Things I get to fix


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.

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

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…..

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.

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

Gate Motor Scam

Our Public is being fooled again by dodgy gate motor installers. They are being sold refurbished (2nd hand) Centurion D5 Evo Gate motors “as new”

The Unit are nicely seal by centurion systems but have a red label indicating it’s a refurbished unit. Our public does not no this and are being fooled into thinking it’s new.

Be aware – If you are getting a “new” motor at half the price. It’s not new.

D5 Smart vs D5 Evo vs ET Drive 500 Comparison

I compare them from a maintenance cost and availability – Quality is determined over time and a bag full prerequisites must be met.

So I will not be doing a quality comparison – To me all the products are made the same way and put together with the same components from the same manufacturer somewhere in china. Your installer’s experience will determine the longevity of your chosen gate motor. 

This comparison is value for money, availability, support and functionality. Why pay for stuff you will never use right?

a Quick look at the differences an similarities between the Centurion D5 Evo, ET Drive 500 and D5 Smart gate motors. We are comparing gate motors within the domestic and gate max size of 500kg. 

I have listed the motors below, those listings contain more information, Installer’s notes and send estimate requests.

D5 SmartD5 EvoET Drive 500
Price est (motor only)689055005400
Max Gate Mass kg500500500
Speed m/min322424
PCB Replace229919801500
Power Supply Replacement1070699540
Battery cost every 2yrs850315315
Theft bracket12401029included
Controllerapp onlylcdlcd

My notes

D5 Smart – The mobile app connects via Bluetooth and it’s core functionality is to do initial setup and diagnose problems.

Includes Installation

Gate Motors

D5 Smart gate motor


Shortage of D10 and D10 Turbo gate motors

  Dear Valued Client, We just wanted to let you know that we are currently experiencing a shortage of D10 and D10 Turbo industrial sliding gate operators, mainly due to there being insufficient stock of the electrical motors used in these systems.

Why the shortage?

Unfortunately, several factors conspired to create the present situation.
Firstly, a sudden upsurge in demand led to our contingency stock being depleted much quicker than anticipated. As you know, there was recently an outbreak of xenophobic violence in certain parts of the country, and, sadly, truck drivers were targeted in these attacks, making delivery of stock all but impossible without compromising the safety of the drivers. Thankfully, the situation seems to have been contained for the moment, but the shockwaves that it sent through the country’s economy are only now starting to subside.

A final bit of misfortune struck when a ship carrying stock of the motor was waylaid by a severe storm en route to our shores, with physical and IT infrastructure troubles at the port causing further delays.

What are we doing to fix it?

While these events are indeed highly regrettable, we will not allow them to deter us from providing you with the world-class service you have come to expect from Centurion Systems. We can confirm that, after a few delays, we have received stock of the motors and production has already started. Our production team will be working throughout the weekend to build up stock, and a special delivery to get units to the outlying areas has been scheduled for Monday, the 30th September.


To quote a famous saying, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and, try as one might, it is extremely difficult to plan for every eventuality in this increasingly volatile and uncertain world. That being said, we commit to creating higher levels of safety stock going forward.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused, and thank you for your understanding and support.   Kind regards,