The original idea for a DOFYGATE was to ease the lot of a stock farmer accessing his or her paddocks and yards. The parameters set out to achieve this made the ideal means of controlling traffic in many situations where conventional solutions did not provide the ideal solution. Those parameters set out originally are as relevant now for traffic control as they were then for remote field access points.
- Remote controlled from vehicle – Tough fob transmitter
- Self-contained – Solar panel and battery built in
- Open or close in under 5 seconds – Opens or closes in 3.5 seconds
- Easily relocated – each unit weighs less than 25kg and slots into adjustable post fitting
- Robust with impact protection – Built in clutch protects the arm from damage
The original development discovered that a detection / response concept would work and enable our unit to operate at a fraction of the power normally required for an electric fence energizer. There were some problems with our first design in getting a high enough ‘deterrent shock’ if a beef animal pushed its head under the gate or to control sheep. To overcome this, we commissioned a second energizer that is not only more efficient than our first but can produce a shock from 2,000 to 10,000 volts. We now provide the first shock in response to touch that is quite mild and will deter but not frighten. The second and third shocks are set at a higher level so that persistent interference results in a greater deterrent. Since the shock is constantly monitoring its environment, it will reset if an object touches the gate for longer than expected, preventing the battery from running down.
To prevent shocks to the operator the detection and response is turned off when the gate is up.
The motor unit was developed further to overcome the problem of one half of the gate but not the other half receiving the open signal. Now the gates communicate so if either half receives an instruction then both act in the same way. This means that pushing the open or operate button on either side opens or closes the whole gate. We have developed alternative opening methods so that it is possible to work the gate without a fob, including from a mobile telephone or upon hearing the double ‘hoot’ of a vehicle horn. Software can differentiate between this noise and other farm yard noises and it is possible to enable this feature only at certain times of the day, such as when the postman calls or deliveries take place. At other times a secure opening method would be required.