Your best friends, John and Clara, just had one of the most wonderful evenings of their lives at your home.
You’ve put in a number of upgrades and renovations to make sure it gives your company an amazing experience. A new stone patio, outdoor kitchen, swimming pool, lawn sprinkler system, a remodeled kitchen – you’ve got it all.
You could easily feature your home on the front page of a magazine.
But now, John and Clara come knocking at your front door.
You open the door – and they don’t look too happy.
“You know that new automatic swing gate you installed? Well it just dinged up the front of my new Cadillac,” says John with righteous indignation.
Will you be able to salvage the relationship, or is this the last time you’ll ever see these friends?
If you install a vehicle detection loop, this scenario never happens. Just like its name sounds, it detects vehicles in your gate’s path while it opens and closes. If it notices a car, the gate reverses direction.
And there is a catch to installing vehicle loop detectors: missing the slightest detail can lead to inconsistent functioning.
Believe it or not, vehicle detector loops are remarkably complex pieces of technology. We won’t bore you with all the dense technical details, but here’s some basics:
First, you have the vehicle detector. Its name is a bit misleading because it actually powers the loop – it doesn’t actually detect the vehicles itself.
Then, an extension cable runs to the loop. The loop itself is a single wire. The wire loops around in a rectangular shape, and both ends connect to that extension cable.
As the loop gets power from the vehicle detector, it creates a magnetic field in the loop area. The loop itself is buried beneath the area of your driveway where cars will stop.
If the established base frequency gets disturbed, a relay that normally stays open closes (this can change depending on the type of vehicle detector). It then stays closed until the vehicle leaves and the frequency goes back to the normal level.
The lower a vehicle is to the ground, the more the base frequency increases. That happens because the metal surfaces on the underside of your vehicle are so much closer to the loop.
When these loops get installed, you have to be precision perfect during the entire process. Otherwise, there’s a good chance the loop malfunctions and either your car, or your good friend’s car, gets dinged.