DIY electric (and manual) driveway gates

Last big DIY project of the year is now complete, and that is fitting new driveway gates and having them electrically opening.  We’re lazy, we never closed our old gates in 5 years!!

The gates are 11′ and 4′ and made of oak and on first glance look good, but detailed glance the workmanship is not great and I’d not recommend.  Size was perfect, but already one has twisted, and the M&T joints are very badly cut (one side on pencil mark, one not = gaps) and even the bolts between the slats are not central.  So just about tick a box so can’t be rejected, but I’d not buy from Ingestre Woods again.

The electric gate kit is from Quiko who I would totally recommend.  Not a well known company, new to UK but known elsewhere.  Not Chinese.  The UK contact I had was superb, listened to what I wanted, and gave good advice.  We spec’d a kit and it was delivered and does what its supposed to.  Slightly overspec’d as motors are on 60% power, but that’s ideal.  Not *that* expensive, but not eBay Chinese standard either.

The brackets are 8mm steel, plasma cut by a Dave (DHF Engineering) – and without that I’d be stuffed.

Never underestimate the power needed by gate motors – the angles they work out mean they put more pull/push out than you can imagine.  The R400 is 2200NM of torque…. So getting brackets and fixings right is essential as otherwise you will rip things apart!

Most electric gates are designed to be locked closed when in position, and as such our requirement of having the pedestrian gate “100% manual” as well as automatic is a rare requirement and other suppliers said it can’t be done. (Quiko thought I was mad, but helped with ideas along the way!).  We didn’t want a “button press” to open the pedestrian gate.

So I designed a rope-n-pulley system which the motor can “pull” to open the gate.  A gate-spring to close it.  And when opened manually, the rope just goes slack.  Simple.  The downside is the R300 motor only has 240mm of movement, and the pulley angle needed to open the pedestrian gate with 240mm of movement is really tight and the strain is HUGE – almost more than you manually pull.  So hence the bracket is large, rawl-bolted to the wall and set in concrete. (The primary pulley is also rawl bolted).  The secondary pulley is just to get the rope to clear the cable ducts.

The conduit is all Screwfix and run under the drive, and all cables external rubberised grade (even though in conduit).

The control board is super flexible once you get your head around it and even works for me 🙂   We have 4x remotes, and also linked it to the home automation system which is linked to Google – so we can ask google “open gates” and hey presto… 🙂   All from anywhere in the world.  If I dared.

The sensor posts (and open-stop) is scrap 40mm steel box section.

Finally, the pedestrian gate will latch and lock when closed – but I modified the end of the catch so when the gates open it can pull through and unlatch itself (by default, the latch has a lip that prevents this).

Tougher project than expected to be honest, but can now keep the riffraff out.

Video of it in action below

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