A Few questions about what i can do!?

Hi, I'm very new to arduino, I am fluent (what ever that means) in C++ and work Developing inhouse software for the company i work for.
We are required to put in some boom gates for a health/safety issue.
Now as far as the company we are buying the boom gates from is concerned the gates can only be operated eith on the unit itself or with a remote keyfob type set up. This is useless for us.
Would it be possible with an arduino to click a button somewhere in our plant, that communicates with an arduino on our network to open/close the gate? either though the ir stuff in the gate, or directly?
Which would be the better approach here? I'm sure i could code the code part, it's the hardware area im hazy in, although library suggestion/rough tutorial links would be very helpful.

Thanks for your times. :slight_smile:

Definitely possible. Lots of approaches. The basic one would be to have an Arduino emulate the keyfob they give you - and there are many options for how to tell the Arduino to open the gate. I see no technical road-blocks here- this is pretty standard stuff.

You do realize that Arduino development boards are not meant for use in safety critical situations though? You need to make sure that you would not be exposing your company to liability by using them in the role you are planning

It would just be easier to use the keyfob's, We have boom gates that the office controls when visitors call to open it, Other's have a card you swipe through and others use remote keyfob's
I looked at something similar do a search on google for arduino capture RF signals has there is some info on how to do this, I did try to capture our signal but it turned out not to be that easy, So I just orderd a remote fob

The Arduino is for quick prototyping. The libraries are being improved all the time and every new version is better. It should not be used when there is a health risk.

A Arduino board with extras can be connected to a network (ethernet or wifi), or with Bluetooth.
And a Arduino can detect IR sequences and repeat them, or work with many RF protocols. That is however not easy. For IR you have to know the frequency (mostly 38kHz for TVs in Europe) and perhaps a rolling code is used for the RF protocol.

I would suggest to connect the Arduino to the buttons of the keyfob with an optocoupler, or to a connector on the unit.
The Arduino can be an Arduino Uno or Mega 2560 with an Ethernet or wifi shield, or you can use the Yun. The Yun is an Arduino Leonardo with a linux/wifi/OpenWRT module. That makes it a funny board, since you can decide if you run most code in OpenWRT (scripts) or on the Leonardo (c and c++).
There are many more possibilities, the ESP8266 can be made to work with Arduino and is a wifi module with I/O pins. Or the Raspberry Pi.

Wander around at the website of https://www.adafruit.com/.
They have products that work. Buy either official Arduino boards, or from Adafruit / Sparkfun / Seeedstudio / Pololu and a few others. Don't be temped to buy cheap fake clones that barely work and keep you busy for hours, trying to find the problems with it.

(while I was typing this, DrAzzy and Steveiboy wrote about the same issues).

DrAzzy - Honestly, it's more an exercise to show the company i have value, initiative etc. And no the Arduino is just for the prototype. I figured that emulating the keypresses would be a way to do it, I just didn't know if it's a good approach or if there was a better one.

Steveiboy - the Key fobs won't work for us as the gates are out of the way, no staff near them at all to open, and giving everyone a fob/card is impractical.
All we have in the area with the gates is a excellent wifi signal and a CCTV cam pointed at it, an intercom will be installed shortly.

Thankyou for the replies :slight_smile:

Koepel - Yeah it's just for the prototype, if i can show it works, I then step up within the company. I'm chasing some datasheets on the gates so i'll know exactly whats required. Thanks for the input :slight_smile:

B4st:
We are required to put in some boom gates for a health/safety issue.
Now as far as the company we are buying the boom gates from is concerned the gates can only be operated eith on the unit itself or with a remote keyfob type set up. This is useless for us.

A couple of things ...

If this is a safety related project the suppliers will be expected to guarantee the performance of what they supply. So DON'T tamper with it.

If it is useless for your business, don't buy it.

...R

Robin2:
If it is useless for your business, don't buy it.

ikr, however i'm not the one who decides, all i can do is recommend.
I don't want to modify the unit in any way, essentially i just want to extend the range of the fob through a wifi connection to a terminal in an office.

B4st:
all i can do is recommend.

Recommend harder :slight_smile:

...R

I've done something similar to what Koepel suggested. Optocoupler to simulate pressing the switch on the remote. Order a spare remote, solder a couple wires to where the button contacts, then use the optocoupler to complete the circuit and simulate a button press.

As other people have said, maybe not the most elegant solution, but sometimes you have to work with what you've been provided with.

A Yun or other ethernet enabled Arduino board can do this, communicate with the office, and perform the simulated button press.

Thanks for all the replies.
Newtonian - It seems like thats the way to go, Thanks for the reply and confirmation of koepel's post.
I think i have a direction to move in now.

Friendly forum btw, and speedy replies. Thanks again