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Gate Opener Made From Garage Door Opener, Riding Mower
Dale McCaslin, Kansas City, Mo., used a Sears chain-driven garage door opener and the rear wheels and axle off an old riding mower to build a rugged "remote control" gate opener.
The unit bolts directly to a 16-ft. steel gate across his driveway. He can open and close the gate with the push of a button.
"It works as well as anything on the market but didn't cost much to build. I can open and close the gate right from my vehicle."
He cut the mower frame in half and used lengths of angle iron to bolt the door opener to the frame, positioning the opener on its side. The mower's rear axle was originally chain-driven off a gearbox. He shortened the mower's drive chain and connected it directly to the sprocket on the door opener. He also welded the mower's rear axle shaft and differential together in order to keep both wheels moving together. He covered it all with a sheet metal housing and used a pair of angle iron brackets to bolt the opener directly to the gate. A length of extension cord runs from the door opener up through one of the tubes on the gate to an outlet on an electric light pole that's near the gate.
"I paid $140 for the garage door opener which came with two remote control openers and a touch pad which I mounted on a nearby fence, allowing visitors without a re-mote control to key in numbers and activate the door opener. If the power ever goes out the unit is light enough that I can pick it up and move it along with the gate. I think the same idea would work on most any gate.
"I mounted chains on the tires to boost traction in snow and mud. However, I still have to recalibrate the gearing on this unit two or three times a year in order to allow for wheel slippage. If the gate weren't so heavy I wouldn't have any slippage at all."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dale McCaslin, 2300 NE Barry Road, Kansas City, Mo. 64155 (ph 816 436-0272).

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1998 - Volume #22, Issue #2