perfected sliding gate motor, the D5-Evo.

Here is something that has been designed to be the absolute best in its class: purpose-built, tenacious and completely unstoppable.

So what exactly is an apex predator?

Apex predators have been defined as predators with no natural predators of their own, thus residing at the very top of its food chain. To me, that sums up the D5-Evo perfectly. This superior sliding gate motor exists in a world of many competing operators, each vying for a place at the top of the access automation food chain, each snapping at the ankles of the powerful D5-Evo – the apex predator – but never really finding purchase. The D5-Evo remains the dominant operator.

It’s a bold claim, I know. So let’s take a quick look at why the D5-Evo is the saltwater crocodile (or tiger, or killer whale) of the access automation arena.

1. Advanced diagnostics

This feature goes a long way towards establishing our benchmark motor as the undisputed alpha dog in its pack. A futuristic LCD display provides detailed information on everything from the battery and charger voltage to the amount of current being drawn when the gate is in motion to the ID number of the last remote pressed.

2. Intruder-detection Alarm Modes

We’ve written a great deal about this functionality, and with good reason. Enable the Break-in Alarm, and you’ll be notified the moment that someone loiters in front of your gate thanks to the controller’s onboard alarm being triggered. Similarly, the Ambush Alarm will notify you should the beams remain interrupted for a pre-defined period of time, so criminals won’t get away with sticking insulation tape over the beam lenses. Remember, you have the apex predator standing guard!

3. Multiple operating features

One characteristic of an apex predator is that it has evolved to adapt remarkably well to its environment. In much the same fashion, we have designed the D5-Evo to be fully configurable to suit any site conditions. From adjustable ramp-up and ramp-down distances, to Positive Close Mode and ultra-safe collision sensitivity, the D5-Evo is the master of its environment.

4. Onboard timer technology

This feature is one of my favourites. Those of you with a working knowledge of ancient Greek will know that the word “chronos” means of or related to time, and it makes a fitting prefix to our built-in, ultra-advanced timer technology known as ChronoGuard. ChronoGuard allows you to set automatic activations for certain times of the day, month or year and even includes a time-barring feature whereby certain inputs can be barred from working after hours, during public holidays, etc. This is absolutely groundbreaking functionality as far as the marriage of access automation and perimeter security goes.

What can we say? The apex predator has brains!

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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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