Help For Heroes - Wireless Gate Entry System

The Project Brief

It was a pleasure and a privilege when we were asked by Help for Heroes to replace the current gate entry system at Tedworth House with a wireless solution. Help for Heroes runs four recovery centres across the country which form part of the Defence Recovery Capability - a partnership between Help for Heroes, The Ministry of Defence and the Royal British Legion.

The Centres provide a launchpad-to-life where the wounded and their families can access psychological, financial and employment support, all in one place. We therefore wanted to make sure we designed and installed the correct entry system for Tedworth House so it was paramount for us to listen intently and understand the type of work carried out at the Recovery Centre, the daily comings and goings including emergency services access as well as the infrastructure and operations of the Centre.

After lots of dialogue, site recce's and questions from us, we chose a solution that would do exactly what it was asked to do and more importantly do it without any issues that could cause further catastrophic problems. 

Considerations

Tedworth house is a listed building so nothing could be mounted on the outer walls of the property which are 2 foot thick Portland stone. Finding a wireless gate entry system that could not only penetrate the thickness of the stone but also cover the distance from the main gate to the reception area was going to be a challenge in it's self.

The original post that housed the call button was 400mm further back from the kerb which posed several problems to visitors reaching the call button. A solution needed to be found for this issue as well.

At all times, day and night, access is required to the house for the people who work there, the families visiting, the wounded who live there, those on day visits and of course the emergency services also need access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Chosen Solution

After some research and talking to suppliers as well as manufacturers we selected the wireless system we thought would do the job. In order for us to be sure this was the correct solution we went to Tedworth House and tested the unit as close to the places they would be fixed. 

For reference we also tested the system at every gate which could possibly require an entry system fitting in the future. Once the hardware was proven to work we were then given the go ahead to fit and commission the system.

The solution to the post being in the wrong place was simply to add a piece to the original post so it was at the same height and level with the kerb. We approached a carpenter we knew and asked him to carry out the work. The new sections also needed to be made from oak and not look out of place once fitted so the new pieces needed to be blended in with the old post.

The Results

The results were exactly what was asked for. The wireless transmitter was secured to the back of the gate pillar and new cabling pulled in to the call button. The gate opening mechanism was then connected to the wireless transmitter to enable electrical operation of the gates.

The Dect phones in reception were then paired to the new system and fully tested, ensuring clarity of 2 way speech, ring tone adjustment and of course electrical operation of the gates from the Dect phones. We also fully tested the fail safe mechanism of the sensors and loop which prevents the gates closing on a car and also the detection of a car waiting to exit, activating the opening of the gates.

The new post pieces were fitted, secured and sealed to ensure water didn't ingress and corrupt the system. This was all blended in with oil to ensure it didn't look out of place and give all the pieces a new lease of life. Through time and the elements all the pieces will eventually look the same.

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