Installing Self-Storage Keypad Gate and Software Question

5 Replies

I have a newly constructed self-storage facility.  We are wanting to install a fence and gate with a keypad, but there are some details I am unsure of.  I have an individual that has quoted the installation of the fence and gate, but not the software.  I had assumed that the installer of the gate would also be aware of the software side of how to operate the gate.  Is it typical that the gate installer will install the keypad and gate and run conduit, and leave the connections available, and then you contact a separate software company to wire up the computer and software to control it all?  We will be using the Uhaul software for management.  

Thank you for your input as I'm unsure of what order getting the gate/fence built and up and going should proceed.

We won't have an on-site manager, but I would like to have the keypad connected to a computer that we will have on-site, so that we can have our self-storage software work with the gate so that when customers do not pay on time their access number does not work and we can have the gate turn on and off at certain business hours.  So, I don't think the keypad it self would need to be internet accessible, as we don't plan to have smart-phone entry, however the gate and keypad would ultimately be connected to a computer that would be connected to the internet.

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@Brandon G.

You will end up with three different softwares.

Uhaul is for the operations of the Units, customers, payments, etc.

Security camera NVR and its software.

Gate or Security software will be for the gate.  An example would be SEI (ask your gate installer or call other storage locations near you). 

The gate installer will not set up the software or settings.  But ask them who they recommend in the area.  Make sure you have conduit going back to the "office" for both the electric to the gate, software to the gate and also recommend conduit for a face camera at the gate.  Also recommend you put in a special License plate camera.  This is specifically for License plates and is not just a "better" camera.  Sees through headlights and taillights.  See my forum post on security and gates.

The Uhaul software and the gate software will be linked together.  Uhaul says who is past due or has a current keypad code or fob.  The gate software operates the gate.

You want a local security person.

Couple more notes or recommendations:

a.  Go with both a infrared sensor for the gate and also a ground sensor for the gate.

b.  Set your gate at 8 seconds, then change as needed.

c.  See if your gate, you can get both a "slow" start and a "slow" stop function.  This puts less wear and tear on your gate system.

d.  Have your security guy set up signaling both your phone and your computer on the following:  1.  When your office or control unit opens (always), 2.  Put a bullhorn in your office or control room if the alarm pad is not triggered, 3.  Since your in Tennessee (winter weather) have your gate test in the morning and send you an operational signal.  In case Fog, Snow, ice cloud you gate sensor, or if weeds grow up between the sensor., 4.  Have them set up so you can look on both your phone and computer at the cameras.

e.  Item d above, put rock and weed mat down along your sensor so weeds don't grow up and block your gate sensors.

f.  Security camera settings and NVR.  Get a system you can dial up and down the size of items that trigger it recording a "motion" on the historical timeline.  We set ours so our Rottwieler won't trigger, but we will.  During Snow or rain, a snowflake and inch away from the lense will trigger, you just got to know.

g.  NVR capacity- you can add memory.  But size accordingly. We like to have at least 2 weeks history.  Each camera can be set to the number of pictures recorded.  Our normal cameras we set to 4 frames per second.  Our Face and Gate cameras we set to 10 frames per second.  This both makes sure you get a clear shot, but also the more frames you take, the cleaner the picture is.  Number of frame shots per second and motion are what use up your memory and determines how long you have in storage.  One second seems like a lot, but you can miss a lot in one second.  Face cameras, you might have a high and low camera for cars and taller trucks.

h.  Get a heavy duty Surge Protector and Battery pack combo.  Would do this for both your Security NVR and your computer.  This will protect your expensive equipment and also keep your recorder running for a while.

i.  Make sure your gate has a back up battery pack to allow it to operate if the electric goes out.  Also put in a walk thru gate, so you don't have to hop the fence if your gate is not working.

j.  Have them set up a "hard" gate lock down at the end of your operations hours.  We close at 9PM.  Our hard lock down is at 9:05.  We tell everyone 9.  And its a $50 charge if we have to get them out.  Live about 20 miles away and have multiple locations.  Get your security guy to set up, so you can open with your phone.

k.  We didn't go with keypad codes or fobs.  Decided with our camera system, we had it covered. Also we are running 8 locations and will be around 1,400 units and did not want to deal with the lost code or fob calls.  We run 1 camera for 6 units.  Cameras are relatively cheap now, plus you have to have the correct shots for the local prosecutor to charge.

l.  The little black box on the side of the post is for the Fire Department.  A Knox box, with an office key.  Required in our city.

Go with what your local Security system person recommends, not what I have.  Read my Security/camera post.