Installation Conditions

Installation Conditions

Installation is based on the following.

  1. Address is within 30km from Centurion CBD.
  2. Power source installed and functional
  3. No pipes or electrical cables are in the way of the intended installation
  4. Enough space is available for the gate or door operator with the gate or door in the required open position
  5. Soil condition for baseplate or ceiling mounting is solid.
  6. Gate or Door mass, length and application is within the operator specifications
  7. Gate or Door is in good working order, meaning:
    7.1 that it moves freely, does not move on its own if left in any position
    7.2 it can be installed to have sufficient clearance between moving parts when opening
    and closing to reduce the risk of personal injury and entrapment
    7.3 pushbuttons or key switches, when required, can be positioned so that the gate is in line of sight of the operator (motor)

Thoughts on the new Smart SDO from Centurion Systems.


I love the innovation and all the new gadgets this company is offering. It’s just we live in a country with no power, no signal, poor data connectivity and, did I mention no power?

I installed one of these smart motors, Installation wen fine, until I had to set it up to run for the 1st time. It took over an hour of retry, re-connect re- re re re re everything to update the firmware via the app, why did it take so long? Well, there was very little phone signal – I managed but what a waste of installer time.

Maybe I missed something or on how to set up the machine without the app, but still. A considerate amount of time waisted. I guess this SDO4 Smart garage door motor will be the bomb in a country that is not South Africa.

What I’m trying to maybe say is, Please make a version suitable for South Africa.

In General

Safety is IMPORTANT and one should be responsible for ones own. A1 will not be held liable for any loss or damage on site.
Site must be clean, accessible and obstruction free. 

Pets MUST be contained at all times. Vehicles parked at safe distance to avoid damage and obstruction.

Manufacturer: The company responsible for the for the product warranties and customer support
Installer: The company/person responsible for the installation of products
Services: duties performed on behalf of customers, Expenses and labor for these services will be open invoice and for the customer’s account.


Any Battery, Batteries, standby systems, tension and or torsion spring coils , rubbers.

Terms and conditions

Electrical situation on site – failure to disclose any outages or problems will result in additional charges to the client’s account.

Prices found on this website should be used as ref only.
Product information and technical data on this website is used as reference only and should be confirmed with the manufacturer prior to installation. 

Outside of scope, changes / add-ons / “gou-gou” / “while here” / will be billed at set labor rate and expenses will be for the customer’s account

Estimates & Quotes | Resolving and Issue | How to compare

Animals / Pets / Children to be held clear from installation area and not cause distraction.

Damage Reports
To be paid in cash to the inspecting technician – Reports are emailed to the client along with payment receipt.

GSM Devices & Mobile Apps:
We do not do software installations or device setups. Manufacturers will have a full user support system available

Operating hours are: Mon to Fri: 8am to 5pm
Phone: +27826867662 Email: Office Address: Unit 38, Kiepersol, 592 Theuns Van Niekerk str, Rooihuiskraal North, Centurion, 0157 Mail us for further clarification at updated: 11/11/2021

Things I get to fix


Busy complex gate repairs and upgrades

Gate Motor Service Requested

Gate / Motor is noisy and unreliable.

But 1st, we fix the gate. An automatable gate is recommended. This gate required all moving parts to be removed, re-aligned and re commissioned, some needed to be replaced. 

Service on the Centurion D10 consists of cleaning out the frame and replacing the worn pinion gear.

Removed old wiring, and disconnected unused electronics. Simplified the “draadwerk”

The rail (rear) need a flat, wider footprint, it crosses a water drainage flow and it had over time ramped a “pothole effect” trench.

The rail (top) had corrugation resulting noise and shaking.

Project Report

1 Technician, 13 hours of labor – Material Used…. (to be continued)

D5 Smart In trouble

Centurion D5 Smart Troubleshooting

2 Years later (manufacturing date – 02/2020)

History of repairs:

Replaced set of batteries on 2 occasions. Had the power supply slash battery charger repaired and today 27th April 2022 a fault on the the controller.

The smart motor was completely unresponsive and system health was tip top according to the controller.


Message was, “gate lost” Run gate. Triggering the operator had no effect except gate lost message.

System Health display had no faults.

1st thing I did was to see if there were any firmware updates available, the systems firmware was up to date, then I tried running the setup wizard again. no reaction when the dc motor should be winding up.

Next – Check motor fuse manually, removing the fuse the controller immediately displayed an fuse error. a Good sign but not ‘the sign’

Fault finding:

Cold testing the fuse, battery voltage, battery amps and dc motor.

Everything tested ok.

There is only one component here that has misled us. The “smart controller” It did not read the dc motor at all, this was confirmed when I removed the motor wires from the controller, normally it would display “drive fault”

Smart things do go wrong and you will only get support during business hours and in between 3 to 4 days after log was submitted.

Dear Centurion System – Please could you add a feature to the app with support history, or repair history…. It would make our lives better.

Gate Motor Batteries – What you need to know

Your Gate Motor

If you own any of the top major brands you probably wonder why your gate does not work even when there is power? Well, your gate motor needs the battery to function. The mains power feed to it is only to keep the battery in a fully charged state – The battery is a lead acid battery, like a car’s battery. And below is how a startup battery (yours) and deep cycle battery stores and uses power.

Energy storage terminology

At their core, batteries charge and discharge electricity. A great analogy for batteries is a water pitcher. When the pitcher is being filled with water, it is charging. When the pitcher is pouring out the water, it is discharging. In energy storage parlance, this process of a single charge (i.e., filling the pitcher) followed by a single discharge (i.e., emptying the pitcher) is called a “cycle”.

Two other key terms to understand before diving into deep cycle batteries are depth-of-discharge and the state-of-charge. Depth-of-discharge is a metric for how much of the battery’s electricity you’ve used, while the state-of-charge is a metric for the amount of electricity remains stored in the battery. Using the same water pitcher analogy, if you were to pour out only three-quarters of the water pitcher, the depth-of-discharge would be 75 percent while the state-of-charge would be 25 percent.

There are a lot of terms and jargon associated with batteries. To learn more about relevant terminology, check out our energy storage glossary.

Deep cycle batteries vs. starting batteries

There are two main distinctions between types of batteries, each appropriately named for the situations when they are most useful: 

Starting batteries and Deep Cycle batteries.

Starting batteries are used for turning on appliances, such as lighting or a car’s ignition. These types of batteries provide a very large amount of power over a very short period of time to get an appliance (or car) up and running.

Deep cycle batteries, on the other hand, produce a smaller amount of energy but are able to do so for a very long period of time. The nomenclature of deep cycle batteries comes from the fact that they are designed to be discharged as fully as possible each time they are used, a “deep-cycle” of the battery. Whereas discharging a starting battery fully can decrease the lifetime of the battery, discharging a deep-cycle battery fully is exactly the battery’s intended purpose.

Best applications for deep cycle batteries

The nature of deep cycle batteries is to provide a consistent source of energy over a prolonged period and to be frequently fully charged and discharged. As a result, that makes deep cycle batteries ideal for pairing with renewable energy resources and home energy storage applications. In particular, deep cycle batteries are a perfect complement for solar energy. While the sun is shining during the day, deep cycle batteries can store generation from your solar panels. When the sun goes down, you can use the electricity stored in the battery to power devices in your home. And then, when the sun comes up the next morning, your partially- or fully-emptied battery will be ready be charged anew by the electricity generated by your solar panels.

As opposed to starting batteries, which are meant to never be discharged fully and are only intended to provide an initial kick-start of power for other systems, deep cycle batteries are ideal for home energy storage purposes. For the most part, home energy storage systems must be capable of providing a steady amount of electricity over a period of several hours – exactly the service provided by deep cycle batteries.

Gate and garage repair services client area

A1 Garage Motor Installer

Efficient and innovative, stepping into an upper class market with skilled field service and a different way of doing business. Keeping records of services are an essential part of growing and solving problems.

We do not use or sell personal information, ever.

Manage your profile, keep track of repairs, request estimates fast and book a repair – Registered clients get privilege over non registered.

Register here

Garage Motor Battery back up ready for load shedding

battery pack for centurion rdo roll up garage door motors

Load shedding is the worst and products were not designed to accommodate, especially Roll Up garage door motors. They have small batteries with small capacity at very slow charging rate.

The problem is, our battery backed up devices cannot charge to full capacity between power outages, for 2 hours back up power a standard system will take around 16 hours to charge back to full capacity. My solution to my clients.

a Standalone battery pack with 8x more power storage capacity and 8x faster charging rate. Also I’ve added a charging module, disconnecting the charger when batteries are charged to capacity.

Load shedding

We call on our clients to bring their part to the table around the electricity situation. Formal request and liability clause. It is the clients duty to inform us of any electrical power outages expected – failure to do so will result in additional charges for time spent on site and travel expenses during the power outage at the current rates.

We are all affected by this and the least we can do is work together. Not cool if a client expects me to “sit it out” There are other plans that can be made during load shedding in your suburb. Please be considerate.

New Smart Gate Motors from Centurion Systems

Centurion Systems - Next Level Smart

Are they Smart and how smart are they and who benefits more? Things to consider. Deep dive into what’s said, claimed and what exactly it all mean in real life.

Manufacturer’s claims and main features:

  • Taking intelligence to the next level – a machine crafted for excellence and perfected through innovation
  • Pushing the limits of technology to bring you the ultimate in strength, security and endurance – suitable for gates weighing up to 1t with 750 daily operations
  • SMART hardware and SMART connectivity provide the best experience for installers
  • Intelligent theft and break-in protection with an integral vibration sensor and patented theft-deterrent cage
  • More space and dedicated accessory tray for complementary solutions such as GSM devices
  • World-class reliability with a sealed gearbox and improved, more secure manual release mechanism
  • Die-cast aluminum gearbox coupled with a high-torque DC motor built for pure power and performance
  • Uncompromising security, uninterrupted convenience with 24V battery backup
  • Instant access to advanced, in-app diagnostics and logs, monitoring system health in real time
  • Accurate and safe position control incorporating reliable Hall Effect technology
  • Improved wire routing
  • SMART universal controller – compatible with all CENTURION SMART solutions

Gate motor Batteries SLA & Lithium Batteries for gate motors?

Lithium battery for gate motors

Is this another gimmick to part you from your hard earned money? Let’s dig a little deeper.

No documentation to support any claim whatsoever. Yes, these batteries are used everywhere but they all have operating conditions. These are way more dangerous than lead acid batteries. When used outside of conditions they do catch fire all on it’s own. FACT!

These Lithium batteries are expensive, to maintain the battery you will need a charger suited for the specific battery you have or planning to get.

Use it in your gate motor? I would not recommend it.

  1. Lets take the charging cycle of a normal Lithium-ion battery – 15.2 – 15.5 vdc. a Standard domestic sliding gate motor with SLA battery voltage is between 14.2 and 14.4. This is not sufficient for Lithium batteries
  2. Gate motor battery leads are equipped with 4-5mm terminal lugs – Lithium batteries need 10mm – big reason for that. 

In short Know your power storage needs – a very good expensive battery is just expensive if you have no idea how to keep it good. Take your time, do research, allot. And buy what you need – lithium batteries in gate motors will only perform better with the correct charging system.

Rather – replace your charging system to something that will charge your 7ah battery full in 2 to 3 hours

a Snippet from another blog

Can I charge my lithium battery with a lead acid charger?

Detailed answer: Lithium batteries are not like lead acid and not all battery chargers are the same. A 12v lithium battery fully charged to 100% will hold voltage around 13.3-13.4v. Its lead acid cousin will be approx 12.6-12.7v.

A lithium battery at 20% capacity will hold voltage around 13V, its lead acid cousin will be approx. 11.8v at the same capacity.

So if you use lead acid charger to charge your lithium battery, it may not be fully charged.

You can use a AC to DC lead acid charger powered from mains power, as charge efficiency and duration are less of a concern, it must not have automatic de-sulphation or equalization modes. If it does, do not use it as there is a high chance of damage to the cells or battery. This can have significant reduction in battery longevity. If it has a simple bulk/ absorption/ float charge profile, then it can be used to recharge the battery but must be disconnected once charged and not left in trickle charge/maintenance mode. It must also have a maximum output voltage of 13v-14.5V. When it comes to DC- DC chargers and solar controllers, you must change these to LiFePO4 specific models.

Here are some useful links:

Installations & Repairs

Repairs policy

  1. a call out to fix or repair or do fault finding do take recourses and it is covered by the callout fee. a call out fee apply when ever a technician is called out to a clients residence for whatever reason.
  2. No warranty on repairs as they ar always considered a temporary solution till the installation is done accordingly to manufacturers specifications.


Garage door operator fault finding – Sherlock Holmes style.

Home Banner 3410 x 1785

Taking Photographs

I take pictures before I start. – this way I can study them later and I’ve been taking photos about things ever since I knew how to load a 35mm film camera – along the years I developed a skill other than fixing stuff and taking perfect photos, I can tell by just looking at it what the problem is.

Realizing we all see different things.

My job is to fix this garage door operator. So I won’t be paying attention to the spiders, grease, dust and stuff I can trip over. 

Images below will be better if you read 1st and then click to enlarge.


Assess & Repair or Quote to repair.
Make: Digidoor
Model: II (220vac) Powerhead designed to be installed horizontally in an overhead hanging way.
Extrusion: 2.2m Designed for tip up doors combined with said powerhead.

Quick analysis. This setup is born to fail and be unreliable. I cant fix a modified installation – I can salvage it to run again, no problem, and this is why I wont be able to warrant this repair.



Closer look into why it failed. – Remember design? Horizontal and this vertically installed. Hanging stuff only goes one place on its own, and that is down!
By installing this extrusion in a vertical manor, meant the closed run time limit sensor will be exposed to gravity, cleaners, kids, balls, cars, floods and spiders.


Do you think that wire is important? It is, but why is it just hanging around and broken, how does it just break?

I get these questions from clients yes.

Answer: (refer to #2)



Closer look into why it failed. – Remember design? Horizontal and this vertically installed. Hanging stuff only goes one place on its own, and that is down!
By installing this extrusion in a vertical manor, meant the closed run time limit sensor will be exposed to gravity, cleaners, kids, balls, cars, floods and spiders.

And this is what happened.

  1. Open position run time limit sensor cable damaged – can only geus how
  2. Pushing past this sensor the motor jammed on obstruction
  3. Obstruction sensors failed to stop the motor when hitting obstruction.
  4. Causing the whole obstruction sensitivity mechanism to collapse and break.


All the damage here was cause by wrongful installation, the white ring mark is where the drive pully is catching the powerhead. and the yellow block holding the power head to the extrusion is broken.



Sliding gate wheels replaced

Gate wheels are important

a damaged or worn wheel puts excessive wear and tear on your gate motor and will damage it very quickly. 

Sliding Gate Wheels

New Gate wheels fitted

The new gate wheels I installed were done to be frictionless, friction is no ones friend.

Doing the Job

I can’t even…..

Doing the job right

Taking a bit more care and feeling proud about the little things. IRemoved over 2,5kg excess metal from this gate.

Gate wheels caused the damage

This wheel was caused a Gemini DC slider to heat up and draw so much current it would drain a new battery after the 3rd operation.  

Taking no chances

Replaced the following, wheels, Gemini SEL pcb and the battery. Doing this I am able to assure longevity of the motor.

Sliding Gate Rail Replaced – How do you?

Synopsys – Re install gate motor

My client called one morning and asked if I could “pop in” and have a look as he need to have a D10 Gate motor refitted.

Long story short, turns out the whole symmetric of the sliding gate install was all wrong. The gate motor would never have been reliable, or even fit for that matter.

After careful measurements it came down to sliding gate rail replacement.

no space for rack

How did it come to?

No Space for rack between gate and wall. The gate needed to have a minimum of 50mm gap to allow for the rack and the gate motor origin marker.

We needed the gate to shift 33mm to the right (picture) No more no less, no space on the right and a bandanna shaped gate determined this for me.

No Space

Challenges Faced

The “builder” or “installer” had no clue or lost his measuring tape. Nothing was predictable, like this measured 170mm, moving 5m on the length it narrowed all the way dawn to 135mm

The gate was not straight – It bends like a banana and the variable movement offset was – 130mm from the middle. INSANE, I have only 135mm space…..

Resolving an Issue

A1 will try and talk it through first. It might simply be a mistake or misunderstanding. It’s cheaper and less stressful, in the long run.

When communicating.

  • Voice your concerns as soon as possible — A1 may not realize there is a problem.
  • Put your views across clearly — writing it down first can help.
  • Be open to what the other party has to say.
  • Try to understand the other party’s point of view.
  • Try to come up with a range of options to sort things out — including possible compromises.
  • Have realistic expectations about what you expect to happen.
  • Make yourself available if your A1 tries to contact you.
  • Keep talking and listening even when you can’t agree.
  • If you can’t solve the issue first time around, agree another time when you can try again.
  • Stick to the issues and be respectful, including in voicemail, text or email messages. A hasty, incomplete or poorly worded message can create confusion or unnecessary ill-feeling.

Extra work – Out of scope

Good Practice is:

A1 will check with you before doing any extra work as this may mean you have to pay more than the quoted price. You always have the right to refuse extra work. If you decide to get the extra work done it is a good idea to shop around and check that the costs for this work are fair and reasonable, a short email /text will serve as a agreement.

Estimates and Quotes

Estimates – An estimate is not a set price. An estimate is roughly how much the job will cost, based on skill and past experience. A1 normally use estimates where to many other variables are at play and a set price cannot be given.

Quotes – The exact price a job will cost

Online forms are estimates to give our clients and idea of price, in some cases a site inspection is required to refine the estimate and will determine cost.

Prices given verbally are legally seen as estimations – There is no need to say it’s estimated.

How long do gate motors last?


Life Cycle

Manufacturers do really put in great effort to determine how long a gate motor will ast out in the real world. For this they make use of the life expectancy of various electrical components and combine it with the mechanical parts and the life expectancy alike. Word like should would could are words I don’t often use.

This is measured in operations and not in years or in time format.


Anybody can go on the internet and see if they can find answers, I do it myself but I think users are expecting way to much from it. And why would’t they. When looking for answers please make sure to look at more results than only the top of the page.

Collecting Data

I will be collecting data on the life expectency of equipment, real lif data from each replace installation. This will Take some time but will be well worth it.

Gate Motors I replaced

  • Centurion D5 -10 years
  • Centurion D5 Evo – 6 years (due to poor installation, fly by night installers increased)
  • Gemini 220v – 20 + years
  • Gemini 12vdc SEL Model – 10 years

Longevity of gate motors depends on the installation.

Inexperienced and or unqualified “technicians” can decrease gate motor life by 75%

Here are some images of poor workmanship – these are all repair I have done when called to repair the gate motor. Turns out everything else needed repair 1st.

Ready for another price hike?

Information Bulletin
Our dearest client,

We write to you with the year of 2021 nearly coming to an end.But regrettably it is not marking the end of an inexorable rise in costs that is plaguing almost all manufacturers in South Africa.The worldwide boom in commodity prices has certainly been great for this country as a net exporter of commodities, but out of all these commodities comes materials required for the manufacture of our products. Materials such as steel, aluminum, engineering plastics, copper wire and the list goes on.Layered on top of this has been the unparalleled increase in the cost of electronics components exacerbated by a total shortage of supply. Shipping in all these components from the various countries of supply has also been subjected to massive price hikes. As an example, the cost of a 40ft container out of the Far East has gone from approximately R60,000 a couple of years ago to over R200,000 today.We are trying to absorb all these increases along with our local increases in the cost of labour, electricity, etc. as much as possible, but regrettably we need to pass on a small increase of 2.5%, over and above the increase applied earlier this year.The new prices will come into effect from the 1st November.
Kind regards,


Best Gate Motor in South Africa

A1 Gate Motor Technician Avatar


To answer that you need to ask yourself why? What is the single one reason you are looking to purchase a gate motor?

  • Safety?
  • Comfort?
  • Showing off?
  • Because neighbor has one?
  • Eskom?

The best gate motor available in the South Africa? Let’s Compare some stuff from manufacturers.

Domestic market

  • Max gate weight rated 500kg*
  • Battery back up.
  • 12vdc System
  • 20 or so operations per day

Consider the following when shopping for a Gate Motor

How long is the warranty?12 electronic / 24 mechanical1224
Do they offer a swap out for repairs?nonoyes
Are parts easy find?yesnoyes
Is it well documented?so soso soexcellent
Do they offer training for installer to install your product?noyesw certification
Part replacement cost comparison (battery charger)R457.00R190.70R718.10
How often do you need to replace the battery? (est in months)18 – 2412-1812 -18
Price for a Remote (est 4 btn)R210.00R295.00R365.00
Built in obstruction sensing methodforce detectionelectro mechanicaloptical and force detection
prices are estimated and does not include installation or delivery

Now that you are familiar with the manufacturers, let’s look at over complicated expensive problematic functions.

As an experienced installer I picked up the following

….[to be continued]

Now make your decision. Hope this helped ~ Ask me should you have any other Questions Ask Now