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.
Reply to
Jenny3kids
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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.
Reply to
Boris Mohar
Can you post a picture of how it looks now? Don't post it here - use DropBox or your own web space. Bob
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
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
Reply to
Trevor Jones
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-----
Reply to
Andy Asberry
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.
Reply to
Don Foreman
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.
Reply to
Anthony
Andy,
Ya gotta HALF the distance to the hinge point. As described, you would make it move slower!! :-)
Cheers Trevor Jones
Reply to
Trevor Jones
4"/min is really slow, can you put 2 in series to get 8"/min? Committees of Correspondence Web page:- tinyurl.com/y7th2c
Reply to
Nick Hull
Hi Nick,
Very cool suggestion. I do have two of them. Hmmmm.
Thanks
Reply to
Jenny3kids
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
Reply to
Jenny3kids
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
Reply to
Jenny3kids
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
Reply to
Jenny3kids
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.
Reply to
Jenny3kids
Hi Jenny
You can increase your gate opening rate by relocating the mounting place for the "ram" and also the place where the ram attaches to the gate. If the ram moves 4 inches in one minute and you want to move the gate 90 degrees in one half minute, the mounting locations should be easy to calculate. The gate might not be strong enough to withstand the "pull" for that open/close rate. You may not like locating the ram out away from the gate hinge. But, it would be easy to calculate where to locate both the mount/attachment places so you can open the gate in the time you desire.
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Martes
I've been playing with an idea that uses cables and pulleys to double the rate both opening and closing, which orients your actuator vertically to avoid the problem of the ram hitting the post. It would use a bunch of pulleys, sort of two reverse-acting blocks and tackles. You could then furter modify the speed by changing the attachment point of the cables to the gate, probably get one minute actuation time. One cable pulls it open, the other pulls it shut, all cables are always in tension.
It would require no welding or machining, perhaps some carpentry.
Hard to sketch in detail without knowing the geometry of your gate, but you can probably take it from here -- or at least have a laugh!
--or--
With two actuators, you could "series" them by making a telescoping mount using a couple of heavyduty ball-bearing drawer slides so overal closed length is unchanged but you get twice the rate.
Interesting problem. I enjoy puzzles like this.
Reply to
Don Foreman
"Don Foreman" wrote: (clip) With two actuators, you could "series" them by making a telescoping mount using a couple of heavyduty ball-bearing drawer slides so overal closed length is unchanged but you get twice the rate. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ It seems like waste/overkill to use two actuators, when one already has more than enough thrust to do the job. Also, since you already have a battery charging problem, you would just make that worse.
I had the same idea of using a pulley , but without knowing the geometry, I could not know whether it could be adapted. A single pulley hooked up with a mechanical advantage of 1/2 would double the speed. Where I was stuck was trying to push the gate closed with the same cable ;-).
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
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-----
Reply to
Andy Asberry
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.
Reply to
Wayne Cook
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.
Reply to
Sunworshipper

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