I have a swing gate for car access into my 5-unit condominium project. I want to monitor and control this gate using Garadget. The gate control is identical to a garage door operator and in fact, uses Linear remotes and receiver. So that is not the issue.
My concern is coming up with the best way to get the beam reflection to work. Here are two options I can think of:
Install Garadget inside the gate operator with reflector outside
Cut a small hole (window) in the operator cover that will allow the beam to “see” the reflector mounted on the back side of the gate, about 2 ft. away from the Garadget. This is outside but no direct sunlight in that area. The reflector may need to be shielded from ambient light and to keep it clean. I would add clear plastic on the inside of the hole in the operator case to keep it sealed from the weather. That will need to be cleaned periodically.
Install Garadget and reflector inside operator
Mount Garadget inside the operator cover with the reflector mounted to the limit switch mechanism. This mechanism rotates CW and CCW as the gate opens and closes with adjustable cams to operate micro-switches at full open and full close. I can mount the reflector on this shaft so it rotates with the shaft.
Not sure if Garadget will work with the reflector 8-10 inches away. Is there a level or sensitivity adjustment for the beam? There also might be lots of hysteresis in the sensor as the beam may not make/break right away, creating ambiguity in the sensor and failing to work properly. Changing the type or size of the reflector may overcome this problem.
Perhaps you have a “hardwired” input so the beam is not required? I can easily get a dry contact closure from the gate operator when it opens or closes. If not, why not? Should be easy to add and would greatly expand the functionality.
Other than the issue with getting the beam sensor to work, Garadget seems like the perfect solution me me. I am in S. Calif so outside temp ranges between 40 - 90 degrees. Worst environmental issue is mild humidity.
I would love to get this working and eventually connect to all the garage doors so tenants have cell phone access to everything. We also have several Amazon Alexa / Dot products that we would like to use as well.
I am very excited to try Garadget for this application and am willing to look for “out-of-the-box” solutions, even if the basic product will not work. I am an EE with full lab and lots of patience and experience.
If you think Garadget could be made to work for this application, I am ready to purchase immediately. I would also like to get involved with the Alexa beta group.