MRG has the ability to self-diagnose certain problems that may prevent the gate from raising or lowering when commanded. MRG flashes the red and yellow signal lights (located on top of the barrier wall) in particular sequences identifying various issues with the following light flashing codes:
- Vehicle Detection System: 3 flashes in (2) seconds
- Drive System Overload: 4 flashes in (2) seconds
- Insufficient Power to Drive system: 2 flashes in (2) seconds
- Electronic Fault: 5 flashes in (2) seconds
Light sequences identify issues as follows:
“Vehicle Detection System (VDS)” – The purpose of the VDS is to prevent the gate from attempting to close when a vehicle is detected in the gate. If the VDS detects an obstruction, both the yellow and red lights will simultaneously flash three (3) flashes in two(2) seconds, then no flashes for (2) seconds. This sequence repeats five times then the lights stop flashing. If the command to raise is given, and the VDS is still obstructed, the gate will not raise and the entire flashing light sequence will repeat.
If after visual examination it is determined that there is no vehicle obstructing the gate but there is another reason the VDS is obstructed such as snow and ice build-up obstructing the sensing units, the operator may override the VDS by pressing the command button three (3) times in two (2) seconds. This will return MRG to the raised position and maintain the safe integrity of the median barrier wall. Removing obstructions to VDS’s line of sight should return it to normal operation. When MRG is in the raised position the VDS is turned off so gate lowering is never affected.
“Overload Protection” – The purpose of the overload protection is to prevent drive system damage resulting from a physical gate movement blockage. If the electrical current to the drive system exceeds a safe limit at any time during operation the gate will stop. Because this condition has potential to seriously damage the drive system the gate will not raise or lower when commanded. Instead, the red and yellow lights will simultaneously flash four (4) flashes in two (2) seconds, then no flashes for two (2) seconds. This pattern repeats five times, then the lights stop flashing. If the transmitter button is pushed the pattern repeats. An overload evaluation (see Operation Manual) should be initiated to rectify the situation.
“Weak Batteries” – The purpose of the weak battery protection is to prevent drive system damage resulting from insufficient battery power. If the controller tells the drive system to run, and the drive system starts but draws significantly less than normal current the controller assumes the batteries must be weak. The controller will not allow the gate to raise or lower when commanded. Instead, the red and yellow lights will simultaneously flash two (2) flashes in two (2) seconds, then no flashes for two (2) seconds. This pattern repeats five times, then the lights stop flashing. If the transmitter button is pushed the pattern repeats but the gate will not move. This feature protects the drive system from armature damage in cases where there is some power but not enough to run the drive system.
In this case the battery connections should be checked for tightness and corrosion. If no problem is found, the batteries should be replaced.
“Electronic Fault Detection” – This is a safety feature to help prevent gate movement in the event of a circuit board failure. If the controller detects the drive system is running when it has not been commanded to run, the controller immediately shuts off power to the drive system and the red and yellow lights will simultaneously flash five (5) flashes in two (2) seconds, then no flashes for two (2) seconds. This pattern repeats five times, then the lights stop flashing. If the transmitter button is pushed, the pattern repeats but the gate will not move.
It is likely that either the auto control box or the stop switch box has failed. The stop switch box should be replaced first and tested then if the problem continues, replace the auto control box. (see Operation Manual)
MODES OF MRG OPERATION
MRG’s gate can be operated in five (5) ways:
- Normal Operation with a wireless remote.
- Manual Operation with a manual controller where gate travel is NOT controlled by stop (limit) switches.
- Manual Operation with a manual controller where gate travel is controlled by stop (limit) switches.
- Emergency Lowering where the MRG drive system is not utilized.
- Emergency Raising where the MRG drive system is not utilized.
EMERGENCY LOWERING AND RAISING OF GATE
If, for whatever reason, it becomes necessary to lower or raise the gate without utilizing MRG’s drive system, an alternate method has been provided. A quarter turn of a disengagement rod located at the top of the gate disengages the MRG’s drive system and allows the gate to be lowered and raised using an external lifting device.
MASTER POWER SWITCH & SAFETY PINS
The MRG has a master power on-off electrical switch that stops power to the drive system. The MRG also provides safety pins that, when inserted into holes, provided in the gate structure, prevent any gate movement in the absence of power.
A slow drive-by visual inspection and a lowering / raising exercise of the MRG can often spot damage which requires maintenance. Some inspection considerations are:
- Failure to lower or raise
- Flashing diagnostic lights
- Damage from an impact
- Debris or foreign material within the MRG
- Covered or dirty solar panel
- Low battery status indicator on the charge controller
- Inadequate charging status light indicated on the charge controller panel
CHARGE CONTROLLER / BATTERY STATUS / CYCLE COUNTER
The charge controller panel is constantly visible. This panel contains a series of light indicators that report solar panel charging status, battery condition and the number of cycles (raise and lower) the MRG has done.
MRG has bearings, roller chains, sprockets and cover plate hinges that periodically require lubrication. The roller bearings are located on the drive shafts and all have grease fittings. The roller chains, sprockets and hinges periodically require an application of light oil. MRG’s operating manual provides photos and descriptions of these locations.
ITEMS FOR PERIODIC CLEANING AND INSPECTION
- Solar Panels
- Drive Sprocket Chains
- Counterweight Sprocket Chains
- Drain Holes in Horizontal Gate Beams
- Check Springs on Cover Closer
- Check Springs on Cover Guide Plates
- Limit Switches
According to MRG’s battery manufacturer’s specifications, MRG’s batteries have an expected 5 year life and a reserve capacity (RC) of 210 minutes. That’s the number of minutes the battery can supply a 25 Amp current at 80 degrees F. Cumberland’s testing shows that the MRG requires 25 amps for 10 seconds going down and 50 amps for 15 seconds going up. Then based on the manufacturer data with new batteries the MRG could operate for 310 cycles between charges. This is in large part to MRG’s counterweight design allowing MRG to operate with minimum current requirements.
The solar panel manufacturer specifies that the charger can provide 10 Amps. Since each cycle takes only 0.28 Amp-hours. Then theoretically it should take only about 0.028 hours or about 1.7 minutes of charging to replenish the battery after each cycle of MRG operation.
To access the vault (houses the gate when lowered) the cover plates must be rotated outwardly. This can be accomplished by removing two bolts on the MRG’s cover plates. To release the cover plates, the dead bolts, located underneath each end of the cover plates, must be released and rotated downward from underneath the transition plates. This is a simple procedure described in the Operating Manual.
REMOVING COVER PLATE
The cover plates are the longitudinal plates that cover the gate in the down position that vehicles drive across. To remove a cover plate, first remove the cotter pins from the plate’s hinges. The cover plate must be rotated to vertical. The cover plate may then be removed by sliding it off of its hinges. The cover plate must be in its vertical position to be removed. It is not necessary to remove the cover plates to do normal cleaning of the vault area.
SETTING LIMIT SWITCHES
Limit switches are the electronic switches that regulate MRG’s up and down gate travel distance. It is unlikely that MRG’s limit switches will need to be adjusted once they have been set by Cumberland’s technician during the original installation. However, in the event that readjustment is needed, Cumberland has provided a tool (light) that indicates when a limit switch is activated. This tool eliminates the need for normal trial and error gate movement to “set” the switches in the proper location. A very detailed description of this procedure is provided in MRG’s operating manual.