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Battery, battery box, and motion sensor light for solar powered Mighty Mule 360?

Battery, battery box, and motion sensor light for solar powered Mighty Mule 360?

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  #1  
Old 12-05-17, 09:46 PM
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Battery, battery box, and motion sensor light for solar powered Mighty Mule 360?

Hello. I just joined and am trying to find more information about essential elements for a Mighty Mule 360 gate opener. I purchased the Mighty Mule RSCK360 with Solar Panel kit on a Black Friday sale from Tractor Supply Co. Additionally, I also purchased the GTO FM143 Automatic Gate Lock. The included solar panel is 5W but MM support recommended a 10w panel (specifically the Newpowa 10w 12v high efficiency solar panel from Amazon) for the lock in conjunction with the gate opener.

I have never installed a gate opener before and there are no reliable installers available in my area. The kit did not come with the necessary 12v deep cycle >=250CCA battery and a protective box. I live in an area of high humidity with frequent rain so moisture is an issue. The weather rarely gets below 30 F even in winter- I think the lowest it goes is somewhere in the mid 20s but we experience very hot/humid summers with temperatures of 105 F. The gate and battery will be in the shade underneath trees. The nearest sunny spot is more than 50' away, so we will run landscaping wire underground to the solar panel. We may add a 10W solar panel to the setup. Because I am out in the woods with no street lights and the trees block much of the light, I would like to add some sort of motion sensor light so that guests can see the signage warning that the gate is automatic & be able to use the wireless keypad & doorbell on the post.

My questions are:
1. Could anyone please recommend a good 12v battery that can run the gate opener, lock, & possibly the security light? I would prefer something that is not too expensive, can handle a little bit of moisture from humidity, and has a minimum of 250CCA. (The Mighty Mule brand batteries do not work with this gate opener-- I checked). If a specific battery is too difficult to pick, anyone know more specific parameters? Like amperage and so forth?
2. Could anyone please recommend a box for the battery? Obviously, it will have to fit the size range for the battery. Other parameters: Some sort of side opening to allow the wires to enter-- or some external hookup for the wires (opening must be small enough to prevent snakes from getting inside the box), not too expensive, will not make the battery overheat, does not have top vents (which would allow rain inside).
3. Could anyone please recommend a good LED motion sensor security light? Since it is in the shade the ones with the solar panels on top will not work. Parameters: LED, Mounts on top of wooden gate post, only turns on due to motion at night/dark (will not turn on in daylight), can run from 12v battery.
4. Would I be able to link the 10w and 5w solar panels together so they both send power to the battery? If so, any suggestions on how to do that?
5. Do you think I would be able to run both the gate opener and lock on the 5w solar panel since it just trickle charges the battery?
6. Mighty Mule customer service said that their control panel for the gate opener prevents the battery from overcharging. Do I need some sort of charge controller or would that be redundant? (Amazon recommended a specific charge controller for the 10w solar panel).
7. How would I connect the light in to the system?
8. Any other suggestions/advice?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-05-17, 10:38 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I would get a small deep cycle marine battery and a plastic marine battery box.
The CCA is not important. Look for something in the 35-50AH range. Expect to pay around $75. You could also use a sealed lead acid battery.
An example.... 12v-35ah-deep-cycle-battery

You can find deals at Walmart, Costco and other places on small deep cycle batteries.

There are charts that discuss charging versus available sunlight based on location in the manual.

I would definitely recommend the 10W solar panel. That can be connected directly to the opener and it will control the charge. I'm not sure it's a good idea connecting the 5w and 10w panels together.

Here would be a decent light selection. Meets all of your requirements. Runs off of 12vdc and can be connected directly to the same battery with a 5A fuse inline. This is a standalone item and not controlled by the gate.
GLW-Security-Floodlight-Waterproof-Equivalent

Gate install manual... Mighty-Mule-MM360-Single-Gate-Operator-Manual.pdf
Lock kit manual.... Mighty-Mule-Automatic-Gate-Lock.pdf
 
  #3  
Old 12-09-17, 03:21 AM
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Thank you very much, Pete!
I was thinking a marine battery would be a good idea. I found Mighty Max Battery 12V 35AH Light Trolling Motor Battery Sevylor Minn Kota on Amazon for $63.99 (I would link it but I don't know if I'm allowed to). Amazon's recommended box for it is over $50 so I was thinking of going with Universal Power Group UPG 40790 Black Marine Smart Box which is $29.99 on Amazon. Do those seem like good choices?
I like the light you linked. That is along the lines of what I'm looking for. I'm trying to figure out the best way to wire it in and if the 10w panel would be sufficient for it. Could I wire the gate opener, lock, and light to the same battery? Or should I have a separate panel just for the light? I want something that works, but don't want to spend too much after all we've sunk in to the parts we purchased already.
I saved the pdf files to my computer so I have them on hand to read.
Again, thank you very much!
 
  #4  
Old 12-09-17, 02:08 PM
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Since the light will only be activated by motion... it should be ok on the same battery. Connect the light directly to the battery posts using the fuse in the positive line for protection.

If the gate will only be opened a few times a day... the 10A charger should be sufficient.
 
  #5  
Old 12-11-17, 10:52 AM
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Again, thank you very much, Pete!
I was reading some reviews of the light and people said that water gets in to the motion sensor-- so I can either put a little hood over the top of it so it isn't in direct rain, or I can figure out how to seal it up. It's not expensive so worst case scenario, I could replace it.

May I post photos when I get it set up? Or is that not allowed?
 
  #6  
Old 12-11-17, 06:09 PM
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Definitely post photos.... we want to see..... How-to-insert-pictures
 
  #7  
Old 12-20-17, 12:41 PM
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Thanks! I now have just about everything but the lag bolts. Still need to check on stabilizing or replacing the gate posts. Unless I can get it worked on while my sister is visiting, I might not be able to do anything until February-- but I'm not forgetting about this thread.<br />
Do you know of any good tutorials on how to properly connect things to batteries? I want to make sure I do everything right when the time comes.
 
  #8  
Old 12-20-17, 12:52 PM
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Make sure all your connections are shiny, clean and tight. With things out in the weather I often smear the battery posts and inside of the terminals with dialectric grease as a further preventive against corrosion in the connection.
 
  #9  
Old 12-22-17, 08:43 AM
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Thanks! I was trying to remember what that stuff was called. I've seen electricians use it but couldn't remember the term. I'll have to look for it next time I go to the store or order it from amazon if they don't have it locally.

The trees will offer a little bit of shelter from the rain for the box, but it's a very humid area so moisture will be constant.
 
  #10  
Old 12-22-17, 03:28 PM
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Most auto part stores carry dealectric grease.
 
  #11  
Old 12-22-17, 03:38 PM
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Electricians use No-ox. That's more for prevention of corrosion of aluminum connections. It would work but is messy.

Dielectric grease is a lot cleaner to work with.
 
  #12  
Old 12-25-17, 10:44 AM
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Ahh! I have a fiend who works at an atuo parts store. I'll ask him if they have any in stock. Thank you very much!
Hope both of you are having happy holidays!
 
  #13  
Old 12-25-17, 10:46 AM
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The same back to you. Name:  grin_candy cane.gif
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  #14  
Old 03-04-18, 03:18 AM
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Just an update: I meant to work on this in February, but I had a bad fall. Twisted both ankles and fractured metacarpals in my right foot. I haven't been very mobile. The person who was going to help left for a 6-month job out of state. It's on hold until I can find another helper & get back on my feet. Thus, I am bored and have time to plan more. I'm seriously considering making my own "Beware of Attack Cow" signs on paper & running them through a laminator.

I have the opener, wire, battery, battery box, solar panels (5w and 10w), gate lock, & remotes. I still need the appropriate hardware for attaching to the wooden posts and a keypad or two. The gate I have is very similar to this one only it is sort of a brown color.
I have been looking for better options for communicating with visitors who do not have the gate entry code. At first I thought just a wireless doorbell with long range would work, but I realized there would be an inability to communicate and I found a wireless intercom system with a waterproof transmitter & two receivers. I would just have to figure out how to boost the 462MHz signal to reach the back of the house or the workshop.

I'm still debating whether to mount a wireless remote on a post with a cover to protect it from weather or to find some other solution. I could always use a second keypad. Family would be given the remotes. Trusted friends would have codes. But I do want repair & delivery personnel to be able to exit with just one button push.

The Aleko brand gooseneck mounting post & a hood are lower priced than the ones for Mighty Mule. If I can find supplies to make a post and cover for cheaper than those, though, I might see about that instead. But those options might just be easier. I can always get a cheap plastic box from Dollar Tree, give it a light sanding, and spray paint it with Krylon or something. :P

I'm still debating on what to do for lighting. Some of the previous options suggested had reviews indicating they were not entirely waterproof. Although, I could make a lean-to of sorts with some cover over both the battery box & light. I think I have some corrugated plastic somewhere in the workshop that could be used as a roof. Hopefully there wouldn't be people coming around after dark too often though. The lighting isn't anything needed urgently.

Any other thoughts, ideas, or suggestions?
 

Last edited by ZanneJ; 03-04-18 at 03:36 AM. Reason: code messed up
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