Mobile phones are so ubiquitous that it’s easy to forget what staggeringly impressive little devices they are. Your humble mobile phone has 100,000 times more processing power than the NASA computer that sent man to the moon over 50 years ago. That processing power can be perform a dizzying array of functions – including electric gate automation!
This capability is based on the GSM Call to Open module, which enables your gates to be opened from anywhere in the world, with just a quick call from your mobile phone. When you’re away from home, it’s perfect for providing controlled access for service providers or deliveries, or visitors, friends and family. So, let’s take a quick look at this tech in a little more detail, and exactly how it can be used to turn your mobile phone into a controller for your electric gates.
How does GSM work?
GSM stands for Global System for Mobiles, which is exactly what it sounds like; a digital mobile network specifically designed to meet an international standard, allowing it to facilitate communications from almost anywhere within Europe and the rest of the world. We won’t go into too much of the nitty-gritty technical stuff, but those are the bare bones of it.
Your electric gates can be connected by the GSM by means of a small module that can be wired directly into your gate’s control board – it only requires 300-350A, so you won’t need to worry about any significant extra power draw. All you need is a pay-as-you-go SIM card, which can be easily slotted into the module. From there, you can complete the installation via SMS messaging.
When you then call the number associated with the module’s SIM card, the module checks that your number is the one linked to the system, and then rejects the call so that you’re in no danger of being charged. Within seconds, your gates will then start opening.
Now, there’s nothing that says this connection can only be limited to a single mobile. In fact, you can programme up to 20 additional numbers into the module’s system, so that various members of your friends and extended family can come and go as they please as well. Obviously though, be careful of who you give the number to – you’re still trusting them with your home’s security!
A few final things to remember
One thing that we should probably make clear right off the bat is that the module itself doesn’t come packaged with a SIM card, so if you’re eyeing it up for your own electric gates, you’ll need to source the SIM card yourself. Happily, they’re not too expensive or otherwise tricky to obtain, and if you’re lucky you may even be able to find one for free.
We’ve discussed using pay-as-you-go, but you might even find that you’re able to put it on a contract that works for you. Pay-as-you-go might be the cheaper option in many cases, but you will have to ensure that you keep it topped up – if you register your SIM card online, you can easily check its balance from your phone. A dedicated contract might be marginally more expensive, but can save you the effort of remembering to make these checks. Really, it’s all up to you!
We’ve given you the broad strokes here, but don’t worry – each GSM module comes with detailed instructions telling you everything you need to know about the setup, and walking it through with you step by step.
Don’t forget that if you find your gates stop working, it might not necessarily be an issue with the GSM module. In fact, there’s a variety of potential reasons why your gate might not be moving, so make sure to work through them all before calling an engineer!
Here at Gate Auto, we have over 30 years in supplying and fitting high-quality gate automation, we provide a wide range of electric gate kits and garage door openers alongside an array of accessories to ensure you get the most out of your investment. Feel free to browse them right here on our site, or give us a call on 01282 677300!