Relationship Between Gate Opener Battery Size and Solar Panel Wattage

Here is how solar panels and batteries work with driveway gate openers in regards to determining if you need more of one or the other or both:
The gate opener’s battery is the storage capacity for the power captured by the solar panel. The solar panel wattage is the speed in which the battery will be recharged. The gate opener runs off the battery and the solar panel is meant to bring the battery back up to full charge each day. So you need to make sure that you have enough battery to handle your gate opener’s power requirements. If the gate opener seems to run fine off the battery but after a month or so the battery goes dead that would mean you have a charging problem. That would mean that the battery is large enough to hold more power for the gate opener but the solar panel is refilling it too slowly. You can add another solar panel to make sure the battery becomes filled by the end of the day.
If your panel always brings the battery to full charge before the end of the day but at night or a single cloudy day makes the battery go dead this means your battery is too small. You would need to first get a larger battery and then monitor the charging. If the battery if becoming fully charged before the end of the day this means your solar panel would be able to further supply a battery more power if the battery was large enough to store it. However the solar panel’s power is being wasted because the battery is full. In this case you would need a bigger battery still if you wanted to capture 100% of the power the solar panel is providing.
So to sum up. The Wattage of the gate opener solar panel is the rate at which the battery will charge. The size of the battery is the storage capacity for powering the gate opener and capturing all of the solar panel’s output.
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Troubleshooting a Buffalo America Gate Opener

A Buffalo America is a fairly simple gate opener to trouble shoot. Here are some basic steps to try if your Buffalo America gate opener is not moving when you press your remote, yet you hear your receiver click.

Starting with the assumption that the display is blank except for two blinking lights in the lower right hand corner of the displays.

1. Confirm the safety jumper is in and is making a connection: Do this by removing the terminal block PHOTO from the control panel. Pull the entire block off the panel. You should see when the block is removed from the panel the lights on the LED display start blinking faster than when the block is plugged into the control board.

If the lights do indeed blink faster when the PHOTO block is removed then your jumper is intact and secure. go on to step 2.
If the lights do not blink at a different rate then remove the wire that is making a connection between the terminal Photo and GND and replace it. This should fix your issue and you can try the gates again after this.
2. Confirm there is not a circuit being held closed that shouldn’t be: Do this by pressing the set button. You should see P1 show on the display.
If numbers show instead of P1 then remove the BUTTON block from the control panel and press set again. You should now see P2 instead of numbers. If this is the case then something is holding closed a circuit on PUSH1 or PUSH2. Check inside the receiver to make sure no wires are touching in CH1 terminals. You should only have two wires on the board on the button block and both leading to CH1 terminals on your receiver. If this is not the case please take a picture of the wiring and send to me.
If P1 shows on the display then you dont have any circuits being held closed, press set button until you are back to two flashing dots. go on to step 3.
This next step is assuming you have a single gate opener and not a dual. If you have a dual change red dip switch #2 to off to make it a single and try the next step with each motor wired into motor1 and limit 1 terminals.
3. Insure limit switches and wires are making a good connection: Go back into your parameter settings and change your run time to 9 – this is your P1 setting. This is to insure that we do not over run your gate opener because we are going to operate without limit switches. On the Limit 1 block you will have a yellow, red, black wire in that order (if they are not in that order that may be your whole issue). Remove these wires and replace them with two short pieces of wire that connect all three of the Limit1 terminals together. Once all 3 of the terminals are jumped together try operating the gate opener with your remote or with the PUSH1 button on the board.
If the gate moves it will go open for 9 seconds and stop and then closed for 9 seconds and stop. This is because we changed the run time to this and the limit switches are disconnected. If the gate does run like this your limit switches are the issue or the wire coming off the arm is the issue.
If the gate still does not move nor count on the display, meaning it stays on flashing dots, your control board is an issue.
If the gate opener doesn’t move but it counts on the display then it could be a connection issue to your motor. Go to step 4.
Take the large red and large black wires from the motors and touch them to a battery. You can use your car battery. The motor should run, if it does not it is either the motor or the motor wires.
If the motor runs then it could be your board that has an issue with the relays, the clear relay blocks above where you wire in the motor wires.
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