What type of gate do you have?

This may seem like a straight forward question but to us there are two answers for the most part, swing gates and slide gates. For our purposes, lift type gates will fall under the slide gate category.

Slide gates roll linearly on rollers of some kind.

Slide gate with DoorKing 9100 gate operator, stainless chain, elevated slab. Gate is aluminum with ipe cladding.  Operator and controls installed by MGO


Swing gates pivot like a house door on hinges laterally.

Swing gate with DoorKing 6100 swing gate operators, stainless steel pedestals, arms and elevated slabs. Not sure of the construction of this gate. Heavy wood, possibly on a metal frame.  Operators and controls by MGO

Double gates, either slide or swing are called bi-parting gates. These swing gates are an example of bi-parting swing gates.

As you should be able to visualize, swing gates when moving, cover a much larger area over the ground.

You can imagine that a swing gate would require more coverage for reversing in the event that a vehicle enters the area where the gates are moving.

On the above swing gate installation, there are four in ground vehicular sensors. There is one outside the gates, one just on the inside (protects against opening onto a vehicle or closing onto one) also one just this side of the swing radius and then there is a free exit. The free exit causes the gates to open and it is just behind the photographer. That last (or first as you’re leaving this location) long distance loop, allows the gate to start opening so that the vehicle does not need to wait while the gate opens as it approaches from the inside. That long free exit is the only in ground sensor that is not required by UL325 that governs automated vehicular gate installation.

Explaining Loop Systems

The above pdf explains loops better than I can. It’s from BD Loops, a maker of preformed in ground sensors. The below pictures are taken from their article and show the positioning of the loops relative to the driveway and to the gate in each situation.

Slide gate loops. Illustration: BD Loops


Swing gate loops. Illustration: BD Loops

We get a lot of questions when quoting gate operator installations. These two are the most difficult to explain. Why do I need those? On new installations it’s not that difficult to incorporate the requirements.  On replacement installations, it’s a lot harder.  Why do I need those, they aren’t there now? There is also, “My gates have worked fine without all that.”

It’s hard to argue with that reasoning, except to say that when we install gate operators and access controls, we try to follow the UL325-2018 (the latest at the time of this writing) and use it as our guideline. We can’t always follow it exactly, sometimes there are issues of right of way, public property, architectural elements in the driveway etc. that preclude an installation exactly as shown, but we can usually cover those types of issues with alternative equipment.

One thing to think about. If you’re planning on putting in gate operators, make sure to have the loops installed BEFORE the driveway is poured or before the pavers are installed. We can work around those times when the contractor is moving quick but it definitely is easier when we can work together. 

Outside reversing loops and inside free exit loops pre-pour. This job also has a nice big reinforced track slab going in for a set of bi-parting slide gates.
Finished bi-parting slide gates. DoorBird call station. DoorKing 9100 slide gate operators.

If you’re looking to install  gate operators or access controls, give us a call.



The Red gate operator update.

For whatever reason we hadn’t heard from a customer in a long time. Could have been  budget issues or a change of management, not sure.  I went by the customer and noted that they had removed the Red Doorking operator that we had installed. I noticed that is was still onsite and sitting off to the side getting buried in the accumulating banyan leaves. I asked what was up with it.  The main thing was that they said I could have it. So, almost five years to the day after installing it I loaded it into my truck and brought it back to the shop. I washed it down and wired it up and it worked.

The red operator DoorKing 9100 – June 2015
The Red Doorking 9100 -June 2020

The red powder coat looks like it was just done. Only thing wrong I believe was that the chain was rusted.  This was installed next to Biscayne Bay close to salt air and was supposed to have been lubricated regularly. I can guarantee that this gate operator, as old as it is, is better than most newly manufactured operators on the market.

Been a long while………

Decided to add a quick post. Haven’t updated for a while. We’ve been trying new things and adding to our arsenal.  We worked with a fiber installer in the Keys and finished a combination DoorBird/Doorking access control job including Doorking 9100 biparting gate operators.

DoorBird Video Call station. Heavy Duty Salt tolerant. Long range reader attached to Doorking 1838

Our next IP door station installation included actually doing the fiber ourselves. We pulled  500 ft of single mode corning fiber for a BFT video call station. No video lag and instantaneous connection.

Fiber splicing in the field.
BFT Video call station


We try to pay attention to the details.  One thing I’m always telling people is that a gate system should be an asset not a liability. When an investment is made and that investment is one of the first things a visitor will experience, it should be a good first impression. Not only should it be secure and reliable, it should look good. That is why we look not just at the big things but also at the small details.

Upper guide roller assembly- MGO Parts

This upper guide roller assembly is stainless steel and delrin. There is no steel to rust away and no bearings that need lubrication or replacement.  The anchors are stainless steel as well.

Arm Bracket-Stainless Elite Arm- MGO parts

Heilarc welded aluminum bracket with black powder coated custom stainless steel gate operator arm. The gates in these pictures are by Art’s Work Unlimited.  Art’s Work is the epitome of consummate ornamental metal workers.

Custom stainless steel arm- black powder coating -MGO parts.


Elite Gate Operator with Stainless Arms-MGO parts

Complete installation. Notice no exposed conduits or wiring of any kind.

Stainless Operator Mount with stainless anchors-MGO parts

Stainless Steel gate operator mount, stainless steel anchors and elevated concrete slab. The weird color is an anti-corrosion coating to protect the galvanized steel gate operator plate.