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Old 09-02-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
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Gate Opener Power Question

This isn't an Airstream question, but of all of the communities that I'm involved with, I think my Airstream friends are the most likely to know the answer.

I have a Mighty Mule gate opener on the gate on my driveway. It is powered by a 12v battery + it's plugged into 110 power (to charge the battery). Over the years, the biggest challenge with the opener has been the 12v battery - it eventually dies, the charger doesn't work right, and possible other problems that I don't understand.

So here's my question. In putting LED lighting in my Airstream, I cut a few power bricks off and directly wired the lights into my Airstream's 12v system. Could I just take one of those bricks, wire it directly into my gate opener and plug it into 110v power, bypassing the battery? Or, would the whole DC/AC power thing make it not work?

Lynn
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:54 PM   #2
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Most likely the motor in the opener will take far more power than the "brick" can deliver. The battery stores enough so it will operate things, and the charger simply keeps it up and charged. So, you would need a much larger 120 to 12 volt power supply to run the motor directly without a battery. I am guessing in the 5 to 10 amp range, but have never used one of the gate openers, so it is only a guess.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:58 PM   #3
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I have dual openers... runs off one Deep Cycle battery, charges via Solar panel... no other power...

Depending on the Mule you have, could be the power is around 10 Amp.

Problem is, how many 'cycles' do you use the opener for? Battery will deplete over time.. and the 'charger', if not an intelligent one, will cook/kill your battery.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:05 PM   #4
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What is a "power brick"?
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:35 PM   #5
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I use a deep cycle battery also, but not with the solar charger. I use it with a regular charger plugged into a wall outlet.

Cycles per day? I probably open/close the gate8-10 times a day. I'm not sure if a cycle is an open but according to the manual I should be able to have 100+ cycles per day. I don't remember sweating when I replaced it, that means it is more that 4 months old, but it's been within the last year.

My goal would be to completely get rid of the battery. Maybe a brick isn't the right term. Maybe it's technically a transformer?

The manual it says sleep draw is 25mA; active draw is 2-5 A. Is it safe to assume that as long as the power adapter puts out the correct voltage (listed under output on the transformer), it should work? Or, would the battery power somehow be different?
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:50 PM   #6
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You are correct, a brick or more correctly a 12 volt DC power supply capable of supplying 5 amps or so would work, in theory.


Problem with using one on a gate, is they would not work in a power outage. The battery provides backup power.

I would replace the battery charger. It sounds as though it is boiling the battery just as the converters in our trailers do.

I would guess any good quality fully automatic battery charger would work fine. We keep ones like the pic below on seldom used trucks and lawn mowers to keep the batteries charged, and never have a problem boiling batteries.

An auto parts or farm store should have one.

I would start with a new battery, too.

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Old 09-03-2013, 08:08 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the info!

Yesterday I put a trickle charger that I use for my scooter on the battery. All seems to be working again!

I'll keep an eye in it and change the battery if needed.

Thanks again!

Lynn
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:18 PM   #8
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It's been over a month. What is result of trickle charging?
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:39 PM   #9
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So far so good, but now having another issue. I'm thinking that the board has gone bad.

Power is somewhat in my comfort zone to trouble shoot. Circuit boards? No clue.

I think I'm going to be shopping for a new gate opener soon. This one lasted about 6 years.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:41 PM   #10
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Oh, and I did end up replacing the battery under its warranty. Something about the acid fusing together?
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:34 PM   #11
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What flavor of opener do you have?
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:18 PM   #12
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Might Mule. I think it's a 350.
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:26 PM   #13
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I am running Apollo Gate opener. Duals, solar recharge of deep cycle battery.


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Old 10-20-2013, 10:21 AM   #14
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How long have you had it? Any problems? I've read good things about the Apollo openers.
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