DIY solar panel for Mighty Mule gate opener

more_to_growOctober 8, 2007

I am looking for input, hopefully from someone with some electronics knowledge/expertise; I have very little.

I would like to hook a solar panel up to the battery on my mighty mule gate opener, rather than spend all the beans on the "mighty mule" panel. The output on my panel on a sunny day at noon time in NE CT two weeks ago was approximately 20V DC, which is right where the branded panel is purported to be.

My question is whether there are electronics built into their panel that prevent overloading or draining of the battery; or rather, should I try to build a simple circuit to do this and if so is there someone willing to help me design such a thing? I can assemble and solder this I am sure, just don't know how to design what I might need.

I can provide more specific information to anyone interested in helping.

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How many watts is the solar panel you have?

If the controller for the gate has solar marked terminals, you're most likely all set. Unless you have a huge solar panel putting out more watts than that controller is rated.

If no existing solar terminals you probably want to buy a solar battery charge controller and wire it up directly to the battery(s).

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 11:42AM
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Thanks for the link, that looks like what I need; provided there isn't already such a circuit within the unit, which is a question I am trying to answer.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 1:21PM
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I looked quickly at Mighty Mule site and quickly at a user manual on one unit.

Looks like their control panels may or may not include connections for solar - some do, some dont. And if your's does have solar connections they apparently are only rated for a solar panel, or group of panels, up to 30 watts max.

I didnt spend much time looking and the model I looked at may not be identical to yours, so take what I say with a grain of salt about those contacts until you look in your manual & control panel.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 11:38PM
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Question: I have the Mighty Mule Dual Gate Opener (FM 402). I purchased this solar panel ( instead of the mighty mule solar panel. It comes with a charge controller. Do I need to hook up the charge controller of the instapark solar panel to the mighty mule control panel or is that redundant? Would I just connect the wires from the instapark solar panel directly into the two terminals of the mighty mule control panel? thanks.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 3:50PM
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