Speed up gate opener suggestions

Hi people,
OK, so I am looking for plan B. I made a gate opener (copy of Mule) from an old satellite dish actuator. It has plenty of travel and lots
of grunt but the ram moves at 4" per minute. Currently it takes two minutes for the gate to open. I thought it might be Ok, but it is annoying the crap out of me.
Anyone have a trick lever idea that will double the speed and half the available grunt which will still be plenty at around 500lbs. I thought of running the motor on 24v to double the speed but I am not sure how long the motor will take that. Besides it then complicates the solar charging.
If you have suggestions for a different type of gate opener, I'd appreciate that too. I tried the garage door opener on it but it is unreliable closing on a windy day as the overload cuts in and it opens again. I can't set the overload for more than about 100lbs. That's when I went to the satellite actuator.
Thanks in advance.
--
Kind regards,
Jenny and her tribe of survivors.
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On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 00:12:43 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@msn.net wrote:

Put the motor at the end of the gate instead of the hinge. Have it drive a wheel which in the contact with the ground.
--

Boris Mohar



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On Sun, 25 Mar 2007 20:17:14 -0400, Boris Mohar
Hi Boris,

Thanks, also a very cool idea. I will investigate further. I have a fairly large windshield wiper motor with high torque that might just do it. I'd have to rig the wheel up on a sliding spring loaded thing as it is a dirt driveway that often gets rearranged with heavy rain. Still a very cool approach.
Thanks
--
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Can you post a picture of how it looks now? Don't post it here - use DropBox or your own web space. Bob
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snipped-for-privacy@msn.net wrote:

Close up the geometry of the actuation, and add a counterweight to reduce the felt load on the actuator. No real requirement to use the full stroke, is there?
Ok I looked at the Mule. If you can wire external limit switches to the actuator, you could close up the geometry and utilise a shorter part of the stroke. It'd look a bit cobbled until it got buried under a nice weatherproof (maybe decorative ) cover.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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wrote:
Hi Trevor,

It is as closed as it can be without the ram hitting the hinge post in the closed position, it is down to 7.8" in CAD, but that's still two minutes.
Thanks
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On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 00:12:43 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@msn.net wrote:

Doubling the opener pivot distance from the hinge post will reduce the actuator travel by half and double the opening speed. This is assuming you're opening the gate 90.
By the way, I've been using a Genie 1/2 hp garage door opener for 4 years now. Set it on two posts at 45 to the gate. Opening speed is the same as a garage door as it uses the full length of the opener.
--Andy Asberry-- ------Texas-----
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Andy Asberry wrote:

Andy,
Ya gotta HALF the distance to the hinge point. As described, you would make it move slower!! :-)
Cheers Trevor Jones
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wrote:

If you are going to embarrass yourself, do it in front of the whole world, huh. Right you are, sir.
I first wrote it correctly, then talked myself out of it. In the light of day, I wonder what was I thinking.
Looking at my neighbor's Mule, can you change ends with the actuator so the pivot can be closer to the post?
Using the OP's numbers of 4" travel per minute and 2 minutes opening time, am I right that the pivot is now about 8" from the centerline of the post?
--Andy Asberry-- ------Texas-----
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wrote:
Hi Andy,

Almost, I currently have it at 6" which is as close as I can get without the ram hitting the post.
--
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wrote:
Hi Andy,

Yup, as I have mentioned as tight as it can go without hitting the hinge post.

I had been using a garage door opener in a different layout, but I live in the country and the gate is 1/4 mile from the house so it must be solar and 12v. I was running a 5W panel but it still was not enough as the idle current of the inverter overnight was greater than the panel could charge the next day. I had to swap the battery every week or so. It was supposed to be a cheap a opener and I don't want to spend $300 on a 30W panel, but thanks for the suggestions.
--
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Jenny and her tribe of survivors.
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On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 17:27:19 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@msn.net wrote:

My question is that are you sure that the actuator is 12V? \
It's just struck me as odd since all of the ones that I've seen on satellites are 24V.
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wrote:

Reading though this , I'm thinking I should know this answer. Your right their 24DCV, it should move 2' in not much time at all.
Not sure about the 8" from the fulcrum stuff. Real pictures would help.
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wrote:
Hi Wayne,

Interesting point. I assumed it was 12v but the output from the old Sat controller is dead so I cannot measure the drive voltage. I'll get the model number from the old Satellite controller and maybe someone can help with that.
Thanks
--
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snipped-for-privacy@msn.net wrote:

You can easily and cheaply run 12 volt electricity more than 1/4 mile. I use bare aluminum electric fence wire, sold cheap in 1/4 and 1/2 mile spools, strung high between cheap electric fence insulators far apart in trees or whatever. At 12 volts you don't need insulation, just start out with maybe 18 volts and put a current limiter in series - a 100 watt incandescent will limit the current to less than 1/2 amp even if the line gets a dead short. Your 5 watt solar panel provides less than 1/2 watt when the sun is shining, a wire can provide that much 24 hours a day if you pick the appropriate current limiter. Committees of Correspondence Web page:- tinyurl.com/y7th2c
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Hi Nick,

Thanks, but if I did that I would run 110v AC from the well head and go back to using the garage door opener. The weatherproof 110 cabling needed was going to cost about a buck a foot. I suppose I could look around for surplus wire. There are no trees so I would also have to put in a few poles. Getting too complicated.
I actually tested the original garage door opener by running two 600+ft extension leads on the ground. <grin>
--
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On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 00:12:43 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@msn.net wrote:

Assuming this is a swinging gate:
Measure the distance from the hinge to the pivot where the ram attaches to the gate.
Devise a way to re-mount the actuator so the hinge-to-pivot distance is considerably less, say half of what it is now.
As Trevor notes, you may need to contrive limit switches.
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snipped-for-privacy@msn.net wrote in news:ee3e031093hr37ltfu2g4tcor1ulss8fsp@ 4ax.com:

Two things... First, pull the cap off the business end of the motor/screw and see if it's belt/chain drive, or gear. You can change the ratio there. The other option is a lever as you suggest. I would probably go with a sissors type with the actuator moving the middle pivot.
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
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wrote:
Thanks Anthony,

It is worm gear. Looks almost like a windshield wiper motor. There are gears but they just drive the limit switch actuator.

After posting I thought of a bell-crank which I will investigate a little.
Thanks
--
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Jenny and her tribe of survivors.
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snipped-for-privacy@msn.net wrote:

4"/min is really slow, can you put 2 in series to get 8"/min? Committees of Correspondence Web page:- tinyurl.com/y7th2c
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