Project:Pedestrian Gate

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The aim is a new gate lock, or entirely new gate, triggered by RFID reader instead, or in addition to the existing padlock.

The purposes are:

  • quicker entry
  • better control on entering people (tail-gaters, padlock not properly closed, code passed on to non-members; relevant esp. in summer time when shutters are open often) ("code passed on" would mean solution (a) under "pre-7" below is beneficial)


(a) just replace padlock with new locking solution (no new gate)

(b) leave padlock in place, but build new pedestrian gate into the fence.

(c) replace padlock with new locking solution, later build new pedestrian gate into the fence.

Option (c) is not very interesting since the only benefit it will offer over (a) will be a somewhat easier to open door by pedestrians.


  • 1. Survey the present posts to see how strong they are and if they need any repair
  • 2. Submit a design to the landlord for approval
  • 3. Either we make our own or buy a gate. A nice wide one so people can get wheelchairs/trolleys through it easily would be good. Might be better to buy one which will shorten project completion time
  • 4. Add to or modify any of the support poles to hold the weight of the new gate if necessary
  • 5. Cut a hole in the existing fence
  • 6. Mount new hinges
  • 7. Run power and data to new gate position
  • 8. Install weatherproof card reader and automatic lock
  • 9. Test

Previous discussion


Des Quilty is happy to work on 1-6 but wouldn't be able to do it on his own, definitely would like to see a couple of people work on 4, that's not for one person..

Christian Jaeger is volunteering to work on 7-9 (possibly assisted by Jan S. and Jasper W. where needed (Project:Tool_Access_Control).)


It can't be that the volunteers need to take on responsibility for security breaches happening in the future by way of the newly built gate. The community as a whole will need to take over responsibility, and is welcome to review the work done by the volunteers.


(... insert details for steps 1..6 as necessary, please)

Step pre-7: Decision on which gate solution to chose

The choice of variant (see Variants above) influences the security and fire safety requirements:

With variant (b) the pedestrian gate doesn't need to be very reliable, and doesn't need to be fail open in case of fire (true?, do people still remember the code), since the padlock can serve as a fallback. In case (a) the solution needs to be very reliable, and be usable in case of fire (fail open, or safely (mechanically?) openable from the inside).

One way might be to use a fail-safe lock (stays closed if power fails) but have a local battery backup for fire safety / to be able to reliably leave the space. Also possibly the yard is big enough to be able to stay far enough from a burning building to be safe? Will there be a fire safety inspection, and could we ask them for an answer beforehand?

Another idea is to order a lock with a physical key based fallback, and make the key reachable from within the yard, reachable in case of fire (perhaps in a box protected with glass and alarm?)

DSSlocksmiths: "Buy a Viro gate lock. Takes a 12V pulse to unlock. You can set it so it takes a single pulse and stays unlocked until reclosed, or set it to what is effectively "power to open" on a timer for 5 seconds. There's a euro cylinder option so you could fit a thumbturn for escape, or add a key on the outside or whatever."

Adrian Godwin (with regards to the special requirement of the gates needing a lock that locks the two wings together?): "To lock the gates, you could have a long locking-bar pivoting about its centre. Each end fits into an appropriate bracket and the lock clamps the bar into the bracket. It's therefore quite a close tolerance as long as the gates are straightened from their current state. This only requires a pivot plate and two or four brackets welded to the gate. Closure can be sensed with an inductive sensor on each bracket, confirming that the locking bar is in place at both ends."

Step 7: Run power and data to new gate position

One idea is to use WiFi, to save on effort and cost for the Ethernet cable. Only needs cable from the radio shack, though.

People who voiced preference for cable for (expected) increase of reliability: (but at this time pre-7 is unclear)

  • Jasper
  • Mentar

Lock and flood light might need more power (together) than power-over-Ethernet can provide, hence a separate power cable may be needed in any case.

(Henry Best: "There's a clear(ish) flexible plastic tube that runs from a window behind the laser cutter to nearly the back fence. It doesn't appear to be in use for anything. Maybe we could run our wiring inside that.")

Step 8: Install weatherproof card reader and automatic lock

Still to be determined:

Lock: fail-open or fail-safe? (depending on "pre-7")

How to secure AC-node and its connection to the lock.

DSSlocksmiths: "Supply power via a regular 4 core alarm cable. Figure out the rough voltage drop if you need to. Increase the supply end voltage until you get about 12V at the gate. Run a 6 core if you want an alarm for the cable being cut. Trivially done with a relay and a buzzer/light so it fits when cut."

sci: "My only concern would be ensuring the gate is securely closed again after use. I would imagine there are sensors designed to detect this?"

Step 8b: flood light

What kind of light do people wish/suggest? (LED presumably.)

Some lights available here and here, but those use mains power.

(What is the purpose, give light to people at the gate, pedestrians, cars? Fend off thieves examining the gate?)