Tuc555 Electric Gate Battery Problem Same problem

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  #1  
Old 03-24-13, 11:41 AM
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Tuc555 Electric Gate Battery Problem Same problem

Seperated from: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...tery-110v.html

I have the same issue. Hopefully it's okay to revive this old thread.

I go through batteries too often and though yes i can keep replacing them (often at no cost using the battery warranty as someone stated) mostly i'm tired of the unreliability of this system and the time i spend on it. Small batteries die a couple of times during the winter. An expensive deep cycle $100+ battery usually dies by the end of the winter. I also went through different chargers, including a couple that were recommended by the manufacturer.

We live in Tucson, AZ. The gate opener is typically used 4 times a day. It's an Apollo 1500 with 635/636 control board. The gate is an old wooden gate, *very* heavy. The control board and motor both take 12vdc. There is no current specification i can find anywhere. When i inlined my multimeter it quickly jumped past its 10A limit to 18A (within say 2s) so i pull it off and i don't have a good reading. I suspect something that can deliver 20A @ regulated 12VDC (240W) would do.

The Astron 15A is $157. Could a cheaper computer supply (many at $40 deliver >20A @ 12VDC do the work? These aren't meant for outdoors, but i was thinking of trying it out at least as a proof of concept before i invest more into this solution. My main worry is not to fry the control board.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 03-24-13 at 12:03 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-13, 12:12 PM
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Hopefully it's okay to revive this old thread.
No. As is true with most forums to avoid confusion you should start your own thread. I have moved your post to its own thread. Are you using car batteries or deep discharge batteries? Does the gate move freely when disconnected from the arm? Is the weight of the gate less that the max weight for the opener used?

First off I'd go down to the discount auto parts and by a cheap amp meter for cars and use that to check your amp draw.

Example: Sunpro CP7981CustomLine Electrical Ammeter - Black Dial : Amazon.com : Automotive
 
  #3  
Old 03-24-13, 12:13 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I know power supplies intimately as I use a lot of them as well as repair them.

Based on your "reading" of at least 18 amps. You are going to need a power supply of at least 30 amps or better. Placing an 18 amp load on 20 amp power supply may put it right into protect mode. The stated current output is only the peak output.

If it were putting a power supply on that gate I would use an Astron RS-50A power supply.

A cheaper supply may work but that gate motor is like putting a dead short, for a split second, on a power supply and many will just go into automatic shutdown.

I service gates in my line of work and don't really have battery issues. I use Interstate deep cycle batteries and the Power Tender Plus 5 amp weather proof charger. I see 3 years typical life on the battery.
 
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Old 03-25-13, 07:15 PM
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Thank you for your help and suggestions.

The battery i'm currently using is a 'deep cycle' marine battery from durablast, 29DP-DL. I used car batteries (cranking type) in the past and they would indeed die much quicker.

With this battery, the system often does not fully open or close the gate during cold (anything below 40, and the colder the worse) and i believe wet weather as well (it is usually very dry here in AZ). I was waiting for the winter to be over to see if the battery would recover. It now works most of the time, but still not all the time as it did before the winter.

When i disengage the engine from the chain, we can move the gate freely. That's how we're operating in the winter basically. The gate is very heavy as i said, it takes some effort doing this.

In terms of weight, i'm not sure what the max supported weight is. This system was installed when we bought the house and i don't have much info on it. I searched for the motor part on google and it doesn't find any match. This looks like an Apollo 1500, but it doesn't have an arm. The gate has wheels and moves on a rail along the opening. Looking at an online Apollo 1500 manual i don't see a maximum weight specified. The system works fine with a good battery (new, hasn't gone through bad weather).

Originally the battery was charged through a solar panel. When we started having issues, i replaced it with wall power. The charger i have been recommended to use and am using currently is:
Apollo Low Voltage Kit (LVK)

I will get the ammeter.

Is the Astron RS-50A appropriate to place in an outside gate opener control box?

I'm still curious if it's safe to at least try out using a desktop pc (atx) power supply. These seem regulated, provide 12vdc and depending on the model provide over 40A. I understand it's not as clean power as the Astron, but if it can feed a pc motherboard and components, isn't it likely to work for this control board? Sorry if this is naive.
 
  #5  
Old 03-25-13, 08:08 PM
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When i disengage the engine from the chain...
So I assume a roller gate not a hinges gate. As far as I know at least commercial roller (slide) gates are often 120 volts or 240 volts. Have you considered changing out the gate operator?
 
  #6  
Old 03-25-13, 09:02 PM
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You could try the ATX power supply. I doubt it would hurt the gate. The supply itself may self destruct so make sure you are using a supply you don't mind scrapping.

The 1500 is for a swinging gate so you have a completely different type of opener.
Yours is a 12 DC motor connected thru a gearbox to a chain drive.
It sounds like between the weight of the gate and the gearbox getting cold is your issue.

I was looking around at DC chain drive units. One I saw was 730 watts.... that's 60 amps of DC.
 
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Old 05-05-13, 05:59 PM
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Sorry for the delay, i finally got around trying this all out.

I got the ammeter and after an initial jump and oscillation it shows a steady 15A while the gate is opening / closing. When the battery voltage drops below a certain point (around 10V iirc) the gate stops moving, the current draw continues, for a few seconds then there's a 'tick' sound and the current stops too.

I had old computer power supplies around for years but of course when you actually need one you don't have it around. I ended up purchasing a couple of these: Amazon.com: In Win PS ISP350J2-0 IP-P300AJ20 Powerman ATX V1.3 350W 12CM Fan Power Supply: Electronics. $7.50 used and 18A on 12VDC. I would have purchased one with more amps to be sure it would work it the winter as well (if i understood you correctly the gearbox can get cold and increase the load) but i didn't find cheap ones around for a test. The power supply doesn't require a load on the 5V as i read some do. I just had to short-circuit the green POWER ON to ground to get the 12VDC output working.

Using a single one of these power supplies works perfectly so far. The gate moves faster and at a more consistent speed than i have seen it run for years. I can open/close it 20+ times in a row, where the battery would be drained after much less runs.

The question will mostly be to see how reliable this remains, esp during the winter. I increased the load for a few seconds by pushing the gate back while it opens, the amps shot up to 20A and no protection kicked in.

Thanks!
 
  #8  
Old 05-05-13, 07:42 PM
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Thanks for the update. Stop back and let me know how the power supply holds up on the gate.
 
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