Gate Latch Indicator


T

tev9999

I would like to hook something up to my backyard gate to indicate
inside the house if the gate is unlatched. My dogs like to take
themselves for walks if they find the gate open. It is rare it
happens, but occasionally the meter reader or myself won't latch it
properly. From inside the house it looks closed, but may be unlatched.
I looked at the smarthome.com site for ideas, but not sure what would
work. My goals are:

Wireless transmitter on the gate (wood) that can detect if it is open
an inch or more.
Sensor must be weather proof.
Receiver in the house that would sound a chime, bell or whatever -
don't want a 120db alarm or anything. Preferably would repeat if gate
is still open in case I don't hear the first time.
Resets itself when the gate is latched properly.

Any ideas of what components and cost?
 
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S

SJF

I would like to hook something up to my backyard gate to indicate
inside the house if the gate is unlatched. My dogs like to take
themselves for walks if they find the gate open. It is rare it
happens, but occasionally the meter reader or myself won't latch it
properly. From inside the house it looks closed, but may be unlatched.
I looked at the smarthome.com site for ideas, but not sure what would
work. My goals are:

Wireless transmitter on the gate (wood) that can detect if it is open
an inch or more.
Sensor must be weather proof.
Receiver in the house that would sound a chime, bell or whatever -
don't want a 120db alarm or anything. Preferably would repeat if gate
is still open in case I don't hear the first time.
Resets itself when the gate is latched properly.

Any ideas of what components and cost?
An alternative might be a spring closure (spring loaded hinges?) depending
on the type of gate you have. That would require a latch that closes
without a lot of effort to ensure positive closure.

SJF
 
R

RicodJour

I would like to hook something up to my backyard gate to indicate
inside the house if the gate is unlatched. My dogs like to take
themselves for walks if they find the gate open. It is rare it
happens, but occasionally the meter reader or myself won't latch it
properly. From inside the house it looks closed, but may be unlatched.
I looked at the smarthome.com site for ideas, but not sure what would
work. My goals are:

Wireless transmitter on the gate (wood) that can detect if it is open
an inch or more.
Sensor must be weather proof.
Receiver in the house that would sound a chime, bell or whatever -
don't want a 120db alarm or anything. Preferably would repeat if gate
is still open in case I don't hear the first time.
Resets itself when the gate is latched properly.

Any ideas of what components and cost?
Designing and installing complex systems (relatively) to achieve simple
tasks is never a good idea. As another poster mentioned having a
self-closing mechanism for the gate and a latch that operates easily is
easier, cheaper and more foolproof.

If it's a hobby, and you just like tech, use a magnetic switch and wire
it to a blinking light inside the house. Going wireless is far less
reliable and has a maintenance component - replacing batteries,
interference from other wireless/cordless devices, etc.

R
 
B

butch burton

Do a window weight, rope pulley arrangement - real simple - always go
with the KISS principal unless you like to create challenges.
 
T

tev9999

Tried the spring concept. It pulled it closed but would not engage the
latch. The dog is still strong enough (and smart enough) to push it
open. Part of the issue is due to the alingment of everything, plus
ground heaving in the winter tends to change how everything lines up.
Rebuiliding the gate would probably be the best solution, but not that
easy or cost effective.

I was almost thinking of something like the electric eyes in stores
that ding when someone breaks the beam.
 
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B

Bob M.

I was almost thinking of something like the electric eyes in stores
that ding when someone breaks the beam.
Sure, that will work just fine. Do you really want to run outside every time
the dog/squirrel/bird breaks the beam <"DING"> to see if the gate is open?

If a spring-loaded hinge pulled the door closed but didn't latch it, either
try a stronger spring and/or free up the latch so it moves easier.
 
R

RicodJour

Tried the spring concept. It pulled it closed but would not engage the
latch. The dog is still strong enough (and smart enough) to push it
open.
Then you need to adjust the latch or replace it. Adjusting it would
take about five minutes if you stopped for a smoke in the middle.
Replacing it would cost $5 and take about the same amount of time.
Oiling the hinges would help.

If the spring didn't work for you (did you use something like this?
http://doityourself.com/store/4228482.htm ), then use the age old
weight on a string. It's worked for centuries.
Part of the issue is due to the alingment of everything, plus
ground heaving in the winter tends to change how everything lines up.
Whether you have to shim, bend metal, relocate screws, whatever, it's
not a big deal to align a latch. The ground doesn't heave that much.
The latch receiver has a tapered mouth and the latch can be installed
so it is free to move up and down at the outboard end (within limits).
That will more than compensate for any minor changes due to seasonal
changes.
Rebuiliding the gate would probably be the best solution, but not that
easy or cost effective.
And not necessary unless the gate/hardware is falling apart.

R
 
M

mm

Tried the spring concept. It pulled it closed but would not engage the
latch. The dog is still strong enough (and smart enough) to push it
open. Part of the issue is due to the alingment of everything, plus
ground heaving in the winter tends to change how everything lines up.
My fence changes alignment a lot too, but I thought that was wood
swelling and unswelling. Maybe it's ground heaving. How do you tell
the difference.

In December, the gate would close tight without a latch (good for
visiting dog for 10 days), but parts of the year it won't.
Rebuiliding the gate would probably be the best solution, but not that
I don't see how that would help. It would still move around, no?
easy or cost effective.
I was almost thinking of something like the electric eyes in stores
that ding when someone breaks the beam.
I don't think they use electric eyes much anymore for some reason, but
there are a lot of burglar alarm switches that could be more sensitive
than what you are using now. Or microswitches, with fairly long
tangs. You could use any of these to turn on your remote
transmitter.

As to alarm swtiches, rather than use those, ime, ugly door and window
switches that are entirely outside of the door or window, I used
roller switches in the channels of my sliding glass doors. When the
door rolls off of the switch, the plunger comes up and the switch is
opened (or closed, depending on what you buy. For th efront door, I
have a magnet inside a hole in the edge of the door**, and the swtich
inside a hole in the door frame. I must admit it was hard to know
where to put these so that I couldn't arm the alarm unless the door
was latched, not just shut, but I tried my best and got it right the
first time. These things come in white and brown. You could put the
magnet in the gatepost, or even the put the swtich there.



**but underneath the brass door reinforcer, so it doesn't show.
**but underneath the brass? or something weatherstripping, so it
doesn't show either. Nothing shows.

Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
 
T

tev9999

That is the type of spring I tried. The gate does move up/down in/out
at least an inch with the seasons. I have an adjustable diagonal cable
that runs from the lower left to the upper right to makes sure it
swings properly. I do have to adjust it as the ground and driveway
heave in the winter. The gate is actually a 4' section of 6' tall
privacy fence, so it is not the most sturdy thing in the world.
 
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R

RicodJour

That is the type of spring I tried. The gate does move up/down in/out
at least an inch with the seasons. I have an adjustable diagonal cable
that runs from the lower left to the upper right to makes sure it
swings properly. I do have to adjust it as the ground and driveway
heave in the winter. The gate is actually a 4' section of 6' tall
privacy fence, so it is not the most sturdy thing in the world.
From your original post there are two people who forget to make sure
the gate is latched securely, you and the meter reader. This has to be
handled two ways.

You - remember to latch the gate securely.
Meter reader - sign that reads "Please latch gate so my dogs don't
escape. Thank you!"

That will be at least as effective as any security type alarm on the
gate.

R
 
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