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  #1  
Old 03/17/08, 10:05 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: East Texas
Posts: 1,124
Has anyone done a DIY automatic gate opener?

I am wanting to put in a solar automatic gate opener at the entrance to my driveway. I had originally got a quote from a local fence installer of $2800 which includes everything from posts, gate, opener and install and two remotes. Or, $1650 if I provide the gate and posts. He said he uses high quality openers which are the Patriot 1 models which are vastly better than the ones sold at tractor supply company.

Well, I was wondering if anyone here has installed their own. And, if anyone has used the ones from TSC and how you like them. I will have to have a solar model. But, it doesnt seem like they would be very hard to install. And, the openers at TSC are not very expensive(compared to the quote anyways). Im sure I can acquire a used gate pretty cheap. I dont need a custom one with initials or anything.

So, if you have installed one yourself or had one intalled professionally, let me know how you like it, any problems, and how hard it was for you to DIY. Thanks.

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  #2  
Old 03/17/08, 11:53 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,402

A friend just made an automatic gate opener. There is a post with a rope and knob where the driver can reach out the window to pull. That unlatches the gate and then a rock on a rope with a pulley pulls the gate open. The gate then opens and another latch gets it as it goes back to hold it open. He still needs to work on the gate closing part, though, but he will do that in a couple weeks when he gets back from the mainland. He may have about $10 in latches, rope and pulleys for his "automatic" gate. He also wants to watch "Babe" again since he says they had a really nice gate in that movie.

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  #3  
Old 03/18/08, 07:21 AM
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: WV
Posts: 634

We installed one of the Tractor Supply (I think they are Mule brand?) ones at our old house. It was easier to put the opener on than getting the gate set up. We had no problems with quality. The opener was slow, but we had a very heavy gate which I'm sure was the problem.

If I ever get around to putting the gate up here, I wouldn't hesistate to buy another one.

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  #4  
Old 03/18/08, 07:33 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: georgia
Posts: 772
Exclamation

I bought a mighty mule gate openner 5 years ago.All I have ever done to it is put a BID ford style battery on it . it has saved thousands of steps. I really have 2 of them. the sun charges the battery. this is the best thing I have bought in quite a while

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  #5  
Old 03/18/08, 09:26 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,281

I have seen homemade ones that use a garage door opener to open/shut the gate. Then you can have a remote in the car to open/shut it! Probably some plans on-line somewhere.

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  #6  
Old 03/18/08, 11:33 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
Posts: 7,741
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathan104 View Post
I am wanting to put in a solar automatic gate opener at the entrance to my driveway. I had originally got a quote from a local fence installer of $2800 which includes everything from posts, gate, opener and install and two remotes. Or, $1650 if I provide the gate and posts. He said he uses high quality openers which are the Patriot 1 models which are vastly better than the ones sold at tractor supply company.

Well, I was wondering if anyone here has installed their own. And, if anyone has used the ones from TSC and how you like them. I will have to have a solar model. But, it doesnt seem like they would be very hard to install. And, the openers at TSC are not very expensive(compared to the quote anyways). Im sure I can acquire a used gate pretty cheap. I dont need a custom one with initials or anything.

So, if you have installed one yourself or had one intalled professionally, let me know how you like it, any problems, and how hard it was for you to DIY. Thanks.
...............A point of Info , The cheaper gate openers have a VERY hard time closing a big gate of say 16 feet wide in Heavy winds !!! On numerous occaisons I've seen a Mule try and close a gate by having too "pull" it into a very strong head wind . It simply didn't have the Right Stuff to get the gate closed and it finally just stopped . These folks had 40 or so cow\calf pairs that could make an exit thru this gate onto a very busy farm too market road . So , I just closed it by hand , and called them and told them about their problem . You get wwhat you pay for . , fordy
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  #7  
Old 03/18/08, 11:35 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: WV
Posts: 521

I saw the plans for one using a steel pipe filled with cement welded to a large hinge at one end. The other end would fit into a cement block cradle. The guy used an ATV wench with cable to raise and lower it by remote.
As always, can't find it when I need it.

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  #8  
Old 03/18/08, 11:44 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Carthage, Texas
Posts: 12,046

My 'automatic' gate opener sometimes needs 'reminding'.... uh, honey, are you going to open the gate? or should I?

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  #9  
Old 03/24/08, 01:31 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ferris, Texas
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Patriot I Opener

I installed a Patriot I gate opener on a 15' foot metal gate a few years ago. It has been very reliable and works well even in windy conditions. But you must be sure that your gate posts are very secure, preferably with concrete pads and diagonal braces -- the opener puts so much torque on the gate posts that they will eventually twist or break the posts holding the opener. I first installed the opener on "regular" wood posts -- after two or three years, I had to completely replace the gate posts with heavy metal and concrete. The opener also has to be adjusted infrequently, which just takes a small screwdriver. All in all, it was a good choice and easy to install, except for the diagonal brace and the main bracket -- I had a local welder install those for $200 or so. I also recommend getting a Stone lock for the gate, if you get a lot of wind. It adds extra security and helps keep the gate shut and aligned.

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  #10  
Old 03/24/08, 06:29 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Quote:
My 'automatic' gate opener sometimes needs 'reminding'.... uh, honey, are you going to open the gate? or should I?
LOL I was going to say, "Now there's a cheap gate opener!", but on second thought...
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  #11  
Old 03/25/08, 08:37 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,259
Quote:
Originally Posted by texican View Post
My 'automatic' gate opener sometimes needs 'reminding'.... uh, honey, are you going to open the gate? or should I?
That's why we had kids. LOL.
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