Gate Latch Indicator

I would like to hook something up to my backyard gate to indicate inside the house if the gate is unlatched. My dogs like to take themselves for walks if they find the gate open. It is rare it happens, but occasionally the meter reader or myself won't latch it properly. From inside the house it looks closed, but may be unlatched. I looked at the smarthome.com site for ideas, but not sure what would work. My goals are:
Wireless transmitter on the gate (wood) that can detect if it is open an inch or more. Sensor must be weather proof. Receiver in the house that would sound a chime, bell or whatever - don't want a 120db alarm or anything. Preferably would repeat if gate is still open in case I don't hear the first time. Resets itself when the gate is latched properly.
Any ideas of what components and cost?
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An alternative might be a spring closure (spring loaded hinges?) depending on the type of gate you have. That would require a latch that closes without a lot of effort to ensure positive closure.
SJF
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Try http://www.dimango.com/dc-specialty-chimes.htm
Rich ===================================Garage Door Parts, LLC 973-472-4818 http://www.garagedoorsupply.com ===================================

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Designing and installing complex systems (relatively) to achieve simple tasks is never a good idea. As another poster mentioned having a self-closing mechanism for the gate and a latch that operates easily is easier, cheaper and more foolproof.
If it's a hobby, and you just like tech, use a magnetic switch and wire it to a blinking light inside the house. Going wireless is far less reliable and has a maintenance component - replacing batteries, interference from other wireless/cordless devices, etc.
R
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Do a window weight, rope pulley arrangement - real simple - always go with the KISS principal unless you like to create challenges.
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Tried the spring concept. It pulled it closed but would not engage the latch. The dog is still strong enough (and smart enough) to push it open. Part of the issue is due to the alingment of everything, plus ground heaving in the winter tends to change how everything lines up. Rebuiliding the gate would probably be the best solution, but not that easy or cost effective.
I was almost thinking of something like the electric eyes in stores that ding when someone breaks the beam.
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Sure, that will work just fine. Do you really want to run outside every time the dog/squirrel/bird breaks the beam <"DING"> to see if the gate is open?
If a spring-loaded hinge pulled the door closed but didn't latch it, either try a stronger spring and/or free up the latch so it moves easier.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Then you need to adjust the latch or replace it. Adjusting it would take about five minutes if you stopped for a smoke in the middle. Replacing it would cost $5 and take about the same amount of time. Oiling the hinges would help.
If the spring didn't work for you (did you use something like this? http://doityourself.com/store/4228482.htm ), then use the age old weight on a string. It's worked for centuries.

Whether you have to shim, bend metal, relocate screws, whatever, it's not a big deal to align a latch. The ground doesn't heave that much. The latch receiver has a tapered mouth and the latch can be installed so it is free to move up and down at the outboard end (within limits). That will more than compensate for any minor changes due to seasonal changes.

And not necessary unless the gate/hardware is falling apart.
R
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That is the type of spring I tried. The gate does move up/down in/out at least an inch with the seasons. I have an adjustable diagonal cable that runs from the lower left to the upper right to makes sure it swings properly. I do have to adjust it as the ground and driveway heave in the winter. The gate is actually a 4' section of 6' tall privacy fence, so it is not the most sturdy thing in the world.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

handled two ways.
You - remember to latch the gate securely. Meter reader - sign that reads "Please latch gate so my dogs don't escape. Thank you!"
That will be at least as effective as any security type alarm on the gate.
R
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On 31 Jan 2006 10:01:35 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

My fence changes alignment a lot too, but I thought that was wood swelling and unswelling. Maybe it's ground heaving. How do you tell the difference.
In December, the gate would close tight without a latch (good for visiting dog for 10 days), but parts of the year it won't.

I don't see how that would help. It would still move around, no?

I don't think they use electric eyes much anymore for some reason, but there are a lot of burglar alarm switches that could be more sensitive than what you are using now. Or microswitches, with fairly long tangs. You could use any of these to turn on your remote transmitter.
As to alarm swtiches, rather than use those, ime, ugly door and window switches that are entirely outside of the door or window, I used roller switches in the channels of my sliding glass doors. When the door rolls off of the switch, the plunger comes up and the switch is opened (or closed, depending on what you buy. For th efront door, I have a magnet inside a hole in the edge of the door**, and the swtich inside a hole in the door frame. I must admit it was hard to know where to put these so that I couldn't arm the alarm unless the door was latched, not just shut, but I tried my best and got it right the first time. These things come in white and brown. You could put the magnet in the gatepost, or even the put the swtich there.
**but underneath the brass door reinforcer, so it doesn't show. **but underneath the brass? or something weatherstripping, so it doesn't show either. Nothing shows.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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