DC powered gate and entry keypad

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Old 02-26-10, 07:21 PM
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Question DC powered gate and entry keypad

I have a gate that operates on 12 volt dc. It has a wire from the house that is a 4 conductor 18 ga. It is connected to 24 volt 40 vac transformer. The conductors are twisted together to make 1 pair. This connects to a smp3 2.5 amp power supply at the gate. It is set for 12 volts and - + terminals connects directly to a car battery. The smp3 has battery charge terminals but they are not used. The gate operator and the telephone entry keypad are both connected directly to the battery. It works, but my question is ''shouldn't there be some kind of regulator to keep the battery from overcharging? If there is a better way to run this system I would love to hear about it. It was originally solar and they replaced that with the power supply.
 
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Old 02-26-10, 07:36 PM
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For best battery life, the charger should have an automatic float mode.

The crippling part in doing this any better is the #18 conductors -- those simply are not adequate for sending power. The best way to do it would be to pull a 15A or 20A circuit out to the gate and use a quality line-voltage charger. If you don't have conduit, that will require trenching. What is the distance from the house panel to the gate?
 
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Old 02-26-10, 08:17 PM
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The companies that make the gates sell chargers that look like "wall warts" that are made specifically for keeping the batteries charged. Contact the manufacturer for the correct charger. The recommended wire is low voltage outdoor zip cord such as used on Malibu lights. Size is based on distance and manufacturers recommendation. What is the make and model.

Info above based on my install of a Mighty Mule gate opener.
 
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Old 02-27-10, 10:32 AM
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it is about 200 ft from the house. the gate operator is Apollo and I don't know the model #. I will check that Monday.
 
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Old 02-27-10, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tnsec View Post
I have a gate that operates on 12 volt dc. It has a wire from the house that is a 4 conductor 18 ga. It is connected to 24 volt 40 vac transformer. The conductors are twisted together to make 1 pair. This connects to a smp3 2.5 amp power supply at the gate. It is set for 12 volts and - + terminals connects directly to a car battery. The smp3 has battery charge terminals but they are not used. The gate operator and the telephone entry keypad are both connected directly to the battery. It works, but my question is ''shouldn't there be some kind of regulator to keep the battery from overcharging? If there is a better way to run this system I would love to hear about it. It was originally solar and they replaced that with the power supply.

From what you said, it was simply hooked up wrong. That sounds like the same type of power supply used for CCTV cameras and such. The powered +- terminals are supposed to go to the gate/tlephone, and the battery terminals are supposed to go to the battery. The battery terminals do have a maintainance circuit on them to keep the battery topped off. The power output terminals do not. The PS should automatically switch over from the transformer to battery upon power loss. I have no idea why it would be hooked up as it is, unless it was a cheap way out - the gate draws more than 2.5A, so the battery supplies it the operating current, and the PS simply recharges it. Not the worst setup in the world, but the battery won't last long. But we'd need the specs on the gate operator to be sure.

As was also said, it is underwired. You never double up conductors in a power circuit. I would pull new wire out to the gate as well. 12 or 10ga would be sufficient for that length and power draw. Malibu cord is normally 12ga.
 
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