Sunday
Aug232015

Keys Overboard!

Take it from me, there are a LOT of car keys at the bottom of Lake Hartwell!

If you plan on visiting the lake and playing in the water, leave your car keys safely on dry land for a couple of reasons.

1. Modern car keys are electronic and many have a built in remote control to unlock the doors. If it gchances are it will be ruined. They are costly to replace.

2. If you drop your keys into the lake without a floating key chain, then you will need to get a new one before you can drive home.

That's what happened to the owner of this Honda Odyssey. They had no way to get back to Atlanta after a few days at the lake. Once the keys went for a swim they had 2 choices. Tow the car to a dealer or call a locksmith. In this rural area I'm one of very few locksmiths who has the high security key machine and chip key programming equipment required to replace a lost key for this car. It can be expensive especially if, like in this case, I have to drive 3 hours round trip and it is on a weekend or holiday.

Anyway, they were happy to see me and even happier when they heard their car start and run a little while later.

Moral of the story - spare keys are cheap compared to an emergency service call, and - keep your keys on dry land if you are playing in the water!

 

Sunday
Aug162015

Another happy electric gate customer.

Did you know that we offer local repair service for Mighty Mule and GTO Professional Electric gate operators?I have been factory trained and certified at the GTO main office in Tallahassee Florida and we have dozens of happy gate customers.

This customer purchased a home that had an existing Mighty Mule gate opener installed by the previous homeowner. It was not working and had been disconnected.

In this case there was no power to the gate control box. The internal battery was dead because the solar panel was defective and was not keeping the battery charged. I replaced the 5 watt panel with a 10 watt panel and relocated it so it captured more sunlight. I also replaced the single gel cell battery with 2 new batteries.

The gate had previously been set up to work like a garage door. Press the button to open and press the button to close. However the new owner wanted the gate to close automatically by itself. I reprogrammed the control box to close the gate after 60 seconds. Next we added a buried sensor 50' from the gate to cause the gate to open automatically when a vehicle exits the property, a handy feature for visitors. We also added a wireless intercom and keypad on the street side of the gate. Visitors push a button to alert the homeowner and after a conversation, the homeowner can push a button to open the gate. Very convenient! Trusted regular visitors can be issued a keypad code which can be changed at any time.

Since it is a very old operator and control box, the homeowner is aware that it may need a complete replacement at any time. However the additions to the system such as the solar panel, the intercom, the exit sensor, and the remote buttons are all transferable to the new system should it be required.

This picture shows a close up of the wireless intercom box and the 10 watt solar panel.
 
This picture shows the custom housing we made to protect the wireless transmitter that sends the exit signal to the gate. This PVC pipe protects the transmitter from rain and also from weed trimmers and lawn mowers.

 

 

Sunday
Jun142015

Electric Gate Service Hartwell Ga

At LockPro Locksmith we sell, service, and install all types of electric gates and electric vehicle barriers. Below are just a few examples of some of the jobs we have done.

This client suffered a nearby lightning strike. The power of the lightning blew the components off the circuit board inside this intercom. But the real problem was the poor installation by the original contractor. They failed to ground the unit properly using the built in grounding kit which is why the lightning damaged the system. I replaced the circuit board and drove an eight foot long copper clad grounding rod deep into the ground next to the intercom and grounded it properly.

CELL PHONE GATE INTERCOM - This client wanted an intercom at her gate that she could open with her cell phone. We installed this device which offers several features. When the button is pushed it calls up to 3 phone numbers. The person answering the call can open the gate from the phone, anywhere in the world. The box also recognizes caller ID so friends or delivery personnel can just call the gate from their previously registered phone and the gate will open. Programming of various features is accomplished by sending the box a simple text message. Currently this system is only available for GPRS phone networks (ATT, T-MOBILE) not CDMA (Verizon) so if you are using Verizon for your personal cell phone, you will need either a prepaid number from ATT or a monthly account. The area near the gate needs at least one bar of ATT cell coverage. This can be a problem in rural areas. Of course it can communicate with ANY cell phone.

If you can't use this device because of poor cell coverage, we do have other long range wireless intercom options.

VEHICLE BARRIER ARM - While not technically a gate, we see these vehicle barrier arms everywhere. The keypad at this community had failed and I was called for a recommendation. Unfortunately the original contractor had installed a very expensive hard wired telephone intercom system which had previously failed. Further, the condominium had cancelled the telephone line that was required to make it work. This was probably a good idea because now everyone e has a cell phone and visitors can just call from the gate. So the only part of this expensive system that they were still using (until it failed) was the keypad. My solution was to remove the telephone intercom and replace it with a simple electronic keypad mounted on a pedestal.

ORNAMENTAL IRON GATE AND ELECTRIC OPERATOR - This client had no existing gate and he desired something that would add value and curb appeal to his home. I supplied and installed everything you see in the picture except the brickwork. This gate is prefabricated and is made of steel. There are many cheaper aluminum gate systems on the market but they just don't hold up as well and they don't look as good. These gates are hung on 6" steel posts set 3' deep in concrete. I used a GTO PRO-SW4000XLS series professional operator for this job. The system is powered by two 12 volt rechargeable fell batteries that are kept recharged by a solar panel. I prefer solar panels because it eliminates expensive trenching of power to the gate, and it is immune to power surges from nearby lightning strikes. And you can get a 30% solar tax credit!

 

SLIDING ELECTRIC GATE - this client wanted a sliding gate. A local contractor built the gate and called me to automate it with an electric opener. I used a GTO GPX-SL25 series which is heavy enough for this residential gate. This system has a buried sensor driveway alarm to notify the owner when a vehicle is in the driveway. The sensor is wireless and transmits to a receiver in the house. The clients vehicles have buttons that can be used to open the gate from either side. There is a keypad for visitors on the street side, and a buried exit sensor on the house side. The gate has a photoelectric beam and an edge sensor so that it won't close if something is blocking its path.

We have many more electric gate jobs in our portfolio. They can be operated remotely via cell phone, or portable 2 way radio.

I am factory trained by GTO, the makers of Mighty Mule and GTO electric gate operators. I am listed on their web site as an authorized servicing dealer. I can solve any gate problem you are having. Fundamentally the Mighty Mule and GTO are good gate operators as long as they are properly selected and installed properly on a gate that swings nicely and has no other problems. 90% of the trouble calls I run are due to poor installations by homeowners or unqualified contractors.

Call me for a free estimate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Apr222015

Need your locks changed in Hartwell?

If you are purchasing a home, or have recently purchased a home, in Hartwell GA you should get the locks changed. When a house is put up for sale many keys are distributed so the home can be shown by agents.

For this reason you need to have the locks changed which will insure that you are the only person with working keys.

"Changing Locks" has two definitions. Usually we simply "re-key" your existing hardware so that it uses a different key. If the hardware is old and worn out we can replace it instead. This will require a sales consultation with you so we can discuss the quality of the hardware you would be comfortable with. We offer several high quality and stylish brands of hardware in a range of designs and colors. We also have special key systems that eliminate the possibility of anyone making unauthorized copies of your keys.

Give us a call for a free estimate.

 

Reed Creek, Wynward Pointe

Wednesday
Apr222015

We Make Boat Keys

Lost boat keys? You can't take the boat out on Lake Hartwell if you have lost your keys. At LockPro Locksmith we can replace your lost boat keys. We can either come to your boat or you can bring to boat to our shop in Elberton. That's what this customer did. We used some locksmith magic to carefully solve the lock puzzle and create a working key.