DIY Project: Monitor an Exterior Gate Easily Through Qolsys and Alarm.com
The new Qolsys IQ Panel has hit the suretyDIY online store recently, and we’re all pretty excited to put it through its paces. The great news is that you can come up with the same great solutions for specific needs as you can with the 2GIG system. One such DIY solution is our suggested wireless exterior gate sensor.
With a simple sensor model swap, the gate sensor for 2GIG can be used with Qolsys. suretyDIY presents a tutorial on how to piece together an outdoor wireless gate sensor to get automatic notifications via email, text, etc., whenever your gate is opened. Add yet another layer of control and automation to your Alarm.com capabilities.
- Weatherproof housing for sensor.
- Rugged wired contact
- Magnetic gap distance of 1.5 inches (with Sentrol 1085W shown) to limit false alerts.
- Real-time status of your gate through Alarm.com.
- Notifications set up for when the gate opens/when it is left open for a period of time, etc.
- Initiate automation commands. (Turn on your porch lights whenever the gate is opened, etc.)
The materials needed:
- An outdoor enclosure with a weather resistant seal. In the video we show a 4″ x 4″ x 2″ junction box. As long as it keeps moisture out and is not metal, it should work. You can find this at your local hardware store.
- An RE101 Resolution Products Door/Window Sensor to be the transmitting brains of the project.
- Some double-sided outdoor tape to affix the RE101 to the inside of the box.
- A wired sensor to act as the functioning contact. We show a Sentrol 1085W in the video. I suggest using this or comparable sensor with existing leads. You do not want exposed terminals on the sensor, and you’ll want the magnetic gap (the distance the sensor/magnet must travel apart in order to trip) to be about an inch and a half. Given that temperature changes can impact this magnetic gap, with an inch and a half of room, you can mount the magnet roughly 3/4″ away from the sensor and be confident that temperature changes won’t cause a false notification.
- (Suggested) You may also want to use a little Conformal Silicone Coating to ensure moisture does not corrode the wireless RE101 components.
Keys to implementation:
- Drill a small hole in the face of the enclosure which will act as the bottom when mounted. This keeps water from entering via the contact wires and allows condensation to drain if necessary.
- Be sure to not use a metal housing. This will cause major problems with the sensor RF signal.
- Strip contact leads so that only the necessary amount of wire is exposed to screw down into the terminals of the RE101. This will avoid shorting the sensing circuit.
- suretyDIY does not recommend this project be used as an alarm sensor. You’ll want to program this as non-reporting and self-monitor through notifications, similar to a tilt sensor on a garage door.
- Of course be sure to set up the Alarm.com notification once you have the sensor communicating with your 2GIG Go!Control Panel.
- Further suggestions: an interesting option is to automatically turn on a porch light or indoor lamp whenever your gate is opened. See the video below