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Automatic gate openers #7554465 07/12/19 03:51 AM
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Cow_doc.308 Offline OP
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Need to add an electric (solar) opener to my gate. Looking to go DIY as we'll probably upgrade our entrance in the next couple years when we get our house built.

I'm looking at Ghost controls and mighty mule on amazon. Looks like by the time I buy all the extras, I'll be pretty even on the money. Anyone have experience with either? Another brand to recommend?

Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Cow_doc.308] #7554505 07/12/19 11:05 AM
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installed a couple of the mules, they work good but be sure no one ever bumps it or the threaded shaft will bend (bends easily).

if you have an ag exemption try tractor supply or atwoods, no tax (I think they are on the list).



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Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Cow_doc.308] #7554556 07/12/19 12:38 PM
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Patriot and U.S. Automatic are the brands I've installed.

You get what you pay for.


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Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Cow_doc.308] #7554604 07/12/19 01:28 PM
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Iíve used a Mighty Mule (GTO Pro) for about 10 years. There was a learning period on how to deal with problems. Here are my suggestions if you go with Mighty Mule (available at Tractor Supply):

* If you have a heavy gate, order the heavy duty gate opener/closer actuator. TSC, to the best of my knowledge, only sells the standard actuator unit.
* You can get a refurbished heavy duty actuator directly from Mighty Mule/GTO Pro.
* If your gate will run off battery power, donít use those little sealed rechargeable batteries. Go ahead and get a deep cycle trolling motor battery. Itíll work fine with your solar charger.

After I set up our gate opener as outlined above, problems have been few and far between. And when and if a problem arises, itís always (almost always) a battery problem, and rarely a control panel issue.


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Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: FiremanJG] #7554692 07/12/19 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by FiremanJG
Patriot and U.S. Automatic are the brands I've installed.

You get what you pay for.



Yep. More security and better gate if you do a single roller instead of 2 swingers. We've had one of these for more than 10 years and only had to replace the battery.

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Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Cow_doc.308] #7555081 07/13/19 02:57 AM
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US Automatic is what I installed on ours. There have several times our cows have slipped into the closing gates and forced them open and they have not sustained any damage. I did a lot of research and ended up with them. It was kind of expensive at $1500 but everything I read said that it would be worth it in the long run versus replacing and fixing cheaper openers.


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Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Cow_doc.308] #7561468 07/21/19 09:54 PM
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Double or triple up on the solar panel wattage. Either a bigger panel or multiple panels. Make sure your charge controller can handle the total wattage.

You will thank yourself the first time there is a couple of weeks of cold overcast weather.


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Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Cow_doc.308] #7563897 07/25/19 03:13 AM
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Installed a Ghost Controls set up today. Took me a few hours. Hardest part was getting the bracket onto the post. Their package is really meant to be attached to a wooden post. I need an adapter bracket to attach to drill stem. Once that was on, Pretty straight forward.

I've got to go back and work on the mounting for the solar panel and control box. Couldn't find the driver I needed to run self tapping screws into the pipe. Mini project for the weekend I guess.

Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Cow_doc.308] #7564776 07/26/19 01:25 PM
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Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Cow_doc.308] #7564871 07/26/19 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Cow_doc.308
Installed a Ghost Controls set up today. Took me a few hours. Hardest part was getting the bracket onto the post. Their package is really meant to be attached to a wooden post. I need an adapter bracket to attach to drill stem. Once that was on, Pretty straight forward.

I've got to go back and work on the mounting for the solar panel and control box. Couldn't find the driver I needed to run self tapping screws into the pipe. Mini project for the weekend I guess.


I've had a Ghost Controls for coming up on 3 years now. Zero problems. I didn't like the way the clamps fit on my gate so I drilled a hole through the bracket and gate and stuck a bolt through it (not the hinge side - where it attaches mid gate). My gate is one of the 16' midweight gates from Tractor supply and it moves it just fine. I'll be changing out all my corner posts to drill stem here in the next few months. What adapter bracket did you use?

I hit mine with the mower weekly...and my father in law has put a nice dent in the gate with his FEL because he doesn't pay attention. Opener is still going strong. Probably about time for a new battery though. I turned the beeping on open and close off. It annoyed me.

Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Cow_doc.308] #7565308 07/27/19 05:35 AM
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https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07L8KJ8YC?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title

This is the adapter I used. Drilling the pipe to run bolts through the pipe was probably the worst part of the whole deal. Would have been much easier to punch holes with a torch, but I donít have one.

Iím probably going to do what you described and bolt the bracket directly to the gate. The clamps are already wanting to slip.

Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Tbar] #7566802 07/29/19 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tbar



I had an Apollo opener. I would say they are top of the line but when they fail it cost a small fortune for parts and thatís if you diy. Mine was older though, this was 15 years ago, maybe things have changed.

Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Cow_doc.308] #7577195 08/11/19 12:30 AM
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It’s odd that I don’t usually check the DIY section but did today

Anyway, we just replaced a Mighty Mule today

3rd one in 10 years actually

FYI, go your own route I’m just saying

They are cheap for a reason

Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Cow_doc.308] #7577207 08/11/19 12:43 AM
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15 years for the 3 actuators I’ve had. When I called the Mighty Mule folks about 6 years ago, they strongly suggested that I buy a refurbished heavy duty actuator from them rather than buy another regular actuator. I did so, and have had no problems since, other than a frayed wire or two.

Over the 15 years I also replaced the circuit board one time, and the push button opener unit at the gate was replaced once.


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Re: Automatic gate openers [Re: Cow_doc.308] #7674018 11/27/19 06:07 PM
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I've had a Mighty Mule up and running for 3 years.
If you use it on a steel gate frame, WELD the mount on the frame as it will stretch the stock bolts after a while if there is much wind blowing on it.
The stock duty actuator does bend easily but my first one is still on there and wiggles like a Hula Girl while opening and closing gate - will replace with HD one soon.
I bought a 20watt 12v aftermarket solar panel and made a mount for it. It was about half the cost of the 5watt MM one and keeps the batteries charged.
I'm using a pair of the 12v7ah SLA batteries but they only last for 2 years - plan to move over to a single 12v 30a SLA in external case.
It loses it's mind every once and a while but just hit the remote and open or close it and it wakes up.


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