Driveway Gate Opener Equipment Explained:
Driveway gate opener equipment comes in two flavors.
- one that works off of 120 VAC electricity supplied by the power company.
- one that is Solar Powered - energized by the sun!
Here is some information about both.
- 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 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
- With an electric source near the gate location, use the available power and "install good surge suppression equipment". A optional battery backup component can be added to keep the system up and running during a power failure. All BFT gate openers have a built in manual override if case of a catastrophic failure.
- 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 do allow for more sophisticated power demanding audio / video driveway gate opener equipment options like the Wi-Fi or Cellular call boxes shown below.
Solar Powered Automatic Gate Openers and the 120 VAC Electric Gate Openers with similar driveway gate opener equipment options cost roughly the same for a basic system. A basic system includes the opener motor or motors, the control box, a wireless keypad, a exit sensor, two remote controls, surge suppressor for 120 VAC systems, and the installation cost.
A swing gate opener kit installed on an existing double gate:
- BFT PHOBOS A40 double $4600.00 installed
- BFT KUSTOS A40 double $5000.00 installed
A swing gate opener kit installed on an existing single gate:
- BFT PHOBOS A40 single $4350.00 installed
- BFT KUSTOS A40 single $4700.00 installed
Those are reasonable ballpark prices depending on the driveway gate opener equipment options that you choose. Add the cost of your gate - plus $500 gate installation fee - the cost of the single or double gate opener kit, and any additional gate opener equipment options you may need. That total sum will give you a good idea of how much a complete drive gate and opener will cost.
Solar and Electric gate openers are equally dependable:
- When electricity is close - use a 120 VAC controller.
- If not, and you have adequate sunshine - solar will save you money.
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.
DRIVEWAY GATE OPENER EQUIPMENT OPTIONS
Let's begin with the motor:
BFT uses extruded aluminum material to provide a clean profile that will blend in with any gate design. The powerful screw driven piston connects directly to the gate eliminating weak mechanical connections and it is fully enclosed to prevent dirt and other airborne corrosives from contaminating the screw drive threads.
BFT has two different equally strong and dependable motor / operator versions available:
The PHOBOS motor and the KUSTOS motor:
The only difference between the Kustos and Phobos kits are the motors. All of the electronics are identical. They are both rated for the same heavy duty work load (1100 lb.). The typical ornamental steel gate weighs less than 200 lb.
The Kustos advantage is the completely enclosed housing which is made possible by its telescoping arm. Because the arm that opens and closes the gate slides in and out of the end of the enclosure, the Kustos worm drive gear is completely sealed from the elements while the Phobos is not. Honestly, this has never caused a problem, so - the other advantage is . . . if your gates are in a windy location, the Kustos motor has built-in adjustable "mechanical stops" to resist unwanted movement. For this reason I like to use the Kustos on really large gates.
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 very strong, long lived, and dependable motor.
BFT Kustos A40
The BFT Kustos Ultra BT UL linear drive operator is also a premium motor for swing gates up to 16 feet and 1100 Lbs.
KUSTOS BT motors are telescopic operators. The advantage of the system is the completely covered screw drive with magnetic stops in the same enclosed housing ensuring maximum protection against external agents (water, dust, dirt, etc.) as well as a total protection for people, preventing any type of access to the moving parts.
Kustos is equipped with internal mechanical stops that makes it more resistant to movement from wind or any external force.
A Kustos motor cost $350 more than the Phobos.
Both are excellent strong motors
An inexpensive battery powered wireless coded keypad that is easily installed at the gate will allow access with a 4 digit code. The least expensive of the driveway gate opener access control equipment options.
Most of our customers choose to use this wireless keypad - Simply give the code to family members and service people to let them enter. When they leave, the exit sensor (shown below) will open the gate to let them out. Codes can be easily changed as needed.
There is no audio or video communication between you and your gate with this wireless keypad.
It's only function is to open the gate when a 4 digit number is entered.
If communication with a visitor at your gate is required:
There are three options for audio and video communication with someone at the gate:
- Wi-Fi Home Network - If you have a good strong signal from your home network wi-fi at the gate intercom location then the Wi-Fi Protocol is my favorite choice. Why? Once the equipment is purchased and installed there are no monthly subscription cost. The intercom uses your home network wi-fi to communicate via your smart phone, tablet, or PC.
- A Cellular Call Box is another drive gate communication audio / video protocol that has a sim card, just like a cell phone, with it's accompanying monthly cellular service provider cost.
- A Intercom Call Box that uses your existing home phone works great and there are no fees other than your monthly home phone bill. These are more costly to install because they require a wire to be buried underground from your home phone line to the gate intercom. There is no video with this equipment, only audio.
None of these audio / video communication devices are necessary to operate your gate opener. They are available for the customer who needs to speak with someone at the gate and grant or deny access. The inexpensive wireless keypad shown above allows you to give someone a code that will open the gate.
With a strong 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi signal at your gate, the B-EBA Wi-Fi Gateway expansion card, or a more sophisticated video and audio Wi-Fi Call Box mounted on a pedestal outside the gate are two excellent driveway gate opener equipment option solutions. Once installed, these work off of your existing wi-fi network free of charge and can be accessed from anywhere via your smart phone, tablet, or PC.
B-eba Wi-Fi Gateway Expansion Card: $325.00
Connects to the web via the 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 gate to be remotely opened, closed, or held open, and much more.
A visitor can call your cell phone, you can talk to and identify them, then allow or deny access right from your phone from anywhere in the world with internet access via the U-control app.
The IOS app can be programed to open and close the gate at a user defined distance from your cell phone using GPS proximity detection.
Other users (up to 5) can control the gate using their cell phone with the rules set by the administrator (you). The system sends the administrator a notification for each operation performed by a user. This feature can be toggled on and off from your smartphone settings.
It is easy to add service personal, the pool man, guest, etc. allowing them to use their smart phone to open the gate and then when they are no longer guest, remove the privilege - all from your smart phone.
The B-EBA Wi-Fi Gateway Expansion Card works with your existing home Wi-Fi network for free!
PLUG AND PLAY: the B-eba Wi-Fi expansion card connects directly to the U-link central units; for wi-fi connection, simply insert the B-eba into the dedicated slot and follow the U-control App instructions.
IMMEDIATE DIAGNOSIS: after inserting the expansion card - two LEDs will light up indicating if the B-eba wi-fi is in the network search phase (one light) and when the wi-fi connection is active (two lights).
DOWNLOAD THE U-CONTROL APP: thanks to this app (available for Android and IOS) you can control the automation remotely with your smart phone or tablet, monitor gate status - opened, closed, stopped, or moving (green status bar) and much more. Allow other users to use the automation on their smart phone, create scenarios, and contact your installer in the event of a problem - sending the last error code detected.
This very simple to use app works flawlessly. Visit the download page for complete details.
More Wi-Fi Driveway Gate Opener Equipment Options:
Wi-Fi: BFT WIFI Video Intercom - $3000.00
Free to use on existing home wi-fi network and cell phone
- Speak to and see your visitors from your smartphone
- Easy wireless connection to existing home WIFI
- Long range directional patch antenna at gate (up to 200 yards)
- Can call up to 4 devices at the same time
- Get a video call from your gate, even when you're away
- No SIM card, no call charges
- Camera: Color, 90 degree, 640 x 480 pixels
- Night Vision: Yes, by infrared illumination
- App Name: Predator Wifi
- Audio: Half duplex loud speaker mode (press mic icon to speak)
No Wi-Fi signal at the gate? Then a Cellular Call Box may be the answer. These require a service provider / sim card / monthly subscription, etc.
Cellular: BFT Video Intercom System with Keypad $3000.00
Monthly cell phone service provider cost.
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 smart phone 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. 4 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: works with any standard AT&T or T-Mobile SIM Cards, it is not compatible with CDMA networks such as Sprint or Verizon.
Home Phone Gate Intercom:
TELECOMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT - LAND LINE HARD WIRED $900.00
DoorKing 1812-081 Residential Surface Mount Telephone Entry System
Intercoms that uses the existing home phone to communicate are "hardwired", meaning that 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 telephone
The intercom $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
More Driveway Gate Opener Equipment Options:
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
DIABLO EXIT SENSOR
Opens the gate automatically when approached from the inside by a vehicle, just drive by the sensor buried along the driveway and it opens. Great for guest, delivery trucks, and anytime a vehicle needs to exit the property. Included in the basic packaged. $275.00
SIREN OPERATED SENSOR
SOS 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.
Optional $550.00 - installed.
Battery backup system for 120 VAC electric gate openers.
Provides auxiliary backup power in the event of an electrical power outage.
Can be added to any BFT gate opener system.
Not included in the basic package.
All gate openers come with a manual over ride for use in the event of a power failure, the battery back up keeps the system operational if the power is lost so that you do not need to get out of the car and use the manual over ride feature.
HIGH VOLTAGE SURGE PROTECTION
All 120 VAC powered gate operators require a high voltage surge suppressor to protect the equipment from electrical power surge spikes and lightening. This is not an option and is included with all systems connected to the electric power gridl The surge suppressor will be sacrificed during an extreme power spike. The expensive gate opener equipment will be saved but the surge suppressor will need to be replaced. Since we started using these we no longer have problems with control panel boards getting fried. Surprisingly we haven't had to replace any of the surge suppressors either!
Included with every 120 VAC gate opener installation:
Ground rod, surge suppressor, electrical work box, and misc. parts - this is mandatory for all 120VAC systems.
A BFT Brand automatic gate opener is equipped with a manual override. In the event of a power failure simply slide back the cover on top of the motor, insert the key and turn clockwise to disengage. Once the motor is disengaged, the gate can be gently pushed open and closed.
Any discussion about driveway gate opener equipment would not be complete without mention of a manufacturer warranty. BFT has a outstanding 24 month limited warranty and excellent responsive customer support. For warranty details - click here.