Swing Gate motors come to help open a giant window for service

[Martin Roberts] He wrote to us telling us about one of the buildings his company built, [Ocean View Workshop], with. Creating a four-meter wide window capable of opening vertically is no small feat, and had to be custom-made because the local company that builds such windows was not comfortable working with anything other than aluminum – not enough for the window gauge. With the sheer weight of the glass alone, the structural requirements for its support, and the mechanical loads to be applied, some careful planning was in order.

First of all, such a window must be motorized, since an ordinary person will not be able to pull it up. Unhappy with the linear actuator option available, they went to a hardware store and found some swing gate actuators that, in workshop tests, proved more than capable of handling the required weight. In fact, they were able to lift [Martin] Himself off the ground without much trouble.

Note that the socket helps hold the board in place.

From there, it’s time to learn the mechanical parts – build a frame strong enough for the window, weld the frame, figure out the intricacies of installation and lifting, gauge the loads to handle and add gas struts. The finer details of the mechanical part are well covered in this 14 minute video [Ocean View Workshop] published and embedded below, so we will not repeat them. Instead, our focus is on the part about reusing devices with a swinging gate [Martin] Share his message with us.

The built-in features of the swing gate controller, such as adjustable limit switch support, soft start/stop, and configurable overload/stop protection, prove beneficial to the smooth and safe operation of the window. For the automation part of it, they connected the motor control unit to one of several Sonoff devices tied to a Home Assistant-based system and then combined it with Amazon Alexa, adding 2001: space flight Easter egg while at it. In other words, the automatic swing gate hardware and construction of this service window turned out to be a perfect match for each other.

We appreciate the ingenuity and hope the spirit of this story can guide other hackers in similar situations, tasked with building things outside of the tools local businesses have. [Martin] He says he can already think of a few unintended applications for these — a heavy-duty add-on adjustable workbench or a height-adjustable king bed. Limiting the availability of linear actuators is a rather pain point, so much so that people build and even 3D print themselves, for loads large and small.

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