DIY Z-Wave Vehicle Exit/Entry sensor

This is part of my on going Gate House Project. When we come home we use presence sensors to open the gate arm. We wanted a way to have the gate arm open when leaving without using our phone or other ‘button’ (or when guest leave). I’m posting this solution separately in case someone else has a separate use case for a similar setup.

Parts needed -

Wiring - To power the vehicle sensor I’m using the same low voltage transformer I use for my outdoor lighting. While testing I also used a 12v DC power supply, both are fine. The vehicle sensor has both a NO and NC contact wires. The Mono price sensor has binding posts for external contact, but I could not get them to work (could be me). Instead I wired the NO blue wire to one side of the reed switch, and the white ‘common’ wire to the other.

Activation/Trigger - When a metal object passes with-in range of the unit the contact is closed. Since there is no magnet near the contact sensor it will always remain “open”, unless the vehicle sensor bridges the circuit. When the vehicle sensor does close the circuit we can track that action in HE, and act on it (gate arm up/down).

Cartell vehicle exit sensor (wired) (in final install puck was attached to the conduit and buried)

Monoprice contact sensor wiring.

Company thought - In setting this up I had to call the company to figure out the wiring. I had to leave a message but they called me back in about 30 minutes. The guy that called was knowledgeable and worked me through the circuit questions I had. :+1:


Looks neat! FYI, on that Monoprice contact sensor, if it’s the Z-Wave Plus one they’ve been selling for the last couple years at lesat, you can enable the two screws inside for external contacts by setting Z-Wave parameter 1 to 255 (for enabled, or 0 for disabled, which it is by default). That way, you don’t have to solder things where the reed sensor is (or used to be) — and for me, at least, that makes things easier! (I’m a notoriously bad solderer.)

I do recall some weirdness about which overrides which (so maybe you still need to either keep that sensor opened or closed for the other to work as expected), and I definitely recall wishing I had ordered the famous Ecolink instead of this for some reason (a combination of these two, maybe?) … but maybe someone else will find that information helpful, as I wish I would have known when I started. :slight_smile:

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Yeah that was the problem exactly. The documentation says with that parameter changed both magnet and external contact should give “open” readings, but it didn’t work. When I moved the magnet I could hear the ‘click’ of the reed switch, but nothing changed and the sensor remained “closed”.

I dislike soldering as well so that’s why the wire is wrapped nice and tight around the connectors. If it becomes erratic I may swap it out, but for now it has been working well.

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I was about to comment on this then noticed you already had. This is my kind of project. I HATE solder lol (mainly cuz I suck at it)

Oh come on guys… If i can manage to solder anyone can!!!

Small tip though… a soldering iron that lets you adjust the temperature makes a world of difference. The non adjustable ones all tend to get a good bit hotter than what you actually want/need when soldering. This leads to rapid break down of the solder, and the tip of the iron as well… not to mention improper heat transfer making it very hard to get solder to take to the trace and not just stick to the iron or burn the board.

Which reminds me i need to order an adjustable temp soldering iron as mine kicked the bucket and the cheap non adjustable i grabbed at harbor freight is horrible.

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I’ll second this. I’m fortunate that my dad taught me when I was like 5 years old.

I was shown at a young age as well. I just don’t seem to have the delicate touch.

Look at @RRodman comments I may have had the heat up too high during ny recent attempt to prove I did not have skills.

Helping hands also help a ton if you aren’t already using some.

Also how do you guys know when it is too hot?

Another thing you can do if you have a non-adjustable station is put a voltage-varying device inline with it. I’ve used one I got for router speed control in my woodshop.

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