How to Electrically Lock Swing Gates

Small side personal walk in gates (pedestrian gates) can be unlocked electrically with a Digital Keypad, RFID reader, press button or Intercom.  Swinging Driveway gates whether they are a single or double panel can also be unlocked automatically when an automatic gate opener is used to open the gate. 

Electric lock for Swinging Pedestrian Gate and Driveway Gate

 

Hard Stop for Double Swinging Driveway Gate

Hard Stops for Swinging Driveway Gates 

Normally a swing gate will be held firmly closed by the Automatic Gate Opener against a Hard Stop. For single swing gates the hard stop is simply a piece of metal angle fitted to the receiving post that the gate stops against or a metal tongue fitted to the gate that stops against the post.

For double swing gates a cast aluminium hard stop plate can be fitted to the middle of the driveway. The gate frame centre mullions should be extended down to the plate so it doesn't need to be very high.  This can be done during fabrication of the gate or short lengths of metal angle or box section can be fitted to the gate afterwards. 

The gate motors hold the gate closed quite firmly against the hard stop and cannot be reversed if someone pushes on the gate, although if the gates are wider than 2m per side, have a wide opening angle or are made from fairly flexible material they may flex too much and someone may squeeze through the gate.  Also if someone puts enough force on the gate something may give so a system that electrically locks the gate to the ground would be a better option.

Magnetic Locks for Single Swing Driveway Gates

From our experience the most effective way to electrically lock a Single Swinging Driveway Gate is with a magnetic lock against a receiving post.  A magnetic Lock is basically an electro-magnet that becomes active when 12VDC or 24VDC power is applied.  The advantage of a Magnetic Lock is if there is any movement in the position of the gate it won't jam up.  The position of a gate can move if there is any ground settling due to variations in moisture content or any trees growing near gate posts can cause ground to move as their roots grow bigger.  The disadvantage of a magnetic lock is they are NOT suitable for solar powered automatic gates as they draw too much power from the system continuously.

Fitting of a Magnetic Lock to a Single Swinging Driveway Gate.  If the mounting bracket for the lock is made hollow then cable may be run through the gate and out at the hinge end and to the control box for the automatic gate operator, which avoids having to run cable across the driveway.  A flexible fine stranded cable should be used as it will bend every time the gates opens.  A Power Transfer should be used between the gate and the post, which is basically a piece of flexible metal conduit with a small mounting box at each end.

A magnetic lock may also be fitted to the post and the strike place on the gate if you prefer although this does require running cable across the driveway and up the post to the Magnetic Lock.

It is also important to install the strike place correctly so it has an amount of pivot so can align itself with the Magnetic Lock when contact is made and hold with full force.  If the strike plate is rigid then it will not contact the Magnetic Lock very well and its holding force will be significantly reduced.

Fitting a Magnetic Lock to a single swinging driveway gate

Magnetic Locks for Double Swinging Driveway Gates

From our experience the most effective way to electrically lock a Double Swinging Driveway Gate is with a magnetic lock in the centre of the driveway locking the gate to the ground, which is basically a magnet that becomes active when 12V or 24V power is applied.  The advantage of a Magnetic Lock is if there is any movement in the position of the gate it won't jam up.  The position of a gate can move if there is any ground settling due to variations in moisture content or any trees growing near gate posts can cause ground to move as their roots grow bigger.  The disadvantage of a magnetic lock is they are NOT suitable for solar powered automatic gates as they draw too much power from the system continuously.

Fitting of a Magnetic Lock to a Double Swinging Driveway Gate.  It is much more effective to lock the gate to the ground rather than lock both gate panels together.  To do this the Magnetic Lock and strike plate must be vertical not sitting flat on the ground otherwise it won't work.  This can be done using a length of metal square hollow section with its ends cut at 45o to form it into a safe ground plate that can be driven over.  The magnetic lock should be fitted under the bottom rail of one gate panel and the other panel set up so it is captured too, locking both panels.  

fitting an electric lock to a double swinging driveway gate   

To further reduce the intrusiveness of the ground plate a mound of concrete can be formed on the street side. With the average width of driveway a car or truck would never drive over the ground plate anyway, although motor bikes and bicycles will and pedestrians using the gate can trip on it.

Electric Strike Locks for Swinging Driveway Gates     

Ideal for Solar Powered Single Gate operators although can be used with double gate operators too so long as there are no large trees near the gate and the ground is stable because if the position of the gates move too much the lock could either jam or not catch properly leaving the gate unlocked.

Its important with electric Strike Locks that when the gate is close there is no pressure on the tongue other wise the lock may not work properly.  So it must be aligned carefully so when closed there is a 1mm gap or so between the tongue or the latch and the strike plate/lock.