Gate Questions

  • What is metal fabrication?
    • Metal fabrication is the building of metal structures by cutting, bending and assembling processes.  It is a value-added process that involves the construction of machines and structures from various raw materials.  Metal fabrication is used for many gate repairs and for building gates.
  • What are ground loops?
    • Loops are wires in the ground connected to the gate operators that detect vehicles.  Generally, a saw cut is required with the loop buried in the ground and resealed.  Many believe that a loops purpose is to detect weight, but this is not the case.  The loop detects metal mass rather than weight.  When a vehicle is on top of the loop, the loops transmit to loop detectors in the gate operators and a decision to open or close the gate is made internally.
  • What are Battery backups (BBUs)?
    • Battery backups are in place so that if the power goes out on an operator the gate may still be opened up.  Some BBUs have replaceable batteries while others do not.  These must be tested during all preventative maintenance checks.  In Arizona the longevity of these units is unpredictable as batteries are notoriously eaten by the hot sun.
  • What is a gate operator?
    • A gate operator is the workhorse of the gate.  It opens and closes the metal gate leaf’s dozens of times per day.  They include various components such as circuit boards, chains, belts, loop detectors, motors and battery backups.
  • What is the calling unit on a gate?
    • The calling unit is the brains behind gate operations.  It holds a directory of all residents including their phone numbers, clickers/ cards/ transponders and entry codes.  If a gate requires a remote hold open the calling unit will provide this command to the operators.  A remote receiver attaches to this unit for gate functionality.
  • How does gate access work?
    • A vehicle presents a card, code, clicker or dials though the directory of the calling unit to request access.  Depending upon if this information is authenticated, the vehicle will receive an admit or deny request.
    • If an admit request is granted, the gates will open via the operators, pending proper loop detection (failing loops can result in gates refusing to open or closing on a vehicle).
    • If the request is denied, the vehicle will exit via a turnabout (required by code).
  • How do hinges affect the gates?
    • Hinges can affect how a gate hangs and whether it is in alignment or not.  If a gate hinge weakens the wear and tear of the gate opening will take its tole and present a potential liability in operation.
  • Why is a fire department key switch required?
    • The fire department key switch is required because it allows emergency vehicles through the gate in case of an emergency.  Only the fire department has the ability to turn the switch on and off.
  • Why is a tomar needed?
    • This device works on a strobe system.  Activated by the fire department or the police department.  This is a primary means of entrance into a community.  If this device is not working the entrance can be in code violation.  Communities must have these at each gate.
  • What is a power supply?
    • A power supply is an electronic device that supplies electric energy to an electrical load.  The primary function of a power supply is to convert one form of electrical energy to another and as a result they are sometimes referred to as electric power converters.  Some power supplies are discrete stand-alone devices while others are built into larger devices along with their loads.

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