An Open And Shut Case

Access Control Issues With Gate Installs


Installing access control on vehicle gates involves a variety of challenges and technical disciplines which you will not encounter working on your typical swinging or sliding doors in buildings.

ENVIRONMENTAL: In just about every geographic location, there will be environmental issues present which will require special provisions to be provided by the dealer to ensure long-term reliability of the equipment. Some equipment, such as cameras and power supplies, may not tolerate temperature extremes. Virtually all electronic equipment is susceptible to humidity (water vapor in the air), moisture (occasional water hitting the gear), or wetness (submersion of the gear in water. Damage to circuit boards, corrosion to enclosures, and even rusting of cover screws are all situations you want to avoid in the interests of reliable system operation and ease of servicing later on.


Insects are another potential problem. Insects seem attracted to enclosures, and are famous for infesting enclosures and creating havoc with motion sensors and camera enclosures. Animals or rodents have been known to invade spaces and cause damage to wiring.
The direct rays of the sun, or lack thereof, can also pose problems. For example, the IR energy in sunlight will discolor lenses, dry out wiring and cable ties. The sun will also raise the temperature within an equipment enclosure, which might result in unpredictable consequences. Sunlight and the lack of sunlight, in terms of lux and glare, require serious considerations when specifying and installing video surveillance outdoors.

PHYSICAL: Closely related to environment, the physical conditions present on a site will always be different, and will always require careful study. We can include non-terra-firma issues such as vandalism, man-made flying objects and stray vehicles into this category.


Some examples: When mixed with rain, simple soil will become mud, and will no longer provide the same degree of support it originally did for that camera pole. Pavement or concrete may not be as thick as you anticipated, or may be reinforced with rebar or rock.


If you are planning to penetrate these materials to install anything or run wires, perhaps consider subcontracting it out and let someone with the machinery and experience give you a quote that you can innocently pass along to the client. Your guessing wrong on these matters could take a big chunk out of your bottom line. Terrain also plays a part in you planning, since you may be considering the use of line-of-sight technologies; attempting to illuminate a defined area, attempting to view a defined area, or attempting to detect motion within a defined area.


Vandalism must also be factored into your design plans.

Wrongdoers can inflict fatal damage to your equipment. You must include measures to defend the system, and also contractually indemnify yourself against having such occurrences be considered as part of your warranty. Similarly, since the topic is vehicle gates, do not overlook unskilled drivers, who can inflict damage on gates and equipment. Think in terms of speed bumps and concrete filled bollards.


Other vehicles will be trying “to get into this controlled access point. Special considerations must be given to the types of vehicles which you have to accommodate; especially if you expect to capture images of the drivers or provide a card reader which will not require the drivers lean out their windows to use. Occasionally you can see this phenomenon at a fast food or bank drive-up. Folks will literally have to open their vehicle door to retrieve their fries. Besides being inconvenient and unsafe for the drivers, improperly designed pedestals will reduce through-put at an access portal; especially problematic at peak traffic times at factories and parking facilities.

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