Open and Closr my Gate over the internet.

I have a gate at the front of my driveway and at least once a month I have to leave it open for the power company so they can read my meter. I recently got my camera system conntect to the internet so I can watch my house from work. It is a novilty now I know. Well I just saw the power company leave and thought how cool it would be if I could now close the gate. The gate opens and closes with a standard garage door opener. What would be the best way to do this? Thanks, Rodger

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You could use a servo to push the buttons on the remote. I use servos for pan/tilt cams over the web. The first link below uses javascript to send a position command when the button is pushed, and send another position when the button is released. If you can see the gate with your cam, then you could push the closed button on the remote untol the gate is closed, then release the button. The bottom link has another pan/tilt cam setup.

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Si Ballenger

If your power company won't install a remotely read meter (best option) then you could close the gate by having a device trigger an opener's button. You don't mention what, if any, home controller you have so, assuming you have none, you could use a simple timer set to close the gate after the usual time he reads the meter. Another method would be to use a motion detector by the meter. When motion is detected, there is a

5 minute delay using an inexpensive 555 timer circuit and then it closes.

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Agreed on both points.

Also note: If your system has a single button to open / close the gate and you decide to automate (timer, sensor, etc.) the operation, you'll need a position sensor to prevent the gate from opening after a raccoon or deer trips the motion detector. I did something similar for clients who had the habit of forgetting to close the garage door. Sensors prevented closing the door on an object or a person. Another sensor detected door position. I used changes in state of the alarm system from disarmed to armed or vice versa to start a count-down timer. Upon time-out, if the door was still open and no obstruction was present it would close. It worked.

If your meter reader drives rather than walk through the open gate a direction sensitive vehicle detector can be used to close the gate as soon as his vehicle exits. Note, however, that unless you add other stuff (an automation or security controller for example) to the mix the system will close the gate after anyone goes out. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on whether you like to leave the gate open when you're at home.

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Robert L Bass

What kind of DVR do you have? Some are expandable to include relay control outputs.

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G. Morgan

You haven't mentioned what (if any) home alarm equipment you have. My partner has a similar setup at his house. He leaves the gate open in the morning twice a week so that the maid service can freely enter, do their job, and leave. He has an Ademco Vista 128FB and uses the telephone line interface to dial up the system to close the gate and arm the outputs on the DVR. If your gate system utilizes a wireless remote, it would be fairly simple to bypass the button on the remote and wire the contacts directly to a relay that you can control remotely.

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Frank Olson

Really it is for a friends house. The system they have is a Lorex SG19LD804-161. That is all they really have in the way of home automation, I'm not sure I would even consider that as automation. They figure I would be better to explain and understand what they have and want.

I have just started looking into all this stuff myself.

The gate opens with a simple garage door type remote. If I did run a wire to the relay then how would I connect that to my PC or some other system so I could open and close it over the internet.

The only thing I have really seen is x10 stuff. I did purchase a camera set from them about 4 years ago and was so disappointed in how much you had to setup to get it to record to a VCR. I did purchase the USB connector so I could get it on my PC, but could never get that to work. So needless to say I do not have a lot of confidence in them. I know the system was not all the much so I really got what I paid for. I recently got the Dlink DCS-5220 IP Camera for my house and am impressed at how clear the picture is and I like the PTZ feature. Plus it connectes to my PC so it does all the recording and getting it to work over the internet was a snap.

Any help is greatly appreciated. What are some good website were I can read up on all this stuff and see what are some of my other options.

Then next think I am going to look at is wireless alarm systems, but I want connectors that are not these huge bricks like x10 has.

Thanks again, Rodger

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X10 generally is crap. But their video is not the same technology as their RF remotes and powerline devices. About the only thing from X10 that doesn't completely suck is their RF remotes. The video senders are garbage as are the powerline devices. But at least the powerline devices can be made to 'suck less' using 3rd party devices. Your simplest solution might be to start with a powerline X10 relay control and one of the many PC-to-X10 interfaces.

-Bill Kearney

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Bill Kearney


What relay from X10, or are you talking about their lamp modules door modules? I am new at this . . .LOL.

Is there some software that you would recommend? Is there a Wireless Alarm system you would recommend?

X10 had an alarm system for $100 and includes 11 door relays. I was looking at some other companies and for the same amount of coverage it was over $700, but they support x10 up to 8 devices. Would the x10 be worth getting or just pay a little more and get something that is nicer?

Thanks Again, Rodger

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