What Is a Repeater, and Does Your Gate Motor Need One?

What Is a Repeater, and Does Your Gate Motor Need One?

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If you’re having a new gate operator or gate motor installed, getting quotes or just investigating what gate automation might require for your property, you might have encountered the term “repeater” or “range extender.”

If you’re wondering what a repeater is and whether your gate motor needs one, you’re in the right place. Here’s what you need to know.

Gate Motors Use Radio Signals

The first thing you need to know about what a repeater is and whether your gate motor or gate operator might need one is that gate motors work with radio signals.

Your gate remotes are radio transmitters, and there’s a receiver built into your gate motor or gate operator that receives those signals. That radio signal then triggers the gate motor to do something, which might be opening, closing, or stopping.

Radio Signals Have a Limited Range and Work Better with Line of Sight

The next thing you need to know about gate signal repeaters and whether your gate will need one is that the radio signals gate motors and gate operators use to have a limited range, and usually, they work better with line of sight.

That means that if you plan to open your gate from somewhere on your property where you don’t have a line of sight, your gate remotes might not work or might not work reliably.

This often happens when you’re installing an automated gate at a larger property, a residential housing development where residents share a single access and egress point or commercial properties where various staff might need to operate gates with remotes from various places on the property.

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How a Repeater or Range Extender Can Help

Sometimes, when a gate automation company is quoting your gate project, they will recommend a repeater as part of their quote. This usually happens if they visit your site, discuss your automation needs, and realize that there might be times when remotes will be used from a distance or with obstacles between them and the gate.

Other times, you might discover you need a repeater or range extender after your gate has been installed once you’ve tried using your remotes in a variety of scenarios and discovered they’re not always reliable.

A repeater or range extender for gate operators is basically an antenna. It’s usually installed on a high point with a good line of sight from everywhere on your property, and its job is to capture the radio signal from your remotes – no matter where they are used – and relay it to your gate operators.

Mounting a repeater or range extender for your gate automation system on a high point helps to ensure that you will be able to use your remotes from wherever you need to, and there won’t be any areas where there is something blocking the signal from your remote transmitters to the gate operator’s receiver.

Always Ask a Professional

Gate automation is a lot more complex than many people realize, and while it’s tempting to look for the cheapest solutions, that’s usually not a good idea.

Using a reputable, professional gate automation company that uses quality products and can advise you about things like repeaters and range extenders will ensure that your automatic gate is functional, safe, and durable.

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