Driveway Gate Access Controls
Driveway Gate Access Controls

One of the essential features of driveway gates is the control mechanism utilized to open and close them. These access controls come in many different forms and offer various features and are available in either wired or wireless configurations.

The wired configurations require devices such as keypads to be connected to a relay and motor through wiring. Wires connecting the device are typically buried underground. A wireless option communicates with the relay and motor by a transmitted signal.

Driveway Gate Remote Controls and Receivers

One of the features of some driveway gate controls is a high degree of convenience. Remote control devices allow homeowners to open and close their driveway gates from their vehicles. Thus, they may open and close the gates, drive through them, and continue into their driveways without leaving their vehicles.

This ability is advantageous in many situations such as inclement weather and when there is a small time window to perform certain tasks. The remote control unit transmits a radio signal to the receiver located by the gate that must be tuned to the same frequency to work properly.

Typical frequencies operate on 200 or 400 megahertz. The receiver then triggers a relay that operates the gate's opening mechanism. The driveway gate may then be closed by another signal from the remote control unit or it may close automatically, depending on the model of the remote and receiver unit.

Technological advances in remotes and receivers have enhanced security. When these devices first became available, they all operated on the same frequency, resulting in a serious security issue as any remote could open any gate. Newer systems used controller chips and DIP switches. The DIP switches included eight numbered switches to form codes. This improvement allowed remote control units to be assigned to a single receiver.

Another improvement was introduced with the usage of computer chips which enabled remote control units to transmit far more precise and specialized signals.

Alternative Access Controls for Driveway Gates

A somewhat less convenient mechanism used to open and close driveway gates include various devices that read codes. In most cases an individual may remain in his/her vehicle but must satisfy the reader's code in order to gain entry through the gate.


One of the most common of these mechanisms is the keypad. This type of device displays a numbered keypad to an individual who then must input a numbered code. The keypad then reads the code and may verify the code and then automatically open the gate or reject the code, in which case the gate remains closed.

Card Readers

A similar device utilizes a pre-issued card which the holder inserts or swipes on the reader. The card contains the code which the reader may verify or reject. This type of reader is gaining popularity.

Biometric Readers

Biometrics readers specialize in reading human attributes as a code to operate gates. One of the most common attributes to examine is a fingerprint. Each fingerprint is unique to an individual so that a device that is able to scan fingerprints greatly enhances security. The system's memory retains the image of the fingerprint and compares attempts to access the system with the saved version, known as a template.

The system verifies only exact matches; however depending on your model there is potential for thousands of saved templates. Some models sound an alarm when an individual attempts to tamper with the system. The fingerprint reader and display may also be used in combinations with alphanumeric passwords or cards. They also may be connected to intercom systems.

Proximity Readers

These devices consist of two components: a card reader and special cards attuned to specific transmission codes. The reader uses an antenna coil to send signals to the cards which receives the reader's signal with its own antenna coil and reflects the signal back to the reader with its unique code . The reader may then verify or deny verification of the card's code.

In some respects they represent an advance over older technology requiring contact between cards and card readers. However, they are also more susceptible to airwave theft. Since the code is transmitted through the air and remains there so long as the card is exposed, a potential criminal may clandestinely use a hidden reader to capture the code.

Telephone, Intercom, Video Entry Systems

Some homeowners opt for for a system that fosters interaction between themselves and visitors in order to grant or deny entry to their homes. One of the most common systems employed connect the inside of the home with the gate outside with a telephone or intercom system. These systems use a telephone line to connect the two locations.

Most modern designs do not require separate telephone lines. These system utilize the existing land line. In most cases, a visitor presses a call button and the system notifies an individual inside the home with a tone or ring particular to the system and the individual inside uses one of the regular telephone buttons to grant entry. To refuse entry the individual inside may simply hang up.

Intercom systems may also include video cameras to display the visitor who wishes to gain entry. When buying a system you should examine how wide an angle the camera displays or if it is able to pan and show areas not normally within the camera view.

Emergency Gate Openers

Key Sensors In times of emergency, certain personnel may require access to forbidden areas or may require quick access to these areas. Key sensors facilitate these personnel to reach their required destinations. For example, if there is an emergency in a high-rise tower, such as a contained fire, crime in progress, or a medical emergency personnel may require elevators to reach the necessary floor without stopping on intervening floors.

They may use a key sensor to reach that floor without stopping. Strobe Sensors Strobe sensors are specifically attuned to emergency vehicle strobe lights. They automatically open gates to facilitate entry for those vehicles.