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We have a hidden driveway into our rental property, blocked by a large electronic gate.  Need something to detect a vehicle in the drive (either a motion sensor or a touchpad type thing?) that will make, for example, a doorbell ring in the house, and a viewing camera that can handle tropical rains, that will show up on something like a baby monitor inside the home. 

The gate has two remotes, rather cumbersome and easily misplaced.  We would prefer to keep these in the two vehicles and have a button or three in the house and garage, to enable us to activate the gate opening without having to go get the remote from the car. 

I would like some ideas, plans etc as although I have some electronics knowledge I need someone who has perhaps already built something like this.

Any ideas, anyone?


Thanks for your prompt reply. 
1.  Hadn't even THOUGHT about checking with the manufacturer for hard wired switches.  Duh!  It's rather an aged set-up, and things tend to be extremely expensive here, hence the thought of doing it ourselves.  The rental property came with two aged remotes, which only seem to work when we open and window and hold it outside the glass...so perhaps sticking two spares to the wall won't be of any use.  Laying the waterproof line wouldn't be an issue.  I will check with the manufacturer, thanks for that!

2.  At the moment when friends turn up they have to ring our mobile phone to let us know they are there.  It's fine but for those folk who don't know the system, it's a headache.   My knowledge of surveillance cameras is zilch.  I saw the instructable with the webcam in the garden light, good idea.  Perhaps it would be ok at night if we put a floodlight on the driveway, movement activated?

3.  A beep or something would be great, just need a cheap but effective solution.  Probably the electronic sensor is the better idea.  No one would be in the driveway unless they were wanting access, anyway.

I did a search on here for this sort of thing but didn't come up with much.  I think a trip to Dick Smith might be the go.  Yes, we actually have one of those here!!!


The opener electronics 'brain' on the unit itself probably has a hookup to attach a switch for open/close (or toggle).

Cameras are easy - I would recommend an IP camera if you're computer savvy because you can access them from any computer, stream to a tv, or over the internet.  Practically any camera can have a waterproof housing built (see kipkay's ammo box home underwater camera housing).  If computers aren't your thing, you just need to supply power from somewhere for a wireless camera.  They aren't too too expensive.

Sensors are awesome.  You can have an infrared trip switch, PIR motion sensor, or even inductive loop in the ground to detect cars (like traffic lights use). 

1. You might want to check on the electronic gate manufacturer to see if they sell hard wired switches/key locks for the gate.  The gate is probably the same type of electronics for electronic garage door openers.  There should be a manual switch capability in the system.  You would need to see how to lay a waterproof line in conduit from the gate into the house. If not, just get another remote programmed to work with the gate and mount it to the wall so it doesn't get lost.

2. You can research surveillance cameras for all the options that are available to you.  They do have IR night vision and motion sensing capabilities.  Or rig up a webcam or a surveillance camera that can feed into a regular TV.  You should be able to just build a hood over an outdoor cam to protect it from heavy rain.

3. There are all sorts of alarm circuits out there.  Do you want it to just beep when the alarm is triggered or you want it to stay lit until reset?  There are many ways to detect if a car is there from weight sensitive pads where the car will go over to broken light beam sensors to electronic sensors that react to a large mass of metal near it, all designed to reduce the annoyance of the alarm going off if you were just playing basketball in the driveway. 

There is a stuff out there that you can buy, but expensive.  Look at them and see what you can hack.  Good luck.