About Automatic Gate Openers
Most people have discovered the safety and convenience that an automatic garage door opener can have when it comes to getting in and out of one’s garage. This becomes especially true at night when safety is of greater concern or during foul weather to avoid becoming drenched.
Essentially, an automatic garage door opener uses Radio Frequency (RF) technology to operate. This technology employs two basic components – a transmitter (the push button in your car) and a receiver (located within the garage door opener motor housing). Thus, when you push the button on the transmitter, it sends a signal to the receiver, which, in turn, activates the opener motor to open the door. Once the door has opened fully and you are safely in your garage, you push a button on the transmitter again (or a hard-wired wall button) and, like magic, the door automatically closes. Amazing!
While an automatic garage door opener might be the best thing since sliced bread for many people, it does little for folks who don’t have a garage door, but who do have an entry gate across their driveway or entry path or road.
In days gone by, a gated driveway was reserved primarily for farm and ranch applications or for elaborate homes located in exclusive neighborhoods. Such is not the case today as more and more people look to gates as a means of improving security and to enhance the appearance of their homes. Moreover, the cost for professionally installed decorative metal gates is more affordable than ever and kits from local home centers make it an increasingly popular project for the do-it-yourselfer.
Accordingly, people with large gates want the same security and convenience that folks with automatic garage door openers are enjoying. Enter the automatic gate opener. An automatic gate opener works essentially like an automatic garage door opener. An RF signal is sent from a transmitter to a receiver which operates the gate opener. The opener can also be controlled by a push button keypad (wireless or hard-wired) outdoors or inside the home.
Automatic gate openers have been around for years. Chances are you’ve encountered one in an apartment complex or parking garage. Unfortunately, these automatic openers have traditionally been large, costly and required professional installation. However, recent breakthroughs in technology have produced a new generation of automatic gate opener that is not only more affordable, it can be installed by a handy do-it-yourselfer.
One such product that we have become familiar with is the “Mighty Mule E-Z Gate Opener”. The Mighty Mule system employs a variety of technological advances that allow a convenience that was once reserved primarily for the “rich and famous” to be available to everyday folks like you and us.
Aside from cost, a concern that has kept many people from having an automatic gate opener is their fear that they would be locked in (or out) during a power outage that would prevent the gate from operating. Whereas, some gate and opener systems allow for manual operation, older systems leave you at the mercy of the power being supplied to the unit.
In contrast to traditional line-voltage electrically powered openers, the Mighty Mule system is battery operated using low voltage power. The battery charge is maintained by either an AC transformer or by a solar panel. Thus, the battery acts as its own backup during a loss of power service and will provide power for several opening and closing cycles before a recharging is needed.
Thanks to this low voltage solar technology, an automatic gate opener can be used at locations where it was previously either impossible or impractical because electricity was not readily available. Now, if you have a large swinging gate on a ranch or farm out in the middle of nowhere without any electricity in the immediate area, you no longer need to climb down off of your tractor or get out of your car to open and close your gate. Simply press your transmitter button and the gate opens (and closes) automatically.
One of the features that is especially important to us is the built-in safety obstruction sensor which causes the gate to stop and reverse its direction if it comes in contact with an object during an open/close cycle– similar to what can be found with late model garage door openers.