How Do Gate Access Control Systems Work?

Gate access control is a smart, convenient way to secure your property. With the right system, your front and rear driveways can be easily guarded by a sturdy gate, but be quickly and easily opened with nothing more than the push of a button from inside, or the swipe of a card or punched-in code from the outside. But do gate access control systems – and automatic gate openers – work? And will one work for your business? Keep reading to find out.

How The Access Control System Works

In terms of access control, gate access control systems work in much the same way as any other access control; you have an electronically-locked door or gate that is connected to the access control server or IP network, via either a hardwired system or a wireless connection (usually a cellular signal). When the proper credential – usually a PIN code or keycard – is entered, an electronic signal will be sent to the door lock, unlocking it and allowing it to open so authorized personnel can enter. It’s that easy and simple, and generally works the same way whether it’s a gate system or a locked front door.

Gate security system

How A Gate Opener Works

So how does the gate opener itself work? In a similar fashion; when the right code or other credential is entered into the access panel at the gate, the panel will communicate with the server, verifies the credentials, and then sends an electronic signal to the door operator and control panel.

The control panel is usually connected to the door by one of two ways; a swinging arm opener, which pulls or pushes the gate open in the right direction, holds it open for an appropriate amount of time, and then pushes or pulls it shut again; or a sliding gate opener, which uses a motorized gear to move the door open to one side on a track, by connecting with a “gear rack” mounted on the gate that allows it to open.

Are They Safe?

To prevent accidents and injuries from occurring when the door accidentally closes on objects, cars or even people, most gate opener systems also come with safety sensors and mechanisms that can detect objects in it’s path or, in advanced cases, when resistance is detected as the doors are closing. It’s just like your garage door opener at home; the door will automatically reverse and open itself to prevent an accident.

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Can Gate Openers Work With Any Access Control System?

Most gate opener systems come with their own compatible access control panel and keypads, as determined by the manufacturer. However, most ONVIF-compliant access control systems and gate openers will be capable of working with each other if properly installed (by a professional systems installer or integrator).

Virtually all gate access control systems accept all forms of credentials, such as swipe cards, prox cards, PIN codes, smart cards and – if budget allows and security calls for it – even biometrics and scanners. Many newer systems now also come integrated with video and IP intercom systems, which allow for more flexible and more powerful access control.

Also read: Gate Access Control FAQs

How Are They Powered?

Gate opener systems are usually powered by connection to your building’s power system, but usually also come with a backup power system, such as a 12 volt backup battery, so that they still be opened in the event of a power failure. Certain models can even be integrated with solar power, though is generally less powerful and reliable than a backup battery connection.

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