Compass Gate Automation

If you currently have manual gates, there follows an explanation for all the different devices available for electric gates.

The first and most important definition is Automatic, where gates open on command and close automatically after a preset period and Semi Automatic, where gates open on command and stay open indefinitely until a 2nd command is received to allow the gates to close.

There are 2 main types of motor associated with swing gates, the floor mounted ‘foundation boxes’ also known as Frog boxes and above ground ‘Arms’ which attach to the gate and to the posts. Normally both of the above systems will hold closed gates up to 3 metre’s each (6 metre opening), without the need for a central locking mechanism.

Foundation boxes

Maximum travel from a foundation box is 180 degree’s for each gate leaf. These are more expensive as you would probably guess, due to creating suitable drainage for the boxes and concreting works to withstand the stresses the actuator’s exert, however, they are more pleasing to the eye as there are no visible parts after the installation is complete. We tend to fit DEA Ltd equipment, slightly more expensive, but extremely well engineered and very reliable.


These come in various different formats, the size of arm required is dependant on two main points, the weight of the gate, and the width of the gate. They can be purchased for either a single swing gate, or a pair.

Control Gear

Came equipment use the same controller for either of the above types of motor, and the controller is programmed on site to match up with the kit installed. The established type of controller is to switch 240v mains everywhere throughout the installation, but over the last few years we have fitted 24v systems for 2 main reasons.

1) risk assessment (lower voltages generally means less risk)
2) control, it is much easier to control a 24v DC system that a big 240v AC system