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Old 10-04-2018, 11:37 PM   #1
JayB
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Default Auto gate recommendations

Looking for ideas and suggestions for an automatic gate opener for residential use.

.....and God Bless America.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:40 PM   #2
flywise
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I have a low end mighty mule on a LIGHT gate that has been great for 3 years.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:47 PM   #3
wow
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And I have had 2 MMs in 3 years. Not impressed.
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:02 AM   #4
texasair
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I have had one of the might mule larger units on a 16' iron gate for years.
I think it was around $6-800 dollars, still a lot cheaper than the big fancy openers.

Was very careful when I built and hung the gate to get it very level and square with a very solid gatepost, so it opens and closes effortlessly.

The only problem has been the control board from a lightning strike , and i think a lightning strike will probably get most any gate opener.

While we are on the subject of gate openers, Here in Houston they have been showing security camera video on the news of a guy that has been cutting off gate openers with a sawsall and stealing them, they have him pegged for dozens of heists. Don"t think they have caught him yet
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:20 AM   #5
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My fence guy only uses Apollo. Hes been doing it for 30 years. He said they are a good mix of quality and price.
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:51 AM   #6
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Apollo
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:41 AM   #7
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Got the Apollo 5 years ago. Been happy so far.

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Old 10-05-2018, 06:10 AM   #8
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I've have the LiftMaster / Chamberlain LA-400-D Dual Swing Gate Opener w/ MyQ Technology. So far so good
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:14 AM   #9
ShaBow
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I definitely wouldn't waste $ on a Mighty Mule! Mine has been POS from the first month it was put in.
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:24 AM   #10
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I have a solar powered lift master no problems with it 6 years old. Of course I had to put batteries in it 2 different times
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:37 AM   #11
N.DaWoods
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Apollo for us. Love it.
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:30 AM   #12
ColinR
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We have the newer version of Apollo called Nice. Going strong for about a year now. runs off solar. buy once cry once.
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:36 AM   #13
Ironman
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US Automatic

https://www.usautomatic.com/
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:37 AM   #14
bboswell
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Following, I have been researching this some for a heavy pipe gate. So far Iím leaning Apollo.
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:40 AM   #15
bloodtrailer28
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We have had our Apollo for a little over 2 years now and it's been trouble free

Stay away from the mighty mule....junk.
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flywise View Post
I have a low end mighty mule on a LIGHT gate that has been great for 3 years.
Same here and love it!
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:46 AM   #17
PYBUCK
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Liftmaster
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:54 AM   #18
Codypatt1
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Go with Apollo. Believe they are under the name ďNiceĒ now
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:24 AM   #19
bonehunts
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You didn't say if you were wanting a sliding gate operator or swing gate.
I've used both US Automatic and Chamberlain for sliding gates with great success.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:37 AM   #20
texan16
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I have a Mighty Mule on mine, been running for 11 years. Had a few issues every now and then but it works just fine. However, when it does finally play out I will go with an Apollo.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:05 AM   #21
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I am fixing to get a new opener as well since my Apollo took a swim during Harvey.

My first Apollo was a swing gate opener. It had the basic 836 board in it, and was very simple. It was PIA to install, as the instructions were vague. I ran it off solar, and it worked very good for a few years. I also had a free exit wand.

Lightning got the board & the wand during a bad storm one year. I replaced the board with the upgraded 1050 board, but not the wand. It kept acting up, and was frustrating me. It wasn't until I disconnected the wand that it started working correctly. I just abandoned the wand, and used the my clicker to open it from that point forward. It worked great up until the flood, but was a pain for people to exit that didn't have a clicker. I had to open it for them.

My only complaint with the Apollo was I could never figure out how to make it "Hold Open", without opening the box, and manually forcing it to stay open. This is an option you definetly want to have when you are having people over. I like for the gate to just stay open for a few hours, and then let me override when I want it closed. It would be nice to just have a second code that would operate a "hold open" function.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:28 AM   #22
Ironman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmetto View Post
I am fixing to get a new opener as well since my Apollo took a swim during Harvey.

My first Apollo was a swing gate opener. It had the basic 836 board in it, and was very simple. It was PIA to install, as the instructions were vague. I ran it off solar, and it worked very good for a few years. I also had a free exit wand.

Lightning got the board & the wand during a bad storm one year. I replaced the board with the upgraded 1050 board, but not the wand. It kept acting up, and was frustrating me. It wasn't until I disconnected the wand that it started working correctly. I just abandoned the wand, and used the my clicker to open it from that point forward. It worked great up until the flood, but was a pain for people to exit that didn't have a clicker. I had to open it for them.

My only complaint with the Apollo was I could never figure out how to make it "Hold Open", without opening the box, and manually forcing it to stay open. This is an option you definetly want to have when you are having people over. I like for the gate to just stay open for a few hours, and then let me override when I want it closed. It would be nice to just have a second code that would operate a "hold open" function.
My US Automatic has a separate button for hold open. It will stay that way until you override it. BUT, I added a toggle switch to the bottom of my control box. I can open the gate and flip the toggle and all power is cut off. This is handy because even with a hold open feature, you still have battery drain due to the fact that when your timer tells the gate to close, it then gets "told" the hold open feature is active. A simple toggle switch kill all power so no battery drain.

BTW, mine is on solar, so a switch made sense. I mounted it under the box, so you don't have to open the box to switch it.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:36 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
My US Automatic has a separate button for hold open. It will stay that way until you override it. BUT, I added a toggle switch to the bottom of my control box. I can open the gate and flip the toggle and all power is cut off. This is handy because even with a hold open feature, you still have battery drain due to the fact that when your timer tells the gate to close, it then gets "told" the hold open feature is active. A simple toggle switch kill all power so no battery drain.

BTW, mine is on solar, so a switch made sense. I mounted it under the box, so you don't have to open the box to switch it.
Thanks Ironman. I have been looking hard at the US Automatic.

Do you know if you can program factory the buttons on a vehicle (like a ford has on the visor?) to work with it?
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:48 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmetto View Post
Thanks Ironman. I have been looking hard at the US Automatic.

Do you know if you can program factory the buttons on a vehicle (like a ford has on the visor?) to work with it?
That's a good question. I think it would depend on the vehicle. Reason is, US Automatic uses European codes. The reason for that, that was given to me, is that it's less likely that someone else's remote would be able to open your gate. I guess it would depend on whether or not your vehicle recognizes European codes.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:53 AM   #25
Dusty Britches
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My first MM was really good. It lasted 7 years, which even the company said that was unheard of. In the 3 years since I replaced that one, I've replaced the arms twice. At $300 each that's $900 in 10 years.

The Apollo and US Automatic have better warranties and I've heard of people using theirs for 10-20+ years. I see way to many negative comments about the MM and lots of positive comments about the Apollo and US Automatic.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:58 AM   #26
gatt40
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We have Mighty Mules and there is always something wrong, not working
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:09 AM   #27
Green Arrow
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If you have a mighty mule then you dont have anything.
Complete junk.
Apollo is not what they used to be,they didnt handle the new regulations requiring more safety equipment very well.
Usautomatic is the best option for solar swing gates bigger then 14'
For smaller gates the liftmaster la412 is by far the best option for solar.
For a/c power installations the rsw12ul is great also best long term.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:19 AM   #28
eliteweldingco
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Apollo isn’t the company it use to be. You can still get the bare bones 1500 model with the 636 board and that’s all I would use of theirs.
I’d use us automatic if your look for a heavy residential arm. If you’re looking for something just slightly lighter weight use the liftmaster la 400/412. You can’t beat the built in receiver for remotes.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:34 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Snowflake Killa View Post
I have a solar powered lift master no problems with it 6 years old. Of course I had to put batteries in it 2 different times
I have one of these and its the biggest piece of crap on the face of the earth. I hate that dang gate. Just looking at it ticks me off. I'm about to replace it and I'll take that Lift Master hunk of garbage to the ranch and shoot it full of holes.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:43 AM   #30
morris_mat
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Liftmaster going strong for 5 years now
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:55 AM   #31
stroker_ace
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I have a Door King Model 6100. 15 yrs old now and never replaced a single item on it.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:57 AM   #32
TMC50
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We are in the mix of getting one pretty quick. Will have power there if I want to go that route. Will put a keypad and multiple clickers and possibly a free exit. Have done a bunch of research and still undecided on everything.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:59 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throwin' Darts View Post
I have one of these and its the biggest piece of crap on the face of the earth. I hate that dang gate. Just looking at it ticks me off. I'm about to replace it and I'll take that Lift Master hunk of garbage to the ranch and shoot it full of holes.
There is always that one gate that gives us fits.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:02 AM   #34
Acameron52
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My folks have an Apollo on theirs with no complaints.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:10 AM   #35
Ironman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMC50 View Post
We are in the mix of getting one pretty quick. Will have power there if I want to go that route. Will put a keypad and multiple clickers and possibly a free exit. Have done a bunch of research and still undecided on everything.


I would definitely go with a free exit if your driveway is of any length. You may consider two keypads as well. I put two at different heights to accommodate both cars and trucks. I also put covers on my keypads. I built this gooseneck and installed it into a 2' receiver hitch I concreted into the ground. I can pull out the keypad post in order to mow or grade the driveway.




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Old 11-06-2018, 10:11 AM   #36
Japeatr
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Viking L3 is what we have, after 15 years it has needed a control board after mice nested in there

i would recommend
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:31 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
I would definitely go with a free exit if your driveway is of any length. You may consider two keypads as well. I put two at different heights to accommodate both cars and trucks. I also put covers on my keypads. I built this gooseneck and installed it into a 2' receiver hitch I concreted into the ground. I can pull out the keypad post in order to mow or grade the driveway.




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Wireless exit pads?
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:47 AM   #38
Outback77
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US automatic patriot model
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:25 PM   #39
TMC50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
I would definitely go with a free exit if your driveway is of any length. You may consider two keypads as well. I put two at different heights to accommodate both cars and trucks. I also put covers on my keypads. I built this gooseneck and installed it into a 2' receiver hitch I concreted into the ground. I can pull out the keypad post in order to mow or grade the driveway.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Our driveway isnít long but we will be on the golf cart many times as well as the gator and itís just easier than having a whole bunch of clickers. I like the keypad idea and that is pretty simple with quick connects...
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:09 PM   #40
BTLowry
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Apollo is what I have

Don't go cheap, buy quality whichever brand you get

Buy once, cry once

MM will make you cuss and throw things
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:35 PM   #41
bowmansdad
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Originally Posted by BTLowry View Post
Apollo is what I have

Don't go cheap, buy quality whichever brand you get

Buy once, cry once

MM will make you cuss and throw things
I had an Apollo that worked well for years, then some POS decided he wanted it and sawed it off my pole and took everything!
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:41 AM   #42
Draco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmetto View Post
I am fixing to get a new opener as well since my Apollo took a swim during Harvey.

My first Apollo was a swing gate opener. It had the basic 836 board in it, and was very simple. It was PIA to install, as the instructions were vague. I ran it off solar, and it worked very good for a few years. I also had a free exit wand.

Lightning got the board & the wand during a bad storm one year. I replaced the board with the upgraded 1050 board, but not the wand. It kept acting up, and was frustrating me. It wasn't until I disconnected the wand that it started working correctly. I just abandoned the wand, and used the my clicker to open it from that point forward. It worked great up until the flood, but was a pain for people to exit that didn't have a clicker. I had to open it for them.

My only complaint with the Apollo was I could never figure out how to make it "Hold Open", without opening the box, and manually forcing it to stay open. This is an option you definetly want to have when you are having people over. I like for the gate to just stay open for a few hours, and then let me override when I want it closed. It would be nice to just have a second code that would operate a "hold open" function.
To keep them open, you hit the open button to open and just before it gets to fully open, hit the button again and it will stop right there. It will stay open until you hit the button again and it will close.
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:06 AM   #43
janak
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I build custom gates and install automatic openers. I always highly recommend US Automatic. Texas based company = Great customer service. I actually installed one today. IMO it is the best solar powered, heavy duty swing arm opener.
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:06 AM   #44
TMC50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janak View Post
I build custom gates and install automatic openers. I always highly recommend US Automatic. Texas based company = Great customer service. I actually installed one today. IMO it is the best solar powered, heavy duty swing arm opener.
I see you are in Weimar. Where can I price those at around here? Iím in Sheridan
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:56 PM   #45
janak
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I see you are in Weimar. Where can I price those at around here? Iím in Sheridan
NO where local sells them I sent you a PM of who I use
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:24 AM   #46
Ironman
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Originally Posted by Palmetto View Post
Wireless exit pads?
Sorry, just seeing this.

Those are wireless entry pads. I have an automatic exit wand buried for free exit.
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:28 AM   #47
Atfulldraw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
Sorry, just seeing this.

Those are wireless entry pads. I have an automatic exit wand buried for free exit.
In the process of building a new entry gate right now.

this underground loop feature is definitely getting added to our next gate....
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:56 AM   #48
Aggie Dad
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Apollo here, no complaints!
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:40 PM   #49
FCoDxDart
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Can't beat apollo nowadays. I have the 1550-etl kit with a 20 watt panel and it hasn't had a single issue in 4 years.

If you plan on having lots of use as well as a medium heavy gate, get the 20 watt for sure the 10 watt is not worth it.
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:43 PM   #50
Ironman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atfulldraw View Post
In the process of building a new entry gate right now.

this underground loop feature is definitely getting added to our next gate....
If you have cows, just make sure you have a cattle guard at the gate. A cow walking across the exit wand can open the gate.
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