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grngate automatic blast gates for dust collectors

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Review by bonesbr549 posted 04-09-2014 07:24 PM 4116 views 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
grngate automatic blast gates for dust collectors grngate automatic blast gates for dust collectors grngate automatic blast gates for dust collectors Click the pictures to enlarge them

First let me start by saying I have been looking for a product like this for a long time. Being a computer geek by trade, had been researching a circuit build with sensor to do this very thing. Looking at everything from car door window actuators as the lift mechanism to pneumatic actuators. Costs no matter the option was just to high to justify. I also looked at echogate, but again too much $$. Then one day doing a google search hoping to find more info for my own build, I came across grngate.

My requirement is simple, I want to have the gate open automatically when the equipment is turned on and activate the DC. When the tool is turned off, the DC will run to clear the line then turn off and close the gate.

I did some research on grngate and a competitor’s product I-vac pro blast gate. After speaking with both groups, I decided on the grngate. The main reason was architecture behind the tool, features, and cost.

Architecture - The first impression looking at the gate is a head scratch for sure. It’s big odd shaped with slots and holes in it. However after speaking with Chuck Heger at grngate, he explained the shape and slots. It’s to help keep dust from clogging it up. If you have the old plastic manual blast gates you know why that’s important. Over time they slowly become blocked and you can’t fully close the old manual suckers and you either clean them out or slowly lose suction to all those lines bleeding a little bit. So that was great. The other feature was a built in safety measure to protect the gate actuator. In the vendor’s video on youtube they place a 2”x4” in the opening and try to close the gate. After 3 try’s the gate shut’s down. To fix it, you need to clear the obstruction and unplug and plug back in the network cable to reset it. I like that feature.

The next feature of the Architecture I like is the mechanism for making the gates work. IT uses off the shelf wiring. It uses standard ethernet cable. The units come with 25’ cables. This supplies power over ethernet so no AC to DC adaptors at every gate location. Another plus was I ended up with my gates close together and rather than have a bunch of cables bundled up at the gates, I replaced the provided 25’ cables with some short one’s I had lying around.

The controller has 4 ports for runs, but you can chain the gates together, so my 6 gates will only use one port on the controller. I will still have a ton of expansion capability.

Now the cool part the sensors. They too use off the shelf RJ-25 cables. The sensor’s clamp to the power cable of the tool and the cable plugs into the associated port on your gate.

It will sense current, and open the gate, and then activate the DC. They are two parts it’s a snap (literally) to put them on. I have a 3 phase planer that runs off a RPC, and it worked like a charm. Only challenge I had which I was told about prior to ordering, was for SawStop users. Since that tool pulls power constantly to operate the computer system, you cannot attach the sensor to the power cable at the outlet like the other tools. It was an easy solution. I just opened the cabinet and put the sensor on the power cable at the motor. This will only draw current when the motor actually turns on.

The sensor comes with a 6’ cable. I was able to place all the other gates under my stairwell with my DC. It was nice that it’s centrally located enough that I could use the 6’ cable close enough to my tools. The SS was different. Since the sensor was in the cabinet, I had to put it at the head of the run. I could get stepped on or tripped over. That was an easy fix. I went to Radio Shack and bought a 25’ telephone cable (RJ-25) and that solved the problem. I was able to move the gate close to the others.

They also offer a manual on/off switch. There will be two applications where I will use those. The chop saw, that is on/off a lot, and my floor sweep/manual line for my router table.

Total cost for my 6 gates and control unit came to a bit over 700 with shipping, but I find that reasonable considering the functionality.

I love the tool and it’s not cheap, but it’s a great value in my opinion. I’ve posted a two video review on youtube. The first goes over the features and why I liked it, and the 2nd (hyperlink in top of vid) is it running.

YouTube Video review 1 of 2

YouTube Video review 2 of 2




View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

282 posts in 1812 days



5 comments so far

View CL810's profile

CL810

2382 posts in 1733 days


#1 posted 04-10-2014 12:21 AM

Very thorough review Bones. Thanks for taking the time to post.

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View Hozer's profile

Hozer

29 posts in 2426 days


#2 posted 04-10-2014 01:53 AM

This is a very interesting system. I’ll be interested to see how the motors on the blast gates hold up. I’ve been thinking about building an electronic system like this for years. Is there any warranty?

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2378 posts in 1627 days


#3 posted 04-10-2014 04:35 AM

I’ve been on the website that sells these; I keep hoping that they’ll offer 6” ports. I wonder though about the long term wear on a dust collector motor with it turning on and off so frequently. I tend to turn my DC on and leave it on while I’m in the shop rather than cycling it.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

282 posts in 1812 days


#4 posted 04-10-2014 12:10 PM

Ast to the 6” question, they have a dual 4” that they indicate is the same as a 6”. You can reach out to them and they will explain it. My current DC is max 5” inlet so it did not matter to me. I also commented that a 6” would be nice as I hope to upgrade at the future.

As to the cycling of DC, I’ve had my DC for over 20+ years. I’ve had a wireless remote for probably 9 years and cycle all the time, and no issues. But that would depend on the brand and motor etc. Mine’s a 2hp tiwanese KUFO 101.

View mbs's profile

mbs

1493 posts in 1685 days


#5 posted 04-20-2014 09:01 PM

Great review. I too have been looking at these. I feel like I spend a lot of time opening and closing gates.

I haven’t been too worried about the motor starting and stopping frequently. But, I recently learned that it’s best to keep the dc running for 20 minutes after the saw is off because that’s how long it takes to clear the fine dust particles. Not sure what I’ll do now.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

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